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Vatican Bank
Institute for Works of Religion

The Institute for Works of Religion (Italian: Istituto per le Opere di ReligioneIOR) commonly known as Vatican Bank is located inside the Vatican City. It is run by a professional bank CEO who reports directly to a committee of cardinals, and ultimately to the Pope (or the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church during a sede vacante). Since its assets are not considered property of the Holy See, it is not overseen by the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See,[1] and it is listed in the Annuario Pontificio together with foundations such as the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel, which provides funds for training people to fight drought and desertification in nine African countries.[2] The current President is Ettore Gotti Tedeschi.
The Institute was involved in a major political and financial scandal in the 1980s, concerning the 1982 $3.5 billion collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, of which it was a major share-holder. The head of the Vatican Bank from 1971 to 1989, Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, was under consideration for indictment in 1982 in Italy as an accessory of the bankruptcy; however, he was never brought to trial due to the Italian courts' ruling that the priest, being a high-ranking prelate of the Vatican, had diplomatic immunity from prosecution.[3]
The Bank Identifier Code of the Vatican Bank is IOPRVAVX.

The Istituto per le Opere di Religione was founded on 27 June 1942 by Pope Pius XII. It absorbed the Amministrazione delle Opere di Religione (Administration of the Works of Religion), [4] which was in no sense a bank, having been established by Pope Leo XIII on 11 February 1887 to manage the much reduced funds at the disposal of the Pope after the complete loss of the Papal States in 1870; these funds were greatly increased as part of the settlement of the Roman Question by the Lateran Pacts of 1929.
The purpose of the Istituto per le Opere di Religione is "to provide for the safekeeping and administration of movable and immovable property transferred to entrusted to it by physical or juridical persons and intended for works of religion or charity".[5]
It is thus not a department of the Roman Curia, and is therefore not among the departments of this central administrative structure of the Roman Catholic Church.[6]
Nor is it a central bank responsible for a country's monetary policy and for maintaining the stability of a currency and money supply.
It is unlike a normal bank also in that any profit it makes does not go to shareholders, which in this case do not exist, but is used instead for religious and charitable purposes.[7

According to the norms of its present statutes, which came into effect in 1990, the IOR is directed by a supervisory council and by an oversight commission of cardinals.
As of 23 September 2009 the supervisory council is composed of[url=][8]
  • President: Ettore Gotti Tedeschi
  • Vice-President: Ronaldo Hermann Schmitz
  • Carl A. Anderson
  • Giovanni De Censi
  • Manuel Soto Serrano

The Vatican Bank is said to be a successful and profitable bank. By the 1990s, the Bank had invested somewhere over US$10 billion in foreign companies. In 1968 Vatican authorities hired Michele Sindona as a financial advisor, despite Sindona's questionable past. It was Sindona who was chiefly responsible for the massive influx of money when he began laundering the Gambino crime family's heroin monies (taking a 50% cut) through a shell corporation "Mabusi". This laundering was accomplished with the help of another banker, Roberto Calvi, who managed the Banco Ambrosiano. Both Calvi and Sindona were members of the P2 Lodge.[9]
When Pope John Paul I became Pope in 1978 he was informed about the allegations of wrongdoing at the Vatican Bank, and instructed Jean-Marie Villot, Cardinal Secretary of State and head of the papal Curia, to investigate the matter thoroughly. Pope John Paul I died after only 33 days in office, leading to claims that he had been murdered as a result of discovering a scandal. Pope John Paul I is generally accepted to have died from natural causes, although some medical experts believe that he may have died from a pulmonary embolism or an adverse reaction to the medication that he was taking rather than from a heart attack as was stated in original press reports of his death.
Banco Ambrosiano scandal

Main article: Banco Ambrosiano
The Vatican Bank was Banco Ambrosiano's main share-holder. Father Paul Marcinkus, head of the Institute for Religious Works from 1971 to 1989, was indicted in Italy in 1982 as an accessory in the $3.5 billion collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, one of the major post-war financial scandals. Banco Ambrosiano was accused of laundering drug money for the Sicilian Mafia, which used Propaganda Due (aka "P2"), a mobbed up Masonic lodge, as an intermediary. P2 and its Worshipful Master, Licio Gelli, were also involved in financing right wing terror groups during the 1970s. As for Fr. Marcinkus, he would never come to trial in Italy, where courts ruled that he possessed diplomatic immunity. He lived in retirement in Sun City, Arizona (US) until his death on February 21, 2006.
The Vatican Bank has denied having legal responsibility for the Ambrosiano's downfall but did acknowledge "moral involvement", and paid $241m (£169m) to creditors. As of 2006, investigations are continuing concerning the murder of Ambrosiano's chairman, Roberto Calvi, which, according to Ernest Backes, former #3 of Clearstream, may have been linked to the death of Gérard Soisson, who used to work for Clearstream, a "bank of banks" which practices financial clearing. According to recent wiretap information,[citation needed] however, Calvi's death was almost certainly decreed by the Cupola, the ruling council of the Sicilian Mafia, which had come to view Calvi as a liability since the bank's collapse.
Other allegations

Several books, such as Unholy Trinity: How the Vatican's Nazi Networks Betrayed Western Intelligence to the Soviets, Genocide in Satellite Croatia 1941–1945 and The Vatican's Holocaust, which appeared during the 1980s and 1990s were highly critical of the Vatican Bank's historical relations with right-wing governments and especially with the collaborationist regime of the Independent State of Croatia during World War II.[10] [11] [12] Sources such as these engendered initial defensive hostility and controversy, which centers on conclusions drawn from the documentation rather than the documents themselves.
According to a 1998 report issued by the US State Department, the Nazi Croatian treasury was illicitly transferred to the Vatican Bank and other banks after the end of World War II[10]. For its part, the Vatican has repeatedly denied any Franciscan participation in Ustashi crimes or the disappearance of the Croatian Treasury, yet has refused to open its wartime records to substantiate its denial.
On October 21, 1946, a Top Secret report from US Treasury Agent Emerson Bigelow (called "The Bigelow Report"), which was declassified in 1997, quoted a "reliable source in Italy" (who corroborated evidence already obtained by CIC intelligence officials of the Army)[13], who alerted his superior that Croatian officials had sent 350 million confiscated Swiss francs (CHF) to the Vatican Bank "for safekeeping", a sum largely in the form of gold coins[13]. On the way some CHF150 million were allegedly seized by British authorities at the border between Austria and Switzerland, which brought the secret transfer into the open. "There is no basis in reality to the report", said Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls, as reported in Time magazine.[14]
The Vatican Bank has been often accused of funding the Solidarity Polish trade-union as well as the Contras, managing US covert funds.[15]
Attempted legal action

Main article: Class action suit against the Vatican Bank and others
Vatican Bank and Franciscan Order were accused of financing the ratlines and ODESSA and laundering concentration camp loot. A class action suit, Emil Alperin et al. v. Vatican Bank et al., was filed in the United States district court in San Francisco on November 15, 1999. The plaintiffs are concentration camp survivors of Serb, Jewish, and Ukrainian background and their relatives as well as organizations representing over 300,000 Holocaust victims. John Loftus, co-author of Unholy Trinity, serves as an expert witness in this case. All charges relating to the Vatican have been dismissed.[16]
Another suit, Levy v. CIA, filed under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, sought the release of U.S. intelligence agency files regarding the alleged Vatican spymaster, Fr. Krunoslav Draganovic. New records on Draganovic were released as a result of that lawsuit in 2001.
Role in popular culture

The 1990 film The Godfather, Part III featured machinations in the Vatican Bank as a central element in one of its more conspiracy-oriented plotlines.
See also


  1. ^ Pollard, 2005, p. 2
  2. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2007, p. 1964
  3. ^ The New York Times: "U.S. prelate not indicted in Italy bank scandal" 30 April 1989
  4. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2007, p. 1962
  5. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2007, pp. 1962–1963
  6. ^ Roman Curia
  7. ^ L'Osservatore Romano, 24 February 2008
  8. ^
  9. ^ 'Mark Lombardi: Global Networks. Mark Lombardi, Robert Carleton Hobbs, Judith Richards; Independent Curators, 2003 (published for the travelling exhibition of his work, "Mark Lombardi Global Networks"). ISBN 0-916365-67-0
  10. ^ a b Aarons, Mark; Loftus, John (1998). Unholy Trinity: How the Vatican's Nazi Networks Betrayed Western Intelligence to the Soviets. New York: St.Martin's Press. pp. 432 pages.
  11. ^ Paris, Edmond. Genocide in Satellite Croatia 1941–1945. The American Institute for Balkan Affairs, 1990.
  12. ^ Manhattan, Avro (1986). The Vatican's Holocaust. Ozark Books.
  13. ^ a b Aarons, Mark; Loftus, John (1998). Unholy Trinity: How the Vatican's Nazi Networks Betrayed Western Intelligence to the Soviets. New York: St.Martin's Press. p. 297.
  14. ^ The Vatican Pipeline
  15. ^ "Gelli arrest is another chapter in sordid Vatican bank scandal". American Atheists. September 16, 1998.
  16. ^ Sud odbio tužbu preživjelih iz holokausta u NDH protiv Vatikanske banke, Slobodna Dalmacija


  • John F. Pollard – Money and the Rise of the Modern Papacy: Financing the Vatican, 1850–1950 ISBN 0-521-81204-6
  • Mark Aarons and John Loftus: "Unholy Trinity: How the Vatican's Nazi Networks Betrayed Western Intelligence to the Soviets". New York: St.Martin's Press, 1992. 372 pages. ISBN 0-312-07111-6
  • Malachi Martin - Rich Church, Poor Church (Putnam, New York, 1984) ISBN 0-399-12906-5
  • Malachi Martin - Vatican (Jove (August 1, 1988)) ISBN 978-0515096545
  • Charles Raw – The Moneychangers: How the Vatican Bank Enabled Roberto Calvi to Steal 250 Million Dollars for the Heads of the P2 Masonic Lodge (Harvill Press, 1992) ISBN 0-00-217338-7
  • Giancarlo Galli – Finanza bianca. La Chiesa, i soldi, il potere (Mondadori, 2004) ISBN 88-04-51262-8
  • David A. Yallop – In God's Name: An Investigation into the Murder of Pope John Paul I"
  • Mark Lombardi: Global Networks. Mark Lombardi, Robert Carleton Hobbs, Judith Richards; Independent Curators, 2003 (published for the travelling exhibition of his work, "Mark Lombardi Global Networks"). ISBN 0-916365-67-0
  • Jonathan Levy, "The Vatican Bank", in Russ Kick (Ed.), Everything You Know is Wrong (Disinformation Press, 2002) ISBN 1-56731-701-4
  • Michael Phayer, Pius XII: The Holocaust and the Cold War, 2008, ISBN 13:978-0-253-34930-9.
External links

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Introduction to the Vatican Bank Claims Alperin v. Vatican Bank was originally filed in Federal Court in San Francisco in November 1999. The plaintiffs are concentration camp survivors of Serb, Jewish, Roma and Ukrainian background and their relatives as well as organizations representing over 300,000 Holocaust victims and their heirs.
The plaintiffs seek an accounting and recovery of the Ustasha Treasury that according to the US State Department was illicitly transferred to the Vatican, the Franciscan Order and other banks after the end of the war.
Defendants currently include the Vatican Bank and Franciscan Order. These defendants combined to conceal assets looted by the Croatian Nazis from concentration camp victims, Serbs, Jews, Roma and former Soviet citizens from Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia 1941-1945.
Levy v. CIA is a lawsuit filed under the Freedom of Information Act seeking release of US Intelligence agency files regarding the notorius Vatican spymaster, Fr. Krunoslav Draganovic. New records on Draganovic were released as a result of the successful conclusion of that lawsuit in 2001.
About the Attorneys
Dr. Jonathan Levy is licensed in California and the District of Columbia and has represented organizations and individuals in a variety of Holocaust and Second World War related lawsuits including banking, insurance, and slave labor matters. Jon is also a member of the International Criminal Bar in The Hague and has a PhD in Political Science.
Tom Easton is a veteran California civil rights attorney. Tom has traveled extensively in Russia and Europe and holds a Masters degree in History.
Windle Turley is a nationally recognized plaintiffs' attorney and is responsible for the first multi million dollar jury verdict against a Roman Catholic Diocese for sexual abuse of children in 1998.

Of Counsel
Milosh D. Milenkovich was president of a worldwide Serbian organization and is an attorney in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Milenkovich came to the United States from Yugoslavia in 1954.

Duncan Macdonald is a solicitor specializing in international transactions.
[Image: intermarium.jpg] Much of the historical background of the Vatican Bank Claims is documented in this book authored by Dr. Jonathan Levy who also serves as plaintiffs' co-counsel in this case. This is supported by thousands of pages of declassified documents and the testimony of former Army Counterintelligence Agent, William Gowen who served in Rome 1946-1947. From the author of exposes on Medjugorje and the Vatican Bank. Featuring startling new information, Intermarium redefines the politics of east central Europe for the 21st Century.
Click here to purchase this book through
Law Offices of Attorneys, Thomas Dewey Easton & Dr. Jonathan H Levy

Telephone: 202-318-2406

NEWSLETTER TO CLAIMANTS Plaintiffs Petition Appellate Court, January 12, 2010
Appellate Court Dismissed Vatican Bank - Lawsuit Against Franciscans Ongoing, Dcember 29, 2009
Court says "No" to Amicus Brief by Franciscan Friars of California, Inc.
Plaintiffs Sur Brief, August 2009
Shocking testimony about the Vatican Bank in related case, Dale v. Holy See, on how the Catholic Church launders money
Sixth Amended Complaint by Holocaust Survivors against Franciscan Order, April 14, 2009
District Overrules Objections & Permits Filing of Amended Complaint, April 14, 2009
Appeal against Vatican Bank filed in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, January 2009
Fifth Amended Complaint filed on March 17, 2008
Current Status of Lawsuit
District Court dismisses defendant Vatican Bank on grounds of jurisdiction. Lawsuit still pending against defendant Franciscan Order, December 27, 2007
Report from Serbia & Italy, June 23 – July 5, 2007
June 15, 2006- Order of the Court
Case Management Conference Set for February 24, 2006
Court grants leave to file 4th Amended Complaint
US Supreme Court turns down Vatican Bank request to dismiss lawsuit
District Court orders Additional Deposition of Key Witness, former Army Intelligence Officer, December 13, 2005
District Court Orders Deposition of former Army Intelligence Officer Who Investigated Ante Pavelic and other Ustasha in Rome in 1947 Vatican Objections to Last Remaining Witness to Vatican Ratline Telling His Story Overruled
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Reinstates Lawsuit Against Vatican Bank and Franciscan Order Read the Court Decision
JANUARY 2003 DISTRICT COURT ISSUES RULINGS Judge grants Motion to Dismiss
Judge Addressed Default by Croatian Liberation Movement
Plaintiffs' Notice to Court Concerning Lawsuits Against the Vatican
Defendants' Response
Please Duplicate and Distribute April 29, 2001 News for Immediate Release

On May 25, 2001, the Honorable Judge Maxine Chesney will hold a hearing on the issue of "Political Question." The Vatican Bank and Franciscan Order have asked the court to dismiss the class action on grounds the court does not have jurisdiction over "political" matters. On behalf of plaintiffs we will be vigorously opposing the defendants’ motion.
All plaintiffs and potential class members as well as other interested parties are encouraged to attend this historic court hearing.
Hearing Date: May 25, 2001
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Place: United States District Court, Courtroom 5, 17th Floor, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA

No.9 ~ August 1, 2000
Dear Friends:
We are pleased to announce several interesting development in the case as of August 1, 2000:
1. We are asking the court for permission to add the Swiss National Bank to the list of defendants. The Swiss National Bank accepted deposits of Ustasha loot during the Second World War but has never accounted for much of the gold and other stolen property. As you may know, the Swiss National Bank recently settled claims against it and other Swiss banks for 1.25 billion dollars, however that settlement did not address the Ustasha treasury.
2. The Franciscan Order has been quite aggressive in their denials of collaboration and participation in Ustasha atrocities. We have submitted additional details of the Franciscans complicity in genocide to the court.
3. The nature and ownership of the Vatican Bank remains a mystery, we have asked the court for an order requiring the Vatican Bank to supply us with this key information about itself.
4. We are pleased to announce that David Guyatt of London, England has been retained as our expert in international banking. David has twenty four years experience as an international banker and is now an author specializing in plundered WWII assets.

