Holocaust-Era Assets

Civilian Agency Records RG 59

State Department and Foreign Affairs Records

General Records of the Department of State (RG 59)

Records of the Office of Economic Security Policy

The Office of Economic Security Policy was established in October 1945. Its mission was to initiate, formulate, and coordinate State Department policies and activities aimed at economic security and at economic aspects of the occupation of Germany, Austria, Japan, and Korea. German and Japanese reparations negotiations were specifically charged to this office in 1946. The office absorbed the Division of Economic Security Control, the Office of the Advisor on German Economic Affairs, and the Office of the Advisor on Far Eastern Economic Affairs. The reparations, industrial, and financial responsibilities of the Division of Financial Affairs and the Division of Foreign Economic Development pertaining to the prospective peace treaties involving Germany, Austria, Japan, and Korea were transferred to this office when those division were abolished in 1946.

The three units of the Office of Economic Security Policy (the Division of Economic Security Controls, the Division of German and Austrian Economic Affairs, and the Division of Japanese and Korean Economic Affairs) were ordered to cooperate in fulfilling the Safehaven program of tracing the flow of enemy assets into neutral countries. The office administered the Safehaven mission until March 1947.

The Office of Economic Security Policy was abolished in July 1947. Its functions, personnel, and records were transferred to the Office of Financial and Development Policy.

Records of the Division of Economic Security Controls

The Division of Economic Security Controls was established in March 1945. It assumed the functions of the former Division of World Trade Intelligence, such as the responsibility for American controls over foreign funds and properties mandated by the Proclaimed List of Certain Blocked Nationals (Executive Order 8389). Among its new responsibilities were development of measures to prevent concealment or flight of enemy assets and looted property.

The Division of Economic Security Controls was administered by the Office of Financial and Development Policy until October 1945, when it was placed under the Office of Economic Security Policy.

The Safehaven program, having been completed, the functions and personnel of the division were returned to the Office of Financial and Development Policy in July 1947, and assigned to the newly-established Division of Occupied Areas Economic Affairs.

Safehaven Project Files (Lot File 54D374)

Safehaven Country File. 1945-1947. (Entry 369A)

Folders on Afghanistan, Belgium, British Empire, China, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Rumania, Sweden, Switzerland, Tangier, Turkey, and Soviet Russia. Boxes 1-2

Safehaven Subject File. 1945-1947 (Entry 369B)

Folders on Assets of Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary, and Finland in neutral countries; Basic instructions, policies, and procedures; Bretton Woods--Resolution VI; Claims filed by Swiss firms with GAO; Currie Mission: negotiations, administrative details, Swiss press reports; German external assets; German External Property Commission; German repatriates from Turkey; German scientists and technicians; Gold policy; Insurance; Minutes of meetings of SAFEHAVEN Committee; Non- repatriables: heirless funds, non-monetary gold; Renegotiation of accord; Treaties- border questions: and, Washington Accord, 1946 [with the Swiss]. Box 3

Records of the Economic Affairs Branch

Negotiations with Switzerland, 1943-57 (Entry 3067)

This series contains records pertaining to U.S. negotiations with the Swiss Government in the post-World War II period. Subjects include the seizure of German assets in Switzerland and the wartime attempts by the U.S. Government to have the Swiss company Interhandel divest itself of the U.S. company General Aniline and Title Corp under the Trading with the Enemy Act. Boxes 1-17

Box # File Titles
1-5 Swiss Accord, January 1947-March 1957
6-7 Interhandel Documents
7-11 Interhandel
11 Swiss Accord, Arbitration Survey File
11-12 Swiss Accord, Maurer File (2 folders)
12 Swiss Accord, Metzger File
Swiss Accord, Negotiation Book (2 folders)
12-13 Swiss Accord, Special Cases, Val Hogue (2 folders)
13 Swiss Accord, Survey File I; II
Switzerland, APC I (folders 1 and 2)
13-14 Switzerland, APC II (2 folders)
14 Switzerland, APC III (folders 1, 2, and 3)
Switzerland, APC IV
15 Switzerland, claims
Swiss controls
Switzerland, Defrosting, 1943-1946; 1946; 1946-1947, 1947-1956
15-16 Switzerland, Intercustodial Negotiations I; II; III
16 Switzerland, 1949 Negotiations I; II
Background chronology & documents with respect to the Swiss note of August 9, 1956 concerning arbitration of the Interhandel case
17 Interhandel, FLSA paper drafts
Minutes of the meetings of the Joint Commission, September 1946-November 1948
Safehaven Special subject folder, Joint Commission, 1946-1947

