Nazi Gold

Discussions on the economic history of the nations taking part in WW2, from the recovery after the depression until the economy at war.
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Tiger Fever
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Nazi Gold

Postby Tiger Fever » 23 Apr 2006 20:55

Nazi Gold

Soon after the out break of the war the German national gold reserves, already substantially increased by the acquisition of Austrian gold holdings following the Auchluss, were significantly augmented by forcible acquisitions from abroad. The Nazi’s took $2,596,608 of gold from the gold reserves of the Czech National Bank and £32,200,000 from the National Bank of Hungary. They looted part of the gold reserves of Albania, Holland the USSR and other countries overrun of the victorious Wehrmacht, and after the conquest of France they stole $225,900,000 worth of gold, comprising part of the Belgian national gold reserves, which was deposited in the Banque de France for safekeeping, by the Belgian government. The Belgian gold was taken to the Reichsbank in Berlin and resmelted. Each bar was stamped with the letters RB for Reichsbank, the German eagle, the retrospective date 1938, and its weight to three points of the decimal.

Later, when the Germans were forced to withdraw from Southern Italy in the face of the advancing Anglo-American forces, they took with them $100,000,000 in Italian gold, which also ended up in the Reichsbank`s reserves.

At the height of the Nazi conquest of Europe the gold reserves held by the Reichsbank were estimated to total as much as $772,636,253. By today’s values the equivalent of $6,490,144,525 much of it looted from subject nations of Europe.

Following US air raids on Berlin in early Feb 1945, over $200,000,000 worth of gold reserves, were moved from Berlin, to the Kaiseroda Mine. Weighing around 100 tons, it needed 13 railway flat cars to transport it and took 72 hours to unload and transfer them to twenty 10 ton trucks.



Gold in the Kaiseroda mine

8,527 gold bars, valued at $112,000,000. Minted gold coins, valued at $126,000,000, included a million Swiss Francs, a billion French Francs and 711 bags of US $20 gold pieces.
250 tons of gold in total.

Reichsbank in Berlin, liberated by the Russians.

90 gold bars worth $1,278,000 and over four and a half million gold coins (dollars, sovereigns, guilders & Francs) worth $,156,625

P31 & P51 Nazi Gold by Ian and Douglas Botting.

Some gold also unexpectedly turned up in the former German embassy in Madrid Spain, in May 1945. Estimated at one ton, with a value of $1,250,000. It consisted entirely of gold coins, mostly British gold sovereigns. It was flown by plane back to Frankfurt in 1946.

P112 Hitler’s Gold by Arthur L Smith.
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Postby Tiger Fever » 23 Apr 2006 20:58

Has anyone any idea how many Gold Swiss Francs, were minted between 1947-49?

I wonder if these account for any of the Nazi Gold bullion, they collected during the war?
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Postby Tiger Fever » 24 Apr 2006 10:14

In a salt mine in Merkers, Germany in 1945, the 90th Division, U.S. Third Army, discovered Reichsbank wealth, SS loot, and paintings from Berlin


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

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Postby Tiger Fever » 24 Apr 2006 10:14

The Gold Train included everything from silverware and watches to "wedding rings and gold teeth with human blood on them," Zweig writes. The material was from hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews rounded up by the SS and Hungarian fascists in the spring of 1944.

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Postby Alp Guard » 19 Aug 2006 16:43

Tiger Fever wrote:Has anyone any idea how many Gold Swiss Francs, were minted between 1947-49?

I wonder if these account for any of the Nazi Gold bullion, they collected during the war?


The Swiss national bank (SNB) minted 20’008’813 gold coins, so called "VRENELI" (not francs) from 1945-1947, using goldbars, which were already in possession of the SNB before 1939.

As a result of the Washington treaties 1946, the Swiss handed out 250 Mio Francs in Gold to the Americans for the "redevelopment of Europe". The allied declared this would satisfy all claims toward the SNB for their gold trades during WWII. According to some sources this gold is still in N.Y., meanwhile the Swiss had to pay again 50 years later. :roll:

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Postby Tiger Fever » 20 Aug 2006 18:04

Cheers Alp Guard thats very interesting thank you. Is there any proof of this? (The bars being pre 1939?)

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Postby Alp Guard » 21 Aug 2006 05:27

Tiger Fever wrote:Cheers Alp Guard thats very interesting thank you. Is there any proof of this? (The bars being pre 1939?)


According to this detailed history of this coin, basing on reports from the SNB. Unfortunately in German. (Scroll down):

http://www.sammlerstube.ch/wissen/numis ... reneli.htm

There it is also said, that after March 1947, they used German Gold as well, because they believed that, after the Washington Treaty, it would not matter anymore, where the gold had come from. (Which is logical).