5. We welcome two new individual plaintiffs, Dr Daniel Pyevich of Hillsdale, IL (whose parents were born in Citluk, near Gospic, Lika, and who lost many relatives there in WW2) and Koviljka Popovic of Smederevo, Yugoslavia (daughter of Bozo Kolak, a farmer of the village of Tulje, Trebinje, murdered by the Ustashi), as well a new organization, The International Union of Former Juvenile Prisoners of Fascism which represents Nazi victims in the former Soviet Union including Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus.
Dear Friends: The scope of the class action lawsuit against the Vatican Bank and other defendants is worldwide. Any person or organization that lost property or was a victim of the Ustasha regime in Croatia is eligible to participate, this includes heirs. Since the lawsuit process is at its very beginning, the Court has not yet decided if this matter may proceed. Therefore it will be important to demonstrate to the Court the worldwide class is both numerous and diverse, we need potential claimants to come from forward from all groups of victims in as many states and countries as possible. We especially need claimants from Yugoslavia and California.
We are STILL gathering the stories of WW2 Ustashi atrocities. We anticipate that the defendant Franciscan Order may deny its participation with the Ustasha regime despite the well documented historical evidence to the contrary, any stories or testimonies about the Franciscans or Catholic Church in Croatia during 1941 to 1945 would help our case. Indeed all stories are important because they demonstrate to the Judge the importance of our cause.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
How the Vatican collaborated with fascism in Yugoslavia
Seán Mac Mathúna [Image: hitler.pavelic.gif] Hitler greets Croatia's wartime leader Ante Pavelic
The Vatican, Croatia and the Nazi Gold

The recent apology by Pope John Paul II holds little weight with the heirs and few elderly survivors of one of the bloodiest chapters in the Roman Catholic Church, the 1941-1945 atrocities by the Croatian Nazis known as the Ustashe. In April 1941, multi-ethnic Yugoslavia fell to the Nazis who wasted no time in installing the fanatical Ante Pavlics Catholic Ustashe in power in Croatia. With the blessing of the Roman Catholic Church and the active participation of clergy, especially Franciscan monks, the Ustashe killed 750,000 Serbs, Jews, and Roma in an orgy of violence that shocked even some of the Germans and revolted their Italian allies.
Holocuast survivors in the USA are now suing to recover hundreds of millions of dollars of property looted by the Croatian Nazis, converted to gold, and held by the Vatican Bank for safekeeping. Rumours had circulated about the fantastic wealth that allowed Croatian war criminals to escape justice and live lives of luxury in South America, Spain, and even California until a June 1998 US State Department report confirmed the story.
In March 2000, Serb and Jewish survivors filed a class action lawsuit in San Francisco Federal Court, California, USA, seeking an accounting from the Vatican Bank and Franciscan Order. While the Vatican Bank has repeatedly denied their involvement, service of the lawsuit on the Franciscan Order took place in Oakland, California on Tuesday, March 15, 2000, appropriately upon a Croatian Franciscan priest, and on the Vatican Bank in Rome on Friday, March 17.
According to Easton & Levy, California lawyers representing victims and their organizations, "the defendants responses will put the Popes apology to the test; will the Vatican continue to hide their past crimes under their cassocks, or face the truth of their past actions in the spirit of John Paul II?" . For information on how to contact Easton & Levy see the end of this article.
In December 1997, delegates from 40 countries gathered at an international conference to consider the origins and the fate of Nazi gold looted from the victims of the Holocaust. One amazing thing happened at the conference - the Croatian delegation managed to make an address without mentioning Ante Pavelic, the head of the wartime quisling regime in Croatia which butchered thousands of Jews, Serbs, and Roma (Gypsies) at the Jasenovac concentration camp - the third biggest such extermination camp in the war. If anything was "holocaust denial" noted the Observer, this was it. Another two observers sat in a guilty silence - Monsignor Giovanni D'Aniello and Father Marcel Chappin, who sat "in perfect silence" for three days. Donald Kenrick, who spoke on behalf of the International Romani Union (on behalf of Roma murdered by the Nazis) accused the Vatican of being a conduit for Nazi gold. The Vatican assisted fascism in many ways - it supported the genocidal regime in wartime Croatia, and it is alleged to have helped the war criminal escape justice.
After the war, the Papal State continued to show it's sympathies towards one of Europe's most bloodthirsty rulers: When Pavelic died in Spain in 1959, he received a special blessing from Pope John XXIII on his deathbed. This for a man whose murderous regime had it's own way of dealing with the so-called "final solution": To "kill a third" of the Jews, Serbs and Roma people of Yugoslavia, "deport a third" to the concentration camps, and "convert a third" to Roman Catholicism. (The Guardian, 18th October 1993). It also helped organise escape routes for other Nazi war criminals out of Europe to Latin America, and crucially for the post-war underground Nazi movement, it provided a means of funneling the stolen Nazi gold bullion into safe banks beyond the reach of the Allies. The Church participated in crimes against humanity and aided and abetted those who carried it out. It is one of the most shameful chapters in the history of the Catholic Church.
Fifty years on we can see that other countries along with Switzerland - that ostensibly were neutral - were in effect, like Sweden, Portugal and Spain, collaborators with the Axis powers, either supplying them with hard currency and military hardware. But top of the list is Switzerland, which gave Hitler's regime crucial financial support to help it's war effort. In late 1999, a report by an independent inquiry, led by the Swiss historian Jean-François Bergier, into Switzerland's wartime history concluded that Swiss officials:
"Helped the Nazi regime achieve its goals" (The Guardian, December 11th, 1999)
It was found that some 300,000 people - many of them Jews - had fled to Switzerland during the war. The inquiry found that at least 24,500 were rejected - that is sent back into the hands of the Nazi's - by the Swiss authorities to certain death in the concentration camps. Most historians believe figure is much higher. This was the inquiry's second report, the first, in 1998, covered Nazi gold transfers to Switzerland, during which is was involved in what has been described as the "greatest economic crime of the century" - the looting by the Nazi's of Europe's gold, including victims of the holocaust in Yugoslavia, and how the Swiss profited from it from banking it, and how they kept it safe for the nazi movement after the war by moving it to either Spain or Portugal and then on to countries such as Argentina. As The Observer noted on 7th December 1997:
"Some of the bullion went via the Vatican and the Iberian dictatorships to Latin America, the destination of choice for Nazis on the run"
A study commissioned by the Swiss government estimated that Swiss banks received about £2 billion in looted gold stolen from the mainly Jewish, Roma and Slavic victims of the Nazi holocaust (The Guardian December 5th 1997). The Papal State has come under heavy pressure to open it's archives. The World Jewish Congress (WJC) released a declassified letter from the US treasury which showed that in 1946, the Americans were told that:
"Money and gold stolen from the Jews and Serbs (in Yugoslavia) were sent to the Vatican" (The Guardian, December 5th 1997).
The funds, stolen by the fascist Ustashe regime in Croatia, was sent through a Vatican "pipeline" to Spain and Argentina. However, US treasury suspected that the funds were still possibly held by the Vatican (The Guardian, December 5th 1997). The Vatican secretly worked with the fascism, notably supporting the puppet Nazi regime in Croatia, and crucially, it helped leading war criminals escape justice at the end of the war. Furthermore, evidence has at last confirmed the involvement of the Vatican in hiding gold looted by the Ustashe regime in Croatia. Although the Vatican denies these claims, a recently revealed US intelligence report from 1946 showed that that Britain had impounded and kept gold coins worth 150m Swiss francs. This money had been looted from holocaust victims in Yugoslavia, who been murdered by the Ustashe regime. The post-war Labour Government in Britain also seized frozen bank accounts belonging to Holocaust victims. The government told banks to hand over the money instead of returning it to individuals. Some of this money was used to compensate British companies for their wartime losses or to newly liberated countries not indebted to Britain. Some money was also confiscated in lieu of payments for governments in debt to Britain.(The Guardian, 4th December 1997).
The WJC also produced other declassified US documents which it said, proved the Allies knew 55 tons of Nazi gold - worth about £400 million today - was mixed with gold taken from the central banks of Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria. Instead of separating the two classes of gold, the Tripartite Gold Commission (TGC) - administered by the US, France and Britain - decided to give it all to the central banks of Europe. The TGC itself, still holds 5.5 tons of suspected Nazi gold, which strangely for the last 50 years has not been distributed to holocaust victims (The Guardian, 4th December 1997).
Altogether, the British government ended up with 350m francs' worth of gold seized from the Croat's after the war. The rest, the report says, was given to the Vatican for "safe-keeping". It's alleged, that later the British government impounded it's share, leaving the Vatican 200m Swiss francs. In turn, the Vatican set up a "smokescreen", pretending to forward the gold to Franco's fascist regime in Spain, and then onto Argentina. Under the dictator Juan Peron and his wife Evita, Argentina became a safehaven for other escaped Nazi war criminals such as Klaus Barbie, Adolph Eichmann, and Joseph Mengele. (The Guardian, 23rd July 1997).
Similar allegations had already been made by Yallop about the Vatican. During the war, an SS Oberleutnant called Licio Gelli was said to have derived his wealth from his presence in the Italian town of Cattaro, where the seized national treasures of Yugoslavia were hidden. A significant portion of these were never returned to Yugoslavia "but were stolen by Gelli". Furthermore, as the war ended, and with the help of the Vatican, he organised the aptly named "Rat-lines" to get Nazi war criminals to South America - for a fee of 40%. Helped by notorious pro-Nazi Catholic priest from Croatia, Father Krujoslav Dragonovic, he helped Klaus Barbie, the "Butcher of Lyon" escape, with his costs borne by the US Counter Intelligence Corps.
During the 1960's, Gelli formed the sinister P2 lodge of Freemasons in Italy. In Argentina, he became a close confident of Peron, and by 1972, had become Argentina's economic adviser to Italy, and later, it's honorary Counsel. He is believed to have been a central figure in the acts of political violence that destabilised Italy from the late sixties to the early eighties, as well P2's involvement in the collapse of the Vatican Bank, according to Yallop (In God's Name. David Yallop, Corgi Books, Britain, 1984. Pp 173&endash;75).
Details of the disappearance of Yugoslavia's gold was also raised in 1991 in Rat Lines by Mark Aarons and John Loftus. They say 400 kilos of gold - which was the property of Yugoslavia and worth millions of dollars, - and "a considerable amount of foreign currency", was secretly taken to Wolfsburg in Austria, under the control of a Ustashe minister, Lovro Susic. The Croats were apparently warned that the British "would seize the gold" so they asked Dragonovic to help: he was "only willing to oblige", and immediately smuggled 40 kilos of gold to Rome concealed in two packing cases. (Rat Lines, Mark Aarons and John Loftus, Mandarin, London, England, 1991, Pp 122&endash;125).
The Vatican not only hoarded the gold the Croats looted, it also helped them escape - with a nod and wink from the OSS and MI6. In 1986 for example, the US government released documents that revealed the Vatican had organised Pavelic's safe-flight from Europe to Argentina, along with 200 senior officials of his regime. During their escape, they had hidden "frequently in cloisters" in Catholic churches and in many instances, had "disguised themselves as Franciscan monks", according to Vladimar Dedijer , writing in The Yugoslav Auschwitz (Ahriman-Verlag, Freiburg, Germany, 1988, p53).
According to most accepted accounts, some 750,000 Serbs, 60,000 Jews and 26,000 Roma (Gypsy) people were slaughtered by Ante Pavelic's openly pro-Vatican regime in Croatia (The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the Vatican, p30). Dedijer writes that "the highest dignitaries in the Roman Catholic Church gave their blessing to Ante Pavelic at a time when the so-called state of Croatia was proclaimed - at a time when the Yugoslav state and it's army still existed". Clerics working for the Ustashe regime took part in shocking war crimes in Yugoslavia, notably participating in the genocide at Jasenovac concentration camp, where 200,000 people were systematically murdered. For example, at one point, a Franciscan monk was camp commandant of what the second largest concentration camp of the war.
At the Nazi gold conference, Donal Kenrick of the International Romani Union said that £1 million of gold coins and personal belongings that had been stolen from 28,000 Roma people killed by the Ustashe regime, ended up in the Vatican (The Guardian, 4th December 1997). Thus, from this conference alone, we know that the Vatican helped steal money from victims of the holocaust. Perhaps it is because of this, that it made no representations at the conference - it's archives anyway are presently closed until 2045.
The Vatican was further implicated in August 1997 when newly discovered documents in the US national archives show that the Vatican engaged itself in potentially illegal transactions with Nazi Germany and it's axis partners during the war. The archives show that the Vatican Bank (known as the Institute for Religious Works) used Swiss banking middlemen on at at least 3 occasions to obtain money from the Reichsbank or to transfer funds to a bank blacklisted by the allies for it's dealings with Nazi Germany. (The Guardian, 4th August 1997).
The Vatican and Francisan order are sued in the USA

In January 2000, it was announced that Thomas Easton and Jonathan Levy, lawyers in San Francisco, USA had filed a lawsuit against the Vatican and the Fransican Order for complicity in war crimes in Yugoslavia during the Second World War. The press release from the firm states:
"More than 700,000, Serbs, Jews, Roma and former Soviet Union citizens were murdered by the Nazi puppet regime of Croatia during World War II. The Croatian Nazis, known as the Ustasha, burned villages and churches, operated slave labor and concentration camps, and committed atrocities that shocked even hardened German observers. In a scenario shockingly similar to today's Yugoslavia, genocide wascommitted to cleanse Greater Croatia of non-Roman Catholics. Hundreds of millions of dollars of gold, property, and money was looted by the Ustasha from their victims"
In November 1999, California attorneys Jon Levy and Tom Easton filed the original Complaint in San Francisco. On January 20, 2000 Easton and Levy filed an amended class action law suit. The suit names the Vatican Bank, Franciscan Order and other unidentified Swiss, Austrian, Argentine, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, and American banking institutions as defendants. The suit seeks an accounting of the gold and money and ultimately, restitution for the victims and their families.
The Ustasha Treasury with the connivance of the Vatican and other banks was laundered in 1944-45 and used to assist the top Croatian war criminals evade justice. Ante Pavelic, known as the "Butcher of the Balkans" and leader of Nazi Croatia was given refuge by the Vatican and later escaped to Argentina. The whereabouts of the Croatian "blood" money was a dark mystery, however in 1998 the US State Department demanded the Vatican account for the loot. Despite numerous requests from governments and Holocaust victims, the Vatican Bank and Holy See have refused to open their wartime archives.
The original plaintiffs, four Ukrainian and Jewish concentration camp survivors and two organizations representing over 300,000 Holocaust survivors are now joined by plaintiff Vladimir Brodich of Arizona, who was 9 years old in 1941 when they took away and shot his father and brother and gang raped his sister, by plaintiff William Dorich of California, who lost 17 relatives when the Ustasha burnt alive 45 Serbian victims in the Orthodox Serbian Church in Vojinic, and plaintiff Igor Najfeld of Vermont, who was born June 28, 1944, the day his two physician parents escaped from slave labor in Bosnia to join the Tito partisans, and whose mother had 56 relatives killed by the Ustasha, some in the infamous Jasenovac extermination camp.
The Jasenovac Research Institute of Birmingham, Mississippi has also joined with the effort to force the Vatican to open its archives and reveal the truth of the "hidden holocaust" of World War Two. Restitution could reach hundreds of millions of dollars which would be distributed to the tens of thousands victims of the Ustasha Regime and their descendants.
On 19 January 2000 the Jasenovac Research Institute joined seven Serbian, Jewish and Ukrainian Holocaust victims in a class action lawsuit against the Vatican Bank, the Franciscan Order and several unnamed Austrian, Swiss, Argentine and other banking institutions. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, seeks restitution of several hundred millions of dollars in looted property and assets taken in World War II Croatia by the clerical-fascist Croatian Nazi regime which the suit charges was subsequently deposited in the Vatican Bank and other institutions. The original lawsuit was filed by U.S. attorneys Tom Easton and Jonathan Levy on 15 November 1999 in the San Francisco U.S. District Court on behalf of four Jewish and Ukrainian Holocaust victims. On 21 January 2000 the class action lawsuit was amended and re-filed to include the Jasenovac Research Institute, a non-profit organization committed to the study of the Holocaust in Yugoslavia, and three additional individuals as class-representative plaintiffs:
  • Vladimir Brodich, a Serbian-American currently living in Arizona, whose family was dispossessed and murdered in wartime Croatia;
  • William Dorich, a Serbian-American living in California who lost seventeen members of his family in the town of Vojinich;
  • Igor Najfeld, a Yugoslav Jew currently living in Vermont but born in wartime Croatia. Dr. Najfeld's family's business and property was stolen by the Croatian State authorities and fifty-six members of the Najfeld's family were slaughtered in the Croatian death-camp complex known as Jasenovac.
Following the Nazi invasion and dismemberment of Yugoslavia in April 1941, the Independent State of Croatia was established as a clerical-fascist state under the rule of the Croatian fascist party, the Ustashe. Some 700,000 Serbs, Jews, Romas and other anti-fascists were killed in the Jasenovac death-camp complex, while many more were killed in smaller camps or in local massacres. While the Ustashe regime set about to racially exterminate all Serbs, Jews and Romas living within its borders, it also carried out a systematic policy of plundering the assets of these three nationalities. These looted assets, the property of millions of people, were never recovered. The bulk of it was smuggled out of Croatia at the end of the war to the Vatican, and from there to still other destinations.
There is no statute of limitations for claims against these crimes. There are two reasons for this: the 1968 international convention regarding the non-applicability of statutes of limitation for war crimes, and the concealment of vital information regarding the culpability of the accused parties in these crimes. Another law firm, Zimmerman and Reed, has filed a similar lawsuit seeking restitution for Holocaust victims from Yugoslavia on 27 January 2000 in Minneapolis. It is expected that still other law firms will join these two suits or file additional suits in the coming months. The JRI will offer its support to all such efforts and encourage others to do the same.
The lawsuit which the JRI has joined is based on evidence contained in recently declassified government documents from the United States, Britain and Argentina. Several of the declassified U.S. military intelligence reports obtained by the JRI clearly state that the majority of these looted assets was deposited in the Vatican "for safe-keeping." The June 1998 U.S. State Department "Supplement" to its 1997 Report on "Nazi Gold" contains a crucial chapter documenting the Vatican's role in the transfer of stolen assets entitled "The Fate of the Wartime Ustasha Treasury." Still newer reports are to be released in the coming months, including one from Argentina expected to detail the transfer of millions of dollars in gold from the Vatican to Argentina as payment for the emigration of Croatian Ustashe and other Nazi war criminals.
According to the most recent estimates, the total amount of stolen assets transferred out of Croatia by the Ustashe at the end of the war was at least $250 million. Based on conversion tables provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this would now be worth $2.325 billion in December 1999 dollars. It is the position of the Jasenovac Research Institute that this entire amount plus interest must be paid to the remaining Survivors and their heirs, and to the heirs of all victims of the Ustashe genocide. This amount would only be a partial accounting for the crimes of genocide committed in wartime Yugoslavia by the Ustashe and other fascist forces; however it would provide the initial foundations for better relations in the future for the peoples of the region.
Several new plaintiffs have stepped forward since the re-filing to ask to be added to the suit. Among them is Eva Deutsch-Costabel, a Yugoslav Jew born in Zagreb and currently living in New York whose family's two businesses and home were stolen by the Ustashe regime and whose father was arrested and murdered.
U.S. attorneys Easton and Levy are seeking additional plaintiffs for the case. To be added as a plaintiff to the lawsuit one needs to be either a Survivor of the Ustashe regime or a relative or heir of a victim of Ustashe crimes. If you are such an individual and you wish to become a plaintiff, or if you have vital information regarding this case, you are encouraged to contact either the Jasenovac Research Institute or the law firm of Thomas Easton at 707-464-4513 or The Jasenovac Research Institute urges everyone who is concerned with the search for justice for the victims of the Ustashe Holocaust to help us in our efforts to achieve a successful outcome of this historically important case.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco: No.C99-4941MMC by the Law Office of Thomas Dewey Easton and Jonathan H. Levy. PO Box 6080, Cincinnati OH 45206, USA (

