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Shofar FTP Archive File: places/switzerland/allied-economic-intelligence.460205

Archive/File: places/switzerland/allied-economic-intelligence.460205
Last-Modified: 1997/05/24

(Allied economic intelligence document)
    Allied Claim Against Swiss for Return of Looted Gold
1. It has been determined from available ledgers of the
German Reichsbank that a total of at least 398 million
dollars worth of gold was shipped to Switzerland by the
German Reichsbank during the war. This figure does not
include the following which, when verified and amounts
definitely determined, should also be taken up with the

     (a) one additional shipment known to have taken place
     after these books were closed and evacuated from

     (b) other shipments believed to have taken place early
     in the war and to have been recorded in earlier ledgers
     of the German Reichsbank which are not now available;

     (c) an amount of approximately 12 million dollars worth
     of gold which the Germans seized when they looted the
     Italian gold but delivered directly to the Swiss.
2. It is perfectly possible that the entire amount of 398
million dollars (or more) worth of gold received by the
Swiss from the German Reichsbank was looted gold because of
the following facts:

     (a) The large amounts of gold known to have been looted
     by the Germans from the countries which they occupied
     in Europe before and during the course of the war. It
     is known that at least 579 million dollars worth of
     gold was looted by the Germans and made available to
     the German Reichsbank. This figure represents a
     conservative tabulation based upon the estimates of the
     countries from which gold was looted and upon a careful
     examination of the records of the Germans.

     (b) The relatively small amounts of legitimate gold
     available to them.

     (c) The very small proportion of the looted gold which
     appears to have remained in Germany at the end of the
     war or to have been disposed of in countries other than
     Switzerland. The amount of such looted gold now
     identified as being in Germany at the end of the war or
     disposed of to foreign countries other than Switzerland
     is only 169 million dollars. These figures have been
     derived from a complete inventory of the gold found in
     Germany at the end of the war and a thorough
     examination of the records of the Reichsbank, including
     a detailed tracing of the processing and disposition of
     more than half of the gold originally looted.
Subtraction of the loot thus traced to German war-end stocks
and to third countries (169) from the total loot (579)
leaves 410 million dollars worth of loot or more than the
entire amount of the known shipments to Switzerland still to
be accounted for.

   Allied Policies for Negotiation of Looted Gold Question
It is definitely known that the Swiss received at least 398
million dollars worth of gold from Germany during the course
of the war. Of this amount the absolute minimum which is to
be classified as loot is 185 million dollars. In arriving at
this calculation every doubt has been resolved in favor of
the  Swiss. A more realistic approach indicates that the
amount of looted gold taken by the Swiss is closer to 289
million dollars, and there is a possibility that all gold
received by the Swiss from Germany was looted.

With these facts in mind, the Allied Governments should
insist that the Swiss hand over immediately 185 million
dollars worth of gold. Any bargaining between the Allies and
Switzerland should only be with respect to the difference
between 185 million and 398 million. As to this, the Allies
should take the position that such difference should be
turned over unless the Swiss are able to prove that such
gold was either included in Germany's non-looted pre-war
stocks or legitimately acquired after the beginning of the

It is possible that Switzerland will ask to see the data
upon which the figure representing the minimum loot was
based. If so, the Allied negotiators should agree to this
concession upon the condition that the Swiss make available
to Allied experts books, records and other documents in
their possession relating to their gold stocks acquired from
Germany and the disposition of such gold. However to avoid
delays, such concessions should only be made after the Swiss
have agreed to turn over the initial 185 million dollars
worth of gold.

In taking the above position the Allied negotiators should
make it clear to the Swiss officials that the fact that
specific looted gold is no longer in Swiss possession does
not operate to defeat the Allied claim or hinder or impede
the handing over of an equivalent amount of gold. The Swiss
should be advised that in cases where the original loot has
passed from Switzerland to another country and the Swiss
Government has made the equivalent amount of such gold
available to the three named Allied powers, these powers
will, insofar as is feasible, lend their assistance to the
Swiss in obtaining the return of the specific gold or an
equivalent. However, such an offer of assistance is not to
be understood or construed as a guarantee on the part of the
three governments named.

In the event that the Swiss Government should indicate its
preference to settle the gold question by paying over a flat
sum rather than assume the burden of proof as is indicated
herein above, any compromise figure between 185 million and
398 million which is agreed to by all of the Allied
negotiators could be accepted. It would seem that 289
million would represent a reasonable settlement.

3. Even if one makes the assumption, which is quite
unrealistic, but presents the most favorable possible case
for the Swiss, that the shipments which they received
included all of the non-looted gold available to the Germans
during the war,  there still remains an absolute minimum of
185 million dollars of the gold taken by the Swiss from the
German Reichsbank which must have been looted.

     (a) A thorough examination of the records of the German
     Reichsbank and intensive interrogations in Germany of
     high Reichsbank officials in a position to know the
     true facts have determined the amount of hidden
     reserves of gold held by the Reichsbank before and
     during the war in addition to the published reserves
     which were known to the world.

