After weeks of inventory, and removing the "treasure" from the Merkers salt mine it was today (April 18th, 1945) that Colonel Bernstein sent his final report to the SHAEF center.
The person who would take over the Merkers operation was Col. Bernard D. Bernstein, deputy chief, Financial Branch, G-5 Division of SHAEF. In October 1942, when he was commissioned a colonel, Bernstein was the assistant general counsel at the Department of the Treasury, handling foreign funds matters. Late on the morning of April 8, Bernstein, at SHAEF headquarters at Versailles, read a front-page story in the Paris edition of the New York Herald Tribune about the discovery of the gold and other treasures at Merkers.
…On April 18 Bernstein sent McSherry a detailed report of the activities that had taken place during the preceding two weeks. He concluded by observing that "the Germans hid their assets in mines and other secret places in Germany, presumably with the intent of maintaining a source of financing of pro-Nazi activity." "Many of these caches," he continued, "have not yet been uncovered and should be ferreted out as soon as operations permit." He observed that it was "necessary that some procedure be established for analyzing and utilizing the property and records found in the Merkers area and those uncovered in the future." "Intelligence reports," he wrote, "indicate that just as the Germans secreted assets and valuable property within Germany, they also made elaborate arrangements for secreting assets in neutral and other nations of the world." "Every step should be taken," he urged, "in Germany to obtain information of the assets secreted both inside and outside Germany so that these assets cannot be used to perpetuate Nazism or contribute to the rebuilding of Nazi influence."
Nazi Gold: The Merkers Mine Treasure
And for a contemporary report, the April 16th Time magazine article is of interest. :
World: Salted Gold - TIME
After weeks of inventory...
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