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Alperin v. Vatican Bank is a class action suit by Holocaust survivors against the Vatican Bank ("Institute for Works of Religion") and Franciscan Order ("Order of Friars Minor") filed in San Francisco, California on November 15, 1999. The case was initially dismissed as a political question by the District Court for the Northern District of California in 2003, but was reinstated in part by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 2005. That ruling has attracted attention as a precedent at the intersection of the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).
The complaint against the Vatican Bank was dismissed in 2007 on the basis of sovereign immunity, but the case against the Franciscan Order continues as of 2009. According to Hart, "the case is extremely complicated and potentially massive, considering the large class spread across many countries".[1]
Historical context

[Image: 180px-Campo_Marzio_-_san_Girolamo_degli_..._00523.JPG] [Image: magnify-clip.png]
The Pontifical Croatian College of St. Jerome in Rome

Main articles: Nazi gold and Catholic clergy involvement with the Ustaše
The Ustaši hiding in Pontifical Croatian College of St. Jerome (the Croatian Seminary near the Vatican) brought a large amount of looted gold with them; this was latter moved to other Vatican extraterritorial property and/or the Vatican Bank.[2][3] Although this gold would be worth hundreds of thousands of 2008 US dollars, it constituted only a small percentage of the gold looted during World War II, mostly by the Nazis.[3] According to Phayer, "top Vatican personnel would have known the whereabouts of the gold".[3]
The lawsuit was made possible by a 1997 executive order of Bill Clinton that directed all branches of the US government to open their World War II records to scrutiny.[4] The order came in the aftermath of evidence that Swiss banks were destroying evidence of deposit records by Jews and "pressured other countries to follow the U.S. example".[4] Fourteen European nations, Canada, and Argentina followed suit, but Vatican City did not, despite U.S. pressure.[4] Much of the evidence that has come to light since the executive order was not available to the Tripartite Commission for the Restitution of Monetary Gold before it disbanded, although Yugoslavia was among the recipients of restitution.[5]


The class action was brought on behalf of "all Serbs, Jews, and former Soviet Union citizens (and their heirs and beneficiaries), who suffered" at the hands of the Ustaše.[1] The named plaintiffs were victims of personal or property crimes committed by the Ustaše.[1] Four organizations that represent holocaust survivors or human rights issues were named as plaintiffs.[1] Surviving victims of the Ustaše and their next of kin living in California brought a class action suit against the Vatican bank and others in US federal court, Alperin v. Vatican Bank.[3] However, the total potential class could include "over 300,000 former slave and forced laborers, prisoners, concentration camp, and ghetto survivors".[1]
Causes of action included "conversion, unjust enrichment, restitution, the right to an accounting, human rights violations and violations of international law".[1] Subject-matter jurisdiction was asserted under federal law, California state law, international law, and common law.[1] According to plaintiffs, defendants "accepted, concealed, hypothecated, laundered, retained, converted and profited from assets looted by the Ustasha Regime during April 1941 through May 1945 and deposited in, or converted, concealed, hypothecated, trafficked, credited, pledged, exchanged, laundered or liquidated through, the IOR, and OFM after the demise of the NDH-Independent State of Croatia in May 1945. 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95529, ND CA 2007. Specifically, the Vatican bank was charged with laundering and convering "the Ustaša treasury, making deposits in Europe and North and South American, [and] distributing the funds to exiled Ustaša leaders including Pavelić".[4]
A principal piece of evidence against the Vatican is the "Bigelow dispatch", a October 16, 1946 dispatch from Emerson Bigelow in Rome to Harold Glasser, the director of monetary research for the U.S. Treasury Department.[4] Former OSS agent William Gowen has also given deposition as an expert witness that in 1946 Colonel Ivan Babić transported 10 truckloads of gold from Switzerland to the Pontifical College.[6]
The plaintiffs seek an accounting and restitution of the Ustashe Treasury that, according to the US State Department [3] was illicitly transferred to the Vatican, the Franciscan Order and other banks after the end of the war, in order to further the goals of the Ustasha Regime in exile and fund the Vatican ratline. The principle movers were allegedly Fr. Krunoslav Draganovic, Fr. Dominik Mandic OFM, and the war criminal Ante Pavelic.

The named defendants included the Vatican Bank, but not Vatican City (as naming the Vatican City State could have caused the suit to be dismissed on the grounds of sovereign immunity).[1] The Ninth Circuit accepted for the purposes of the motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' argument that the Vatican City and the Vatican Bank are separate institutions.[1] The other named defendants were the Order of Friars Minor ("Franciscans"), the Croatian Liberation Movement, as well as "other unknown Catholic religious organizations and known and unknown banking institutions from a variety of countries".[1] The Vatican Bank and Order of Friars Minor filed separate motions to dismiss.[1]
The Vatican's lawyers did not contest the allegation that a large shipment of gold arrived by truck in Rome in 1946, although they did assert that the plaintiffs had "put forward conclusory 'facts'".[7] The defense did argue that there was "no evidentiary connection between the losses of the plaintiffs and the gold deposited in the Vatican bank".[8]
The defendants also argued that, under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (Reagan recognized Vatican sovereignty in 1984), they had no obligation to return the looted Ustaše gold to Yugoslavia in 1946 because the country was ruled by a hostile Communist regime, saying:
"The decision by a sovereign instrumentality to give funds to a foreign anti-Communist political movement rather than to a Communist regime, at the time where the Cold War was beginning in earnest in Europe, is not a "commercial" act; it is jure imperii, a deeply sovereign act".[7] Finally, the defendants argued that the plaintiffs did not have standing because the Vatican was only a third party to the plaintiff's injury.[2]

First District Court ruling (2003)

The original lawsuit was filed in the District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco in 1999.[9][10] The parties agreed in the district court to limit their initial arguments to the question of whether the case constituted a political question.[1] The district judge dismissed the case in 2003 on the grounds that it constituted a political question.[9][11] In a separate opinion, the district court dismissed the claims against the Croatian Liberation Movement on the grounds of lack of personal jurisdiction.[1]
First Ninth Circuit appeal (2005)

The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reinstated some of the plaintiffs claims in 2005,[12] and the Supreme Court declined in January 2006 to grant certiorari to review that ruling.[9][13][14] The Ninth Circuit held that the property claims were not political questions, while it agreed that the "war objectives claims" (including human rights violations, violations of international law, and slave labor) were political questions.[1][15]
The Ninth Circuit wrote that because the case "touched on foreign relations and potentially controversial political issues, it [was] tempting to jump to the conclusion that such claims are barred by the political question doctrine" but that the court should "scrutinize each claim individually" rather than "abdicate the court's Article III responsibility".[16] The Ninth Circuit also determined that the U.S. government had not yet taken a position on the issue and that it was not the subject of a treaty or executive agreement.[16] The Ninth Circuit distinguished the case from Kadic v. Karadzic because "the claims in Kadic focused on the acts of a single individual during a localized conflict rather than asking the court to undertake the complex calculus of assigning fault for actions taken by a foreign regime during the morass of a world war".[16]
Although the Ninth Circuit allowed the plaintiffs to proceed with their claims of conversion, unjust enrichment, restitution, and an accounting against the Vatican Bank, it agreed to the dismissal of the claims against the Croatian Liberation Movement and the claim that the Vatican bank supported the Ustaše in committing genocide and other war crimes.[17] The majority opinion was written by Judge M. Margaret McKeown, with Senior Judge Milton Irving Shadur concurring. Judge Stephen S. Trott dissented in part, arguing that the district court had correctly dismissed the case.[17] Trott wrote: "What the majority has unintentionally accomplished in embracing this case is nothing less than the wholesale creation of a World Court, an international tribunal with breathtaking and limitless jurisdiction to entertain the World's failures, no matter where they happen, when they happen, to whom they happen, the identity of the wrongdoer, and the sovereignty of one of the parties."[18]
Second Ninth Circuit appeal (2009)

The Second Ninth Circuit Appeal on the issue of sovereign immunity of the Vatican Bank was heard on December 10, 2009 in San Francisco. Oral argument is available from the 9th Circuit website. [4] The case was dismissed on December 28, 2009.[19] Plaintiffs have indicated they may appeal further. [20]
Later District Court rulings (2006-2009)

On June 15, 2006, Judge Elizabeth Laporte of the Northern District of California denied without prejudice the plaintiff's motion for jurisdictional discovery and granted in part the plaintiffs motion to provide materials pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.[21] On December 27, 2007, Judge Maxine M. Chesney granted the Vatican Banks motion to dismiss the fourth amended complaint; this effectively ended the case against the Vatican Bank on the basis of sovereign immunity.[22] On April 14, 2009, Judge Chesney granted a plaintiff's motion for leave to file a sixth amended complaint no later than May 1, 2009.[23] The sixth amendment complaint has been filed, naming the Franciscan Order as a defendant, but no longer the Vatican Bank.[5] On September 11, 2009, the District court dismissed the case against the Franciscans without prejudice on grounds of lack of federal jurisdiction and denied Plaintiffs' motion to amend the complaint on November 13, 2009. Plaintiffs have appealed this to the Ninth Circuit.
Legal analysis

The initial dismissal of the case on the political question doctrine was an extension of the precedent in Baker v. Carr.[24] According to Prof. Gwynne Skinner, "most of the claims arising out of the Holocaust have been dismissed based on this doctrine either because decisions were already made regarding reparations, or because the allied forces had already made decisions about who would be prosecuted for the various crimes committed during the Holocaust".[25] According to Prof. Hannibal Travis: "Initially, U.S. courts dismissed claims by Holocaust survivors on the grounds that international law only gave rise to claims between states and was not self-executing in the absence of implementing legislation in Congress. This erroneous interpretation of §1350 was corrected within a few years, and since 1980, the U.S. federal courts have exercised universal jurisdiction in a nearly unbroken line of cases involving offenses properly alleged to have been committed elsewhere in violation of international law."[26]
The case has been compared to several other 2003 lawsuits against private actors for wrongs committed during World War II, such as Anderman v. Federal Republic of Austria (also determined to be a political question).[27] It has been cited as an example of an Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) case where the courts did not require the exhaustion of foreign legal remedies.[28] It has also been cited as one of several "recent decisions applying, interpreting, and sometimes struggling with the Sosa decision's ATS approach".[29] The Ninth Circuit decision has been criticized on the grounds that: "while the court's demarcation between property claims and war objectives claims may be a sound analytical method for addressing political question doctrine issues, the slave labor claims should not have been excluded from the scope of the property claims".[1]
The plaintiffs attempted to coordinate with pending Catholic sex abuse cases to "avoid divergent findings on the issue of Vatican amenability to suit in the United States."[30] The precedent from the 2005 appellate court ruling has already been applied in Mujica v. Occidental Petroleum Corporation.[31]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Reuben Hart. 2006. "Property, War Objectives, and Slave Labor Claims: The Ninth Circuit's Political Question Analysis in Alperin v. Vatican Bank". 36 Golden Gate U.L. Rev. 19.
  2. ^ a b Phayer, 2008, p. 219.
  3. ^ a b c d Phayer, 2008, p. 208.
  4. ^ a b c d e Phayer, 2008, p. 209.
  5. ^ Phayer, 2008, p. 214, 217.
  6. ^ Phayer, 2008, p. 210.
  7. ^ a b Phayer, 2008, p. 217.
  8. ^ Phayer, 2008, pp. 217-218.
  9. ^ a b c James Vicini. 2006, January 17. "Court won't review Vatican Bank Holocaust suit". Reuters.
  10. ^ 99-C-4941 (N.D. Cal. filed Nov. 15, 1999).
  11. ^ WL 21303209 (N.D. Cal. 2003).
  12. ^ 410 F.3d 532, 544 (9th Cir. 2005).
  13. ^ Order of Friars Minor v. Alperin, 126 S. Ct. 1141, 163 L. Ed. 2d 1000, 2006 U.S. LEXIS 774 (U.S., 2006)
  14. ^ Istituto per le Opere di Religione v. Alperin, 126 S. Ct. 1160, 163 L. Ed. 2d 1000, 2006 U.S. LEXIS 775 (U.S., 2006).
  15. ^ Roger P. Alford. 2006. "Foreign Relations as a Matter of Interpretation: The Use and Abuse of Charming Betsy". 67 Ohio St. L.J. 1339.
  16. ^ a b c Symeon C. Symeonides. 2005. "Choice of Law in the American Courts in 2005: Nineteenth Annual Survey". 53 Am. J. Comp. L. 559.
  17. ^ a b John R. Crook. 2005. "CONTEMPORARY PRACTICE OF THE UNITED STATES RELATING TO INTERNATIONAL LAW: STATE JURISDICTION AND IMMUNITIES: Ninth Circuit Allows Some Claims Alleging Vatican Bank Complicity with World War II Ustasha Regime to Proceed". 99 A.J.I.L. 701.
  18. ^ Hannah L. Buxbaum. 2006. "Transnational Regulatory Litigation". 46 Va. J. Int'l L. 251.
  19. ^ Sud odbio tužbu preživjelih iz holokausta u NDH protiv Vatikanske banke, Slobodna Dalmacija
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ Alperin v. Vatican Bank, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42902 (N.D. Cal., June 15, 2006).
  22. ^ Alperin v. Vatican Bank, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95529 (N.D. Cal., Dec. 27, 2007).
  23. ^ Alperin v. Vatican Bank, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36270 (N.D. Cal., Apr. 14, 2009).
  24. ^ 369 U.S. 186, 210-11 (1962).
  25. ^ Gwynne Skinner. 2008. "Nuremberg's Legacy Continues: The Nuremberg Trials' Influence on Human Rights Litigation in U.S. Courts under the Alien Tort Statute". 71 Alb. L. Rev. 321.
  26. ^ Hannibal Travis. 2008. "Genocide in Sudan: The Role of Oil Exploration and the Entitlement of Victims to Reparations". 25 Ariz. J. Int'l & Comp. Law 1.
  27. ^ Symeon C. Symeonides. 2004. "Choice of Law in the American Courts in 2003: Seventeenth Annual Survey". 52 Am. J. Comp. L. 9.
  28. ^ Elise Catera. 2008. "ATCA: Closing the Gap in Corporate Liability for Environmental War Crimes". 33 Brooklyn J. Int'l L. 629.
  29. ^ Donald J. Kochan. 2005. "INTERNATIONAL LAW SYMPOSIUM: ARTICLE: No Longer Little Known But Now a Door Ajar: An Overview of the Evolving and Dangerous Role of the Alien Tort Statute in Human Rights and International Law Jurisprudence". 8 Chap. L. Rev. 103.
  30. ^ William Brian Mason. 2008. "A New Call for Reform: Sex Abuse and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act". 33 Brooklyn J. Int'l L. 655.
  31. ^ Amy Apollo. 2006. "Mujica v. Occidental Petroleum Corporation: A Case Study of the Role of the Executive Branch in International Human Rights Litigation". 37 Rutgers L. J. 855.


