By Scott Stockdale
The Guinness Book of Records has recorded the looting of the Reichsbank in Berlin following Germany’s collapse in April and May of 1945, as the greatest robbery in history. However, this is not the whole truth. It is a half-truth – at best – that has been perpetuated for over 50 years.
The 1980 edition of the Guinness Book of Records states:
“The greatest robbery on record was that of the Reichsbank reserves by a civilian-U.S. military consortium in April-May of 1945. The Westphalia bearer bonds repayable in gold were for $400 million. Gold coin and bullion then valued at $3,434,626 and jewels, foreign exchange and securities valued at 23 million gold marks were stolen from the Berlin Reichsbank.”
The 1984 edition of the Guinness Book of Records covers much the same information, with a couple of significant additions. It states:
“Gold bullion, foreign exchange and jewels worth $20,000,000 (worth some $200 million in 1984 dollars) were stolen by members of the German and American armies. None of the loot was recovered and none of the perpetrators were ever brought to trial. (The Pentagon described this as an unverified allegation).
“The largest haul consisted of negotiable securities valued at $400,000,000 (1945 dollars). In April 1979, three men were convicted and sentenced to terms of imprisonment at Brantford, Ontario on a number of conspiracy charges in connection with some of the bonds.”
I am one of the three men referred to in the 1984 edition of the Guinness Book of Records, and I would like to weigh in on this issue.
There is some misinformation here that needs to be corrected for history’s sake. First of all, the so-called greatest robbery in history, was really the greatest swindle in history: There was a master plan in place to avoid paying the rightful owners of the bonds.
The majority of these bonds were issued in New York, payable in United States dollars and backed by gold. Since being issued in 1924 and 1930, most of these bonds never left the United States, so they could not possibly have been stolen from the Reichsbank, as the German government has been claiming for over 50 years.
The Guinness Book of Records has failed to mention, in all its editions to date, that I appealed my conviction; and I was eventually cleared of all wrongdoing. In fact, the authorities had to return all of my bonds. Moreover, to this day, I still receive telephone calls from people around the world, who want to assist me in redeeming these bonds.
After all that I have been through, the only thing that I regret about it all is that the accusations against me were headline news, in large banners, in bold ink, every time the case came to court, over a period of seven years; but when I was cleared of any wrongdoing, there was a ten-line article buried in the middle of the second section of the local newspaper. After featuring the story for nearly seven years; i.e., The Toronto Star March 3, 1979 front-page story entitled Saga of the Greatest Robbery in History, with my picture superimposed over a picture of a German bond on page A8, most major news agencies never even covered the fact that the case was dismissed due to lack of evidence.
To this day, many people don’t realize the bonds are good. The German government took hard-earned money from the purchasers of these bonds and it has never been held accountable for this money.
To understand the history of the bonds, it is necessary to go back to post-World War I Germany. In order to make reparation payments and rebuild the shattered German economy, German financiers were sent to New York to seek financial assistance. The financiers’ negotiations in New York resulted in German states, cities and industries issuing billions of dollars worth of dollar-denominated bonds, backed by gold, good in times of war or peace, and printed in both German and English, with the English version taking precedence.
Americans bought large numbers of the bonds – possibly as much as $2.5 billion worth – a scenario that has been referred to as “American Reparations to Germany.”
About Author: Scott Stockdale is the author of the book History’s Greatest Fraud, which is in seven libraries across Canada and surprisingly well-known around the world, although not a word of it has ever appeared in the mainstream media.