rotten > Library > History > Third Reich > Nazi Gold
dem gold, dem gold, dem teeth gold
SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Bruno Melmer was the SS guy in charge of accounting for Holocaust gold.
A lot of this gold probably wound up in South America through Switzerland and Evita Peron, and helped ODESSA.
Captured SS records on microfilm at the National Archives show that Oswald Pohl, head of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office, had distributed a chart that said: "Efficient utilization of the prisoner's body at the end of nine months increases this profit by the return of dental gold. It is possible at times to obtain additional revenue from the utilization of bones and ashes."
When the Americans discovered the Merkers mine treasure in 1945, a partial inventory revealed:
- 8,198 bars of gold bullion
- 55 boxes of crated gold bullion
- hundreds of bags of gold items
- over 1,300 bags of gold Reichsmarks, British gold pounds, and French gold francs
- 711 bags of American twenty-dollar gold pieces
- hundreds of bags of gold and silver coins
- hundreds of bags of foreign currency
- 9 bags of valuable coins
- 2,380 bags and 1,300 boxes of Reichsmarks (2.76 billion Reichsmarks)
- 20 silver bars
- 40 bags containing silver bars
- 63 boxes and 55 bags of silver plate
- 1 bag containing six platinum bars
- 110 bags from various countries
General Dwight D. Eisenhower later described the scene:
"Crammed into suitcases and trunks and other containers was a great amount of gold and silver plate and ornament obviously looted from private dwellings throughout Europe" he wrote. "All the articles," he noted, "had been flattened by hammer blows, obviously to save storage space, and then merely thrown into the receptacle, apparently pending an opportunity to melt them down into gold or silver bars." Later Patton would write that he saw "a number of suitcases filled with jewelry, such as silver and gold cigarette cases, wrist-watch cases, spoons, forks, vases, gold-filled teeth, false teeth, etc." acquired by "bandit methods."
|6 Apr 1945
|In a potassium mine near the German village of Merkers, Lt. Col. William A. Russell of the American 90th Infantry Division discovers a cache of looted artworks and gold bullion removed from the vaults of the Berlin Reichsbank.
|US troops seize a Nazi train headed for Austria from Hungary. Upon searching its 29 boxcars, the soldiers discover gold, jewels, 1,200 paintings, silver, china, porcelain, 3,000 Oriental carpets, and other family heirlooms.
|25 May 1946
|Switzerland signs the Washington Agreement, thereby agreeing to fund an Allied commission with $58.1 million in Nazi gold. In exchange, the Allies agree not to pursue any more of the Nazi gold sitting in Swiss bank accounts (worth somewhere between $300 and $400 million.)
|26 Sep 1996
|US Senator Al D'Amato urges the federal government to renegotiate the Washington Agreement.
|14 Jan 1997
|Christophe Meili, a security guard at Union Banque Suisse in Geneva, notices a stack of documents headed for the shredder containing information on World War II-era Berlin property records.
|9 May 1997
|US Undersecretary of Commerce Stuart Eizenstat releases "U.S. and Allied Efforts to Recover and Restore Gold and Other Assets Stolen or Hidden by Germany During World War II." Among other things, the report reveals new information about the cozy relationship between Swiss banks and Nazi Germany.
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