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Trustees of the Reich

Chapter 5: Undermined, bribed, spied

Part 1: German currency investigators and Gestapo have best connections. Corrupt staff members leaving bank secret - or let distribute fortunes - robbery of account in the case of Mr. Josef Blum at UBS, position Nº 21300 -- thesis: all Jewish accounts without account owner were liquidated in 1941 - as a "prevention" before a Hitler invasion - or other possibilities -- undermined: financial espionage of the Third Reich in Switzerland since 1933 - German bribes for Swiss banking staff members

Translation by Michael Palomino (2013 / 2015)

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from: Peter Balzli: Treuhänder des Reichs. Eine Spurensuche. Werd-Verlag, Zürich 1997

* Names with a * are changed by the author protecting the personality (p.15)

<Undermined, bribed, and spied

German currency investigators and Gestapo have best connections. Corrupt staff members are leaving the bank secret - or let disappear fortunes.

[Jewish depots "are disappearing" in Switzerland under "mysterious circumstances"]

Hitler's robber knights were working precisely [and were bribing Swiss managers and politicians with aryanized companies...]. If there were commissarial administrators or forced authorizations, a significant part of the hot money millions was flowing back from the Swiss accounts to the Third Reich and was providing there for the urgently needed ordnance concerning the war chest. Not in any case the two common methods bringing fortunes back were applied. Another part of the fortunes was simply disappearing under mysterious circumstances, like for example depot Nº 21300.

[Robbery of account in the case of Mr. Josef Blum at UBS, position Nº 21300]

[the case of Josef. Blum: "position 21300" is disappearing after his death - the documents have to be destroyed in CSSR because of the NS persecution]

Vodka producer Mr. Josef Blum was living in Czechoslovakia in Prostejov. As many of his friends he wanted to rescue his fortune. As he did neither have connections to curriers nor to foreign people he was shifting his fortune on his own to Switzerland. On May 5, 1938 Mr. Blum was entering the service counter area of Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) ad Zurich Station Street (Bahnhofstrasse). Mr. Blum was heavily suffering from a heart condition. His account he had opened in 1936 was converted into a depot which was on his name and on the name of his two children Heinz and Luise. As a preventive measure against all possible extortions or faked authorizations of the authorities it was agreed that there should be a code with UBS. The bank was not allowed to react when besides his signature was written a clear "B.".

Since this times UBS was administrating the position Nº 21300 with a cheque of 14,785.2 "US" dollars which served among others for the purchase of Treasury bonds [bonds of the Ministry of Finance in the "USA"] and bonds from the American Telf. and Telegraf Company. Mr. Josef Blum did not know anyone in Switzerland and therefore he was traveling back to Czechoslovakia immediately. And a short time later he died on May 18, only 13 days after his visit in the bank.

His daughter Luise was 19 years old then, her brother Heinz only 16. Both had to watch how in October [1938] German Wehrmacht [p.111] was taking Sudetenland first and in March 1939 also remaining Czechia. Just one year after the death of her father Heinz and Luise only saw one way to save their lives from the German machinery of destruction. They were projecting an emigration. Before they wanted to fetch the content of the depot at UBS for emigrating then to the "USA" or to Palestine where their father had opened another depot. But this project failed. Also a flight was impossible [because] the Germans had already closed the frontier hermetically.

In 1940 Gestapo was raiding their house. The henchmen of Hitler were detaining the husband of Luise Blum who had married in the meantime, and then they were searching the whole flat, but only with some results. The hidden notebook of the father with the banking documents and with the indications of the fortune was not found. But for Mrs. Luise Blum it was clear that the Germans were not leaving anything to a coincidence. There was the high possibility that the notebook could be found in a next raid. In their panic they were destructing the book and all forms of the depot. The decisive indications were put down in abbreviations in a cookbook which was hidden again.

