Scrapbookpages Blog

May 9, 2012

What happened to Germany’s gold after World War II?

Filed under: Buchenwald, Germany, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 10:15 am

General Dwight D. Eisenhower inspects Germany’s gold, found in a salt mine

Update: July 10, 2014:

According to a news story, which you can read in full here, Germany has given up trying to get all their gold back, after it was confiscated by Americans, who stole it from the Soviets. The gold should have gone to the Soviet Union because it was in their future zone of occupation.

Continue reading my original post.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower is shown in the photo above as he inspects Germany’s gold, found in a salt mine.  The man behind him, wearing a helmet with four stars, is General Omar Bradley. The Nazis had hidden 250 million dollars worth of gold bars inside the Merkers salt mine.

The soldier on the far left, in the photo, is Benjamin B. Ferencz.  Ferencz had been transferred, in 1945, from General Patton’s army to the newly created War Crimes Branch of the U.S. Army.  A Jew from Transylvania, Ferencz had moved with his family to America when he was a baby. In 1945, his job was to gather evidence for future trials of German war criminals.

General Eisenhower inspects Germany’s art treasures, stored in the Merkers salt mine, to protect them from the Allied bombing raids

The photo above shows General Eisenhower as he inspects Germany’s art treasures in the same salt mine where the gold was stored.

On Easter weekend in April 1945, the 90th Infantry Division had overrun the little German town of Merkers, which was near the Ohrdruf sub-camp of Buchenwald, and had captured the Kaiseroda salt mine, which is sometimes called the Merkers mine.  Hidden deep inside the salt mine was virtually the entire gold and currency reserves of the German Reichsbank, together with all of the priceless art treasures which had been removed from Berlin’s museums for protection against Allied bombing raids and possible capture by the Allied armies.

According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum web site, the soldiers also found important documents that were introduced at the Nuremberg IMT as evidence of the Holocaust.

This quote is from the USHMM website:

The US Army made many significant finds of Nazi booty and records, among them gold, currency, artworks, and documentation discovered on April 7, 1945, by engineers of the US 90th Infantry Division in the Kaiseroda Salt mine in Merkers, Germany. Millions of documents were captured at various locations, including records of the German Army High Command records; files from Krupp, Henschel, and other German industrial concerns; Luftwaffe (German air force) material; and records kept by Heinrich Himmler (the Chief of the German Police and Reich Leader of the SS), the German Foreign Office, and many others.

All of America’s top military leaders in Europe, including Generals Eisenhower, Bradley and Patton, visited the mine and viewed the treasure.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower examined the Kaiseroda salt mine on April 12, 1945, along with General Omar Bradley, General George S. Patton, and other high-ranking American Army officers before making a side trip to see the Ohrdruf labor camp.

The photo below shows General Eisenhower as he inspects the Ohrdruf camp.  He is viewing the bodies found on the grounds of the camp when Ohrdruf was discovered by American troops on April 4, 1945.  The bodies were left out for more than a month, so that American soldiers could be brought to witness the atrocities committed by the Nazis.

General Eisenhower is in the middle of the photo, inspecting the bodies found at Ohrdruf labor camp, which was a sub-camp of Buchenwald

The discovery of the Ohrdruf labor camp started the propaganda effort to paint the Germans as war criminals.  The official story told about the photo above is that these prisoners were shot after the camp was evacuated because there weren’t enough trucks to transport the sick prisoners.  My personal opinion is that these prisoners were killed by some of the other prisoners, as soon as the Germans abandoned the camp, and marched the healthy prisoners to the Buchenwald camp.  Why waste bullets, shooting sick prisoners, when they were going to die anyway?

General Eisnenhower couldn’t have cared less about the prisoners at the Ohrdruf camp.  He didn’t even mention the camp in his autobiography.  He was only there to see the salt mine and get his greedy hands on the German gold.  Except for General Patton, who went to see the Buchenwald camp, none of the generals in the American army ever visited any of the Nazi camps, except the Ohrdruf sub-camp.

A couple of days ago, I was reading Bradley Smith’s website when I came across a pdf file in which I read that Germany’s gold was confiscated by the Allies and is still in the possession of the USA.  I was surprised to learn this, since Germany and America became allies after the war when the Cold War with the Soviet Union began.  I was astonished to learn that the German tax payers are being forced to pay for the occupation of Germany, which is still going on, 70 years after the end of the war.  Germany still has a Constitution written by the Allies.  When will Germany become a sovereign country again?

Most Americans believe that Germany was treated well by the Allies after World War II.  Just the other day, Bill O’Reilly said something about the fairness of the Nuremberg trial in which Germany’s war criminals were convicted.  O’Reilly has mentioned the Marshall Plan numerous times; he claims that the Marshall Plan was America’s generous plan to restore the country of Germany after the destruction of World War II.  (The Marshall Plan provided aid to many countries in Europe.  Germany did not receive as much aid as other countries that had not suffered war damage.)

When will Americans stop bragging about how well Germany was treated after World War II?  Enough, already!  It is time for the British and the Americans to get the hell out of Germany and let the German people have their country again.