External links

"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
U.S. and Allied Wartime and Postwar Relations and Negotiations With Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey on Looted Gold and German External Assets and U.S. Concerns About the Fate of the Wartime Ustasha Treasury
[/SIZE] [size=12]Foreword[/SIZE]
[size=12]Glossary of Terms[/SIZE]
[size=12]Note on Neutrality[/SIZE]
[size=12]Report Summary [/SIZE]
[size=12]Tables and Charts[/SIZE]

  • [size=12]
  • List of Agreements, Declarations, and Negotiations
  • Sources of Contributions to the $25 Million Paris Reparation Fund
  • Tripartite Gold Commission
  • German External Assets and Monetary Gold in Foreign Countries[/SIZE]
[size=12]Tables and Charts (continued) [/SIZE]
  • [size=12]
  • Summary of German External Assets and Monetary Gold in Foreign Countries
  • Timeline of Trade, Belligerency, and Postwar Gold and Asset Negotiations and Agreements
  • Neutral Countries' Supply of Germany's Major Resources[/SIZE]
[size=12]Allied Relations and Negotiations With Argentina
A. The Beginnings of Argentina's Neutrality
B. U.S. and Allied Policies Toward Argentine Neutrality
C. Argentina As a Center for Axis Smuggling
D. U.S. and Allied Wartime Policies Toward Argentina's Trade With Germany
E. The Safehaven Investigation in Argentina
F. The Argentine Blue Book
G. The Findings of the Safehaven Investigation in Argentina
H. Argentine Gold Transactions and the Question of Looted Gold
I. U.S. Purchases of Argentine Gold
[/SIZE] [size=12]Allied Relations and Negotiations With Portugal
A. Portugal's Neutrality and Expanded Wartime Economy
B. Portuguese Wartime Trade in Wolfram
C. Allied Competition With Germany for Portuguese Wolfram,1941-1942
D. Allied Attempts To Deny Portuguese Wolfram to Germany,1942-1943
E. Cessation of Portuguese Wolfram Exports, June 1944
F. The Beginnings of Safehaven in Portugal
G. Allied Estimates of German External Assets in Portugal
H. Beginnings of Postwar Allied Policy Toward German Looted Gold in Portugal
I. Allied-Portuguese Negotiations on Looted Gold and German External Assets, September 1946-February 1947
J. Further Allied-Portuguese Gold Negotiations, March 1947- February 1948
K. U.S.-Portuguese Agreement on the Azores, February 1948
L. Portuguese Assets in the United States
M. Continued Efforts at an Allied-Portuguese Agreement
N. Frustrated Efforts at a Settlement, 1949-1952
O. Negotiation of a Final Agreement, 1952-1958
[size=12]Allied Relations and Negotiations With Spain
A. From Spanish "Non-Belligerency" to Spanish Neutrality
B. Spain's Wartime Trade With the Axis
C. Allied Efforts To Limit Spain's Trade With Germany
D. Allied Competition With Germany for Spain's Wolfram, 1941-1942
E. The Spanish-German Secret Trade Agreement and the Allied Oil Embargo, 1943-1944
F. The Safehaven Program in Spain
G. First Allied Approaches to Spain, 1944-1945
H. Early Allied Efforts To Control German Assets in Spain
I. Estimates of German Looted Gold Acquired by Spain
J. Initial Negotiations on the Restitution of Looted Gold, 1946-1947
K. Negotiations on German External Assets in Spain, 1946-1947
L. International Background to the Allied-Spanish Negotiations
M. Allied-Spanish Accord on German External Assets, May 1948
N. Allied-Spanish Agreement on Looted Gold
O. Implementation and Final Settlement of the Allied-Spanish Accord on External German Assets, 1948-1959
[size=12]Allied Relations and Negotiations With Sweden
A. The Allies and Sweden's Wartime Neutrality
B. Allied Negotiations With Sweden To Halt Swedish Wartime Exports and Concessions to Nazi Germany
C. Sweden's Cessation of Trade With Germany
D. Sweden and the Safehaven Program
E. Preparation for the Postwar Allied-Swedish Negotiations on Looted Gold and German External Assets
F. Allied-Swedish Negotiations in Washington, May-July 1946
G. Evaluation of the Allied-Swedish Agreement of July 18, 1946
H. Implementation of the Allied-Swedish Accord of July 1946
I. Swedish Restitution of Looted Monetary Gold
J. U.S. Attitude Toward Sweden's Postwar Neutrality
[size=12]Allied Relations and Negotiations With Turkey
A. Turkey's Neutrality in World War II
B. High-Level Allied Discussion of Turkish Neutrality
C. Allied Failure To Bring Turkey Into the War in 1944
D. The Economic Side of Turkish Neutrality
E. Allied Economic Policies Toward Neutral Turkey; Preclusive Trade and Military Assistance
F. U.S. Participation in the Preclusive Purchasing Program of Turkish Chromite and Other Commodities
G. Turkish Cessation of Trade With Germany, April 1944
H. Turkish Severance of Relations With Germany and Declaration of War, 1944-1945
I. Turkey's Wartime Trade in German Looted Gold
J. Allied Attempts To Implement a Safehaven Program in Turkey
K. Attempts at a Postwar Allied-Turkish Agreement on Restitution and Reparation of Looted Gold and German External Assets
L. U.S.-Turkish Relations: From "Live and Let Live" to the Truman Doctrine
M. Failure To Reach Agreements With Turkey on Restitution of Gold and German External Assets, 1947-1953
[size=12]The Fate of the Wartime Ustasha Treasury
A. Establishment of the Wartime Croatian Ustasha Regime
B. The Ustasha Treasury and Its Move to Switzerland
C. The Ustasha Gold in British-Occupied Austria
D. The Ustasha Underground in Rome and Ustasha Gold
E. Postwar Changes in U.S. Policy Toward Croatian Ustasha War Criminals and Escapees
F. Tracking the Fate of the Wartime Ustasha Treasury
[size=12]Annex I: New Information About Victim-Origin Gold at the Reichsbank[/SIZE]
[size=12]Annex II: Summary of the May 1997 Preliminary Report[/SIZE]
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Vatican bank accused of laundering


Published 23 January, 2010, 09:19
Edited 24 January, 2010, 22:23
The Vatican is facing some awkward questions after an investigation was launched into its alleged involvement in a money-laundering scheme.

The financial scandal was triggered by a report in an Italian magazine that claimed the Vatican bank laundered some $200 million.
The alleged secrets of the Vatican have often provided rich material for fictional works, such as blockbuster film Angels and Demons, but the Holy See now has to deal with a case equally shrouded in mystery.
The Vatican Bank has been accused of laundering $200 million through the accounts of Italy’s UniCredit Bank, one of the world's largest financial institutions.
Read more
An investigation into the case became public after Italian magazine Panorama published details from tax police and prosecutors.
“This corruption is continuing on a regular basis in the Vatican,” claimed lawyer Janathan Levy. “Again, there’s no reason for a religion to have a bank that does worldwide commercial activities, dealing in gold, dealing in insurance, dealing in property and then hiding behind the Roman Catholic Church.”
The London Telegraph recently reported that the Vatican Bank is the eighth most popular destination for laundered money, ahead of the Bahamas, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The reason for this is that you cannot trace any movement of cash within the bank.
“I had the privilege to walk inside this bank. It’s nothing like a bank,” shared lawyer Massimiliano Gabrieli. “If you go there you deposit or withdraw money without limit, without any kind of receipt for the bank and for the client. All you have is a single card with a number.”
A lawyer representing the Vatican dismissed the allegations that it is some sort of clandestine organization where accounts are not kept.
Jeffrey S. Lena, lawyer for the Institute for Religious Works, said that “This is all part of a generalized attack on the Catholic Church from the position of the Orthodox Christians, based upon a theory of Catholic hegemony in the Eastern part of Europe. Some are using legal cases against the Vatican to pursue a political agenda”.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Aarons, Mark and Loftus, John. Unholy Trinity: How the Vatican's Nazi Networks Betrayed Western Intelligence to the Soviets. New York: St.Martin's Press, 1992. 372 pages.