[Surviving the concentration camps - after 1945 UBS claims that this position "would not exist any more"]

The Blum siblings could not hide any more from the Nazis. As millions of other Jews they were deported. "Both were deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in summer 1942. In spring 1944 Heinz was put into a labor camp, and Luise was shifted to the concentration camp of Auschwitz", this reports Mrs. Vera Blum living in Israel today, the wife of Heinz Blum who died already. Both Blum children had survived the concentration camps behind barbed wire. "My sister-in-law was half-dead at the end. Nazis had brought her from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen and then to Theresienstadt. Her husband had been murdered in Auschwitz", Vera Blum indicates.

Heinz and Luise had survived the concentration camps, but they had no proofs for the fortune in Switzerland. There were only the remarks in the cookbook, but there was missing anything of this book. Therefore there was no search for this fortune - during over 25 years.

Only in January1971 Mrs. Luise Rosenberg-Blum - married a second time - detected by a coincidence the old Czech cookbook again. With these indications brother Heinz in Israel [p.112] could find the fortune deposed in Israel. Originally the fortune had been deposed at Anglo Palestine Bank, and now the fortune of the father was in the safe Nº 131c at Custodian of Foreign Property.

But the search in Switzerland was without result. Also after several requests there came only a depressing answer of UBS on February 11, 1971:

Original in German:

"Wir danken Ihnen für Ihr Schreiben vom 5. ds. und haben anhand der erhaltenen, wenigen Angaben nochmals Nachforschungen nach einem im Jahre 1938 eröffneten Konto oder Depot Ihres verstorbenen Vaters bei uns vorgenommen, leider jedoch ohne Erfolg."


"We thank you for your letter of February 5 and we were investigating the matter one more time on the base of your few indications if there was an account or deposit opened in 1938 by your dead father but there was no success."

Then the responsibles were offering to continue the investigation "when there would be more proofs for the accounts". But the bankers were stating clearly that there would be no money coming out with one more investigation:

Original in German:

"Wir machen Sie jedoch darauf aufmerksam, dass sich unsere Nachforschungen nur noch auf die Art der Auflösung eines evtl. vorhanden gewesenen Kontos oder Depots beziehen können, denn in unseren gegenwärtigen Büchern sind diese nicht mehr existent. Überdies ist eine Nachforschung bis in das Jahr 1938 zurück ohne konkrete Angaben kaum mehr möglich, da die gesetzliche Aufbewahrungsfrist von Büchern, nach der letzten Eintragung, nur 10 Jahre beträgt."

[Die schweizer Grossbank SBG / UBS führt also in manchen Fällen kein Archiv...]


"But we would like to remind you that our investigations only can refer to the kind of the elimination of the eventually present account or deposits because in our present books these are not existing any more. Additionally an investigation to the year of 1938 without precise indications is hardly possible any more because the law prescribes only a legal storage period of books of 10 years after the last entry."

[Big high street bank of UBS has no archives in some cases...]

[The position 21300 has existed but was "balanced" at the end of 1941]

Mrs. Luise Rosenberg-Blum who was living in France in the meantime was not impressed by the honest but stupid rejecting answer of UBS. She was convinced that this money of her father could be found in Zurich at Station Street Nº 45. Stubbornly she was presenting her history one more time to the Swiss. This stubbornness got some results. The first investigation had been not so precise as it seems. On February 26, 1971, UBS was writing:

Original in German:

"Nach sehr zeitraubender Durchsicht sämtlicher in unseren Archiven noch vorhanden gewesenen, alten Register über früher eröffnete, aber vor dem 31. Dezember 1941 wieder ausgegangenen Depots haben wir nun festgestellt, dass bei uns am 5. Mai 1938 tatsächlich ein Depot Nr. 21300 auf die Namen: Herrn Josef Blum, Fräulein Luise Blum und Herrn Heinz Blum eröffnet wurde. Andererseits konnten wir einwandfrei feststellen, dass diese Depot vor Ende 1941 wieder saldiert und zu den ausgegangenen Depots abgelegt wurde. Das genaue Datum der Saldierung ist allerdings nicht mehr feststellbar, weil sämtliche bis zum Jahre 1941 saldierten Depots mit der dazugehörenden Korrespondenz schon längst vernichtet wurden."


