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Portugal and the Nazi Gold:The "Lisbon Connection" in the Sales of Looted Gold by the Third Reich

Antonio Louça and Ansgar Schäfer

  1. At the time of writing, neither the Interim Report of the Independent Expert Commission, known as the Bergier Commission, nor the second Eizenstat report has been released.
  2. “Ouro”. 1937 a 1946.” Report by Joaquim da Costa Leite. Banco de Portugal, Lisbon (April 1997).
  3. Figures from Fernando Rosas, Portugal entre a Paz e a Guerra. Estudoi do impacte da II Guerre Mundial na economia e na sociedade portuguesas 1939-1945 (Lisbon: Editorial Estampa, 1990), p. 64.
  4. Gian Trepp, Bankgeschäfte mit dem Feind: die Bank für Internationalen Zahlungsausgleich; von Hitlers Europabank zum Instrument des Marshallplans (Zürich: Rotpunkt Verlag, 1993), p. 59.
  5. Trepp, 1993, p. 62.
  6. Trepp, 1993, p. 61.
  7. Ibid., p. 62.
  8. Ibid., p. 63.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Report by Tomaz Fernandes about the Belgian gold. Arquivo do Ministério dos Negōcios Estrangeiros (AMNE), Lisbon, Reparticão das Questões Económicas (RQE), P2-A7-M626.
  11. Werner Rings, Raubgold aus Deutschland (Munich/Zurich: Artemis Verlag, 1985), p.52.
  12. Ibid., pp. 69-70.
  13. Ian Soutar, “Nazi Gold. Information from the British Archives” (Foreign and Commonwealth Office, General Services Command, September 1996), in: History Notes, no. 11 (London 1996), second edition, revised in Jan. 1997.
  14. Diário de Notícias (January 6-7, 1943).
  15. “Apontamento de Tomaz Fernandes sobre conversa com António de Faria, May 28, 1948,” AMNE-RQE, P3-A25-M16.
  16. “Cronologia de Tomaz Fernandes sobre ‘Condição e destino dos bens alemães em Portugal, bens e ouru esbulhados,’” October 17, 1947, AMNE-RQE, P2-A7-M626.
  17. “Nota da Embaixada Britânica ao MNE,” February 2, 1949, AMNE-RQE, P2-A7-M626.
  18. “Bulletin of the National Council,” June 24, 1946, AMNE-RQE, P2-A7-M633; “Cronologia de Tomaz Fernandes sobre ‘Condição e destino dos bens alemães em portugal, bens e ouro esbulhados,’ ” (see note 14).
  19. “Apontamento de Tomaz Fernandes sobre a reunião não-oficial de 3.12.47,” AMNE-RQE, P2-A7-M626.
  20. Nota da Embaixada Britânica ao MNE,” Feb. 2, 1949 (see note 15).
  21. Exchange rate according to Diário de Notícias (January 1, 1953).
  22. “Proposta entregue pelas delagações aliadas na reunião de 18.11.47”; Discussoes sobre o ouro esbulhado,” May 18, 1948; “Apontamento de conversa com o ministro (sem assinatura),” May 19,1948; “Nota de Legação francesa ao MNE,” May 18, 1948; “Nota da Embaixada Britânica ao MNE,” February 2, 1949 (see note 15); Apontamento de Tomaz Fernandes sobre a reunião não-oficial de 25.11.47”; “Apontamento de Tomaz Fernandes sobre conversa com António de Faria,” May 28, 1948, AMNE-RQE, P2-A25-M16; “Allied Proposal for a Basis of Settlement and for Procedure,” June 24, 1953, AMNE-PEA, M123.
  23. “Memorandum of Gold Acquisitions by Portugal during the War,” February 7, 1946, National Archives, RG 59, Box 4210.
  24. “US and Allied Efforts to Recover and Restore Gold and Other Assets Stolen or Hidden by Germany During World War II. Preliminary Study.” Prepared by William Slany. Department of State, Washington, 1997, p. VIII.
  25. Publico, November. 1, 1996.
  26. Aide-Mémoire of the French Embassy to Bern, April 14, 1947. Archive of the SNB.
  27. António Louca, Interview with Fernando Brito, Historia, no. 34 (August-September 1997).
  28. Oliveira Salazar, Discursos e Notas Políticas. III. 1938-1943, second edition (Coimbra Editoria, n.d.), p. 187.
  29. José Teles, “Salazar sabia que o ouro tinha sido roubado,” Semanário (February 1, 1997), pp. 22-23.
  30. Letter from Veiga Simões, December 31, 1938, AMNE, 2ºP.,A.43, M.38.
  31. Letter from Veiga Simões, November 23, 1938, ibid. Several weeks after the November 1938 pogrom, Veiga Simões described his impressions: “The misery and the daily attacks they are subjected to, accompanied by a brutality and inhumanity not typically Aryan, but which can be regarded as characteristically Germanic. The insecurity these individuals must live in, some behind prison bars, or even sent to concentration camps. We hear rumors of these camps, similar only to what we know from chronicles about life in Russia.”
  32. Telegram from Veiga Simões, November 28, 1938, AMNE, Coleccao de telegramas recebidas.
  33. Communication from the consulate in Berlin, February 20, 1940, ANME, 3ºP, A-13-A, M98.
  34. Augusto d’Esaguy, Europa 39. Journal (Lisbon: Portugalia, 1940).
  35. Verbal note by the head of the German Legation in Lisbon, von Hoyningen Huene, Mai 31, 1940; note from the director, Direcção dos Serviços de Censura, Alvaro Salvação Barreto, dated June 11, 1940; both: AMNE, 2ºP, A48, M181.
  36. Letter from the German ambassador in Lisbon, Hoyningen-Huene, January 24, 1940, AMNE, 2ºP, A48, M181.
  37. Letter from the director, Direcção dos Serviços de Censura, Alvaro Salvação Barreto, May 10, 1940, ibid.
  38. Letter from António de Oliveira Salazar, June 15, 1940, ibid.
  39. Report by Alvara Barreto, director, Direcção dos Serviços de Censura (n.d.), p.5, ibid.
  40. Slany, “U.S. and Allied Efforts to Recover and Restore Gold,” p. 169.
  41. See Patrick von zur Mühlen, Fluchtweg Spanien-Portugal. Die deutsche Emigration und der Exodus aus Europa 1933-1945 (Bonn: Dietz, 1992), p. 115. Von zur Mühlen shows that some of the refugees, such as Balder Olden, remained blind to the real nature of Salazar´s dictatorship.
  42. See Virgílio Azevedo, “Ouro: a queda de um mito.” Expresso (November 1, 1996); also Luis Almeida Maritins, “Ouro Nazi no Banco de Portugal,” Visão (Ocotber 31, 1996).