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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Oct. 29, 1996 V4, #197
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Gold stolen by Nazis scattered worldwide

Portugal may have received the largest amount of gold stolen by the Nazis from the Jews in World War 2. Newsweek reports Switzerland may have the laundered gold, but many parties worldwide moved and hid assets, that were never returned. Newsweek said a Portuguese spokesman for its central bank confirmed the bank received the gold from Germany because it sold goods and services to Germany.

Sonntags Zeitung: "Swiss Dealers Were 'Fences' of Holocaust"

By Max Ruston (VOA-New York)

American Jewish leaders said they are making progress in forcing the Swiss government and banking community to recognize claims for bank accounts, missing from the World War 2 period, of European Jews and other Holocaust victims.

Senior US politicians joined Jewish leaders in New York to receive a briefing on progress made in the hunt for missing bank accounts.

Jewish leaders say Swiss banks have profited from money left in Swiss bank accounts by victims of the Holocaust. They say the money totals billions of dollars and should be returned to survivors and victims' relatives.

The Swiss government has offered restitution of $32 million. Edgar Bronfman, chairman of the global liquor and juice producer Seagrams, rejects that offer as too small.

"It is the principle. You cannot profit from the dead people who were killed in the Holocaust. It is not right. It is not legal. It is not moral. It is not ethical. It is not going to happen. There are some other countries in what was known as western Europe, where Jews were taken away and destroyed. What happened to their property? Specifically I am talking about Holland, Belgium and France."

Bronfman accused them of fighting every inch of the way and dragging their feet. Swiss authorities have claimed they are doing all they can to investigate claims for restitution.

Sen. Alfonse d'Amato, R-NY, speaking at the briefing, sharply criticized Swiss authorities. "We will get justice. We are determined to get the facts. That stone wall of silence and conspiracy is still there but there are cracks beginning to develop and there are people who should be embarrassed because of what they have done, and more importantly what they continue to perpetuate, and that is masking the truth, as ugly as it might be, and that is ugly."

Swiss Minister Admits: "We Bear a Heavy Burden of Guilt"

"We still bear a heavy burden of shame when we think of the 'J' stamp in Jewish passports and of the so-called policy of 'Das Boot ist voll' ('the boat is full') which barred a great number of Jews from escaping to our country."

This blunt admission was made by Swiss Federal Minister of Transport and Energy Moritz Leuenberger to over 100 leaders of Jewish communities and organizations. The leaders, representing 30 countries, were gathered in Zurich for the 1996 General Assembly of the European Council of Jewish Communities.

"The truth must be known about the role our country played, and we must support all historical investigation to get to the bottom of it," Leuenberger said.

Archive Document Details Contents of Nazi Hoard

A recently declassified government document, dated May 10, 1945, reports that GIs found a large cache of art and gold hidden inside German salt mines. That gold included fillings reportedly pulled from the mouths of Holocaust victims. The document was recently declassified by the National Archives and was released at a press conference held in New York.

The mine, near Merkers, 75 miles northwest of Frankfurt, contained looted art and gold. Its discovery has previously been documented, and newsreel footage exists of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower inspecting the mine.

According to the document, GIs learned of the hoard's existence in April 1945. Along with the Nazi gold and art, they discovered a hoard of "SS loot" consisting of more than 200 containers, boxes, and bags.

That, and three suitcases containing gold and silver dental fillings, included "every conceivable kind of personal article of value," such as gold cigarette cases, silverware, and even silver thimbles, the document states.

The document does not report whether the assets came from concentration camps, but inventories found in the valises showed that many of the objects came from Nazi-conquered countries.

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