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Re: Nazi Gold

Postby Bronsky » 18 Sep 2006 21:42

Tiger Fever wrote:Nazi Gold

Soon after the out break of the war the German national gold reserves, already substantially increased by the acquisition of Austrian gold holdings following the Auchluss, were significantly augmented by forcible acquisitions from abroad. The Nazi’s took $2,596,608 of gold from the gold reserves of the Czech National Bank and £32,200,000 from the National Bank of Hungary.


Not to be picky after such an informative post, but expressing it all in a common currency would help. I wonder what were Allied gold stocks by then, for comparison purposes. I have a figure for French gold holdings and know that they had a bit more than the British, but that's about it.

Is there a history of WWII gold in general, not just Nazi?

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Re: Nazi Gold

Postby Bronsky » 02 Nov 2006 18:36

Some nit-picks to revitalize the thread:

Tiger Fever wrote:Nazi Gold

Soon after the out break of the war the German national gold reserves, already substantially increased by the acquisition of Austrian gold holdings following the Auchluss, were significantly augmented by forcible acquisitions from abroad. The Nazi’s took $2,596,608 of gold from the gold reserves of the Czech National Bank and £32,200,000 from the National Bank of Hungary. They looted part of the gold reserves of Albania, Holland the USSR and other countries overrun of the victorious Wehrmacht, and after the conquest of France they stole $225,900,000 worth of gold, comprising part of the Belgian national gold reserves, which was deposited in the Banque de France for safekeeping, by the Belgian government.


1. When did the Germans seized the Hungarian gold holdings? The country only became a true puppet in late 1944.

2. Same question regarding Albania which was an Italian, not German, conquest. The Italians were as short of foreign exchange as the Germans had been and I strongly doubt that they had much in the way of gold reserves at the time of the armistice.

3. The Germans didn't "steal" the Belgian gold reserves, they asked for them and Laval - Vichy Premier - gave in to their demand, hoping that by demonstrating goodwill he would get better terms. The French had successfully evacuated all their remaining gold (about 2,400 tons of which roughly 200 were Belgian and a little under 50 was Polish) to central Africa at the time of the armistice. The Germans suggested that they ship the gold back "to keep it safe from Allied predatory plans", but the French assured them that the gold was quite safe where it was. Then the Germans said that the Belgian government (i.e. them) wanted the Belgian gold back, and Laval gave in. After the war, the Belgians argued that their legal government had never approved such a transfer, so it was nil and the French still owed them 200 tons of gold. So the French paid up, therefore you could argue that instead of stealing $200 million from the Belgians, they tricked Laval into giving them that amount.

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Postby Alp Guard » 02 Nov 2006 23:42

That's what I also read. The french transported the Gold from Tchad to Marseille. The Germans flew the gold to Berlin melted it and sold it on the world market.

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Postby Carl Schwamberger » 03 Nov 2006 06:30

Fat lot of good all that loot did them.

I wonder if the Austrian annexation had bee prevented if the nazi government would have remained solvent through 1938?

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Postby Bronsky » 03 Nov 2006 07:42

Alp Guard wrote:The french transported the Gold from Tchad to Marseille. The Germans flew the gold to Berlin melted it and sold it on the world market.


LOL ! A Swiss writes, Germans are properly capitalized, French are not, but gold is :P I know it's a typo, just too good to miss :lol:

More seriously, I'm not sure about the last part. The Germans immediately took the gold for themselves, of course i.e. Belgium "decided to centralize assets in the defense of the Reich and European civilization" or some similar phrasing, and was credited with DM 543 million in exchange (figure from memory, could be wrong).

But while the first shipment of gold arrived relatively early (mid-1941?), the second, and larger (about 3/4), shipment reached Marseilles just before Torch. The gold didn't enter German - as opposed to German-controled - vaults until mid-1943, and I'm not sure what opportunities there remained to sell it on the world market by then.

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Postby Bronsky » 03 Nov 2006 07:43

Carl Schwamberger wrote:I wonder if the Austrian annexation had bee prevented if the nazi government would have remained solvent through 1938?


It could have remained solvent, but would have had to drastically step down its rearmament.

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Postby Alp Guard » 03 Nov 2006 10:50

Bronsky wrote:
Alp Guard wrote:The french transported the Gold from Tchad to Marseille. The Germans flew the gold to Berlin melted it and sold it on the world market.


LOL ! A Swiss writes, Germans are properly capitalized, French are not, but gold is :P I know it's a typo, just too good to miss :lol:



I don't get the humerous point, nor did I write that the Reich was properly capitalized. Could you explain, please ?

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Postby Bronsky » 03 Nov 2006 10:54

I meant the use of capitals in German, Gold and french. As I wrote, I know it was a typo which is why I mentioned it as funny. If you feel offended, please let me know and I'll edit the message.


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