"After a very time-consuming investigation of our present archives and old registers about accounts which were opened in the earlier times, but being eliminated before December 31, 1941, it could be stated that there was in fact installed a depot Nº 21300 on May 5, 1938 on the names Mr. Josef Blum, Miss Luise Blum, and Mr. Heinz Blum. At the other side we could state flawlessly that this depot was balanced at the end of 1941 and was put to the eliminated depots. The precise date of balance cannot be found any more because all depots balanced until 1941 had been destroyed with all correspondence."

The conclusion of UBS was not at all logic then. Whereas [p.113] there was no precise document present any more, the bank had the courage to state the following: "Without any doubt the elimination of the depot in those times (before December 31, 1941) was performed in a proper and absolutely legal way.

For blighting any requests the bankers were communicating to the Auschwitz survivor that "there would not be any right for any demand in any form for her". UBS considered "this matter as done".

This answer of a Swiss high street bank is only badly understandable [resp. a robbery of an account should be concealed]. Finally Mr. Josef Blum had died 13 days after the opening of the account, and during the whole war there had been no possibility for his children to fetch the money. Additionally Mr. Blum had no one in Switzerland he knew thus an agent with an authorization could not be found. Also the third variation of an extorted authorization or an ordinance by a commissarian administrator was not existing. According to their indications neither Heinz nor Luise had signed any declaration of fortune of any authorization before or in the concentration camp. As the father's notebook had not been detected during the raid the Nazis could not know about the secret fortune. Additionally there was the fortune in Israel which could be recovered consisting in bonds and a territory which was also on these three names. The details of these positions as for example the interest rate were exactly coinciding with the indications of the cookbook. Thus there was no doubt about the correctness of the indications of the Blum family. And this was a condition which was known by this UBS.

But the answer of the Swiss high street bank had another big logic mistake yet. In those time like today [1997] Swiss banks are always stating again and again that documents will be destroyed after the limit of 10 years. Therefore in the Blum case UBS had destroyed everything in 1951, this had been 10 years after the alleged balancing and then there had been no possibility of indications any more. But in 1971 there was coming out the result that the depot had been balanced in 1941 according to the law whereas this should not be known 30 years after the official balance.

"It's simply impossible that this depot is not there any more", Mrs. Vera Blum means today [1997].

The same was claiming also her sister-in-law and she was risking everything.

[A lawyer Mr. Nicolier is requesting several times with NO result with this UBS - Nazi banking law in Switzerland protecting the criminal Swiss bank - no lawsuit]

Reinforcing the pressure after [p.114] the negative answer of UBS she was ordering a lawyer from a specialized office of Mr. Veith Wyler with her case. Mr. Bernhard Nicolier, a staff member of this well known layer's office was checking all possible variations in her case one more time. And then were put the following questions:

"If this date of May 5, 1938, would be right, then her father had transmitted this check some days before his death of May 18. Was this possible yet? Did her father a short time before his death perform another transaction? Was it possible that he was balancing the account himself again? During the death of the father you and your brother were minor yet, who was in charge of the administration of the fortune of the family? Was there an authorized person who could have given some orders yet after May 18, 1938? Did other persons but you and your brother know about the existence of this account?"

And Mr. Nicolier wanted to know if there were transactions between the banks in Israel and UBS in Switzerland. Mrs. Luise Blum who was declared major with 18 already according to her own indications could answer all questions clearly. There was only a minimal remaining risk concerning "other persons". But based on the situation of those times she was assuming logically "that nobody knew about it."

After the Blum story had been proofed of all possible weak points [but the weak point of a theft by the Swiss banksters after 1945 has NOT been investigated of course], the lawyers were going on requesting UBS again. But the bankers were also blocking the request this time.

