During the Second World War the Nazis acquired vast amounts of gold to fund their regime and military aims.
From countries they invaded/annexed they took:
- Approximately $71 million from Austria and Czechoslovakia prior to the outbreak of war
- $223 million from Belgium
- $193 million from the Netherlands
- £131 million from other governments
Figures are in 1945 dollars.
Total estimate of above figures today is about $9 billion.
These figures do not include the huge amounts of gold they took from private citizens and corporations which is probably many times more than that.
A large portion of this loot was placed in European investment banks and at least 50% was sold on the international market.
It is estimated that 100 tons of gold were laundered through Switzerland with only 4 tons being recovered.
A 1997 report by US Treasury Agent Emerson Bigelow claims that the Vatican confiscated 350 million Swiss francs of Nazi gold (1945 francs) and that it is still held by the Vatican bank.
Many billions of dollars of Nazi gold are still unaccounted for and the search continues.
One of the latest finds is the discovery of an alleged Nazi gold train in Poland.