John Loftus is an attorney who worked for the Nazi-hunting unit of the Justice Department until he left in 1981 to write "The Belarus Secret," and Mark Aarons is an Australian investigative reporter whose work led to the prosecution of Nazi war criminals in that country. In this book they present the most comprehensive account yet in two areas of immediate postwar history: the role of the Vatican "Ratlines" in Nazi smuggling, and the involvement of Soviet intelligence in manipulating these events. Pope Pius XII and Giovanni Montini (later Pope Paul VI) were involved in a massive obstruction of justice, sheltered by U.S. intelligence officers who had plans to use ex-Nazis in the war against Communism. But everything always went wrong when the U.S. sent agents behind the Iron Curtain. Allen Dulles and James Angleton figured that Soviet mole Kim Philby was the problem, so after 1951 they started backing the rival fascist organizations that Philby had denounced. As the authors reveal for the first time, this simply meant that a different faction in Soviet intelligence was now pulling the strings. "By 1959, the United States had lost every courier, safehouse, and intelligence network behind the Iron Curtain. The intelligence scandal was swept quietly under the rug, just as the Vatican scandal before it."
ISBN 0-312-07111-6
Name index for Aarons,M. Loftus,J. Unholy Trinity. 1992
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
The Fate of the Wartime Ustasha Treasury1
A. Establishment of the Wartime Croatian Ustasha Regime
In the wake of the German blitzkrieg through Yugoslavia and Greece in March and April 1941,
the flight abroad of the King of Yugoslavia and government leaders, and the dismemberment (with the
participation of Bulgaria, Hungary, and Italy) of Yugoslavia, the so-called independent state of Croatia was
established on April 10, 1941. A government composed of members of the Fascist Croat Ustasha political
movement, headed by Ante Pavelic, was proclaimed a protectorate of Italy in May 1941, and was in fact
supported throughout World War II by both Italian and German occupation forces. President Roosevelt
denounced the invasion and dismemberment of Yugoslavia, and on May 18, 1941, Acting Secretary of
State Sumner Welles acknowledged the intention of the Yugoslav Government in Exile not to recognize the
so-called "independent" Croat state, and expressed the indignation of the U.S. Government for "the
invasion and mutilation" of Yugoslavia in creating the Croatian protectorate. Soon thereafter the Croatian
police closed and sealed the U.S. Consulate in Zagreb, and the American Consul left Zagreb in June 1941.
Throughout the War, U.S. policy was to avoid any action that might carry the implication of
acknowledging the Croatian protectorate.2
The Balkans were not a major theater of operations for Allied military forces, but the Allies did
provide support to the Yugoslav guerrilla forces fighting the German and Italian occupation armies.
President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill and their advisers encouraged and supported the guerrilla
effort, and U.S. and British special forces units were engaged in the struggle between the competing
partisan armies—the Chetniks and the Communist-dominated Partisans. The Croatian Ustasha regime was
a primary object of Yugoslav guerrilla campaigns, but it was not a significant target of Allied intelligence
activities nor did it gain the attention of diplomatic policy-makers. British intelligence sought for a time to
maintain contact with high-ranking officials of the puppet Croatian government, but the contact ended after
Ustasha leader Ante Pavelic recognized that the Allies intended to support the Partisans.3 Allen Dulles'
wartime OSS Mission in Bern, Switzerland did attempt to monitor the activities of the Ustashi. Aware the
Ustashi were persecuting the Jews, Serbs, and Sinti-Romani, Dulles sought to maintain contact with anti-
Fascist elements in Croatian territory.4
1 This chapter is based on published and unpublished Department of State and other agency
records; official and unofficial records collected on behalf of the Department of the Treasury; copies of
records supplied by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office as well as published official records and
accounts about Britain in World War II; official published records of the wartime diplomacy of the Vatican
and other commentary and advice; information about the wartime and postwar experiences of the puppet
Ustasha regime; copies of records researched at the National Archives and Records Administration on
behalf of the World Jewish Congress; and records supplied by the U.K. Holocaust Educational Trust.
Beginning in 1964, the Vatican published 11 volumes of the official record of the diplomacy of Pope Pius
XII, entitled Secretaire d’Etat de Sa Saintete, Actes et Documents du Saint Siege relatifs a la Seconde
Guerre Mondiale [Records and Documents of the Holy See Relating to the Second World War], edited by
Pierre Blet, Robert A. Graham, Angelo Martini, and Burkhart Schneider (Vatican City, 1964-1981). The
last volume, published in 1981, covers events through June 1945.
2 The exchanges between the Yugoslav Government in Exile and the United States regarding the
dismemberment of Yugoslavia and the creation of a Croat protectorate are in Foreign Relations, 1941, vol.
II, pp. 979-984. In 1954 the U.S. Foreign Claims Settlement Commission concluded that the postwar
Yugoslav Government had no responsibility for the actions of the "puppet government" or "local de facto
government" that existed in Croatia during World War II. See Marjorie Whiteman, ed., Digest of
International Law, vol. 8, pp. 835-837. By the end of 1944, the U.S. Office of War Information
categorized the Ustashi as "collaborationists" who would be punished by the postwar Yugoslav
Government or as "war criminals" to be punished by international action. (Department of State, Historical
Policy Research Project No. 61, "United States Policy Toward the Ustashi," RG 59, Decimal Files,
3 U.S. Counter-Intelligence Corps Report 5228, July 23, 1947, RG 226, E174, B243, F52.
4 Neal H. Petersen, From Hitler’s Doorstep: The Wartime Intelligence Reports of Allen Dulles,
1942-1946 (Philadelphia, 1996), pp. 46, 63-64, 147, 177, 257, and 573.
U.S. and British leaders were aware to some extent of the murderous efforts of the Ustashi regime
against the Serbs, Jews, and Sinti-Romani peoples living in Croat-controlled territory. It is not clear if the
Allied leaders clearly grasped that as many as 700,000 victims, most of them Serbs, had been killed at the
Ustasha death camps at Jasenovac and elsewhere by the most ruthless and primitive methods, including
mass shootings, clubbings, and decapitation.5 U.S. authorities clearly had an understanding of what was
happening to the Serbs in territory under Ustasha control if not to the Jews and Sinti-Romani people. In
August 1941 Yugoslav Ambassador Constantin Fotich received from the Chief of the State Department’s
Balkan Desk a report describing the Ustashi "comprehensive policy of extermination of the Serb race in the
Independent State of Croatia" and relating the brutal and atrocious killings being committed.6
On December 20, 1941, Fotich called on President Roosevelt and reviewed with him a
memorandum about the atrocities being committed against the Serbs. The President was shocked by the
report and wondered how, after such crimes, the Serbs could expect to live in the future in the same state
with the Croats.7 When British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden visited the White House in March 1943 to
review Allied war aims, he heard President Roosevelt’s "oft repeated opinion" that the antagonism between
the Croats and the Serbs ruled out their being in the same state and that the Croats should be put under a
trusteeship. The President expressed similar views to Secretary of State Hull in early October 1943 on the
eve of Hull’s attendance at the Moscow Foreign Ministers Conference.8
The Vatican, which maintained an "Apostolic visitor" in Zagreb from June 1941 until the end of
the War, was aware of the killing campaign, which started with the internment of most of the 35,000 to
45,000 Croatian Jews in the spring and summer of 1941, and continued with the flight of up to 5,000 Jews
from the German-occupied areas of the Croatian state to the Italian portion of the protectorate, and the
deportation to Germany of all remaining Croatian Jews beginning in July 1942. Croatian Catholic
authorities condemned the atrocities committed by the Ustashi, but remained otherwise supportive of the
regime. During his March 1943 visit to Croatia, German Interior Minister Heinrich Himmler demanded
that the few remaining Jews be deported to Germany (including those who had been baptized Catholics or
married to Catholics). Germany continued its efforts throughout the War to compel the Italians to deport
those Jews who had found sanctuary in Italian-occupied Dalmatia. Many of them ultimately found safety
on the island of Rab off the Dalmatian coast.9 The German occupiers boasted that the Jewish population of
5 The Allies began receiving refugees from Yugoslavia in Italy in the final months of 1943 after
the Allied landings in Italy in September 1943. Few were Jewish. The Nazis/Ustashi had exterminated the
Jews. While Yugoslavs were allowed to move to British camps in Egypt, the British would not allow the
Jews, who remained in Italy, to enter Egypt. See David S.W. Wyman, The Abandonment of the Jews:
America and the Holocaust, 1941-1945 (New York, 1984), p. 227. Regarding the refusal to allow the few
Jews among the Yugoslav refugees to enter Egypt in 1944, see also Bernard Wasserstein, Britain and the
Jews of Europe,1939-1945 (London, Oxford, 1979).
Croatian President Tudjman has reviewed various estimates and assertions of the number of Serb,
Jewish, Sinti-Romani, and Croatian victims of the Ustasha death camps, Jasenovac in particular but
elsewhere in wartime Croatia. He dismisses the estimates by various Yugoslav experts ranging from
500,000 to 700,000 deaths at Jasenovac as inaccurate and "mythical." His own estimate is that 30,000 to
40,000 inmates died at Jasenovac and that some 60,000 victims died at the hands of the Ustashi throughout
Croatia. See Franjo Tudjman, Horrors of War: Historical Reality and Philosophy, rev. ed., translated by
Katarina Mijatovic (New York, 1996), pp. 14-17, 67-69, 226, 231-233.
6 Constantin Fotich, The War We Lost: Yugoslavia’s Tragedy and the Failure of the West (New
York, 1948), pp. 117-118.
7 Ibid., pp. 128-129.
8 Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History (New York, 1948), p. 711, and
Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. I, p. 543.
9 A detailed account of Vatican relations with the puppet Croatian regime and Vatican concerns
about and efforts on behalf of the Jews is presented in John F. Morley, Vatican Diplomacy and the Jews
During the Holocaust (New York, 1980), pp. 147-165. Morley’s account is based largely on the first nine
volumes of the Vatican’s official diplomatic record, Secretaire d’Etat de Sa Saintete, Actes et Documents du
Saint Siege relatifs a la Seconde Guerre Mondiale [Records and Documents of the Holy See Relating to the
Second World War]. Morley’s account, which ends in 1943 and emphasizes the perfunctory nature of
official Vatican efforts on behalf of the Croatian Jews, particularly those newly-baptized, could be
confirmed or amended if the Vatican were to open completely its records of the wartime diplomacy Pope
Croatia had been wiped out by early 1944 (except for those who managed to gain Italian protection or
escaped to join the Partisans).10
B. The Ustasha Treasury and Its Move to Switzerland
Postwar reports indicated that some portion of the treasury of the Ustasha regime comprised the
valuables stolen from the dispossessed and deported victims of the Ustashi ethnic cleansing campaign.
U.S. intelligence experts concluded after the War that Ustasha leaders at one time had at their disposal
more than $80 million (350 million Swiss francs), mostly composed of gold coins, some of which were
plundered from the victims of the Croatian Holocaust.11 Other unevaluated reports in the early 1950s
suggested that the treasury was smaller and its disposition less certain. In 1944 the Ustasha regime began
to move assets into Swiss bank accounts for safekeeping.12 On May 31, 1944, the Swiss National Bank
accepted 358 kilograms of gold (worth approximately $403,000) from Croatia, and another 980 kilograms
(worth $1.1 million) on August 4, 1944. 13
The Croatian gold deposit of August 4, 1944, which was accepted by the Swiss National Bank for
deposit and not for purchase, was transferred to Switzerland without the Bank’s prior knowledge and
without the issuance of the requisite permit. The Swiss National Bank nevertheless accepted the illegal
delivery and allowed the gold to enter the account of the Croatian State Bank established with the original
May 31 deposit. The Croatian gold shipped to the Swiss National Bank in August 1944 would seem to
have been the same 980 kilograms of gold taken in 1941 by the Croatian authorities from the Sarajevo
branch of the central bank of the dismembered Kingdom of Yugoslavia. There is reason to believe that this
segment of Yugoslavia’s prewar gold reserve was somehow gotten out of wartime Croatia without the
knowledge or consent of the Ustasha regime. The Croatian gold shipped to Switzerland in August 1944
accompanied 25 tons of silver bought by the Swiss National Bank to mint coins. In October 1944
representatives of the Croatian puppet government sought unsuccessfully to persuade the Swiss National
Bank to allow the transfer of gold in the Croatian account to Germany. In December 1944 the Swiss
Pius XII. A summary of official Croatian Government information about the wartime Ustasha regime gold
holdings and their postwar dispositions is in Section F below.
10 An estimated 6,000 Croatian Jews survived the war, according to Raul Hilberg, The Destruction
of the European Jews, revised and definitive edition (New York, London, 1985), vol. II, pp. 708-718.
11 SSU Information Report, Subject: "Yugoslavia: Present Whereabouts of Former Ustashi
Officials," October 11, 1946, CIA Operational Files; letter from Emerson Bigelow, Strategic Services Unit
(SSU), to Harold Glasser, U.S. Treasury, October 21, 1946, RG 226, Entry 183, Box 29, 1946. The SSU
was the postwar successor in the War Department to the Secret Intelligence (SI) Branch of the OSS.
According to published sources, Emerson Bigelow served as a financial expert/consultant in pre-war years
to the U.S. Government. During the War he was responsible for establishing and maintaining an operation
to provide funds for both overt and covert OSS operations, and continued to provide financial advice to the
Defense Department and the CIA for several years after the War. See in particular The American
Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. 53, pp. 184-185. In 1946 Bigelow was in the SSU, and was
responsible for liaison with the Treasury Department.
Unevaluated information obtained by the CIA in 1951 and derived from the claims of a former
wartime Croatian Government Minister indicated that 350 kilograms of gold and 1,100 karats of diamonds
remained of the wartime Croatian treasury in the first months after the flight of the Ustashi at the end of the
War. This remainder was hidden for a time in Austria, where a portion of it fell into the hands of the
British, and the balance of 250 kilograms of gold and the diamonds was eventually turned over to Ante
Pavelic who, with others, escaped to Argentina. (Information Report, Subject: "Croatian Gold Question,"
February 2, 1951, CIA Reference Files) Another unevaulated CIA report of April 1952 alleged that Pavelic
sent to Austria at War’s end 12 cases of gold and jewels which were hidden near Salzburg, Austria.
According to this report, Pavelic arranged for the recovery of this loot in 1951 and sought in 1952 to sell
200 kilograms of gold in Buenos Aires. (Information Report, Subject: "Transfer of Croatian Gold to
Argentina," April 16, 1952, CIA Reference Files)
12 CIG Intelligence Report, "Subject: Dr. Ante Pavelich," May 6, 1947, CIA Operational Files.
13 Despatch 21,263 from London, February 26, 1945, with attachments, RG 59, Decimal Files
1940-45, 740.00116/2-2645, and telegrams 7987 from Bern, December 27, 1944, and 10467 and 10468
from London, November 27, 1944, RG 131, Box 457, File 1942-1950.
National Bank refused the Croatian request for the return of the gold to Zagreb, and the Swiss Federal
Council froze all Croatian assets in Switzerland.14
U.S. intelligence became aware that transfers of some sort were going on by the end of 1944. The
OSS Mission in Bern reported that 500 kilograms of gold bars ($562,500) with German markings had been
brought to Switzerland from Zagreb, and the Croat State Bank had deposited 2.5 million Swiss francs
($580,000) in another account in Switzerland.15 An OSS report in July 1945 concluded that Croat-owned
commercial accounts in Bern totaled more than 400,000 Swiss francs ($93,000), and other Croat accounts
contained deposits of Croatian and Austrian currency.16 A U.S. intelligence report commenting on the
arrival in Argentina in 1949 of Franjo Cvijic, the wartime head of the Croat State Bank who had been in
Switzerland at the end of the War negotiating commercial agreements, indicated that the Ustasha regime
assets in 1945 included 2.5 million Swiss francs in currency (about $580,000), 1,700 kilograms of gold in
bars (about $1.9 million), and about 40,000 kilograms of silver (about $915,000).17 According to a
postwar Belgrade press report, the Croat State Bank deposited 1,000 kilograms of gold ($1.1 million) in
Switzerland during the War.18 Other U.S. intelligence reports noted that the Swiss Government froze
Croatian Government accounts in Swiss banks at the end of the War worth a total of 15-16 million Swiss
francs ($3.5-3.7 million) in part as compensation for outstanding Croatian debts.19 U.S. intelligence
14 According to the report of the Swiss Independent Commission of Experts, "Gold Transactions in
the Second World War," December 1997, p.14, Switzerland neither purchased gold from or sold gold to the
Croatian Ustasha regime. The transfer of 358 kilograms of gold from Croatia to Switzerland on May 31,
1944, and the transfer of 980 kilograms of gold and the sale of 25 tons of silver to the Swiss National Bank
on August 4, 1944; the refusal of the Bank to allow transfer of the Croatian gold to Germany in October
1944; and the decision of the Swiss Government to freeze Croatian assets in Switzerland, are the subject of
documents published in the official record of Swiss foreign policy, Documents Diplomatiques Suisses, vol.
15, August 1943-August 1945, pp. 547-548, 706-707, and 782. Additional information about the
movement of Croatian gold and silver to the Swiss National Bank during the War, provided by the
Historical Section of the Task Force of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, indicates that the
Swiss National Bank returned all 1,338 kilograms of gold in 121 ingots in the account of the wartime
Croatian regime to the National Bank of Yugoslavia on July 24, 1945, in response to the request of the new
Yugoslav Government.
According to the 1971 Report of the Tripartite Gold Commission, vol. I, p. 64, the TGC was
informed by the Yugoslav Government of the return by Switzerland in July 1945 of the 980 kilograms of
