View Full Version : Dirty Little Secrets of WWII; Neutral Nations Helped the Nazis

07-21-2006, 11:07 AM
Report: Neutral nations' trade kept Nazi war machine going
Nazi gold graphic
Spain, Turkey respond to U.S. details on use of looted gold
June 2, 1998
Web posted at: 1:42 p.m. EDT (1742 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Neutral nations, while also doing legal business with World War II Allied forces, played a key role in keeping Nazi Germany's war machine running by doing business worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a new U.S. government report.

The report -- presented Tuesday by Undersecretary of State for Economics Stuart Eizenstat -- concludes that although Switzerland was Nazi Germany's main banker, other neutral nations like Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Argentina provided Nazi Germany with goods and tools.

Although the neutral countries' trade with Germany between 1939 and the end of the war in 1945 has never been a secret, the new report details what Nazi Germany bought with the gold which German troops looted from the central banks of occupied nations and confiscated from Holocaust victims.

"The cumulative trade of the World War II European neutral countries helped to sustain the Nazi war effort by supplying key materials to Germany essential to their conduct of the war," Eizenstat said.

In many cases, the neutral nations, which also traded with the Allies and said they feared a Nazi invasion if they cut off German supplies, continued helping the Nazis until near the end of the war.

"In many cases well past the point where, from the Allied perspective at the time, there was a genuine threat of German attack," Eizenstat added.
Neutral nations traded with Nazis, aided refugees

Despite the record of economic Nazi succor, the U.S. report said, the neutral nations at the same time helped refugees escape almost certain death in concentration camps where 6 million Jews were exterminated.

Spain helped 30,000-40,000 refugees; Portugal allowed 5,000 to pass through to America; Sweden saved 7,000 Danish Jews and 20,000-30,000 in Hungary; Turkey helped 100,000 flee; and Argentina accepted 25,000-45,000 Jews, the most of any Western nation during the war.

The United States accepted only 21,000 Jewish refugees during the war, without significantly raising or even filling quotas.

"America's response to the early stages of the slaughter of European Jews was largely one of indifference," said Eizenstat, who heads the U.S. government team reassessing wartime actions.
Key war material sold to Germany

According to the report:

* Sweden, one of Germany's largest World War II trading partners, supplied iron ore and ball bearings.

* Portugal and Spain provided nearly all of Germany's tungsten, used to produce weapons-grade steel.

* In some years, Turkey provided 100 percent of Germany's chromite, used to harden steel to make armor.

* Argentina also did business in wartime goods but was most helpful as a Nazi sympathizer.

In all, those five neutral countries handled $500 million in assets for the German government and its citizens during the war and dealt in $300 million in looted gold, the report said. That would be $7 billion in today's dollars.

Assets included those from war trade and from private individuals and companies that held foreign bank accounts.

In this context, Eizenstat welcomed the recently published findings of a Swiss government report which said that Switzerland's central bank -- the biggest buyer of gold from Nazi Germany -- made no effort until late in the war to ensure it was not getting gold stolen from Holocaust victims.
Spain rejects U.S. accusation

Spain denied the allegations that the country, then led by dictator Gen. Francisco Franco, sold war material to Adolf Hitler in exchange for gold stolen from Jewish victims.

"Spain did not launder Nazi gold stolen or looted from the Jews," Foreign Minister Abel Matutes said in response to the Eizenstat report.

Matutes said Spain stood by its investigation into the issue that confirmed the country acted correctly in its business dealings with Nazi Germany.
Turkey to investigate claims

Turkey said Tuesday it was ready to investigate allegations that it received wealth looted from Jews during World War II in payment for war supplies to the Nazis.

A recent U.S. government report, which was part of the report presented by Eizenstat Tuesday, concluded that $300 million in looted gold, estimated to be worth $2.6 billion today, was routed through Switzerland to pay Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Turkey for German supplies and armaments.

"Turkey has nothing to hide," Foreign Ministry spokesman Necati Utkan told reporters.

He said a commission headed by a state minister would investigate.

