you think American troop and mercenary desecration and theft of man's
earliest treasures and artifacts from museums and institutions in Baghdad was
deplorable, realize that from the time the US Army robbed and pillaged the
American South our Empire has been built on the order of the Vandals and
Berserkers. The story of the Gold Train you will read is the greatest theft
of a people's personal and national treasure in the history of the world. And
sadly, it was accomplished by American European occupation troops.
link: NYT, 1999, G.I.'s Are Called Looters of
Wikipedia: Hungarian Gold
for the complete story, go here. Here's a snippet below &
contains a partial list of the booty:
The story of the Gold Train was summarized in a
poignantly written report by the Central Board of Jews in Hungary to the State Department,
on July 28, 1947:
1944, after the invasion of Hungary
by the Germans, the Fascist Government of Hungary of those days issued a
discriminatory decree against the Jewish population obliging them to deposit
their gems, their golden jewels ornamented with gems, and generally all their
valuables made of gold with the Authorities. This provision went so far, as
to oblige Jewish individuals to deliver their wedding rings.
the jewels and other valuables of 800,000 Hungarian Jews were seized by the
approach of our liberators, the Nazi government of Szalasi had these
valuables laden on a train consisting of 44 cars and had them abducted
westward under military escort. This railway train was seized in May 1945 by
troops of occupation. This was the so-called 'Gold Train'. The wagons
contained other valuables, too, besides the jewels e.g. oriental carpets
silver, furs, etc....[T]he Hungarian military escort handed over the train
pushed into the railway tunnel near Boeckstein intact apart from minor cases
of theft and blackmail and without its doors having been forced open, to the
American troops of occupation at the railway station of Werfen. 4
The Central Board also referred to various reports
available on the Gold Train:
There is a
report available on the jewels and golden valuables ordered by Commander
Arpad Toldy to be laden on two lorries and carried to the French zone, where
they were seized by the French troops.
these reports the following valuables were taken under control by the United
States Military Authorities:
with markings indicating contents of gold. Average weight of cases 45 kg.
containing golden coins. Average weight 100 kg.
marked as containing golden jewels. Average weight
containing golden watches, weight varying from
30 to 60 kg.
following amounts of foreign currencies were handed over in a closed trunk: $
44, 600, Swiss Francs 52, 360,
L 84, Palestinian L 10, Canadian Dollars 66, Swedish
Kronen 5, Reichsmark 15, Pengo 260,484. This trunk contained a sealed
package, containing brilliants.
containing silver with different weights.
1 case of
knotted Persian and Oriental carpets and some home- manufactured carpets
sporadically, among them.
tell exactly the number of the cases. According to the reports received from
the officials, there were also clothes, fur-coats, made of noble furs,
stamp-collections, collections of laces. Cameras, gramophons [sic],
silver-jewels, porcelains, pocket and wrist watches (about 8-10.000) laden
into the wagons. The contents of two wagons were not assorted, they contained
every sort of valuables mixed. 5 (Top of Page)
According to the Central Board, the following assets
were transported into the French Zone where they were seized by French troops
in St. Anton:
with markings of gold
containing golden coins
containing golden watches
8 cases of
containing selected pieces of brilliants and pearls.6
On July 27, 1948 Secretary of State George C.
Marshall described his own understanding of the fate of the Gold Train in a
cable sent to the U.S. Legation in Budapest:
their withdrawal from Hungary
the Nazis had collected a considerable quantity of movable property belonging
to Jewish victims of Nazi action. It is understood that this property
belonged to Jewish victims in all parts of so-called Greater Hungary. It was
removed by train to Austria,
where, having been separated into two trains, it was found by American and
French forces. 7
forces removed the assets found on the Gold Train to storage facilities in Salzburg, Austria.
The majority of the assets were stored in the Military Government Warehouse
(also referred to as MG Warehouse or the Property Control Warehouse). The
paintings from the Gold Train were stored elsewhere, according to undated
notes from Ardelia Hall, the State Department’s Advisor for Restitution
issues. Hall’s notes detail the storage of the Gold Train paintings:
Wurfen - stopped there in Wurfen [sic]. Mostly property Nazis looted from
Jews. Paintings brought to Salzburg
in storage in Karabinersaal in Residenz.8
The paintings stored in the Residenz were ignored
and not inventoried until 1947, but the assets stored in the MG warehouse
attracted the immediate attention of the American forces.
July 1948 cable described the assumptions that lay behind U.S. treatment
of the assets on the Gold Train:
Forces having examined the portion of the Hungarian train in the American
Zone of Austria, the U.S. Commander [General Mark Clark] determined that the
contents therefore were unidentifiable as to owners and, in view of the
territorial changes in Hungary, as to national origin; restitution to Hungary
being therefore not feasible, it was determined, with the approval of this
government, that the property in question would be given to the
Intergovernmental Committee for Refugees [IGCR]. The basis for this action
was the decision of this Government to apply to so-called non-monetary gold
found in Austria
the principle of Article 8 of the Paris Reparation Agreement of December 1945
and of the Power Agreement of June 1946 for the implementation of this
The U.S. Government and military authorities maintained that it
was not possible to identify the ownership of the property on the Gold Train.
The representatives of the Hungarian Jewish community and the Hungarian
Government, however, vigorously protested otherwise...
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