"Croatian gold" that had been taken from the Sarajevo branch of the Yugoslav State Bank in 1941. But the
TGC either was not informed of or did not report information regarding the return of the additional 358
kilograms of gold the Ustasha regime shipped to Switzerland during the War. It cannot be determined
whether this 358 kilograms was some other prewar monetary gold or whether it was non-monetary gold
gathered by the Ustashi during the War—perhaps from victims of detention, deportation, or murder.
According to the 1971 TGC Report, the 980 kilograms of gold of the former State Bank of Yugoslavia was
"caused to be transferred for safekeeping to the Swiss National Bank" in August 1944 by "patriotic
officials" of the so-called Croatian State Bank.
15 Bern OSS Memorandum, Subject "Croatian Gold," December 7, 1944, RG 226, Entry 108,
Box 2.
16 Bern Safehaven Report No. 74, Subject "Supplementary Report on Funds Held for Others by the
Société General de Surveillance S.A.," July 12, 1945, ibid., Entry 183, Box 6, Folder 32.
17 Information Report, June 17, 1949, Subject: "Franco Cvijic (Civic)," CIA Operational Files.
The report indicates that Cvijic was arrested by U.S. authorities and imprisoned before being paroled by the
U.S. military authorities. His escape from Europe to Argentina was, the report further indicates, probably
arranged by Father Krunoslav Dragonovic.
18 Belgrade, Yugoslav Home Service, "Yugoslav Gold Reserve Put In Order," July 30, 1946, RG
226, Entry 183, Box 27, Folder 152. According to this press release, which reported that 1,000 kilograms
had been returned to the Yugoslav Government, 10 tons of Yugoslav Government gold, seized by Italian
troops during the occupation of Belgrade in 1941, were found in postwar Germany. This gold was handed
over to the Tripartite Gold Commission.
19 Memorandum from Bigelow to Glasser, July 19, 1946, ibid.; Official Dispatch, November 24,
1950, "Ivan Mestrovic, Branimir Jelic, General Stjepan Pericic," CIA Operational Files. As of July 1946
officers were of the view that all the puppet Croatian government funds moved to Switzerland had been
controlled by Dr. Josip Cabas, an official of the Croatian Ministry of National Economy and later the Chief
of the Croatian Commercial delegation in Switzerland. After the War Cabas reportedly sought to use the
Ustasha funds, amounting to 12-16 million Swiss francs, to purchase arms for the Communist Yugoslav
Government, but the Swiss resisted, preferring to use the funds to pay old debts.20
C. The Ustasha Gold in British-Occupied Austria
The final military collapse of the German army in Croatia and its puppet Ustasha forces began in
April 1945 as Tito’s Partisan forces launched their final offensive and quickly seized Zagreb. While the
general German surrender occurred on May 9, the beleaguered German forces and their Ustasha and
Chetnik allies battled on until a final capitulation on May 15. In the midst of these final military actions,
leaders of the puppet Croatian regime, carrying with them some portion of the Ustasha treasury, sought to
escape through Austria to Italy. U.S. intelligence reports indicate that the fleeing Ustasha leaders carried at
least part of the treasury with them into the British zone of occupation of Austria where it was seized by the
British authorities. According to these sketchy reports, Ustasha leader Ante Pavelic entered Austria with a
party of up to 1,500 Ustashi and $5-6 million in gold. Other reports show that Pavelic was released after
being held in British custody for two weeks, his gold trove was seized by the British, and his companions
were turned over to the Yugoslav authorities.21
According to still other reports, up to as much as 500 kilograms of gold (more than $560,000)
were carried to Austria at the end of the War, with Pavelic’s knowledge. The gold was hidden there until it
was recovered and used in part to finance anti-Communist activities aimed at Yugoslavia, in part to
maintain Pavelic in exile in Argentina, while other portions were used to maintain the Ustashi in Italy.
Postwar intelligence reports also suggest that Ustasha funds in Austria helped to finance the Ustashi anti-
Tito partisans based in Austria after the War.22
The terms of the Inter-Allied Reparations Agreement, concluded in Paris in January 1946,
required that monetary gold found in Germany by Allied forces or recovered from a third country to which
it had been transferred by Germany was to be pooled for restitution among the participant nations, and nonmonetary
gold found in Germany was to be used for resettlement and rehabilitation of non-repatriable
victims of German action. The British occupation authorities in Austria did not acknowledge recovery of
any monetary gold or non-monetary gold originating with the puppet Croatian Ustasha regime. No gold
attributed to the Croatian regime was transferred to the Tripartite Gold Commission.23
the Yugoslav Government was continuing to seek to secure access to these accounts, but no further
intelligence reports have been found as to the result.
20 Memorandum from Bigelow to Glasser, July 19, 1946, RG 226, Entry 183, Box 27, Folder 152;
Official Dispatch, November 24, 1950, "Ivan Mestrovic, Branimir Jelic, General Stjepan Pericic," CIA
Operational Files.
21 SSU Information Report, Subject: "Jugoslavia: Present Whereabouts of Former Ustashe
Officials," October 11, 1946, ibid.; letter from Bigelow to Glasser, October 21, 1946, RG 226, Entry 183,
Box 29, 1946. The SSU report concluded that there could be little doubt that the British aided the escape of
Pavelic. The Bigelow letter stated that a sum of 150 million Swiss francs, presumed to have been made up
largely of gold coins, was impounded by British authorities in Austria. According to a Central Intelligence
Group (CIG) Intelligence Report on Ante Pavelic, May 6, 1947 (date of information is January 1947),
Pavelic and his party crossed into Austria with gold bars in two trucks, which the Croats handed over to the
British, "and so saved themselves;" CIA Operational Files.
22 CIG Intelligence Report, Subject: "Dr. Ante Pavelich," May 6, 1947, ibid.
23 In its 1971 Report, the Tripartite Gold Commission did take account of the fate of the 980
kilograms of monetary gold taken from Sarajevo branch of the National Bank of Yugoslavia by Croatian
puppet government officials in 1941, made a part of the Croatian National Bank holdings, transferred to the
Swiss National Bank in 1944 (see footnote 14 above), and returned to the new Communist Government of
Yugoslavia in 1945. The TGC Report also accounts for the 66,400 kilograms of gold in bars and coins
(about $6 million) distributed by the Commission to Yugoslavia but without any connection to any other
gold attributed to the wartime Croatian Government recovered in the British zone of occupation or
elsewhere. The 980 kilograms of gold received by Yugoslavia from Switzerland was not regarded by the
Tripartite Gold Commission to be part of the TGC’s restitution process. According to the 1971 TGC
Report (vol. I, p. 66, and vol. III, pp. 18, 19, 27), Yugoslavia established claims for monetary gold totaling
D. The Ustasha Underground in Rome and Ustasha Gold
According to information gathered at various times by U.S. intelligence, the College of San
Girolamo degli Illirici in Rome, which provided living quarters for Croatian priests studying at the Vatican
during and after World War II, was a center of Ustasha covert activity and a Croatian "underground" that
helped Ustasha refugees and war criminals to escape Europe after the War.24 British intelligence
information of March 1946 also identified San Girolamo as the church for the Ustashi managed by a
brotherhood of Croatian priests, the "confraternita di San Girolama." This brotherhood issued identity cards
with false names to the fugitive Ustashi, allowing them to evade arrest or detention by the Allies.25
Monsignor Juraj Madjerec, identified in intelligence reports as an Ustasha supporter, was head of
the College, but the prime mover behind this Ustasha activity in Rome was the secretary of the College,
Father Dr. Krunoslav Stefano Dragonovic, who was also an Ustasha colonel and former official of the
Croat "Ministry for Internal Colonization," the agency responsible for the confiscation of Serb property in
Bosnia and Hercegovina.26
Regarded by U.S. intelligence officers as Ante Pavelic’s "alter ego," the Croatian-born Father
Dragonovic had been a Professor of Theology at Zagreb University. In 1943 he went to Rome allegedly as
the representative of the Croatian Red Cross, but probably to coordinate Ustasha affairs in Italy. Taking
advantage of contacts inside the International Red Cross and other refugee and relief organizations,
Dragonovic helped Ustasha fugitives emigrate illegally to South America by providing temporary shelter
and false identity documents, and by arranging onward transport, primarily to Argentina.27 U.S.
intelligence reports make much of Father Dragonovic’s role in helping the Ustashi who sought protection in
Rome after the War. He was also reportedly entrusted with the safeguarding of the archives of the Ustasha
Legation in Rome, which he hid somewhere in the Vatican, as well as with all the valuables brought out of
Croatia by the fleeing Ustashi.28
3,243 kilograms and received in distributions in 1948, 1950, and 1958 from the TGC, a total of 2,064
kilograms of gold (about $2.3 million). In September 1948 Yugoslavia also received from Italy pursuant to
the Italian Peace Treaty 8,393 kilograms of gold (about $9.4 million). No gold found in the British zone of
occupation of Austria appears to have been included in the Tripartite Gold Pool, according to this 1971
24 The College of San Girolamo is located outside the walls of the Vatican and pays Italian State
25 British Public Records Office, War Office Files, WO 204/11574. The British intelligence file
identified Croatian priest Dominc Mandic as the Vatican representative to San Girolamo.
26 Memorandum from AC of S, G-2 (CI) AFHQ (Allied Forces Headquarters) from AFHQ Liaison
(IAI), November 26, 1947, Subject: "Dragonovic, Krunoslav Stefano; Information Report, Subject: "Dr.
Krunoslav Dragonovich," July 24, 1952 (date of information is 1945-1952); memorandum from Deputy
Director for Plans (CIA) to Deputy Assistant Under Secretary for Security, Department of State, "Dr.
Krunoslav Stepan Dragonovich," January 9, 1968, all in CIA Operational Files. Dragonovic’s background
and his wartime activities, including alleged connections with the Vatican and exchanges with British
diplomats, are described, with extensive references to official British and U.S. documents identified in the
archives of the two nations, in Mark Aarons and John Loftus, Unholy Trinity: How the Vatican’s Nazi
Networks Betrayed Western Intelligence to the Soviets (New York, 1991), pp. 88-119 (pp. 308-314 for
documentary citations). This report is not based on these authors’ book nor does it seek to evaluate how
they interpreted the many documentary sources they cite.
27 U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Klaus Barbie and the United States
Government: A Report to the Attorney General of the United States (Washington, D.C., 1983), pp. 136-139
[hereafter cited as The Barbie Report]; memorandum from Deputy Director for Plans (CIA) to Deputy
Assistant Secretary for Security, Department of State, "Dr. Krunoslav Stepan Dragonovich," January 9,
1968, CIA Operational Files. U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps reports of 1947 on the extent of
Ustasha involvement in the management of affairs at San Girolamo and aid rendered to fleeing Ustasha
leaders are described in Susan Headden, Dana Hawkins, and Jason Vest, "A Vow of Silence: Did Gold
Stolen by Croatian Fascists Reach the Vatican?," U.S. News & World Report, March 30, 1998, pp. 34-37.
28 Information Report, Subject: "Dr. Krunoslav Dragonovich," July 24, 1952 (date of information
is 1945-1952); Information Report, Subject: "Jugoslavia: Present Whereabouts of Former Ustashi
Officials," October 11, 1946, both in CIA Operational Files.
Under Dragonovic’s leadership, the Croat underground in San Girolamo built up an effective
covert organization which operated an escape service for Croatian nationalists fleeing from the Yugoslav
regime. Dragonovic’s organization also worked with the "rat line" set up and operated by the U.S. Army’s
Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) to help Soviet and East European defectors, informants, and activists
escape from Communist-controlled territory.29 In 1951 Dragonovic worked with the CIC to organize the
escape of anti-Communist informant and Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie to South America.30 In mid-
October 1958, a few days after the death of Pope Pius XII on October 9, Dragonovic was ordered to leave
the College of San Girolamo by the Vatican Secretary of State.31 In 1962 the CIC dropped him as an agent
"with prejudice, for security reasons and lack of control."32
Over the next few years, relations between the Vatican and Communist Yugoslavia improved and
were finally normalized in June 1966. Dragonovic, who had broken with Ante Pavelic in 1955, benefited
from an amnesty granted by the Tito regime in the early 1960s. In 1967 he traveled to Trieste and walked
across the border to Yugoslavia. A few days later he made a speech over Yugoslav radio denouncing the
Ustashi and praising the progress made since the end of the War by the Tito regime. The indications are
that Dragonovic lived quietly in Yugoslavia where he died in July 1983.33
From early 1946 to late 1947, the Ustashi in Rome harbored Ante Pavelic, as well as other Ustasha
leaders. Pavelic arrived in Rome in 1946 disguised as a priest with a Spanish passport. For the next two
years he reportedly lived at San Girolamo and other quarters in Rome. The support of the Croat
underground in Rome was critical for Pavelic’s escape from Europe to Argentina. In November 1948 he
emigrated to Argentina on the Italian motorship Sestrire. In 1957, after an assassination attempt, he moved
to Spain, where he died in 1959.34
The CIC, which had responsibility for tracking down war criminals, knew of Pavelic’s presence in
Italy and monitored his activities for nearly two years, attempting to learn his exact whereabouts. In late
July 1947, after CIC reported that Pavelic was living in a particular Vatican-owned building in Rome, and
after consultations in Washington, the State Department instructed the Supreme Commander of Allied
Forces in Italy that "the United States should cooperate with the Italian authorities to the extent necessary
in this particular case." The British Government concurred in this action four days later. The CIC agents
assigned to monitor Pavelic’s activities in preparation for his arrest reported that he was enjoying the
protection of the British as well as of the Vatican and advised against unilateral U.S. action to extradite
Pavelic to Yugoslavia in order not to lose support among Catholic and anti-Communist émigrés. U.S.
military intelligence concurred on the grounds that Pavelic's arrest would alienate the Croatians loyal to the
Ustasha cause who were being increasingly employed as informants by U.S. intelligence agencies. In the
end, U.S. forces withdrew from Italy without acting decisively to apprehend Pavelic.35 However, CIC's
29 The Barbie Report, pp. 135-137.
30 Memorandum, undated (c. April-May 1983), Subject: "DOJ/OSI Investigation of Klaus Barbie,"
CIA Operational Files; The Barbie Report, pp. 146-151; and James V. Milano, Soldiers, Spies, and the Rat
Line: America’s Undeclared War Against the Soviets (Washington, D.C., London, 1995), pp. 201-206.
31 Information Report, Subject: "The Priest Krunoslav Dragonovic being asked to leave the
College of St. Jerome of the Illirici," December 11, 1958, CIA Operational Files.
32 Memorandum, undated (probably c. April-May 1983), Subject: "DOS/OSI Investigation of
Klaus Barbie," ibid.
33 What appears to be the public record regarding Dragonovic's last years in Yugoslavia, including
his praise for the Tito regime and the religious freedom he found in Yugoslavia, is identified in Aarons and
Loftus, The Unholy Trinity, pp. 77-78, 86-87, and 143-150.
34 Information Report, Subject: "The Organization of the Ustashis Abroad," November 4, 1946
(date of information is October 1946); Information Report, Subject: "The Vatican as an Asylum for War
Criminals," August 8, 1947 (date of information is July 1947); Information Report, Subject: "Reported
Arrival of Ante Pavelic in Argentina," December 2, 1948, all in CIA Operational Files. Aarons and Loftus,
The Unholy Trinity, pp. 77-78, indicate that Pavelic joined most of the former Ustasha regime in Buenos
Aires, including nearly every surviving Cabinet Minister.
35 Memorandum from Bernard J. Grennan, Chief of Operations, CIC Headquarters, MTOUSA
(Mediterranean Theater of Operations United States), to Supervising Agent, CIC Zone Five, July 7, 1947;
memorandum from Joseph N. Greene, Jr., Acting U.S. Political Adviser to Acting Supreme Allied
Commander, July 29, 1947; memorandum from P.W. Scarlett, British Political Adviser, to Acting Supreme
Allied Commander, August 2, 1947; Informal Routing Slip from Major General L.C. Jaynes, Chief of Staff,
interest apparently was sufficient to compel Pavelic to leave Rome for a monastery near the Pope’s summer
residence at Castel Gandolfo, where he remained for several months prior to his departure from Europe.36
The figure of 350 million Swiss francs (over $80 million) of Ustasha gold that U.S. intelligence
reported in 1946 remains the only attempt to estimate the total financial resources available to the Ustashi
at the end of World War II. This figure refers to sums in Italy and Austria and probably does not include
those funds sequestered by the Ustasha regime in Switzerland. Moreover, it remains unsubstantiated and
may not include some or all of the sums reported elsewhere. Although the amount of the total financial
resources available to the Ustasha leadership at the end of World War II cannot be determined, it seems
clear from the available information that there was some quantity of gold at their disposal in Rome, Austria,
and Switzerland. From the character of the Ustasha regime and the nature of its wartime activities, this
sum almost certainly included some quantity of victim gold.
U.S. intelligence reports—many of them uncorroborated and speculative—portray the Croat
underground in Rome as making use of a considerable quantity of gold, probably including victim gold,
that the Ustashi sent or brought out of Croatia between 1943 and 1945. Sources available to U.S.
intelligence authorities varied widely, even wildly, in their estimates of the total value of the gold available
to the Croat underground in Rome. The largest estimate of Ustashi treasury reaching Rome was made in
the October 1946 U.S. intelligence (SSU) report to the Treasury Department, which estimated that 200
million Swiss francs (about $47 million) "was originally held in the Vatican" before being moved to Spain
and Argentina.37 Another October 1946 intelligence report summarizing information on the whereabouts of
former Ustasha officials identified an "Ustashi Financial Committee" living in Rome with a large amount
of gold at its disposal.38 On the other hand, a report derived from an alleged January 1947 interview with
Ante Pavelic at his quarters in the monastery in Rome, claimed the Ustashi had only 3,900 gold Napoleons
(some $25,000) in all of Italy.39
Ante Pavelic, Father Dragonovic, and other Ustasha leaders in Rome also derived moral and
