The Vatican Bank and Nazi Gold
The Vatican Bank and Nazi Gold: A Scandal Unsolved
In 2013, Pope Francis publicly stated he'd get to the bottom of several scandals plaguing the Catholic Church.
Despite the pontiff's investigation, one scandal remains shrouded in mystery: that of the Vatican Bank and Nazi gold.
You see, some bits of evidence suggest the Vatican collaborated with Nazi party members responsible for plundering Jewish citizens' gold during World War II. But other evidence casts doubt on the extent of the Catholic Church's direct participation in Nazi activities. The Holy See has long denied any sort of affiliation between the Church and the Third Reich ever existed. Still, limited independent research into a possible connection has been conducted by several agencies, including the U.S. Treasury.
"During and after World War II, was the Vatican bank a witting or unwitting accomplice of Nazi collaborators known as Ustashi who made their way from a seminary in Rome to safe havens in South America?" The National Catholic Review asked July 15. "Did the Vatican bank profit as a result of payments received from these Nazi collaborators who were known as the Ustashi? If we were to follow the Ustashi money, where would the trail lead?"
There's limited evidence with which to answer these questions. We'll let you decide for yourself…
The Vatican and Nazi Gold: Evidence of Church Involved
The Ustasha, an organization also known as the "Nazi Puppet Regime," operated in Yugoslavia from 1929-1945. It functioned as a fascist terrorist movement that supported Nazi and Italian forces.
During World War II, Ustashi military members gathered an estimated 500,000 Serbs, Jews, and Gypsies and demanded 1,000 kilograms of gold from each, wrote ABC News on Feb. 15, 2013. They were told the money would prevent their murders. But once the funds were handed over, the groups were sent to concentration camps anyway, where most of them died.
While the Ustasha collaborated with German forces to fight in occupied Yugoslavia, the organization likewise operated closely with the Croatian Catholic Church, helping priests force Orthodox Serbs to convert. Members of the Franciscan sect also distributed anti-Jewish propaganda with the aid and protection of the "Nazi Puppet Regime."
The clergy's involvement was eventually exposed. A trial in 1946 resulted in the conviction of six Ustasha priests total, including former Franciscan Miroslav Filipovic-Majstorovic – the overseer of a concentration camp where the Ustashas killed hundreds of thousands of Jewish Serbs.
Though Fr. Filipovic-Majstorovic oversaw one of the death camps, it was Fr. Krunoslav Draganovic who had directed the entire murderous priesthood. The Franciscan was also a senior official of the Ustasha committee. Foreseeing defeat near the end of the war, in 1943, the Ustasha made arrangements with the Vatican for Draganovic to be sent to Rome. There he served at a clandestine Ustasha hub disguised as a seminary.
Draganovic and other collaborators helped procure the means and support for a number of fellow Ustasha war criminals attempting to escape persecution. They even managed to forge Red Cross passports. Eventually, through an underground railroad of sympathetic priests known as "the Ratline," several members of the Ustasha escaped to neutral countries (primarily Spain and Argentina).
Virtually the entire "puppet regime's" leadership went free – largely due to help from the Vatican.
The Vatican and Nazi Gold: A Mysterious Document Surfaces
When Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945, 288 kilograms of gold were removed from the Croatian National Bank and state treasuries. Some of that landed in Draganovic's hands. Called the "Golden Priest," he continued to dole out funds to Croatian refugees from his new home in Rome. He was never officially charged for war crimes and returned to Yugoslavia after the war. He died in 1983 in Sarajevo.
Rumors swirled for years that the Vatican Bank harbored Croatian plunder. But it wasn't until new evidence surfaced in 1997 that the controversy picked up steam again…
On July 23, 1997, The L.A. Times revealed that documentarians from the television network A&E had discovered proof in the Vatican Bank's archives of a Nazi gold scandal. Specifically, they uncovered a memo amid a trove of already declassified material that totaled over a million pages. The documentarians were the first to thoroughly sift through the humongous cache of information.
The memo had been composed by former U.S. Treasury Department field investigator Emerson Bigelow. After the Second World War, Bigelow conducted several investigations throughout Europe. This is when he purportedly connected with a viable source that could link the Vatican Bank directly to Nazi gold. Bigelow outlined all of this information in his memo that, for an unknown reason, was never received.
The Vatican and Nazi Gold: The People vs. the Church
When survivors of the Ustasha regime learned of the documentarians' investigation, they formally requested Bigelow's report be released under the Freedom of Information Act in 1997. The survivors filed a lawsuit against the Vatican Bank based on Bigelow's memo in 1999.
According to Concordatwatch.com, the case was originally brought before a California court in November 1999. Four years later, Vatican lawyers successfully argued the case was outside the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. The previous ruling was overturned.