[The lawyer's office Wyler wrote to Mrs. Blum]:

Original in German:

"Wir haben der Schweizerischen Bankgesellschaft [heute UBS] aufgrund der vorhandenen Angaben den mutmasslichen Ablauf der Kontoeröffnung dargelegt und betont, dass die angebliche, nachträgliche Saldierung seitens der wirklich Berechtigten mit grösster Wahrscheinlichkeit auszuschliessen ist. Die Bank hat sich darauf beschränkt, erneut auf die in ihrer Kontenkontrolle eingetragene Saldierung hinzuweisen",


"Based on the available indications of the alleged events of the opening of the account we were presenting the case to UBS again and we were stressing that the alleged later balancing of the account by the authorized account owners could be excluded with a high probability. The bank did not give more information than before giving limited information only informing about the balancing in their account control",

this wrote the lawyer's office Wyler on September 10, 1971.

After one more meeting with the high street bank the ordered lawyer Mr. Bernhard Nicolier could not explain this case at all. With the last possible possibility thinking about he was asking his client Mrs. Blum if perhaps Czech family members had had an authorization being capable to travel to Switzerland or if there had been used an additional pseudonym besides of the three indicated names. But all was without any result. In a letter to Mr. Nicolier in November 1971 Mrs. Rosenberg Blum was remembering to a scenery which was also destroying the last possible explanation:

Original in German:

"Einige Stunden vor seinem [S.115] Tod verlangte mein Vater, dass ich, bevor ich den Arzt rufe, die Bestätigung von der SBG aus einem kleinen, verborgenen Safe hole und vernichte, was ich auch tat. Ich erinnere mich sehr klar, dass diese Bank-Bestätigung das Format eines halben Briefpapiers hatte, aus ganz dünnem, durchsichtigem Papier war und der Druck darauf sehr schwarz erschien. Mein Vater beauftragte uns auch dringend, niemandem, auch niemandem aus der Familie, je die Kontonummer bekanntzugeben oder je eine Vollmacht zu geben. Es ist also vollkommen ausgeschlossen, dass mein Vater selbst jemandem eine Vollmacht gegeben hätte. (...) Ich wiederhole also nochmals, dass es vollkommen ausgeschlossen ist, dass mein Vater oder mein Bruder oder ich selbst das Konto bei der SBG saldiert hätten oder dass einer von uns dreien eine Vollmacht erteilt hätte", schrieb Blum.


"Some hours before his [p.115] death my father required that before calling the doctor I should fetch the confirmation of the UBS bank from a little hidden safe and destroy it - and I did it. I can remember clearly that this confirmation of the bank had the shape of half a letter paper, and it was absolutely thin and transparent paper and the printing on it was very black. My father ordered us also urgently not to tell any account number, also not to any familiar member, and not to give any authorization. Therefore it's absolutely completely excluded that my father has given an authorization to somebody. (...) Therefore I repeat again that it's absolutely excluded that my father or my brother or me myself have balanced this account at UBS high street bank or that someone of us three persons has given an authorization", Blum was writing.

She could also deny the question if there had been a pseudonym because her father had installed another safeguard.

Original in German:

"Auch wenn also jemand von unserer Familie oder von unseren Freunden vom Bestehen des Kontos gewusst hätte, was natürlich nicht vollkommen ausgeschlossen ist, hätte er über unser Depot-Konto nicht disponieren können. Um so mehr, da mein Vater aus Vorsichtsmassnahmen den Buchstaben 'B' mit Punkt unter unsere Unterschrift setzen liess."


"Also when somebody of our family or of our friends had known about the account which is not completely excluded of course then there had not been any possibility to have any authority over the content of the account. Because my father had included a cautionary measure putting the letter 'B' with a point under his signature."