Subject Files 1947-1961 (Entry 3066)

Boxes 1-13

Box # File Title or Subject
7 Polish Claims [deals with the nationalization of American property in Poland] (2 folders)
13 Tripartite Gold [deals with Dutch Gold, 1958]

Records of the Office of Financial Operations

Records relating to the Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold

The Tripartite Gold Commission (TGC) had its origins in the Paris Conference on Reparation of 1945 attended by the representatives of the Governments of Albania, Australia, Belgium Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Greece, India, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, the Union of South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Yugoslavia. An Agreement on Reparation was signed on January 14, 1946. Subsequently, Austria, Italy, and Poland joined the other countries in adhering to the Paris Agreement for the restitution of monetary gold as set out in Part III of the Agreement, entitled "Restitution of Monetary Gold." (Note 17) Basically, this provided that monetary gold looted by Germany and recovered by the Allied Forces, and monetary gold recovered from third countries, should be pooled and distributed to claimant countries in proportion to their losses.

The British, French, and United States Governments became responsible for verifying claims and distributing the gold. On September 27, 1946, the Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold was established, and the three governments each appointed a Commission. The three Commissioners are instructed by, and report to, their respective governments. The Paris Agreement of 1946 does not impose any formal requirements on the three governments to report back to the signatories of the Paris Agreement or to the claimant governments. The proceedings of the TGC are considered confidential to the member governments because of the sensitivity of the adjudication of completing claims and of international movements of monetary gold. Information about the TGC has, however, been made public in Parliamentary debates in Great Britain, in British governmental publications, and in historical works.

The Tripartite Gold Commission's mandate came from the following agreement:

"Establishment of the Tripartite Commission, September 27, 1946: 1. In order to implement Part III of the Agreement on Reparation, signed in Paris on January 14th, 1946, the Government of the United States of America, His Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and the Government of France have established, on September 27th, 1946, a Commission known as the Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold. 2. Each of the three Governments will appoint as from September 27th, 1946, a Commissioner as its representative on the Commission. 3. The Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold shall normally sit in Brussels, but shall be independent of the Inter-Allied Reparation Agency already located there. The Commission is nevertheless empowered to communicate, on behalf of the three Governments concerned with the Allied Governments, Members of the Inter-Allied Reparations Agency, through the Delegates accredited to the Agency by those Governments, with the Secretariat of the Agency, and, when necessary, with other Governments, on questions arising out of Part III of the Paris Agreement on Reparation. 4) The official languages of the Tripartite Commission for the Monetary Gold shall be English and French. 5) The functions of the Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold shall be: (a) To request the submission of and to receive from Governments claiming the right to participate in the division of monetary gold found in Germany or which may be recovered from a third country to which it was transferred from Germany, claims for restitution of gold looted by or wrongfully removed to Germany, supported by detailed and verifiable data regarding such losses. (b) To scrutinize claims received and to determine the share of each claimant Government in the pool of monetary gold to be distributed by way of restitution in accordance with Part III of the Paris Agreement on Reparation and any other pertinent agreements. (c)In due course to announce the total value of the pool of monetary gold which will become available for distribution by way of restitution. (d) When all claims for restitution have been received and adjudicated upon, to announce the share in the pool of monetary gold which will become available for restitution to each country entitled to participate in the pool. (e) In such other ways as shall be decided by the three Governments establishing the Commission, to assist in the distribution of the pool of monetary gold available for restitution. (f) To perform such administrative acts as may be necessary to carry out the functions referred to in sub-paragraphs (a) through (e) above, including, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the opening and maintaining of bank accounts, and the making of contracts for the performance of necessary services. Expenses of the Commission incident to the carrying out of its functions shall be a first charge against the fund of monetary gold to be distributed. (6) Decisions of the Commission shall be by unanimous agreement of its members. 7. An official publication of the above text is being made in the London Gazette, the State Department Bulletin, and in the Journal Officiel de la Republique Francaise. (Note 18)

The TGC was established in Brussels, co-located with the Inter-Allied Reparation Agency (IARA). The first Commissioners were also the three governments' Commissioners to the IARA, though the commission was constitutionally separate from and independent of the IARA. The status of the TGC was recognized as an international organization as a result of a Belgian law of August 1, 1952, retroactive to September 27, 1946.