     (b) For the purpose at hand June 30, 1940 has been
     chosen as the base date in order to make the case as
     favorable as possible to the Swiss and eliminate any
     uncertainty as to legitimate acquisitions of gold by
     the Germans prior to their attack on the low countries.
     The Reichsbank's total gold holdings on that date were
     232 million dollars.

     (c) From the holdings shown above (232 million
     dollars), there must be subtracted an amount of 49
     million dollars worth of loot accumulated by the
     Reichsbank in the preceding year, which gives a total
     of 183 million dollars worth of non-looted gold stocks
     held on June 30, 1940.

     (d) The only significant source of legitimate gold
     still open to the Germans after June 1940 was Russia.
     German records show that the total amount of gold
     received from Russia between the outbreak of war with
     Poland and the attack on Russia was 23 million dollars.
     Although it is clear that much of the gold was received
     prior to June 30, 1940 and, therefore, is undoubtedly
     included in the German gold reserve figure for that
     date (183 million dollars), we are making the
     assumption most favorable to the Swiss and assuming
     that all 23 million was acquired after June 30, 1940
     and is, therefore, to be added to the gold reserve
     shown on that date as additional legitimate gold. The
     resultant total of 206 million dollars is the maximum
     possible amount of non-looted gold available to the
     German Reichsbank at any time after June 1940.

     (e) Subtracting from the total known shipments to
     Switzerland (398) the portion of those shipments which
     took place prior to the end of June 1940 (7 million)
     leaves an amount of at least 391 million dollars worth
     of gold received by the Swiss thereafter, and the
     difference between this amount and the maximum possible
     amount of the non-loot available to the Germans in the
     same period (206) is 185 million dollars.
4. On the fairest assumptions the amount of loot taken by
the Swiss from Germany can be estimated at 289 million

     (a) It is unreal to assume, as was done above, in
     calculating the absolute minimum figure of looted gold
     received by the Swiss from Germany that every ounce of
     non-looted gold available to the Germans was sent to

     (b) It is more realistic to assume that the ratio of
     loot to total gold available to the Germans was
     reflected in all German gold shipments including those
     to Switzerland. The total amount of gold available to
     the Germans after June 30, 1940, as shown above, was
     785 million dollars of which 579 million dollars or 74%
     was loot. Applying this percentage to the total amounts
     received by the Swiss it would appear likely that at
     least 289 million thereof was loot.

              German Gold Movements (Estimate)
  From April 1938 to May 1945 (In Millions of U.S. Dollars)
           INCOME                         OUTGO
Germany started the war      Sold to Swiss National      275
with estimated gold      100 Bank                         to
reserves of                                              282
(Published gold              Possibly sold to Swiss         
reserves were only 29)       Commercial Banks before      20
Taken over from Austria   46 Washed through Swiss           
                             National Bank depot            
                             account and eventually         
                             re-exported to Portugal     100
                             and Spain (larger part
                             by far to Portugal)
" " " " " Czechoslovakia  16 Rumania                    32.5
" " " " " Danzig           4 Sweden                     18.5
" " " " " Poland          12 Found in Germany               
                             (including 64 earmarked        
                             for Italy and 32            293
                             earmarked for Hungary)
" " " " " Holland        168 Sold to or used in             
                             Balkan countries and         10
                             Middle East -- mainly
" " " " " Belgium        223                             ===
" " " " " Yugoslavia      25                             752
" " " " " Luxembourg       5                                
" " " " " France          53                                
" " " " " Italy           64                                
" " " " " Hungary         32                                
      Swiss Gold Movements (Swiss Official Statement)
 From January 1, 1939 to June 30, 1945 (In Millions of U.S. Dollars)
Purchased from Germany   282.9 Sold to Germany             4.9
" " " " " " "  Portugal   12.7   "   " Portugal          116.6
" " " " " " "  Sweden     17.0   "   " Spain              42.6
                                 "   " Turkey              3.5

Conclusions: (1) All gold that Germany sold after a certain
date, probably from early 1943 on, was looted gold, since
her own gold reserves, including hidden reserves with which
she started the war, were exhausted by that time; (2) out of
$278,000,000-worth of gold that Switzerland purchased from
Germany, the larger part was looted gold; in addition,
Switerland has taken $100,000,000 looted gold in deposit,
which later on was re-exported to Spain and Portugal for
German account; (3) among the gold that the Swiss sold
during the was to Portugal, Spain, and Turkey, there could
have been looted German gold; (4) the gold that Switzerland
bought from Sweden during the war could theoretically be
German looted gold; monetary experts all over the world
(Switzerland has monetary experts at her disposal) knew or
ought to have known, roughly the figures and movements as
contained in the above estimate -- certaily they knew the
gold holdings and gold reserves of the German Reichsbank.
Switzerland therefore was lacking in good faith. In
addition, she was warned that all Germany's own pre-war gold
stocks had been used up by mid-1943 at the latest and
therefore all the gold then in the possession of Germany
must be presumed to be looted gold.

ES: CFFletcher:jd

(LeBor, Adam. Hitler's Secret Bankers: The Myth of Swiss
Neutrality During the Holocaust. Secaucus, N.J.: Carol
Publishing Group, 1997. Pp. 237-240)

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