Sweden

From the Eizenstat Report:

"Sweden was a critical trading partner of Nazi Germany. Its exports of ball bearings to Germany were vitally important during the war, and for a time Sweden supplied Germany with 40 percent of its iron ore until other European sources reduced that dependency."

"Nowhere did these negotiations [over the return of looted gold and German assets] proceed as swiftly and successfully as with Sweden, although there were nevertheless many problems. By April 1945, as the war was ending in Europe, Swedish officials had assured British and American diplomats that in response to Allied wartime statements on gold and assets, Sweden would freeze German assets and restore looted property. By early 1946 the Swedish Parliament had adopted legislation necessary to control German property in Sweden and was working cooperatively with Allied representatives to quantify German assets and wartime gold shipments. The Swedish Government consistenty rejected, however, the Allied assertion of Allied Control Council Law No. 5, vesting control in the Council over German external assets.

This difference on the application of international law prolonged negotiations between Allied and Swedish representatives. But in July 1946, they concluded an agreement that immediately provided $12.5 million to the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees to rehabilitate and resettle the non-repatriable victims of Nazism, agreed to provide $18 million as reparations to the IARA, and assigned the remaining $36 million in liquidated German assets for the assistance of the British and U.S. occupation forces in Germany. Although agreement was also reached on the restitution by Sweden of some $15 million in gold tentatively identified as having been looted by Germany, this gold was not all actually delivered to the Federal Reserve in New York for deposit in the TGC Gold Pool until 1955--fully nine years later--after the Allies and the Swedish authorities finally resolved remaining differences."

(Independent studies commissioned by Edgar Bronfman of the World Jewish Congress indicate that huge sums were deposited in neutral Sweden's banks between 1935 and 1945. These were Jewish assets sent for safekeeping from invading Nazis and also included large amounts of money, gold, jewelry and art stolen by Nazis from Jews shipped to extermination camps. )

Sweden has created an historical commission to review its wartime relationship with Nazi Germany including the theft and disposition of valuables from Jewish and non-Jewish people.

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