by Valentin KATASONOV
The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) played an important role during the Second World War. It was created as an outpost of American interests in Europe and a link between Anglo-American and German businesses, a kind of offshore zone for cosmopolitan capital providing a shelter from political processes, wars, sanctions and other things. The Bank was created as a public commercial entity, it’s immunity from government interference and such things as taxes collection was guaranteed by international agreement signed in the Hague in 1930.
The bankers of Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who were close to the Morgans, Montagu Norman, the Governor of the Bank of England, German financiers: HjalmarSchacht (President of the Reichsbank and Minister of Economics in the Hitler’s government), Walther Funk (who later replaced HjalmarSchacht as President of the Reichsbank) and EmilPuhl – all of them played an important role in the efforts to establish the Bank. The central banks of Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium and some private banks were among the founders. The Federal Bank of New York did its best to establish the BIS, but it was not listed as a founder. The US was represented by the private First National Bank of New York, J.P. Morgan and Company, the First National Bank of Chicago – all parts of the Morgan’s empire. Japan was also represented by private banks. In 1931-1932 19 European central banks joined the Bank of International Settlements. GatesW. McGarrah, a banker of Rockefeller’s clan, was the first BIS chairman of the board. He was replaced by Leon Fraser, who represented the clan of Morgans. US citizen Thomas H. McKittrick was President of the Bankduring the war years.
A lot has already been written about the BIS activities serving the interests of Third Reich. The Bank was involved in deals with different countries, including those Germany was at war with. Ever since Pearl Harbor the Bank of International Settlements has been a correspondent bank for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. It was under Nazi control during the war years, no matter American Thomas Huntington McKittrick was the Bank’s President. Soldiers were dying on the battlefields while the leadership of BIS held meetings in Basel with the bankers of Germany, Japan, Italy, Belgium, Great Britain and the United States. There, in the Swiss offshore zone, it was all peaceful, the representatives of belligerents quietly worked in the atmosphere of mutual understanding.
Switzerlandbecame the place where gold seized by Germany in different corners of Europe was transported to for storage. In the March of 1938, when Hitler captured Vienna, part of Austrian gold was transferred to BIS vaults. The same thing happened with the gold of Czech National Bank (48 million USD). As the war started, the flows of gold poured into the Bank of International Settlements. Germany got it from concentration camps and as a result of plundering the wealth of occupied countries(including whatever belonged to civilians: jewels, gold crowns, cigarette cases, utensils…). It was called the Nazi Gold. The metal was processed into ingots to be stored in the Bank of International Settlements, Switzerland, or outside Europe. Charles Higham in his Trading With The Enemy: An Expose of The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933-1949 wrote that during the war Nazi transferred $378 million into the accounts of Bank of International Settlements.
A few words about the Czech gold. The details surfaced when after the Bank of England’s archives were declassified in 2012. (1) In the March of 1939 Germany captured Prague. Nazi demanded $48 million of national gold reserves. They were told that the sum had already been transferred to the Bank of International Settlements. Later it became known that the gold was transferred from Basel to the vaults of Bank of England. Upon the command from Berlin the gold was transferred to the ReichsbankBIS account. Then the Bank of England was involved in transactions done upon the orders of Reichsbank given to the Bank of International settlements. The commands were retransmitted to London. There was collusion between German Reichsbank, the Bank of International Settlements and the Bank of England. In 1939 a scandal broke out in Great Britain because the Bank of England executed the transactions with Czech gold upon the commands coming from Berlin and Basel, not the Czech government. For instance, in the June of 1939, three months before the war between Great Britain and Germany started, the Bank of England helped Germans to get into their accounts the amount of gold equal to 440 thousand pounds sterling and transfer some gold to New York (Germany was sure that in case of German intervention into Poland the United States would not declare war).
The illegal transactions with Czech gold were implemented with tacit approval of the government of Great Britain which was aware of what was going on. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir John Simon and other top officials did their best to hide the truth, including outright lies (the gold was returned to the lawful owner or had never been transferred to Reichsbank). The recently declassified materials of Bank of England reveal the truth and show that the government officials lied to cover up themselves and the activities of the Bank of England and the Bank of International Settlements. It was easy to coordinate the joint criminal activities because Montagu Norman, the head of Bank of England, served as the chairman of the board of Bank of International Settlements. He never made secret of his sympathy for fascists.
The Bretton Woods Conference, formally known as the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, was the gathering of 730 delegates from all 44 allied nations at the Mount Washington Hotel situated in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, the United States, to regulate the international monetary and financial order after the conclusion of World War II. The conference was held from 1 to 22 July 1944. All of a sudden the issue of the Bank of International Settlements hit the agenda. It was reported that the bank collaborated with fascist Germany. Leaving many details aside, I’d only mention that with great difficulty (some US delegates opposed the motion) the delegates reached an agreement to close the BIS. The decision of international conference has never been enacted. All the discreditable information related to the BIS wartime activities was classified. Today it helps to falsify the history of the Second World War.
Finally, a few words about HjalmarSchacht (1877-1970) who served as President of the Reichsbank and Minister of Economics in the fascist Germany’s government. He was a key figure controlling the economic machine of Third Reich, an extraordinary and plenipotentiaryambassador representing Anglo-American capital in Germany. In 1945 Schacht was tried at Nuremberg to be acquitted on October 1, 1946. He got away with murder. The same way it happened to Hitler. For some unexplained reasons he was not in the 1945 leading wartime criminals list. More to it, Schacht returned to his profession like if nothing happened and founded Schacht GmbH in Düsseldorf. This detail may go unnoticed, though it serves as another testimony to the fact that Anglo-American “money owners” and their plenipotentiary representatives in Germany prepared and, to some extent, influenced the outcome of the Second World War. The “money owners” want to rewrite the history of the war and change its results.