financial aid from many other countries, including from Ustasha sympathizers in the United States.40 U.S.
intelligence was also informed that the Ustashi in Italy were active on the black market.41 Dragonovic may
also have personally profited from his illegal activities, charging refugees as much as $1,500 for false
documents and realizing $625 from each refugee he helped transport to Argentina.42
E. Postwar Changes in U.S. Policy Toward Croatian Ustasha War
Criminals and Escapees
In response to a number of Yugoslav Government requests in the latter half of 1945 to British and
U.S. authorities for the return of various Yugoslav nationals, including Croatians, for trial as war criminals,
traitors, and collaborators, the U.S. Government in October 1945 took the official position that it would
to Commanding General, MTOUSA, August 8, 1947, with marginal comment by Commanding General;
memoranda from CIC Special Agents Louis S. Caniglia and William E.W. Gowen to Officer in Charge,
CIC Rome Detachment, August 28 and September 12, 1947; memorandum to Officer in Charge, CIC
Rome Detachment, signed by Lieutenant Colonel G.F. Blunda, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, November 8,
1947, all in NARA, RG 319, Investigative Records Repository, CIC Dossier XE 00 11 09: Anton Pavelic.
36 Information Report, Subject: "Reported Arrival of Ante Pavelic in Argentina," December 2,
1948, CIA Operational Files.
37 Letter from Bigelow to Glasser, October 21, 1946, RG 226, Entry 183, Box 29, 1946.
38 Information Report, Subject: "Jugoslavia: Present Whereabouts of Former Ustashi Officials,"
October 11, 1946, CIA Operational Files.
39 CIG Intelligence Report, Subject: "Dr. Ante Pavelich," May 6, 1947, ibid. This is the same
report that described the alleged British Army seizure of two truckloads of bar gold from the fleeing
Croatian leaders when they reached Austria in early 1945.
40 Information Report, Subject: "The Organization of the Ustashis Abroad," November 4, 1946,
41 Information Report, October 16, 1950, ibid.
42 The Barbie Report, p. 140; Milano, pp. 52-54; Information Report, Subject: "Irregular Activity
of Krunoslav Dragonovic," October 1, 1953, CIA Operational Files. According to a March 1948 report of
the U.S. Military Attaché in Argentina (?), quoted in U.S. News & World Report, March 30, 1998, p. 36,
Ustasha refugees in Argentina were being assisted with funds in a Swiss bank.
comply with such Yugoslav Government requests provided that it made a "prima facie case of
collaboration with the enemy of war criminality" and provided that the individuals were not desired by the
Allied governments for trial as major criminals.43 During the succeeding months, U.S. and British
authorities handed back to Yugoslavia those Yugoslav nationals in their custody whose cases had been
individually examined and whose return by force had been duly authorized.44
The United States recognized the new Communist Government of Yugoslavia in December 1945,
and in the following months sought to develop friendly and supportive relations with the Tito regime. By
the latter half of 1946 and early 1947, U.S. policy toward the Yugoslav Government grew increasingly cool
as a result of the Yugoslav regime’s hostile actions, including harassment of U.S. Embassy personnel and
accusations of espionage, the arrest and trial of Yugoslav employees of the Embassy on charges of
espionage, attacks on unarmed U.S. aircraft over Yugoslavia, Yugoslav efforts to annex Trieste, and
Yugoslav unwillingness to settle outstanding claims of American citizens for confiscated property. The
brutality of the Yugoslav police and the manifest disregard of human rights violations also contributed to
the hardening of the U.S. attitude in other aspects of its relations with Yugoslavia.45
The U.S. Government also began to revise its policy on turning over Croatian Ustasha members to
the Yugoslav Government. In June 1946 the British Foreign Office proposed that all proved Ustashi found
in camps in Italy be surrendered to the Yugoslav authorities, whether or not their surrender had been
requested. The British felt that the Ustashi deserved no sympathy and that their surrender to Yugoslavia
would give the Communists less ground for complaining that the Chetniks in U.S.-British custody were not
being surrendered. Such action would also prevent the Ustashi in Allied detention from becoming a source
of embarrassment for the Italian Government once the Allies completed their imminent withdrawal from
Italy. The British proposed that Ustashi in displaced persons camps in Italy be removed to prisoner-of-war
camps, where they would be screened carefully, after which those whose membership in Ustasha
organizations was established beyond doubt would be surrendered to the Yugoslav authorities.46
The State Department approved the British proposal to surrender all proven members of the
Ustasha organization in Allied camps in Italy in June 1946, but no screening of Ustashi took place under
this policy before it was abandoned by the United States in favor of a more limited policy of return of
Ustashi.47 In response to Yugoslav Government complaints in September 1946 that U.S. and British
authorities in Germany were failing to turn over suspected war criminals, the United States informed
Belgrade in November 1946 that it continued to hold to its policy of returning individuals for whom prima
facie evidence had been provided, but found that Yugoslav Government requests increasingly were not
accompanied by sufficient means of identification or did not provide adequate details of the crimes
A new U.S. policy regarding the return to Yugoslavia of war criminals, collaborators, and others,
including Ustashi, was further defined in guidelines sent to American officials in Berlin, Vienna, Rome,
and Belgrade in January 1947. In the future Yugoslav requests for the return of collaborators would be
referred to Washington for screening and no persons would be surrendered who appeared wanted for
primarily political reasons. No persons would be turned over to Yugoslavia for war crimes prosecution if
they were to be tried in U.S. courts or if they were listed on the UN War Crimes Commission lists of war
43 Note from the Secretary of State to the Yugoslav Chargé, October 19, 1945, RG 59, Decimal
Files 1945-49, 740.00116-EW/8-2845.
44 Telegram 375 from the U.S. Political Adviser in Caserta (Anglo-American headquarters in
Italy), June 8, 1946, ibid., 860H.00/6-846.
45 Documentation on U.S. efforts to maintain friendly relations with Yugoslavia, assertion of the
rights and immunities of U.S. diplomatic personnel and American citizens in Yugoslavia, and negotiations
for the mutual restoration of property and settlement of claims is presented in Foreign Relations, 1946, vol.
VI, pp. 867 ff. and 1947, vol. IV, pp. 744 ff.
46 Telegrams 575, June 8, 1946, and 607, June 13, 1946, from the U.S. Political Adviser in
Caserta, RG 59, Decimal Files 1945-49, 860H.00/6-846 and 860H.00/6-2046.
47 Telegram 171 to the U.S. Political Adviser in Caserta, June 23, 1946, ibid., 860H.00/6-2046,
and telegram 513 from Belgrade, May 15, 1947, ibid., 740.00116-EW/5-1547.
48 Note from the Secretary of State to Yugoslav Ambassador, November 4, 1946, ibid., 740.00116-
criminals and unless the request for them was accompanied by a clear statement of the charge and sufficient
The changing policy of the United States on the return of war criminals and collaborators to
Yugoslavia was further elucidated with respect to the Ustashi in April 1947 when U.S. and British
diplomats presented to the Yugoslav Government notes explaining U.S.-British policy regarding the
surrender of Yugoslav "quislings" from Allied camps in Italy. The notes stated that the two governments
were "determined to apprehend and surrender to the Yugoslav Government all quislings requested by the
Yugoslav Government to whose surrender the two first named governments agree and who can be found in
camps under Allied control." An additional phrase, "and proved members of Ustashi," was deleted by
agreement of the State Department and British Foreign Office.50 The Department believed that the
Yugoslav Government was meting out unduly harsh treatment to its political opponents and using charges
of collaboration as a weapon in an increasingly severe campaign of repression against opposition elements.
The Department of State felt that commitments to surrender proven members of the Ustashi were no longer
necessarily applicable and withdrew its concurrence in the surrender of Ustashi as a group. The
Department told the British Embassy in May 1947:
"It is our belief that, in a matter involving so basic a humanitarian principle as the
protection of persons under our jurisdiction from victimization through the perversion of justice,
we cannot, in the light of our subsequent experience, be bound by earlier expressions of
The situation of the Yugoslav prisoners of war in Allied camps in Italy caused increasing concern
for Britain and the United States by early 1947. Allied troops left in Italy were insufficient to control the
Yugoslav prisoners, who numbered 21,000 in British camps alone. The Allies feared that the Yugoslavs in
these camps, including many Ustasha war criminals, would be turned over to the Italian Government when
the Italian Peace Treaty was signed later in 1947. In April 1947 the British Government announced that
there were still about 10,000 displaced persons in Italy under U.S.-British responsibility, of whom 7,000
were Yugoslavs, including 77 Yugoslav quislings and traitors. Of these, 22 were turned over to
Communist Yugoslav authorities. Also in April 7,000 former Chetnik Yugoslav soldiers were transferred
to the British zone of occupation of Germany, and by June the Yugoslav Government in Belgrade claimed
that, of 950 Yugoslav nationals that it had requested the Allies to turn over, fewer than 50 had actually been
F. Tracking the Fate of the Wartime Ustasha Treasury
U.S. official historical records have thus far yielded only an imperfect understanding of the fate of
the wartime Ustasha treasury, including the gold and valuables stolen from the Jewish, Serb, and Sinti-
Romani victims of the Ustasha ethnic cleansing policies and the German deportations and murders of Jews
and others. A full accounting of the events of the Ustasha period in Croatia and the postwar flight of its
leaders, funded to some extent by the remains of the Ustasha treasury, has to be found in the archives of
other nations and possibly the Vatican.53
49 Telegram 213 to the U.S. Political Adviser in Berlin, January 27, 1947, ibid., 740.00116-EW/1-
1547. Printed in Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. IV, p. 753.
50 Despatch 783 from Belgrade, April 9, 1947, RG 59, Decimal Files 1945-49, 740.00116-EW/4-
947; telegram 17 from Belgrade, March 11, 1947, ibid., 740.00116-EW/2-1447, and telegram 177 to
Belgrade, March 28, 1947, ibid., 860H.00/3-2847.
51 Memorandum from Walworth Barbour (Office of European Affairs) to Solly-Flood of the
British Embassy, May 19, 1947, ibid., 740.00116-EW/5-547.
52 Telegram 13l7 from Belgrade, February 14, 1947, telegram 733 from Rome, April 4, 1947, and
telegram 714 from Belgrade, June 26, 1947, Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. IV, pp. 762 and 784;
memorandum from Solly-Flood to Barbour, June 14, 1947, RG 59, Decimal Files 1945-49, 740.0011-
EW/6-1447. A significant portion of the documentary record in official U.S. and British records for 1945,
1946, and 1947 is elaborated in some detail and provides the basis for a journalistic, and sometimes
speculative, account of the changing U.S. and British policies toward the apprehension of Croatian Ustasha
quislings and collaborators and their return to Yugoslavia in Aarons and Loftus, Unholy Trinity, pp. 70-87
(pp. 304-308 for documentary citations).
53 At the December 1997 London Conference on Nazi Gold, Ian F. Hancock of the International
Romani Union, issued a statement that noted that "scholarship on the Romani victims of the Holocaust is in
At the London Conference on Nazi Gold held in December 1997, the Croatian delegation reported
on the work thus far of the special commission "created to investigate historic facts about the property of
Nazi victims and "to finally establish facts related to the property seized by the Nazis from States or
individuals and to review measures taken so far and those to be taken in the future with an aim of returning
or compensating this property." The Croatian delegation reported that the work of the special commission
will be facilitated by the fact that "the 1941-1945 archives have been largely preserved." The present
Croatian State Archives contains extensive materials on the Holocaust in Croatia and Jewish property in
particular, including the results of pilot archival project carried out by the Croatian State Archives between
1978 and 1985 and based on 7,027 archive boxes and 67 boxes of files that established a register of 40,000
Fascist victims and anti-Fascist fighters (including 6,537 Jews) killed in concentrations camps and
prisons.54 An estimated 1,000 to 1,200 Holocaust survivors "eligible for compensation" remained in
The Croatian delegation also informed the London conferees that the gold reserve of the Croatian
Ustasha regime consisted of 45 cases of gold of unknown or unstated value. Thirteen cases of gold were
"taken abroad on 7 May 1945," and 32 cases of gold were "hidden" in the Franciscan Monastery in Zagreb
until February 1946 when it was "handed over to the National Bank of Yugoslavia, Zagreb Branch Office,
Department for People’s Property of the Government Presidency of the People’s Republic of Croatia." The
Croatian delegation stated that there were 22 lists specifying the gold, but the lists have not been found, and
further documentation regarding the gold was assumed to be with the National Bank of Yugoslavia. The
delegation concluded, on the basis of documents in the archive of the Jewish community of Zagreb, "as
well as those kept elsewhere in Croatia," that the gold and jewelry taken from Jews in Croatia up to the end
of October 1941 amounted to 1,065 kilograms (worth more than $1.2 million).55
There is some evidence that at least part of the Croat Foreign Ministry archives was sent to the
Vatican at the end of the War.56 In his memoirs, James V. Milano, Commander of the 430th Counter
Intelligence Detachment of the U.S. Army’s Counter Intelligence Corps, admits to the wholesale
destruction of records relating to the operation of the Army’s rat-line and his dealings with the Croat
There are other possible sources of historical information on the fate of the Croatian State treasury.
Most if not all of the Croatian Ustasha leaders and soldiers who fled the approaching Partisan forces in
April and May 1945 escaped through the British zone of occupation of Austria. British military and
intelligence records may be able to describe Ustasha activities in occupied Austria, including the transport
of any of the Croatian treasury. Swiss banking records may contain additional information beyond what
has already been published regarding the movement of gold and other assets from the Ustasha treasury.
Ustasha gold may also have been sequestered in private or commercial accounts that escaped the notice of
postwar auditors. Perhaps the best documentation for the wartime activities of the Ustashi lies in the
archives of the Independent State of Croatia, if the records still exist. Examination of these records would
help in determining the amount of victim gold stolen by the Ustasha regime and establishing its disposition
its infancy." He pointed out that it is almost impossible to identify the amount of personal wealth stolen by
the Nazis from the Romani people, and that even the total number of Romani victims of the Holocaust is
54 The Croatian delegation explained that an agreement had been concluded with the U.S.
Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington regarding the duplication of this material.
55 Statement by the Croatian delegation to the London Conference on Nazi Gold, December 2-4,
1997. The British Government, which convened the conference, plans to publish the full record of the
conference in 1998.
56 Historical experts at the Vatican have pointed out that at his war crimes trial in the autumn of
1946 in Zagreb, evidence was produced that Archbishop Stepinac of Zagreb had received the Croatian
Foreign Ministry records at the end of the War. Vladimir Dedijer, The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the
Vatican: The Croatian Massacre of the Serbs During World War II (Buffalo, N.Y., 1992), pp. 414-416,
includes a photocopy of a receipt showing that Archbishop Stepinac received eight sealed boxes from the
Croatian Foreign Ministry at the end of the War. Dedijer, at one time prominently associated with the Titoled
Communist regime of Yugoslavia, asserts that these boxes were somehow transported to Rome,
presumably to College of San Girolamo. Dedijer further speculates that the boxes contained gold from
victims of the Ustasha murderers.
57 Milano, pp. 220-221.
at the end of the War. The bulk of the Ustasha Croat State archives, however, apparently remain within the
territory of the former State of Yugoslavia, where they are presently unavailable to Western researchers.
An examination of the documentation prepared by the Communist regime for the September-
October 1946 war crimes trial in Zagreb might give an indication of what might available, but this
documentation would be incomplete and, given the highly political nature of the trials, could be used only
with caution. The trial, which resulted in the conviction of Croatian priests and others, was extensively
covered in the Zagreb newspaper Vjesnik, and facsimiles of hundreds of archival documents from the
wartime Croatian government were published after the trial.58 The extensiveness of the documentation
indicates the documentary resources available to the Communist prosecutors at the Zagreb trial, but does
not give confidence of the objectivity of its use. The published record included testimony alleging the
existence of gold stolen from the victims of Ustasha arrest and the concealment of Croatian foreign affairs
records after the War at the Zagreb bishopric.
In addition to the evidence of covert Ustasha activity inside the College of San Girolamo, there is
the question of the attitude of the Papal administration. During World War II, the reigning Pope, Pius XII,
maintained a studied neutrality that has been the subject of considerable historical controversy. His attitude
toward the Croat Catholics inside the College of San Girolamo and elsewhere has also been the subject of
much speculation. Although no evidence has been found to directly implicate the Pope or his advisers in
the postwar activities of the Ustashi in Italy, it seems unlikely that they were entirely unaware of what was
going on. Vatican authorities have told us they have not found any records that could shed light on the
Ustasha gold question. More information on the Ustashi and any treasury they may have carried with them
into exile may exist in the archives of the Argentine security services, and might emerge from ongoing
research by the Argentine Historical Commission. The existence of a long-standing Croat-Ustasha
community in Argentina almost certainly attracted the attention of the Argentine security services before,
during, and after the War.
58 Joza Horvat, ed. Djokumenti o Protunarodnom Radu i Zlocinima Jednog Dijela Katolickog
Klera (Zagreb, 1946).
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
FTR #532 Interview with John Loftus