At the end of the procedure there was no result with this UBS and the Blum siblings came to a point where Holocaust victims are often when the matter is with a criminal Swiss bank: Should one file a lawsuit? In the "U.S.A." such a decision is easy, but in Switzerland it's not easy. In Switzerland a defeat can provoke the ruin for the claimant because he will be charged of all costs and the winning bank will even get a compensation. This Swiss juridical system is so friendly to the banks that most Holocaust victims are surrendering.
[Supplement: Swiss juridical system for the banks
This "juridical system" in criminal Switzerland was "installed" by the Swiss government in a Switzerland which was NOT denazified in 1945 but the same Nazis could work on and on and Nazi professors in Swiss universities could work on spreading their racist philosophies up to the 1960s creating their successors in their Nazi manner - and all remained silent. Above all the Swiss banks were always stating that the Jewish Holocaust victims should prove that they had an account in those times. But the Jews had to destroy any evidence for not being detained and for surviving. From this time on from 1945 on whole Switzerland was developing a "cold heart" and got accustomed to the mentality laughing at the poor not asking for the causes of problems because this was the simple way for Switzerland "making it's living"...]
Thus it's no wonder that the banks were rejecting all claims first. In the Blum case lawyer Mr. Nicolier was convinced that the bank would continue rejecting all claims and there would "leave nothing else than a lawsuit." The estimated amount in dispute of about 50,000 Swiss Francs would provoke in the case of a defeat a compensation for the bank of 6,000 to 8,000 Swiss Francs, additionally the lawyer's fees. This was even too much for well fighting Mrs. Luise Rosenberg-Blum. After almost 1 1/2 years she had to give up and UBS was reaching it's goal with their mentality rejecting everything [as also against many other Jews who had survived the prosecution of the Jews]. The responsibles could [p.116] consider the matter as being done - at least for more than two more decades.

[A little compensation in 1996]

At the end of 1996 UBS was catched again by precise data of it's past. There were investigations of the [Swiss Zionist] "Sunday News" ("SonntagsZeitung") and the case was coming ap a second time. Legal department was acknowledging now that "there had been something bad before" ("irgendetwas schiefgelaufen"), but one did not want to accept any guilt of the bank. There would not be any possible proof if the fault had been on the side of the client or on the side of the bank, the answer stated. But now UBS was offering a settlement - because there was a general pressure and also an international critic against Switzerland as a financial center and this critic had an effect now.

[But now one has to see also the following: The allies had stated that all Jews had been exterminated in Germany, and in the 1960s German justice stated again that all Jews had been killed in Germany with Auschwitz as a killing center. But this was almost all a lie, because German concentration camps were good camps for military purposes, and the Hitchcock films of 1945 are a big fake showing emaciated Germans and German bodies from Eisenhower's Rhine meadow camps presented as Jews, see the following link: http://www.hist-chron.com/eu/D/1945-rheinwiesenlager/ENGL/004-German-bodies-for-Hitchcocks-films-German-ccs.html. But officially the bank could state that there would not be any Jews having survived!]

[Assumptions: all Jewish accounts with not detectable account holder were liquidated in 1941 - as a "prevention" from a Hitler invasion - or more possibilities]

The circumstances under which the depot of Nº 21300 has disappeared are remaining absolutely unclear. But today there are not only the possibilities of extorted authorizations and commissarian administrators, but there are even more explanations why even provable banking relations which have real names of possessors were disappearing overnight. According to the rules of logic deposits like the one of the Blum family cannot end in smoke. When there is no dubious agent in the procedure, then the causes have to be in the bank itself. One day former staff member of a Swiss high street bank, Mr. Peter K., detected a forgotten file note which had been forgotten since a long time already, and this file note said about a Jewish fortune:

"Eliminate it otherwise this will go over the Rhine anyway." [over the Swiss border to Germany which is mostly the Rhine River].

(orig. in German: "Liquidieren, das geht sonst sowieso über den Rhein.")