Then in 2005, an appeals court overturned that judgement and allowed some of the claims – primarily those for restitution – to proceed. However, on Dec. 30, 2009, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco re-upheld the original lower court ruling. The decision stated the Vatican Bank was immune from the lawsuit and further prosecution under the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
To this day, the Vatican's archives – likely the only source that could directly tie the Vatican Bank with Nazi gold – have remained sealed. (SOURCE: MoneyMorning.com)
Hitler's Gold - You Will Not Believe How Much They Stole
Mystery of the 'Werewolf' unit's lost horde: How a Nazi ghost train packed with treasures and a gold bar found in a lake at Hitler's hideaway are shining spotlight on the race to find $30BILLION fortune hidden by the Third ReichTrain packed with Nazi treasures, gems, money, gems and gold reportedly uncovered in a mountain in Poland
£12,000 gold bar was discovered in a lake near Hitler's mountain hideaway
Discovery fuelling the pursuit of up to £20billion worth of missing treasure
Includes silverware the Nazis stole from Jews and gold from bank vaults
At least seven people have died looking for treasure in freezing LakeToplitz
Seventy years since the Third Reich was consumed in blood and fire the hunt is on for the loot that the Nazis left behind.
The reported discovery of a legendary Nazi 'ghost' train packed with gold and money by two treasure hunters hidden in a long-forgotten tunnel in the Polish mountains will only serve to fuel what has become an obsession for many Germans.
The hunters claim they have uncovered the train, packed with guns and gems, that became the stuff of local legend as the Nazis hid their treasures from the advancing Soviet Red Army.
Legend has it that the Germans hid their treasures as insurance policies to help fleeing war criminals escape and set up new lives at the end of the Second World War.
Added to the intrigue is the recent find of a £12,000 gold bar in a lake near Hitler's mountain hideaway in Berchtesgaden, high up in the Bavarian mountains.
The ingot in question was not from the Nazi era, but that matters little to the fortune hunters who now access state-of-the-art equipment in their quest for the billions of pounds worth of art, gold and jewellery the regime's henchmen secreted away in the dying days of the war.
Some of it was meant to finance the escape routes of war criminals: other caches were intended to fund 'Werewolf' resistance units intended to carry out guerilla warfare against the occupying Allies until a new Fourth Reich could rise again.
Now unfavourable bank interest rates combined with websites stoking fantasies of striking it rich have set Teutonic Indiana von Jones' upon the quest of finding a chunk of the estimated $30billion-worth of missing treasure.
Read more: Pls Click HERE.
|Earlier find: General Patton's third army discovered 100 tons of Nazi gold hidden in a salt mine near mockers, southwest of Gotha in 1945|
Polish Government Confirms Discovery Of Nazi "Gold Train", Warns It May Be Booby-Trapped
Last weekend we reported that in the past month two men, a Pole and German, claimed to have discovered the legendary Nazi "gold train" - a 150 meter long German train alleged to be full of gold, gems and weapons, which disappeared just before the end of World War II - in the proximity of the Polish town of Walbrzych, close to where the Nazi are said to have loaded up the train with valuables for its final voyage in the town of Wroclaw, just as the Soviet forces approached in 1945.
As we detailed, the train is said to have been entombed in the vast tunnel labyrinth located close to Ksiaz castle, which served as Nazi headquarters during World War II...
... and specifically, was said to be located at the foot of the Sowa mountain, in the woods three miles outside the town of Walbrych.
|The "gold train" is said to be located under this hill|
Zuchowski added that "Information about where this train is and what its contents are were revealed on the deathbed of a person who had knowledge of the secret of this train.' He added that Polish authorities had now seen evidence of the train’s existence in a picture taken using a ground-penetrating radar. He said the image - albeit blurred - showed the shape of a train platform and cannons.
|Piotr Zuchowski, Poland’s National Heritage and Conservation Officer, confirmed the 'unprecedented' find|
'Armored trains from this period were used to carry extremely valuable items and this is an armored train, it is a big clue.' He said authorities were now '99 percent sure the train exists' and whatever is on it will be returned to the rightful owners, if they can be found. 'We will be 100 per cent sure only when we find the train,' Mr Zuchowski added.
|The train found in the mountains is an 'armored train' which looks similar to the one pictured|
He explained it is hidden along a 4km stretch of track on the Wroclaw-Walbrzych line.
Mr Zuchowski said the person who claimed he helped load the gold train in 1945 said in a 'deathbed statement' the train is secured with explosives. The official declined to comment further about the man who said this but speculation is now rife that it was a former SS guard or a local Pole who stumbled upon the train before hiding it.
Deputy Mayor of Walbrzych, Zygmunt Nowaczyk told the press: 'The city is full of mysterious stories because of its history. 'Now it is formal information - we have found something.'
Key excerpts from the press conference by the Polish official can be seen on the Euronews clip below:
The confirmation of the discovery unleashed a surge of treasury hunters, and forced the Polish government to warn the population to stop looking because it could be booby-trapped and dangerous. Zuchowski said "foragers" have become active since two people claimed to have discovered the train last week and urged eager fortune-hunters to stop searching, saying they risk injury or death.
Zuchowski adds that "there may be hazardous substances dating from the Second World War in the hidden train, which I'm convinced exists. I am appealing to people to stop any such searches until the end of official procedures leading to the securing of the find. There's a huge probability that the train is booby-trapped.'
If anything, tthese warnings are sure to unleash an even more aggressive wave of seekers now that the train's existience has been confirmed, and the government is actually warning seekers to be careful in their search.
But perhaps what is more interesting is just what the discovery, which would be straight out of an Indiana Jones sequel, will contain, and whether someone already got to the precious cargo over the past 7 decades. The answer should be made public shortly. (Source: ZeroHedge.com )