Nazi gold “Raubgold”, “stolen gold”

08-06-2019

Max Heiliger was a fictional name created during the Nazi era under authority of Reichsbank president Walter Funk in a secret arrangement with leader of the Schutzstaffel Heinrich Himmler. It was a false identity used to establish bank accounts to launder valuables stolen from those killed in the Nazi system of concentration camps and extermination camps,  Stolen banknotes and jewelry along with Holocaust victims’ dental gold, wedding rings, and even scrap gold melted down  from spectacles-frames flooded into the Max Heiliger accounts, completely filling several bank vaults by 1942. Heiliger accounts were also sometimes used to fence valuables at Berlin’s municipal pawn shops.

Other code phrases associated with bank-processing of camp victims’ property included Melmer, Besitz der umgesiedelten Juden (“property of resettled Jews”), and Reinhardtfonds. The latter was a veiled reference to Aktion Reinhardt. The word “umgesiedelten” cloaked the true nature of the goods, since victims were usually “resettled” to a Nazi concentration camp or an early grave.

Using the name “Heiliger” was a cynical Nazi joke, since the word means saint, from the word heilig (holy). Such “humour” was not unusual in Nazi circles. For example, the one-way path to the gas chamber at Sosibor extermination camp was called Himmelstrasse, meaning “Heaven Street” –the road to Heaven.

Funk was held at Spandau prison along with othersenior Nazis.. He was released on 16 May 1957 because of ill health. He made a last-minute call on Rudolf Hess, Albert Speer and Baldur von Schirach before leaving the prison. He died three years later in Düsseldorf of diabetes..

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