Taking the fear of an invasion by German Wehrmacht as a pretext - presenting themselves as an enemy of the Nazis ans as an assist for the Jews - any traces were eliminated as a prevention. And the money was landing on anonymous special accounts or in the pockets of the bank official.

This dark chapter of ruthless enrichment is one of the best guarded secrets of the Swiss banksters. Because the fortunes administrators in their well looking pinstripe suits are fearing nothing more than the suspicion that one would abuse in a bank a fortune form a refugee from time to time. And tax refugees normally never will file a lawsuit which would detect their tax flight. Thus the coldblooded fortune administrators were robbing the depots which were entrusted to them. Small talk of insiders is confirming that this was happening also with Jewish fortunes.

"An den Cocktailparties der Zürcher Finanzkreise sind derzeit die damaligen Machenschaften ein beliebte Thema. Hinter vorgehaltener [S.117] Hand erzählen pensionierte Direktoren, wie ihre früheren Vorgesetzten zum Beispiel die Wertschriften der Nazi-Opfer verkauften und sich den Erlös auf das eigene Konto buchen liessen. Ich bin überzeugt, dass diese Geschichten nicht erfunden sind",

"At cocktail parties of Zurich financial circles the methods of those times are a well loved topic. Secretly [p.117] the retired directors are telling how for example their bosses of former times were selling commercial papers of Nazi victims enriching themselves with the avail which was booked on their own account. I am convinced that these stories are not invented",

this is stating an insider who does not want that his name will be published.

The second possibility of disappearing of accounts of Nazi victims without traces is working with a collaboration of the banking staff and the Germans not considering any bank secret any more [on "neutral" ground]. For the Nazis this was an important help getting the Swiss accounts eliminating them with faked authorizations. In the case of the Jewish companies this was often simple because the commissarian administrator had much information during investigating the accountance. But private persons who were not denounced and who were not living with a rich style could not be detected without the willing assists of the Swiss banks.

[Mostly the account was robbed by Swiss lawyers or banksters after 1945 instead of delivering the assets to the Jewish community with a good settlement for the bank. Nazi behavior in Switzerland did not change after 1945 because there was NO denazification. Only German party members of NSDAP were hunted and had to leave Switzerland...].

[Undermined: financial spying of the Third Reich in Switzerland since 1933 - German bribes for Swiss bank employees]

["Leakages" and Nazi "moles" in Swiss National Bank - NS Germany bribing Swiss bank employees]

Already three days after Hitler's takeover one of the discussed topics in the directorate of Swiss National bank were leakages of Swiss financial center. "Mr. Director Schwab is reporting that there was reliable news by federal offices in Germany that account data about German accounts in Swiss banks have been transmitted. The fear cannot be denied that there is a trial to provoke also staff members of Swiss National Bank permitting indiscretions", this was the notice in the directorate's minutes of Swiss National Bank (SNB) of February 2, 1933. Therefore the monetary authorities were deciding spreading a circular to the branches with the clear order "calling for the pledge of secrecy and for the responsibility regulations, and further more possible all should watch and control better for detecting possible indiscretions". But this circular was never sent. But this explosive matter was discussed at the next meeting of the directorate. May be the reason for this change was the information of Mr. Schwab of March 16, [1933]. He was stating "that last Monday he had the opportunity to speak with Swiss federal prosecutor's office and he was promised any assistance of this office. There was discussed a case known by name of Zurich Cantonal Bank. Additionally he is informing about an anonymous letter coming in to Swiss National Bank where the author is stating that he could present those persons who are damaging Swiss National Bank." [p.118]

This affair with Zurich Cantonal Bank (Zürcher Kantonalbank, ZKB) was a heavy one. In summer 1932 already many German clients were claiming again and again at the directorate of this ZKB. The clients came from [South German] town of Singen [near the Swiss border] who had suffered investigations by their German finance office. German tax investigators were confronting them again and again with exact data of their bank accounts in Switzerland. Zurich banksters were initiating a police investigation. But only after many months the investigation brought detailed results. There came out that a staff member of the deposit department had received a bribe of 2,500 Reichsmark - this was corresponding to half a year's salary - and he had given much information to Germany for this. "In September 1933 this bank employee was dismissed without previous notice", a speaker of ZKB informs today [1997].