By mid-1948 a considerable quantity of looted monetary gold had been taken into custody by the Allied authorities, primarily the Americans, or identified as having been deposited in their countries. By July 1948, a total of about 306,343 kg (kilograms) of gold in bars and coins had been deposited with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Bank of England or was held at the Foreign Exchange Depository in Frankfurt by the Office of the Military Government, U.S. By December 1974, the grand total available for restitution was 336,890kg (about $4.1 billion at today's prices)

On March 13, 1947, the TGC issued a questionnaire to potential claimant countries seeking information which would allow it to make awards from the gold pool on a proportionate basis. Claims were submitted by Albania, Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, and Yugoslavia. Their claims totaled about 735,548kg, more than double the amount in the gold pool. The total claims validated by the TGC came to about 514,060kg.

The TGC decided that since the amount claimed was more than the amount in the gold pool, that the claimant governments would receive approximately 64% of their claim. The drafting of adjudications of claims began in 1952 and by 1958 10 adjudications (Note 19) had been signed by the Commissioners on behalf of their governments. The eleventh, for Czechoslovakia, was signed in 1982.

The TGC, in October 1947, began making preliminary distributions of gold. By November 1950, a total of about 266,210kg of gold (worth about $3.3 billion at today's prices) was distributed to Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Yugoslavia. The distribution of the share allocated to Albania was delayed because of a counterclaim by Italy to most of the gold in question. No preliminary distribution was made to Greece because the amount of the Greek claim was very small. Poland did not receive any of the preliminary distribution because, as a late adherent to the Paris Agreement, its claim was not made until 1950.

A second, quasi-final distribution took place between 1958 and 1982, when a total of about 58,016kg (worth about $720 million at today's prices) was distributed to Austria, Belgium, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Yugoslavia, the Netherlands, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. The distribution to Albania did not take place until the winter of 1995-1996. (Note 20)

Most of the remaining gold held by the TGC, some six tons, worth some $60 million in today's dollars, for the most part was in September 1998, with the approval of most claimant nations, turned over to a special fund for victims of Nazi persecuton. In Paris on September 9, 1998, the TGC declared its mission complete and opened its records, some 110 boxes, to the public. About $300,000 worth of the remaining gold at that time was still under dispute by the governments that made up the former Yugoslavia; each wants it all. The British government will decide the issue if no accord can be reached.

Records relating to the Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold, 1942-1962 (Lot File 62D115)

