An international conference on Nazi Gold was held in
London in December 1997, with representatives of 41 nations present.
Under Secretary of State Stuart Eizenstat represented the United States.
The conference addressed the questions of how much gold was stolen, where
it went, and what should be done about it, including using assets of the
Tripartite Gold Commission (TGC).1
The TGC was formed in 1946 by the United States, Britain and France to deal
with recovered gold the Nazis had seized from the national banks of
occupied countries. Since 1946, the TGC has distributed gold and
assets to 15 countries whose national banks were looted during World War
II: Albania, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy,
Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, and the Yugoslav successor
states. About 5.5 tons of gold, worth some $60 million, remained to
be distributed.2 TGC officials
recommended that these countries contribute their portions of the remaining
assets to the survivors of the Holocaust.
At the London conference the International Fund for
Needy Victims of Nazi Persecution was established for Holocaust survivors
and their heirs. The United States pledged an initial $4 million,
with the hope that Congress would approve an additional $25 million over
the next three years. The 105th Congress appropriated $25 million for
the International Fund to benefit Holocaust survivors and an additional $5
million for associated archival research. (H.R. 2591/S. 1564, P.L.
*Prepared by Stuart D. Goldman, Specialist in Russian
Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division.
Closing Plenary Statement at the London Conference on Nazi Gold,
December 4, 1997.
2This amounts to less
than two percent of the original gold handled by the TGC.
Source: Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress for the U.S. House
International Relations Committee.