This detected mule of the Cantonal Bank was, as the responsibles of Swiss National Bank were presuming, not a singular case. At the same time there was also at least one branch of Swiss Corporation of Banks [Bankverein] serving as a news center for the German authorities. This branch in Schaffhausen [in the north of Switzerland near the German border] was regularly sending information over the border until also this matter was busted. The staff members were dismissed. These first Swiss bank spies serving for the upcoming Third Reich were not an exception. The more hot money was flowing into Switzerland and the more currency was needed by the Nazis [because "USA" and criminal Zionists with WJC were boycotting Germany] the more intensively the relevant NS authorities were occupying with the little neighboring state. There were several spying principles: there was military spying and there was tax and currency spying with investigation offices and they were installing their spy networks. Also the Swiss bank secret introduced in 1934 was not changing anything with this German behavior. Many Swiss people were making a good additional job when they were denouncing hidden German fortunes. For assisting these hobby agents - who had to recruit new spies and who had to fetch the concerning question forms - the bosses of the spy networks were coming sometimes also personally to Switzerland. The local authorities were not doing much against this kind of economical espionage [because the Third Reich was boycotted by criminal "U.S.A." and because Third Reich was the OUTSTANDING bearer of hope against Stalin's Gulag communism].

[The case of Wilhelm Kämpfer of 1935 - one month of prison and 10 years of expulsion (national ban)]

One of the exceptions was the commissioner of German Revision's and Trustee LTD (Deutsche Revisions- und Treuhand AG), Mr. Wilhelm Kämpfer. In 1938 he was trying to assist his spying net for his company and for the exchange control office in Düsseldorf and he was catched. Zurich local court (Bezirksgericht) was condemning him on the base of the Federal Resolution protecting Switzerland [p.119] from June 21, 1935 - the so called spying law - to one month of prison and 10 years of national ban.

One year later the Germans who did not want to resign to spies with a good experience in Switzerland claimed for an amnesty of Mr. Kämpfer. Then the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss embassy in Berlin was ordering on September 1, 1939 only to perform a slight pressure. The diplomats should declare to the Nazis "that the department had never acted in a rigid way with these matters, but had come to the conclusion that private persons had been prompted to go to Switzerland for the performance of investigations concerning currency cases", Bernese were writing who could make a list of several cases at once illustrating this statement.

The conclusion of the diplomatic center was: "Evading new condemnations and not charging Swiss German relations it would be suitable when the responsible German side would resign to send further currency assists, bank employees and so on to Switzerland making any further investigation."

[Financial spying without limits since 1940 - a warning letter about a traitor with the name "Akapovkehr" in Zurich]

The plea made by the Swiss was not bothering anyone in Berlin. To the contrary. After the outbreak of WWII and after the occupation of more countries the Nazis were even intensifying their financial espionage. Now also funds of Jews from better territories should be germanized. At the latest since 1940 many Swiss banks were an open books for the Germans. There were enough indications for this fact, and this could not be concealed to Swiss authorities either. Above all foreign representations of Switzerland were regularly reported about leakages in Swiss banks. [It seems the more aryanization gifts were given to Swiss managers, the more the willingness of the Swiss was rising to reveal Jewish bank accounts!].