Posted by FTR ⋅ November 15, 2005

about Unholy Trinity and Intelligence Summit
Recorded November 6, 2005
In this interview with the heroic John Loftus, we revisit the subjects of the Vatican Bank and the Vatican’s long involvement with fascism. After discussing a summit that John is helping to arrange between members of the intelligence community and members of the general public to discuss the war on terror, the program focuses on John’s landmark book Unholy Trinity and a lawsuit he helped to file against the Vatican Bank for looting the wealth of Holocaust victims, aiding the escape of Nazi war criminals, and using the stolen money and the fugitives to wage covert operations during the Cold War. In Unholy Trinity, John (and his co-author Mark Aarons) document a long history of collusion between the Vatican and Nazi Germany, going back to the immediate aftermath of World War I. After investing millions of dollars in German (later Nazi) industry, the Vatican collaborated with U.S. corporate interests to safeguard the Nazi treasury, spiriting the wealth out of Europe after the War. This capital was recycled back to Germany in the 1950’s and was used to fund the so-called “German economic miracle”—that country’s economic revival. (Veteran listeners will recognize this concatenation’s position within the constellation of the Bormann flight-capital program.) Much of the program focuses on the Vatican’s “Ratlines”—the escape networks that were set up to help fugitive Nazis escape justice. Many of the most notorious Nazi war criminals escaped with the help of this network, which was operated with the knowledge and blessings of the highest officials of the Church.
Program Highlights Include: The decades-long collaboration between the Vatican and the powerful Wall Street law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell in protecting their mutual investment in Nazi industry; the history of US corporate investments in Nazi Germany; the involvement of Western (including American) intelligence agencies in the operation of the Ratlines; the role of Argentine dictator Juan Peron in the exodus of Nazi capital and fugitive war criminals from Europe; the role of the World Commerce Corporation in the flight of Nazi wealth from Europe after the war; the sheltering of some of the worst Nazi criminals in the Pope’s summer residence at Castelgandolfo; the continuing cover-up by the government of Argentina in that country’s conspiracy to aid fugitive Nazis; the continuing cover-up by Vatican related elements in Italy of the true extent of Church complicity in the escape of fugitive Nazis; the channeling of Vatican money to Hitler in 1919; the role of Popes Pius XII and Paul VI in the Vatican/Nazi conspiracy.
1. The broadcast begins with John’s discussion of a project with which he’s involved called “Intelligence Summit.” This is a meeting scheduled for Presidents’ Day Weekend in 2006 in Washington D.C. Bringing together elements of the intelligence communities of numerous countries, the gathering offers the opportunity for members of the working press and the general public to share information with these intelligence professionals, and vice versa. The only stipulation is that non-intelligence attendees cannot divulge the information that they learn there anywhere else. For more information, see:
2. The balance of the program consists of discussion and analysis of John’s book Unholy Trinity: The Vatican, The Nazis and the Swiss Banks (co-authored with Mark Aarons.) Before discussing the book, we noted the reinstatement of a lawsuit for which John was the intelligence adviser. Note that the lawsuit was reinstated by an American appellate court at the same time as Cardinal Ratzinger was appointed Pope. (For more about the Pope’s interesting background, see FTR#508.) “A federal appeals court stepped into the controversy over the Catholic Church’s relations with Nazi regimes during World War II on Monday, reinstating a lawsuit by Holocaust survivors against the Vatican Bank for allegedly profiting from property looted by the Ustasha puppet government in Croatia. . . .”
[URL=""](“Court Revives Suit Against Vatican Bank” by Bob Egelko; San Francisco Chronicle; 4/19/2005; p. A6.)
3. “ . . . The Ustasha took power in Croatia after the German invasion in 1941 and established death camps in which as many as 700,000 people, mostly Serbs, were killed, according to a U.S. government report cited by the court. A separate State Department report said Ustasha leaders found sanctuary in a papal institution in Rome after the war, with a treasury of over $80 million. The suit claims much of the money had been stolen from Serbs, Jews, Gypsies, Ukrainians and others under Ustasha domination and was kept in the Vatican Bank, where it was used in part to finance the relocation of Nazi fugitives. [Italics are Mr. Emory’s.] The plaintiffs—who seek class-action status on behalf of all those affected—want restitution of their losses and any profits gained by the bank. . . .” (Idem.)
4. After discussing John’s lawsuit, the program highlights Unholy Trinity. Barred from writing about the Vatican/Nazi/intelligence connections because of his high security clearances, John and associates recruited a young man of Croatian heritage, who spoke fluent Serbo-Croatian. Posing as a young Ustashi enthusiast, he was able to interview some of the surviving villains of the Vatican/Croatian/Nazi collaboration. Thinking him to be a kindred soul, they “spilled the beans” into a tape-recorded microphone. With the veil of secrecy having been thus breached, John received clearance to go ahead with the publication of his book.
5. Next, the program turns to discussion of the genesis of the Nazi/Vatican Bank connection, which is at the foundation of Loftus’ lawsuit. The story begins with the Webb/Pomerene act—a loophole in the American anti-trust legislation that legalizes the formation of cartels (international monopolies.) In possession of the tremendous wealth of the U.S. boom that began with World War I and continued through the 1920’s, the “Robber Barons” of the American power elite were free to network with their counterparts abroad (chiefly in Germany and Japan) in order to monopolize international world trade. “ . . . The 1920’s and early 1930’s were a profitable time for American investors in Germany. The break-up of the American cartels at the end of the nineteenth century, followed by Teddy Roosevelt’s ‘trust-busting’ legislation in the 1910’s, induced the early multinational corporations to seek a more friendly clime offshore. Germany not only permitted cartels and vertical monopolies, it encouraged them as a means to rebuild its industrial might after the devastation of World War I and the Versailles reparations.” (Unholy Trinity; p. 291.)
6. “Moreover, from the late 1920’s the German economy, although cash poor, was scientifically advanced. As the Weimar Republic began to disintegrate under the weight of internal chaos and external greed, German scientists, sponsored by German corporations, led the world in research in physics, chemistry, and biology. So esteemed was the German intellectual edge at the end of the 1920’s that American scientists who wished to make their mark would take their advanced degree at a German university.” (Idem.)
7. “Effectively, Germany had a virtual high-tech monopoly on advanced production techniques, rigidly reinforced through a system of worldwide patents that gave it a decided advantage. If the Du Pont Corporation, for example, wanted a license for chemical processes, it had to deal with Berlin.” (Idem.)
8. At the epicenter of the Nazi money/Vatican/Robber Baron connection is Sullivan & Cromwell, the powerful white-shoe law firm, whose best known partners were Allen and John Foster Dulles. (Under President Eisenhower, Allen Dulles became CIA director, while John Foster became Secretary of State.) As discussed in (among other programs) FTR#361, Allen Dulles handled the Bush family’s investments in Nazi Germany. “Sullivan & Cromwell’s American clients, in turn, had something that the Germans wanted badly: gold. Under the Versailles Treaty, Germany had to pay its reparations to the Allies in gold bullion. In 1924, Sullivan & Cromwell stepped into the breach with the ingenious Dawes Plan. In its simplest form, the Dulles brothers’ clients would loan gold to Germany, so that it could repay its reparations to France and Britain, which would then recycle the American gold to repay their war loans to America. It was a crazy merry-go-round, but it worked.” (Ibid.; pp. 291-292.)
9. “The attraction for Sullivan & Cromwell’s clients was that the Germans paid off the original American gold loans with stock in German corporations. Unlike the hyperinflated Deutsch mark, German stocks and bonds were far from worthless, as they were backed by the very patents and trade secrets that American industry so desperately sought. With the crash of 1929, the American economy went into the Great Depression, but simultaneously Sullivan & Cromwell’s clients poured billions into the German economy. For example, John Foster Dulles’s legal records show that he handled the transfer of $10 billion worth of gold in return for German bonds and investments. By some estimates, 70 percent of the money that went to rebuild the German economy after World War I came from Wall Street investors, most of whom sought the legal counsel of Sullivan & Cromwell. . . .” (Idem.)
10. “ . . . The secret strings of German investment were held by American lawyers sitting on the boards of German banks and corporations. Allen Dulles, for example, sat on the board of the Schroder Bank, with offices in London, New York, and Berlin. Ostensibly owned by a prominent German banking family, the real controllers were Sullivan & Cromwell’s clients. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 293.)
11. Next, the program highlights the genesis of the Vatican/Nazi money connection, which was central to the realization of the American/Nazi money-go-round. Archbishop Eugenio Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII) was the Papal Nuncio to Munich Germany. He gave Vatican money to Hitler in 1919 to fight communism in Germany. Following the Lateran Treaty of 1929 between the Vatican and Mussolini’s fascist government in Italy, the large financial windfall the Vatican obtained from Mussolini was invested in German heavy industry. (For more on the Vatican/Nazi money link, see RFA#’s 17-21, available from Spitfire.) “ . . . Sullivan & Cromwell’s clients were not the only foreign investors in Germany, nor were they the only ones to hedge their bets by making small donations to the infant Nazi party. Following the $26 million cash settlement with Mussolini over disputed lands in 1929, the Vatican invested nearly all the proceeds in German industry, but at least one small investment was made in the Nazis as well. The following incident was reported by an eyewitness, Sister Pascalina, a nun who was the personal aide (and devoted admirer) of the Papal Nuncio in Munich and the man who would become Pope Pius XII on the eve of World War II: ‘Hitler came one night to the holy residence of Archbishop Eugenio Pacelli (later Pius XII). All others in the household were asleep by then, except [Sister] Pascalina . . . . Hitler told Pacelli that he was out to check the spread of atheistic communism. . . . It did not come as a surprise to her, therefore, in light of Pacelli’s hatred of the Reds, to see the prelate present Hitler with a large cache of Church money to aid the rising revolutionary and his small struggling band of anti-communists.’ . . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 294-295.)
12. After taking power, Hitler passed laws rendering the Western industrialist/Nazi money links more opaque. This eventuality cemented the partnership between the Nazis, the Vatican and the U.S. money men—a connection that was to prove central to the postwar laundering of Nazi wealth, as well as its recycling back to drive the German “economic miracle” of the 1950’s. “ . . . It is no coincidence that the Swiss passed a law in 1934 making disclosure of Swiss bank accounts a crime. In the same year, Sullivan & Cromwell officially closed its Berlin office. From 1934, Switzerland was the center of the Dulles brothers’ operations. With so much of its own holdings tied up in Nazi Germany, the Vatican had little option but to adopt the same course.” (Ibid.; p. 295.)
13. The realization of the Vatican/Nazi/U.S. financial axis was completed with the implementation of the IOR—the Vatican Bank. “The Holy See devised a special shield to help protect it from the looming international conflict—its own financial institution, the Vatican Bank. This was the one monetary entity in the world that was completely immune from outside audits, protected by Vatican sovereignty, and with the added convenience of diplomatic immunity. During the War, the Dulles brothers and the Vatican were drawn into a symbiotic relationship: Sullivan & Cromwell’s investors needed the Vatican Bank to launder their profits under the watchful eyes of both the Nazis and their own governments, while the Vatican needed the Dulles brothers to protect its own investments in Hitler’s Germany. . . .” (Idem.)
14. The program sets forth the manner in which Allen Dulles, the Vatican and the Third Reich helped recycle the Nazi wealth from Europe to Argentina, and then back to Germany. (For more on how this relationship worked, as well as how this concatenation fits into the context of the Bormann flight capital program and Underground Reich, see FTR#’s 504, 508. Some of the actual documents proving the Dulles and Bush family collaboration with the postwar Nazi/Argentine money axis are available at: For more about the Bormann flight capital program see: “ . . . Few who watch the film Evita would recognize that the Peron family of Argentina worked directly with the Croatian Ustashi to establish a pipeline from the Vatican Bank. As recounted earlier in this book, Ante Pavelic himself, the Croatian Nazi leader, moved to Buenos Aires and became a ‘security adviser’ to the Perons. Laundered through the ‘untraceable’ Vatican Bank, the Nazi treasure moved from Switzerland to South America. There the stolen funds were invested in a number of Argentine businesses whose lawyer was, of course, Allen Dulles.” (Ibid.; p. 300.)
15. Among the vehicles used in the Vatican-assisted Nazi flight capital was the World Commerce Corporation. Featuring former OSS chief William Donovan and former British head of intelligence for North American William Stephenson, this organization epitomized the synthesis of business and espionage. For more about the WCC, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 504, 508. “As the final act of the money laundering, Dulles created the World Commerce Corporation to revive trade between Argentina and West Germany. On its board were such notables as William Donovan of US intelligence, and William Stephenson of British intelligence. During the 1950’s, much of the stolen proceeds were laundered back to Germany for the great economic revival of West Germany.” (Idem.)
16. “In the end, the money went back to the original German companies and their Western investors. It is not Swiss bank accounts that we should be tracing; it is the stock ownership of the Swiss banks. There lies the last and perhaps the ugliest secret of World War II. And therein lies the major culpability of the Vatican in the relations with Hitler’s Germany: without the Vatican’s investments in the Third Reich there could not have been the motive to provide the means to smuggle the Nazis’ plundered loot from Switzerland through the Vatican Bank. . . .” (Idem.)
17. Next, the program turns to the subject of the “Ratlines”—the Vatican Nazi-smuggling effort conducted in conjunction with elements of Western (and U.S.) intelligence. Some of the most important Nazis escaped via the Vatican network, including Adolph Eichmann, the supervisor of the extermination of the Jews. In addition to Pius XII himself, Cardinal Montini (later Pope Paul VI), Bishop Alois Hudal and Father Kunoslav Draganovic oversaw the networks. One of the principal Nazi figures in setting up the Ratlines was Walter Rauff, who devised the mobile gas chambers during the war. Rauff, in turn, worked with SS officer Friedrich Schwendt, who oversaw Operation Bernhard and Operation Wendig (“Window”), the forging of British pound notes in order to destroy the British war economy and finance the Ratlines. (For more about the Ratlines, see RFA#17, available from Spitfire. The Ratlines are also discussed in FTR#’s 504, 508, 529. The roles of Pius XII [Eugenio Pacelli] and Montini [later and better known as Pope Paul VI] are discussed in these For The Record shows as well.) “ . . . Following the collapse of Mussolini’s regime in September 1943, Rauff was dispatched to northern Italy where he served with the SS in the region around Genoa, Turin and Milan. Once again, his assignment was the extermination of the Jewish population. It was during this period that Hudal made contact with this notorious mass murderer. The genesis of Hudal’s and Rauff’s friendship is something of a mystery. Alfred Jarschel, a former Nazi Youth leader, claims that Rauff first met Hudal in the spring of 1943, when Deputy Fuhrer Martin Bormann sent him to Rome for six months without any apparent mission. This was at a time when the Reich desperately needed senior officers of Rauff’s experience and caliber as the war’s outcome still hung in the balance. Jarschel believes ‘that the first contacts with the Vatican were established during those months, which were to lead eventually to the setting up of Hudal’s escape network.’” (Ibid.; pp. 33-34.)
18. “The time was fast approaching when it would be needed. By early 1944 when the Allies landed in Sicily, even Hudal could see that Hitler’s ‘Thousand Year Reich’ was doomed. As long as the Nazi Armies were winning, he had proudly driven around Rome with a ‘Greater Germany’ flag on his car; but when the Allies arrived in the Italian capital in June of 1944, Hudal ‘was the first to change it—suddenly his flag was Austrian.’” (Ibid.; p. 34.)
19. “ . . . There were many dramatic changes in the Vatican as well, one of which may have played a crucial role in the development of Hudal’s escape network. In August 1944, Cardinal Maglione died. Pius XII decided not to appoint a new Secretary of State, reassuming personal responsibility for foreign policy. From that time, Monsignors Tardini and Montini worked directly for the Pope. Ladislas Farago claimed in his controversial book, Aftermath, that this decision ‘was Hudal’s entrée to the highest echelon of the Holy See.’ Farago argues that Hudal had been on the outs with Maglione, relying on infrequent contact with the Pope himself to influence Vatican policy. But now he ‘acquired a friend in the Secretariat of State.’” (Idem.)
20. “Maglione’s death suddenly left Giovanni Montini in charge of Pontifical Assistance to refugees, opening the door for Hudal’s plans. Farago claims that it was Montini who allowed Hudal access to Vatican passports and other identity and travel documents, which he then used to aid his Nazi friends. At the same time Hudal allegedly developed good contacts with another important Vatican bureau under Montini’s control. This was the Pontifical Commission for Assistance, which was concerned with work among refugees. One of its major roles was issuing travel documents to legitimate refugees. Finally, Farago alleged that Montini gave Hudal access to Caritas International, a Catholic charity which paid living and traveling expenses to help genuine refugees. . . .There is some circumstantial evidence in the American diplomatic records to support the claim that Montini was deliberately aiding Hudal’s Nazi-smuggling. . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 34-35.)
21. “ . . . In fact, Dragonovic was widely known among Western intelligence operatives as the ‘Balkan grey eminence.’ This was a standing joke among both American and British officers, in whose circles Draganovic moved freely. This was also confirmed by Simcic, who was certain that Draganovic had direct contact with British, American and Italian intelligence. The former British officer was also emphatic that ‘you can almost talk about interlocking directorships between Western intelligence and the Vatican at this period.’” (Ibid.; p. 114.)
22. “It is no coincidence that Rauff’s ‘Mr. Dulles’ later became Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, or that James Jesus Angleton became head of CIA Counter Intelligence. Throughout Angleton’s career he retained exclusive control over American intelligence liaison with the Vatican. Whatever the American motive, it is incontestable that Rauff was released from custody and returned to his flat in Milan.” (Ibid.; p. 39.)
23. “According to the French publication Cercle Noir, Rauff made contact with Archbishop Siri of Genoa, and immediately went to work for the Vatican in establishing a Nazi-smuggling system. Apart from his high level American and Vatican contacts, Rauff’s main contribution to Hudal’s smuggling system may have been financial. The man who once can the mobile gas truck program now became a money launderer, with the help of Frederico Schwendt, Rauff’s former SS colleague. Schwendt is considered among the greatest counterfeiters in history, having forged millions of banknotes during the war as part of an SS operation codenamed Wendig.” (Idem.)
24. “The original intention was to undermine and possibly destroy the Allied economies, but as the war was drawing to a close, Schwendt laundered the counterfeit money through various banks for the first Nazi escape network. Wiesenthal claims that Schwendt turned the proceeds over to his old comrade, Walter Rauff.” (Idem.)
25. “However Jarschel has a slightly different version. He claims that Hudal contacted Rauff in July 1945, asking him to come to Rome for a secret meeting. This proved impossible, so Hudal suggested that Rauff travel instead to Genoa and contact the newly appointed and strongly anti-Communist Archbishop Siri, another key player in the Nazi-smuggling operation. Rauff went to Genoa and was received by one of Siri’s private secretaries. Jarschel alleges that he was given a sizeable sum of money and a Red Cross passport with a valid visa for Syria. He then returned to Milan and established the escape network.” (Idem.)
26. “Perhaps the truth is somewhere in between: Rauff probably used Siri’s money to augment the proceeds from the counterfeit laundering operation. Jarschel and Cercle Noir both agree that over the next four years some of the most wanted Nazi war criminals passed from Rauff in Milan, to Bishop Hudal at the Anima in Rome and then on to Archbishop Siri in Genoa. Here they boarded ships and left for new lives in South America. . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 39-40.)
27. One of the most heinous Nazis who escaped with the help of the Vatican was Ante Pavelic, head of the brutal Croatian Ustashi government in World War II. Before fleeing to Argentina (where he became an aide to Juan Peron), Pavelic was actually physically sheltered in Castelgandolfo, the Pope’s summer residence. “. . . From a very confidential source, American intelligence had discovered in May 1946 that the Poglavnik was living ‘close to Rome in a building which is under the jurisdiction of the Vatican.’ This was soon after Pavelic had first arrived in Rome from Austria, and it is now known that the Poglavnik, like Ferenc Vajta, actually took refuge at Castelgandolfo, where the Pope’s summer residence is located. It seems that many Nazis gravitated to Castelgandolfo, for Pavelic was housed with a former Minister in the Nazi Romanian government. [Italics are Mr. Emory’s.]” (Ibid.; p. 78.)
28. Next, the program sets forth documentation of the veracity of the plaintiffs’ charges in the aforementioned lawsuit against the Vatican Bank. The Vatican “ratlines”—the Church’s Nazi escape networks—were presided over by Bishop Alois Hudal and Father Draganovic (the “Golden Priest”). Draganovic helped to spirit the Ustashi plunder out of Yugoslavia as well. In the immediate aftermath of the war, the Ustashi loot was used, in part, to finance a guerilla war against the Yugoslavian regime. These reconstructed Ustashis were termed “Krizari”—Crusaders. The Krizari campaign was administered by British intelligence, which assisted the Vatican with the exodus of the Ustashi plunder. Again, the “Pavelic” referred to in the following passage was Ante Pavelic, the Fuhrer of the Ustacha regime, who became a trusted adviser to Argentine dictator Juan Peron after the war. “ . . . With the help of Catholic priests, Pavelic had begun to transfer large quantities of gold and currency to Switzerland in early 1944. Some of the treasure had been taken to Italy by British Lieutenant Colonel Jonson to finance the Krizari forces. Another portion went to Rome with Draganovic and also ended up financing the terrorist network.” (Ibid.; p. 132.)
29. “But over 2,400 kilos of gold and other valuables still remained secreted in Berne. It was supposed to be used to ‘aid refugees of the Catholic religion’, but was really earmarked for the Ustashi’s clandestine operations. Although the Allies had temporarily prevented them from gaining access to these funds, by early 1948 the time had come to use the Church to retrieve the loot.” (Idem.)
30. “In Berne, Rozman’s Ustashi friends were engaged in wholesale fraud, using the black market to convert the gold into dollars, and later, into Austrian schillings. ‘Aid to the refugees is accounted for at the official rate of exchange for dollars,’ the American officers noted, adding that ‘malpractices have been carried on (officially, the dollar is worth 10 schillings; on the black market, 100 to 150). According to reliable information: ‘Rozman is going to Berne to take care of these finances. The money is in a Swiss bank, and he plans to have most of it sent through to Italy and from there to the Ustashis in [the] Argentine.’” (Ibid.; pp. 132-133.)
31. “A short time later Rozman duly arrived in Berne, accompanied by Bishop Ivan Saric, the ‘hangman’ of Sarajevo. By the end of May 1948, Rozman had apparently carried out this money laundering operation for the Ustashi, for the visited the U.S. Consulate in Zurich and was given a ‘non-quota immigration visa as a minister of religion.’ He then traveled to the United States and settled in Cleveland, Ohio. The circle was now almost complete. Pavelic’s stolen ‘treasure’ had been tracked down through close monitoring of the movements and activities of the quisling Bishop of Ljubljana. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 133.)
32. “William Gowen and his CIC colleagues had started to unravel Britain’s role in the Krizari’s operations during their hunt for Ante Pavelic in 1947. As already discussed, they soon discovered that the Vatican was sheltering Pavelic, with the connivance of the British Secret Intelligence Service. In the course of establishing this, Gowen also confirmed sensational claims made by Ferenc Vajta. It will be recalled that the American’s Hungarian Nazi contact had told him that SIS was behind the military and political revival of the Ustashi.” (Ibid.; p. 122.)
33. “Gowen investigated the Krizari’s finances and soon uncovered the unsavory truth: their money came partly from the ‘treasure’ which ‘Pavelic’s henchmen’ had carried out of Croatia. According to Gowen, the Ustashi had fled with a large number of truckloads of this stolen booty. When the British SIS apprehended Pavelic in Austria in may 1945, they also picked up some of his loot. Gowen believed that the following story of what really happened was ‘closest to the truth’: ‘British Lt. Colonel Jonson was placed in charge of two (2) trucks laden with the supposed property of the Catholic Church in the British Zone of Austria. These two (2) trucks, accompanied by a number of priests and the British officer, then entered Italy and went to an unknown destination.’” (Ibid.; p. 123.)
34. “Major Stephen Clissold confirmed that two such Ustashi ‘treasure trucks’ had indeed reached Austria. Not surprisingly, Clissold did not mention the British role in removing them to Italy, claiming instead that they ‘were deposited in the safe-keeping of a monastery,’ but Gowen was certain that the British were now using it to finance ‘the Croat resistance movement in Yugoslavia. The resistance forces . . . go by the name of Krizari (Crusaders) . . . Radio contact is maintained by means of a field radio operated by Vrancic, a former Pavelic minister located in the British Zone of Austria. The Ustashia courier service within the Austrian Zones is believed aided by the Roman Catholic Church in Austria. The Cardinal of Graz is known to be on close terms with . . . Professor Draganovic, Krunoslav, known Pavelic contact in Rome.’” (Idem.)
35. “Yet again, Western intelligence found that Father Draganovic was at the center of the Ustashi’s clandestine activities. Indeed, he was widely known in Western intelligence and émigré circles as ‘the golden priest’ because he controlled a large part of the stolen treasure. Although Colonel Jonson had taken away two truckloads in 1945, this was only a fraction of Pavelic’s loot.” (Idem.)
36. “Four hundred kilos of gold, worth millions of dollars, and a considerable amount of foreign currency had been secreted at Wolfsberg, where it was under the control of former Ustashi Minister, Lovro Susic. Draganovic discovered this from senior Ustashi officials during his visit to Austria in mid-1945. They were apparently determined to maintain some independence from the British, who they feared would seize the gold, so they asked Draganovic to save it. The priest was only too willing to oblige, for he contacted Susic and with his agreement took forty kilos of gold bars to Rome, concealed in two packing cases. There is no doubt about Draganovic’s close connections with the Ustashi hierarchy in this money laundering scheme. . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 123-124.)
37. Another of the Croatian war criminals who benefited from the Ratline was Srecko Rover. In the 1990’s, Rover returned to Croatia to become an adviser to the “new” Croatian government in its atrocities committed against Serbs and Bosnian Muslims. (For more about the Croatian Ustashis and their influence on the “new” Croatian government, see—among other programs, FTR#48.) “It is no coincidence that Pavelic’s lieutenant Srecko Rover—whose roles in the brutal atrocities in and around Sarajevo during World War II and in the British intelligence terrorist networks of the late 1940’s are documented in Chapter Six of this book—has given Tudjman’s government specialist advice on how to conduct a good massacre. Nor is it a coincidence that Rover, and his Ustashi comrades who were smuggled down the Vatican Ratlines to Argentina, America, Canada, Australia, and Britain, trained a new generation of Western-educated Croatian war criminals who left their adopted countries to slaughter Serbs and Muslims in the 1990’s Balkans wars.” (Ibid.; p. xvi.)
38. Next, the program turned to an invitation that John Loftus received to attend an event in Argentina, supposedly to help shed light on Nazi war criminals and their exodus to Argentina. This occurred in the immediate aftermath of Loftus’s role in aiding the discovery and extradition of Nazi war criminal Eric Priebke, the perpetrator of the Adreatine Caves massacre in Rome during World War II. Priebke was among the Nazis who benefitted from the Ratline. (For more about Priebke, see FTR#6.)“ . . . Suddenly, John Loftus, one of the authors of this book, received an invitation from the Menem government to come to Buenos Aires to address an International Seminar on anti-Semitism. It did not take long to discover why: the Argentine government wanted him to talk about Nazis in America., to take the sting away from the Nazis in Argentina. The conference turned out to be a public relations effort to gloss over the dark side of Juan and Evita Peron’s role in providing Argentine visas to the Vatican to smuggle Nazis out of Europe, which we document later in this book. Several speakers minimized the presence of Nazis in Argentina, defended the Perons, and praised President Menem for his courageous decision to open Argentina’s immigration files for inspection.” (Ibid.; p. xiii.)
39. Note that the Menem government continued to mask the truth about the extent of Nazi involvement with Argentina. Note, also, that Priebke continued to be sheltered by powerful elements, who did not want the truth about the Ratlines and the complicity of those who participated to emerge. “ . . . As this book shows, Juan and Evita Peron had welcomed some of the worst Nazi mass murderers of World War II, including Ante Pavelic, the leader of the ‘independent’ state of Croatia. Pavelic and nearly the entire cabinet of his bloody Ustashi government had emigrated via the Vatican to Buenos Aires, where Peron promptly made Pavelic one of his senior ‘security advisers.’ Even the carefully presented facts did move the Menem government. Months passed, and it seemed that Priebke would suffer little more than ‘protective’ custody under the benevolent eye of the Argentinians. Eventually, however, they had to hand Priebke over in the wake of an almost unprecedented international campaign.” (Ibid.; pp. xiii-xiv.)
40. “Several of our intelligence sources warned us that Priebke was still being protected. He knew too much about the Vatican’s Ratlines to Argentina to ever be permitted to stand trial. Amazingly, the Italian military tribunal acquitted Priebke on a technicality. The people of Rome dimmed the lights of the city in protest. The next morning, Priebke was rearrested. The Supreme Court of Italy ruled that he must stand trial in a civil court. But to our dismay, Priebke received only a five-year sentence, roughly equivalent to a week in jail for every person he had murdered in the Adreatine caves.” (Ibid.; p. xiv.)
41. “As we were to discover, Priebke was indeed protected by charitable forces. Priebke knew too much about the Vatican’s Ratlines, and did not even serve his time in a prison, but lived comfortably for many months under ‘house arrest’ in a Catholic monastery. In March 1998, the Italian military tribunal again considered his case, and this time decided to jail him for life. By this time Priebke had been moved to a hospital located, ironically enough, in the Jewish quarter of Rome. As we write in April 1998 it seems unlikely that Priebke will serve more than a few symbolic days of his ‘life sentence’ in a prison.” (Idem.)
42. Next the program reviewed some of the information about the Crusade For Freedom and the complicity of high ranking GOP officials in aiding the relocation of Nazis to the United States. For more about this, see—among other programs—FTR#465.
43. The program also reviewed the CIA’s sponsorship of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Arab Nazi collaborators. The show also reviewed the GOP/Muslim Brotherhood/Bank Al Taqwa connection. For more about this, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 454, 473, 514, 515.
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.
Bravo Magda! A timely inclusion.

There are several more cases about the Vatican bank, including knowingly dealing in fake US Treasury Bonds, setting up tax evasion accounts for selected Catholics, the P2, Ambrosiano and Sindona affairs, and various other dodgy dealings. I would cite them all (I made a case study over several years) but alas they are lost on my other hard drive that I can no longer access.

I was peripherally involved with Jon Levy and Tom Eastman in the Alperin v Vatican Bank case as an expert witness countering the objections raised by the Vatican attorney Franzo Grande Stevens.

Much fun was had.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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