We know that the Nazis are some of the most evil villains in history, but did you know that they had been greedy too? For the duration of the atrocities the Nazis performed, they siphoned off assets of their victims, stockpiling it into depositories to fund their terrible regime. A lot of assets were in the form of gold, which the Nazis would trade for currency in non-Nazi banks.
The specifics are not identified as to which institutions participated in these financial activities with the Nazis, but there has been significantly speculation in the form of investigations, trials, and even in books and movies. Don’t forget Goldfinger? That bar of gold was supposed to be Nazi gold.
Gold is and has been universally identified as an “apocalypse” investment. That means that if all the world’s systems of currency had been to fail, gold would still be a valid factor to trade. You could get a lot more for your grandma’s old gold earrings than for a one hundred dollar bill. Of course, you may get even more for a can of soup with a pull tab – depending on how bad things actually got.
Either way, the Nazis couldn’t precisely purchase guns and planes with bars of gold, so they took the gold they’d stolen from their victims and converted it. When that wasn’t sufficient, they started taking gold from other countries. From the country of Belgium the Nazis “expropriated” 3m of gold, and from the Netherlands they took 3m. That is gold taken from the actual country’s government, and the number does not contain what they took from the citizens or firms in other countries.
As for what happened to the gold, it is a topic of fantastic debate. Significantly of the gold taken from individuals and firms of Germany and other countries was split up among fleeing Nazis at the finish of the war. There are many stories of discovered Nazi gold in the form of gold coins and gold bullion – numerous quite accurate and not featuring a tuxedo-wearing secret agent. The whereabouts of the reserves of gold, nonetheless, the wonderful stockpiles the Nazis amassed when they “expropriated” (or “stole”) gold from other countries are not recognized.
The reality that the whereabouts are unknown is not because of a lack in effort. Reportedly, a lot of Nazi gold ended up in the hands of the Ustase, who had been a collection of Croations who had been in league with the Nazis but eliminated in 1945. For some reason or the other, the Vatican sheltered some Ustase refugees, and it was believed that their Nazi gold was held at the Vatican. In 2008 the surviving victims and families of the victims of the Ustase filed a class-action lawsuit against the Vatican, claiming that they had been entitled to those riches via the return of stated gold to Yugoslavia.
Although the Vatican did not deny that a significant shipment of gold arrived to Rome in 1946, they argued that they were merely a third party – that the plaintiff’s genuine allegations had been against the Ustase, who were disbanded and no longer existed. Ultimately the Vatican was absolved under sovereign immunity and the case was dismissed.
As for the rest of the Nazi gold, there are rumors that Meyer Lansky – accountant to Mafia boss Lucky Luciano – employed his ties with the Swiss National Bank (a recognized repository of Nazi Gold) to get over million dollars away from the Nazis. Those who espouse this theory believe that Luciano and Lansky utilized this money to secure the financial stability of the global Mafia.
Whatever the case, because of the greed and power-hungry behavior of the Nazis, numerous people had been stripped of their riches (and their lives) to fund an immoral and ugly Reich. Those riches stay, to this day, mostly lost, as a testament to the lives lost that we can in no way reclaim.