Boxes 1-29

Box # File Titles
1 91 Tripartite Gold Commission, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953
2 91 Tripartite Gold Commission, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1/57-6/57,7/57-12/57, 1/58-3/58
3 91 Tripartite Gold Commission, 4/58, 5/58, 6/58, 7/58-9/58, 10/58-12/58, 1959,1960, 1961, 1962;
91-A Tripartite Gold Commission Terms of Reference
4 91-B Tripartite Gold Commission Basic Documents
Tripartite Gold Commission Position of Gold Pool
91-C Tripartite Gold Commission Accounts with the Federal Reserve Bank, Bank of England, and France
5 91-C Accounts Established with Federal Reserve New York with Bank of England and France 1947-1954
91-M Minutes of Meeting of the Gold Commission 1st-140th
6 Tripartite Gold Commission Distribution of Gold Coins
Czechoslovak Gold Claim 1960
91-S Tripartite Gold Commission Statistics
German Inquiry Regarding "Confiscation of gold 1960-1961
Czechoslovak Gold Claim 1952-1959
Netherlands Gold Claim January 1959-
Netherlands Gold Claim June 1958-December 1958; Netherlands Gold Claim
Documents 1947-1951
Greek Gold Claims June 1958
7 Polish Gold Claims June 1958
Portuguese Agreement on German Assets and Gold 1958-1959
Tripartite Gold Commission Draft Report
Tripartite Gold Commission Draft Awards
IARA Reports and Final Liquidation
8 Tripartite Gold Commission
I-E Tripartite Gold Commission Questionnaire (Note 21)
I-F Tripartite Gold Commission
9 I-I Brussels Meeting
I-J Transmittal Letters Tripartite Gold Commission Intermediate Award Drafts
I-L Law #53 Gold
I-L(1) Law 53 Gold Finnish non Monetary Gold
I-L(2) Law 53 Gold Gunther Wagner Gold
I-L(3) Two Bars Gold
Tripartite Gold Commission Correspondence re Draft Report
10 Tripartite Gold Commission Background Gold Pot, Polish, Italian,and Australian
Participation in Pool
Tripartite Gold Commission
German Embassy Gold in Thailand
11 Tripartite Conference
12 Tripartite Gold Commission Decisions: Background, Austria, Albania, Danzig
(Poland), Greece, Italy, Luxembourg
13 Tripartite Gold Commission Decisions: Poland, Yugoslavia (Preliminary)
I-AG Austrian Gold Claim
I-AG Albanian Gold Claim
14 I-AG(1) Tripartite Gold Commission Final Adjudications Austria
I-AG(2) Austrian Claim-Salzburg Gold
I-AG(3) Austrian Gold Collateral Deposits in the Bank of England
I-AG(4) Austria - Miscellaneous
Belgium Gold Award (Draft)
15 I-AH Belgium Gold Claim
Answer of the Belgian Government to the Questionnaire of the Tripartite
Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold (with 8 annexes)
16-17 annexes continue
17 Belgian Gold Claims - Remelting Belgian Gold
I-AI Czechoslovakia Gold Claim
I-AI (1) Final Adjudication - Czechoslovakia
Czech Gold
18 I-A1 Czechoslovakia Claim
19 I-O Dolfuss-Meig Claim
I-AJ Greek Gold Claim
I-AJ(1) Data Concerning Greek Gold Claim for Losses Suffered by Private Persons
I-A(2) Final Adjudication - Greece
20 I-AK Italian Gold Claim
I-AK Documents on Italian Gold Claim
21 I-AK(1) Itscambi Claim
I-AK(2) Final Adjudications - Italy
I-AK(3) Italy - Fortezza
I-AK(3) Italy Gold
I-AK(4) Italian Peace Treaty Gold
I-AL Luxembourg Gold Claim
I-AL Answers of the Savings Bank of Luxembourg to the Questionnaire on Gold Claim
22 I-AL(1) Luxembourg Final Adjudications
I-AN Polish Gold Claim
I-AN(1) Poland - Final Adjudications
I-AN(2) Polish - Danzig
I-AO Yugoslav Claim
I-AO(1) Yugoslavia - Final Adjudications
23 I-AM Netherlands Claim I; II; III
I-AM(1) Netherlands Claim Final Adjudication
I-O Private Claims Goldmann Claim
24 Conference on German Assets in Portugal 1956
Tripartite Gold Commission 1958 Extra Copies
25 I-U German Gold Holdings
Germany Swedish Accord
Germany Gold Miscellaneous
I-U Germany Gold Holdings
I-X German Gold Holdings Reichsbank Files
I-W German Gold Holdings Reichsbank Files - Resemelting Belgian Gold
I-AA Mint Records regarding Gold Smeltings - Prussian
I-Y German Gold Holdings Reichsbank Files - French Report
26 I-AB German Gold Holdings Reichsbank Files - Berlin Report on the Netherlands Gold Vol 1; Vol II
I-AC German Gold Holdings Reichsbank Files
I-AD German Gold Holdings Cables VI(b)
I-AE German Reichsbank Gold in the Pool
27 Economic Relations with Bulgaria
Czechoslovakia - Financial Settlement 1945-1946; 1947-1950
27-28 Economic Relations With Czechoslovakia 1949-1955, 1956-1957, 1958, 1959, 1960
28 Economic Relations With Poland
Economic Relations With Rumania
29 Legation Gold
Soviet Gold Movement (Gold of Spanish Origin)
Spanish Gold Held by USSR