University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

Berlin, Richard E., 1894- / Diary of a flight to occupied Germany, July 20 to August 27, 1945.
(1945?)

Recaptured treasure,   p. 71 PDF (242.6 KB)


Page 71

Recaptured Treasure
Visit the Reich Bank, conducted by Col. Bernstein, Finance
Minister for the American Army. Here we see untold quantities
of German gold bullion, currency of all nations, art treasures,
etc., all captured from the German salt mines. We are told there
is two and three-quarter billions of Reich marks in currency;
two million dollars in U. S. currency (greenbacks) ; and three
hundred million dollars in gold bars from Germany and Hungary
-each gold bar estimated to be worth about thirty-eight thousand
dollars (I found one of them rather heavy to lift).
We saw the Hungarian crown jewels-thousands of sacks of
currency from all countries of Europe, even some of our own
gold pieces-some 87 suitcases (common, ordinary, cheap suit-
cases) of which 2 or 3 were filled with gold teeth taken from the
dead of the prison camp . . . wedding rings . . . thimbles . . .
babies' picture frame . .. watch cases and various things of gold . ..
900 bags of Russian rubles in currency . . . 87 monstrances . . .
huge rooms full of securities of German corporations . . . spacious
rooms filled with priceless paintings of old masters. One authority
said that the Hungarian Royal Crown, which I lifted, was valued
by an antique dealer at over a million dollars. There were sacks
and bags of bracelets and every other conceivable kind of gold
trinket. We saw rooms filled with silver bars, sacks of gold coins
of every country, weighing about 100 pounds each, all of which
was indeed an impressive sight.
The cases of gold teeth were in themselves an everlasting recol-
lection of the fiendishness of the Nazis.
The Germans meticulously catalogued everything, which is of
great assistance to our officials.
Bad Fogs to Berlin
We took off from Hanau airfield for Berlin at 4:25 p.m.
This was the worst flight of our entire trip. The weather
71


Go up to Top of Page