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Nazi Gold and the Vatican Bank
The present whereabouts of the Nazi gold that
disappeared into European banking institutions in 1945 has
been the subject of several books, conspiracy theories, and
a civil suit brought in 2001 against the Vatican Bank, the
Franciscan Order and other defendants.
That the Nazi regime maintained a policy of looting the
assets of its victims to finance its war, collecting the
looted assets in central depositories, and that it
occasionally transferred gold to banks outside the Third
Reich in return for currency, have been well documented
since the 1950s. The identity of individual collaborative
institutions and the precise extent of transactions is more
open to denial, however.
Among Nazi puppet regimes, the Ustasha regime also
maintained concentration camps and confiscated the assets of
its victims in the campaign of ethnic cleansing to clear
'Greater Croatia' of Serbs, Roma, and Jews. Victims' assets
were deposited in the Ustasha Treasury. In 1948, U.S. Army
Intelligence reports confirmed that 2,400 kilos of Ustasha
stolen gold were moved from the Vatican to one of the
Vatican's numbered Swiss bank accounts.
At the time of the collapse of the Ustasha in 1945,
Ustasha agents were found at the British-occupied
Austro-Swiss border with gold valued at 350 million Swiss
francs. Intelligence reports also suggest that more than 200
million Swiss francs were eventually transferred to Vatican
City and the IOR with the assistance of Roman Catholic
clergy and the Franciscan Order. Such claims are denied by
the Vatican Bank.
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