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/US/9806/02/us.nazi.gold/#1)

Correspondent Jerrold Kessel and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

07-21-2006, 06:05 PM
If proven true that the countries took stolen gold from Jews will there be any consequences?

07-23-2006, 02:52 PM
I think there have been some lawsuits...

George Eller
09-04-2006, 03:27 PM

by David Lee Preston
published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 5, 1997


09-05-2006, 12:19 PM
Unfortunately for Mr Kessel*, the very fact that these countries were neutral meant that they were non-partizan and therefore at liberty to trade with whomever they wished.

The comment that Switzerland "made no effort until late in the war to ensure it was not getting gold stolen from Holocaust victims" is disingenuous to say the least.
The 'Holocaust' (an emotive word if ever there was one,) did not exist under that name until later, and to suggest that all banks to trace the provenance of gold from potential clients is frankly absurd especially during the time frame under consideration.

Switzerland had a number of engagements with the German forces and unsurprisingly bested them on every occassion, even the aerial combats.

Both Denmark and Norway were neutral at the outbreak of the war but were forcibly involved when German troops invaded, (even though the Danish government had made a deal with Berlin for them to occupy the country as a 'protective force.')

The idea that countries should now pay compensation to relatives of the deceased is a fall out from the unfortunate litigious system which originated in the United States.
Should aggrieved descendants of anyone who has been oppressed or offended be entitled to claim money from the descendants of the alleged oppressors ?
If so I look forward to a multi-million guinea sum each from the Italian, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, German, French, Dutch, Spanish and US governments.
Oh, and a really HUGE one from India - if all human life originated on the sub-continent then they have obviously invaded everywhere else.

* Jerrold Kessel is a former Deputy Director of CNNís office in Israel and now writes for the secular paper Ha'Aretz, so he may or may not have an axe to grind here.

Doug 1956
09-08-2006, 11:41 PM
It wasn't just those neutral countries that aided the Germans. Many of those of Sam would be surprised just how much US corporations aided t5he rise of the German war machine 1933-1939 and even profitted from Germany during the war.

For a good description see:


09-09-2006, 09:27 PM
Lets not forget Ireland supporting the brits...

Timbo in Oz
09-20-2006, 01:48 AM
I just don't think this is a secret.

My dad was teling me about this in the 1950's!

Argentina, Turkey, Sweden and Switzerland, and the USA to boot. Of which some companies actually drew profits from dec1941 to mid 45. they may not ahve recieved them directly but through Switzerland

BTA it is the morality

09-20-2006, 08:04 AM
It wasn't just those neutral countries that aided the Germans. Many of those of Sam would be surprised just how much US corporations aided t5he rise of the German war machine 1933-1939 and even profitted from Germany during the war.

For a good description see:


Not if you were paying attention. This was the premise of the novel "Catch 22" and Lt. Milo Minderbinder's ubiquitous, apologetic phrase: "we all have a share."

In one part of the novel, Milo even makes a deal with the Germans to use USAAF B-25s to bomb his own base. This was Heller's way of criticizing some corporations that were amoral war profiteers, and also a critique on the ever present corruption present in the massive US logistical system.

However, there is much evidence that Switzerland deported Jews or denied them entry, in order to accede to German wishes. Also, the Swedish armaments industry flourished as Allied Bombers pounded German factories. So in a sense, much of the strategic bombing campaign was negated by Germany simply buying munitions from the neutrals.

FW-190 Pilot
09-20-2006, 02:06 PM
i think its too late for lawsuits, but i do think a formal apology is needed though.

FW-190 Pilot
09-21-2006, 02:12 AM
but i remember watching video made by BBC that neutral countries did help the Nazi to ship off their jews to concentration camp, only to discontinue when they realize that the german are losing the war.

Man of Stoat
09-21-2006, 02:38 AM
Need I remind you people that Switzerland was surrounded by axis occupied land and couldn't exactly trade with anyone else, and for a country with not many natural resources had to trade with someone to stay afloat.

Morality can go hang when your survival hangs in the balance.