Who made money in World War II
Nazi gold - Allies deceived the world public
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, under the succinct title "Nazi gold - a report from British archives" - the British Foreign Office published a documentation this week that hit like a bomb. For the first time, an Allied country has publicly admitted that it profited from the Nazi gold that the Germans stole from half of Europe and from concentration camps during the war. Switzerland remains the main beneficiary of Nazi gold. What is new, however, is that the Allies earned a lot from it, without thinking about the victims of the Holocaust. The Allies have deceived the world public, especially the Jews, for decades.
A report by John Goetz and Kuno Haberbusch.
Gold, Swiss gold, has been a hot word for many for two days, because the Swiss banks have a problem.
Switzerland: politicians who emphasize their neutrality and banks who prefer not to say anything. Despite probing questions about an urgent problem. The confirmed suspicion Swiss banks have been hoarding Nazi money for years - mostly stolen.
Flashback: The Second World War. During this time, Germany regularly transported gold bars to Switzerland in order to bring them to safety and to exchange them for foreign currencies.
Until recently, there was only speculation about the value of gold bars. But two days ago the British Foreign Office surprised with an investigation report that evaluates previously secret government documents. For the first time, the documentation gives concrete figures about the value of Nazi gold stored in Switzerland. $ 500 million, equivalent to a current value of $ 5 billion.
"We're talking about stolen property, whether it's gold bars, personal property or gold from the corpses of Auschwitz. It is not against the law of any civilized country to steal, but also to pass on stolen things."
Immediately after the war. Swiss delegates from the government and the banking world fly to Washington to negotiate with the Allies about the Nazi gold. It was an extremely successful trip for the Swiss delegation. Of the Nazi money worth 500 million US dollars, the Allies received only 60 million, i.e. less than 10 percent. In the previously secret files from America that have now been discovered, there are indications of how this inexplicable deal came about. An American Senate employee:
"Europe needed Switzerland, it needed it against the Soviet Union. Germany had to be built up as a buffer zone. And we know from the documents that Great Britain tried to get loans from Switzerland at the end of the war and that is why Great Britain was particularly compliant in the negotiations . "
The Allies administered their share of the gold. They assert that they have given it back to the countries from which the Nazis had previously stolen it. Neither Switzerland nor the Allies then thought of giving shares of the gold to surviving Jews.
"So we were in a situation where we suspected, where we even had knowledge, but knowledge didn't help us either. What documents we have here undoubtedly proves the greatest theft in human history."
It was not only Jewish organizations who had repeatedly complained that Switzerland had not provided any information on any of these sensitive issues in the past either. Even now, neither the government nor the silent bankers see any reason to act quickly. Since today, however, Swiss gold has caused even more political turmoil. Because now it becomes clear to what extent Swiss banks were also at the service of Nazi Germany during the war.
During the war, Germany was not only politically isolated from many countries. Also economically. In addition to a few allies, it needed neutral Switzerland.
JEAN PHILIPPE TISSIÉRE:
"As for the gold that was in Switzerland during the war, let us not forget that Switzerland has always been a commercial and financial transit route. And during the war, Switzerland bought gold worth 4 billion Swiss francs from the Allies. And bought about 2 billion worth of money from the Reichsbank. "
A document dated May 27, 1946, which PANORAMA has, shows other dimensions. It was made by the American authorities. This explosive interrogation of the head of the foreign exchange department of the Reich Ministry of Economics in Landwehr has remained a secret to this day. He describes that all other neutral countries did not accept Nazi gold and also refused to do other transactions. The Deutsche Reichsbank therefore had great problems getting foreign currency. It was Switzerland that helped in this emergency. She accepted the German gold, bought it by the ton for hard currency. The German armaments industry needed these currencies - especially for the purchase of raw materials on foreign markets. During the war, Switzerland bought Nazi gold for at least $ 500 million - mostly stolen.
But the witness Landwehr knew even more. In his interrogation he puts the total scope of economic activities between Nazi Germany and Switzerland during the war at over 18 billion Reichsmarks. From today's perspective, that corresponds to 90 billion marks. An extent that now leads to serious allegations.
"They were the bankers of the Nazis, which enabled them to have contact with the western world. This gave the Nazis a place to store their stolen assets, diamonds, works of art, gold, bank accounts, etc. Switzerland supplied ammunition, cars, weapons, everything Germany needed - especially towards the end. It is possible that Swiss aid has extended the war by a year. "
But it is not only Switzerland that has difficulties answering questions about Nazi gold. Even the Allies are in a bad position today - 50 years after the end of the war.
Germany 1945. In the Frankfurter Reichsbank the Western Allies collect tons of money, jewelry, coins and art objects from Germany.
And again and again the Allies are shocked by their findings. The jewelry and gold teeth of murdered Jews. But also gold bars that come from fused dental gold.
In this previously confidential note from the American embassy, an American official points out the unbelievable extent of the gold fillings of murdered Jews. He meticulously lists that more than 100 tons of dental gold were found.
Next on the list: jewelry, watches, rings, other valuables. And then again and again the places where you found what you were looking for: extermination camps.
What is certain is that all the finds worth billions of marks were brought here to the Bank of England. What happened after that is still unclear today. The entire property was administered by an allied commission. They still exist today. It is based here in the English embassy in Brussels. Not only did it refuse to provide any information to PANORAMA in front of the camera.
Other educational activities have also so far been unsuccessful. The American Senate employee, despite his best efforts, has no idea either.
"We really don't know anything. But we can pretty safely say that Jews did not get any reparation for the money."
This man was once responsible for the American government for the so-called allied gold. He too is at a loss today.
SEYMOUR J. RUBIN:
"So the gold should go to the Allied Reparations Agency. And I don't know what happened to it."
Suitcases from murdered Jews. Glasses, leftovers that still exist today. The valuable things are gone. It is not just the relatives of the murdered who are waiting for answers. From Switzerland, but also from the Allies.
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