For example in April 1940 the consulate general in Prague was transferring an anonymous letter to Berne:

Original in German:

"Wichtige Information !!!! In Prag arbeitet jetzt ein gewisser Skapovkehr. Er ist Advokat jüdischer Abstammung und wohnt im Hotel "Alcron", Zimmer 105 und 106. Von der deutschen Regierung ist er für 'wirtschaftlich unentbehrlich' erklärt worden. Diese wirtschaftliche Unentbehrlichkeit ist von einer kuriosen Natur. Unter anderem verhandelt er mit Prager Gestapostellen die Angelegenheit hiesiger Juden und für entsprechende Bestechungsgelder erzielt er Vorteile für sie. Dieser Jude hat einen Bruder in Zürich. Er ist Beamter in einer dortigen Bank, und - das ist das wichtigste und dürfte auch für die hiesige, schweizerische Vertretungsbehörde von Interesse sein - dieser soll ein [S.120] Vertrauensmann der Gestapo sein in Sachen Devisenübertretungen. Dieser Mann verrät nämlich den Halunken der Gestapo alle diejenigen, die in der Schweiz für ihr Geld Schutz suchen, um es den Klauen der Nazisten zu entreissen. Dabei soll er nicht nur Leute aus Deutschland, sondern auch aus Holland und anderen Ländern verraten. Aufgrund seiner Denunziationen führt nachher die Gestapo Verhaftungen aus und bringt die Denunzierten ins Gefängnis wegen Übertretungen der Devisenvorschriften."


"Important information !!!! In Prague there is working a certain person "Skapovkehr". He is a lawyer with Jewish origin and is living in the hotel "Alcron" in the rooms with the numbers 105 and 106. German government has declared him 'economically indispensable'. This economical indispensability has it's strange origin. Among other things he is negotiating with Gestapo staff members of Prague about the the Jews here and being correspondingly bribed he could reach advantages for them. This Jew has got a brother in Zurich. He is a staff member of a local bank there, and - and this is the most important point and could be interesting for the Swiss representing authority - this [brother] is said [p.120] to be a man of confidence of Gestapo concerning the violation of currency laws. This man is revealing to the scoundrels of Gestapo all those who are looking for protection for their fortunes for saving them from the hands of the Nazis. And this agent is said not only revealing data from clients from Germany, but also from Holland and from other countries. On this base of information Gestapo is then performing detentions bringing the affected persons into jail because of violation of currency rules."

Swiss consulate was convinced that everything was true what was described in this document. The indications referring to Prague were proofed and all turned out as right. If the Department of Foreign Affairs of the embassy was taking earnest the suggestions of this Czech branch transferring the letter to Swiss federal police is not clear. At least nothing can be found about the affair of "Stapovkehr" in the corresponding folders of Swiss Federal Police Department.

[1941: German currency detectives traveling from Budapest to Zurich bribing Swiss banks]

A similar case was communicated to Berne one year later on March 17, 1941. The news came from the consulate in Budapest. According to this information "7 or 8 currency detectives" had traveled to Zurich for bribing several officials there. Also here it's not clear if the Swiss Police Department was acting correspondingly. At any rate this folder is beginning and ending with the letter of the representation in Budapest.

[End of 1942 Germany and Italy know much about foreign accounts in Switzerland]

At the latest twelve months after this case it had to be clear in Berne that the axis powers had access to the account books of Swiss banks. Swiss responsible for businesses (chargé d'affaire) in Rome was informed by a reliable source that in Milan a secret inspector of Italian Institute of Currency Exchange with Foreign Countries (Istituto nazionale per i Cambi con l'Estero] had claimed openly that he was tightly collaborating with well known German control authorities. This inspector had claimed that thanks to these relations he had got precious information about fortunes of Italian citizens being concealed in Swiss banks.

"Considering these explanations one can conclude that despite of the respected bank secret in Switzerland the German authorities have information about foreign accounts in Swiss banks in a certain quantity", the Swiss diplomat was warning [p.121].

Nazi friendly loop holes in the bank secret were soon were told also to the "American" secret service. According to documents of the National Archives in Washington the agents among other things were convinced that Gestapo had placed French speaking sympathizers in the leading banks for detecting Jewish fortunes on number accounts. When the Germans had the information then there was always the same procedure. When the person had not emigrated yet the affected Jews were extorted to give an authorization, or they were offered to ransom oneself [p.122].

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