War is a costly business and in 1939, Germany was almost broke with its economy overheating and heading for runaway inflation. Hitler needed hard foreign currency to pay for his war machine and the only way he could get this was by selling gold that he looted from the national banks of Austria, Czechoslovakia and all the countries that were occupied after September 1939.
Another source of gold was the theft of personal gold especially from the Jews, most grotesquely, the haul of dental gold which came out of the concentration camps.
No neutral country would accept Reichsmarks so the gold had to be laundered through Swiss banks. The story of Swiss complicity in German war crimes is still a subject of controversy, and lawsuits. There are also questions about the parts played by other countries, particularly Portugal, in laundering stolen gold for the Nazis. The Vatican’s dealings with Hitler have often been seen as ambiguous and this book investigates the Holy See’s role in helping ship Nazi gold to South America, and how that gold might have been used to re-create the German Reich.
After the war a commission was set up to recover as much gold as possible and restore it to those from whom it was stolen. This, of course, was beset by huge problems especially with regards to gold that was looted from Holocaust victims. Enormous quantities of gold and other treasures were hidden in a mine at Merkers in Thuringia which was found by the US 3rd Army in 1945, but much gold remains unaccounted for, and attempts are still ongoing to uncover supposed hidden caches, the most recent in Poland where four tons are believed to have been found by the Silesian Bridge Foundation in May of 2022.
The whereabouts and disposal of the remaining stolen gold has led to numerous investigations and countless conspiracy theories. In Hitler’s Gold the author analyses these and uncovers many of the mysteries surrounding this continuing search for the missing millions.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Lional Jones
An interesting book covering life in Germany before the outbreak of war. I would recommend it to anyone interested in past history covering life under Hitler's rule. Well researched with interesting facts.
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Meg Gajda
Another good book on Hitler's era. This time about stolen gold by Nazis during the WW2. A must read for lovers of history.
An intriguing look at how Nazi Germany looted and dispersed stolen gold during WW2. I found it interesting the countries that were complicit in the dealing with the Germans on the gold. It was disappointing to learn the lack of support that these countries made in supporting the allies against the blockade. A good read.NetGalley, Ron Baumer
Rating: 5 out of 5 starsNetGalley, Caroline Palmer
An amazing and fascinating look at how the Nazis financed their war but how the Allies tried to give back what was stolen from Western Europe after the war.