U.S. and Allied Efforts To Recover and Restore Gold and Other Assets Stolen or Hidden by Germany During World War II


Preliminary Study:


With the Participation of:

Central Intelligence Agency Department of the Treasury
Department of Commerce Federal Bureau of Investigation
Department of Defense Federal Reserve Board
Department of Justice National Archives and Records Administration
Department of State National Security Agency
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

May 1997




Report Summary

Tables and Charts



I. Wartime Efforts To Halt Commerce With Germany and Prevent the Flight Abroad of German Assets

A. Allied Campaign To Prevent Neutral and Non-Belligerent Commerce With Germany and the Flow of Looted Assets to the Neutrals

B. Wartime Treasury Department Controls

C. Movements of Gold and Other Assets to and Through Switzerland, 1941-1943

D. Negotiations Leading to the Inter-Allied Declaration Against Acts of Dispossession Committed in Territories Under Enemy Occupation or Control (London Declaration of January 5, 1943)

E. Prevention of Axis Financial and Commercial Intercourse With the Americas, 1941–1942

F. Allied Gold Declaration of February 1944

G. Argentina’s Failure To Control Axis Funds, 1943- 1946

H. Early Evidence of the Extortion and Seizure of Money and Other Assets From Jews and Other Refugees

II. The Safehaven Program

A. Origins of the Safehaven Program

B. Building a Legal Base for Safehaven Programs: Bretton Woods Resolution VI

C. Implementation of Safehaven

D. War Trade Negotiations

E. Evolving Policy Toward Switzerland; the Currie Mission and Its Aftermath

F. Safehaven After the End of the War

G. The Office of Strategic Services and Project Safehaven

III. Potsdam Heads of Government Meeting and the Paris Reparations Conference

A. German External Assets and Allied Control Council Law No. 5

B. Development of U.S. and Allied Policies Regarding Looted Gold, July-December 1945

C. Establishment of a Gold Pool for Looted Monetary Gold

D. Allied Decision at the Paris Reparations Conference To Provide Assistance for the Non-Repatriable Victims of Nazism

IV. The Allied-Swiss Negotiations at Washington, March- May 1946

A. The Swiss and British Perspectives on the Negotiations

B. The Question of Sanctions Against the Neutrals; State and Treasury on the
Eve of the Negotiations

C. The Allied and Swiss Delegations at the Washington Negotiations

D. Opening of the Negotiations at Washington

E. Role of Intelligence in the Washington Negotiations

F. First Swiss Draft Agreement on German Assets

G. Second Swiss Draft Agreement on German Assets

H. Collapse of the Talks

I. Resumption of the Talks and the Final Swiss Offer

J. Response to the Swiss Offer

K. Allied Acceptance of the Swiss Offer

L. President Truman Endorses the Allied-Swiss Agreement; Senator Kilgore Rejects the Settlement

M. Stucki’s Appraisal of the 1946 Allied-Swiss Negotiations

V. Five-Power Conference on Reparation for Non-Repatriable Victims of Germany, June 1946

A. Exploratory Talks

B. The Search for Compromise

C. Tentative U.S.-U.K. Agreement

D. The Conference Proceedings

E. Content of the Agreement

F. Annexes to the Agreement

VI. Implementation of the May 1946 Allied-Swiss Accord

A. The Exchange Rate Issue

B. Swiss Contribution to Monetary Gold in the Allied "Gold Pot"

C. Swiss Contribution to Non-Repatriable Victims of the Nazis

D. Swiss Treatment of the Assets of German-Jewish Persecutees

E. Switzerland and the Diplomacy of European Economic Recovery

F. Revision of the Washington Accord

G. Allied-Swiss Negotiations in Washington, May-June 1949

H. Possible Reconvening of the Allied-Swiss Conference

I. U.S. Policy Toward Switzerland in 1950 and 1951

J. Possible U.S. Withdrawal From the Washington Accord

K. Allied-Swiss Conference at Bern, March- April 1951

L. Direct Negotiations Between Germany and Switzerland

M. Compromise on Intercustodial Matters

VII. Allied Negotiations With the Other Neutral Countries

A. Allied Negotiations With Sweden

B. Allied Negotiations With Portugal

C. Allied Negotiations With Spain

D. Allied Negotiations With Turkey

E. Allied Negotiations With Argentina

VIII. U.S. Army Involvement With the Acquisition, Accountability, and Security of German Monetary Gold and Related Assets Following World War II

A. Establishment and Operations of the Foreign Exchange Depository

B. Distributing the Gold Recovered in Germany


IX. Disposal by the United States of Captured Gold Looted by Germany From Individual Victims of Nazi Persecution and From European Central Banks

A. Discovery of SS Loot in the Reichsbank Treasure

B. Acquisition by the Reichsbank of Gold and Valuables Looted by the SS From Jews and From Jewish and Non-Jewish Concentration Camp Inmates

C. Estimates of the Value of Persecutee-Origin Gold Acquired by the Reichsbank From the SS

D. Other Sources of Persecutee-Origin Gold in the Reichsbank

E. The Presence of Persecutee-Origin Gold in the "Monetary" Gold Holdings of the Foreign Exchange Depository

F. U.S. Definitions of "Monetary" and "Non-Monetary" Gold and Their Application to
Persecutee-Origin Gold and Valuables

G. Distributions of Monetary and Non-Monetary Gold From the Foreign Exchange Depository

H. Conclusion

X. The Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold

A. Establishment and Functions

B. The Gold Pool

C. The First Distribution and Subsequent Payments

D. Disposition of Monetary Gold Looted From the Netherlands

XI. Bank for International Settlements

XII. Disposition of Heirless Assets, 1946- 1963

A. Five-Power Conference on Reparation for Non-Repatriables, June 1946

B. U.S. Domestic Arena, 1947-1951

C. U.S. Action on Heirless Assets, 1953-1963

D. International Arena, 1947- 1951

E. U.S. Démarche on the Swiss-Polish Agreement

F. Swiss Estimates of the Value of Heirless Assets of Germans

G. Allied-Swiss Conference at Bern, March-April 1951

H. Allied-Swiss Agreement on the Liquidation of German Property in Switzerland,
August 28, 1952

I. Impact of the German-Swiss Agreement, August 26, 1952

J. Heirless Assets, 1952- 1963