For the entire history of human civilization, gold has enraptured people around the globe. The Nazis was no less enthralled by it, and felt that gold was the solution to funding Hitler's war machine. Gold was also on the mind of FDR across the Atlantic, as he worked with Europe's other leaders to bring the United States and the rest of the world out of a severe depression.Read more...
For the entire history of human civilization, gold has enraptured people around the globe. The Nazis was no less enthralled by it, and felt that gold was the solution to funding Hitler's war machine. Gold was also on the mind of FDR across the Atlantic, as he worked with Europe's other leaders to bring the United States and the rest of the world out of a severe depression. FDR was hardly the first head of state to turn to gold in difficult times. Throughout history, it has been the refuge of both nations and people in trouble, working at times when nothing else does. Desperate people can buy a loaf of bread or bribe a border guard. Gold can get desperate nations oil to keep tanks running or munitions to fight a war. If the price is right, there is always someone somewhere willing to buy or sell gold. And it was to become the Nazi's most important medium of exchange during the war.
Chasing Gold is the story of how the Nazis attempted to grab Europe's gold to finance history's bloodiest war. It is filled with high drama and close escapes, laying bare the palate of human emotions. Walking through the tale are giants of world history, as well as ordinary people called upon to undertake heroic action in an extraordinary time.
- ISBN-13: 9781605986555
- ISBN-10: 1605986550
- Publisher: Pegasus Books
- Publish Date: December 2014
- Page Count: 500
- Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-10-27
- Reviewer: Staff
Former Time magazine staffer Taber (Judgment of Paris) reveals one of WWII’s darkest secrets in this compulsively readable, real-life thriller of how the Nazis funded their war machine. Taber’s meticulous research dates back to a 1966 Time assignment to locate where Belgium’s $204.9 million worth of bank gold ended up during WWII. After opening with a listing of key international players, Taber recounts the surprising 1945 discovery by General Patton’s men of “Room #8,” an underground vault in central Germany crammed with about $9 billion in looted gold and artwork. To achieve self-sufficiency—autarkie—and accomplish Hitler’s objectives of domination required more financing than the Reichsbank could bankroll: after seizing $136 million in bullion from Austria and Czechoslovakia, the Germans had the funds to invade Poland and beyond. Each chapter focuses on a different European country; what emerges is how supposedly “neutral” parties such as Switzerland and Sweden laundered stolen gold. Taber tracks down the pilfered Belgian bullion that originally piqued his interest, yet the trail eventually grows cold, and he acknowledges that some gold remains missing. Those with an interest in war crimes will relish Taber’s masterful reportage and the unearthing of these wartime treasures. Maps and photos. (Dec.)