The Nazis melted gold dental fillings from concentration camp victims and found the best price for it was in neutral Turkey.
At the same time, Turkey kept selling Germany the chromium ore it needed to build weapons and continue the war.
But in harkening back to World War II in an effort to justify giving Turkey a green light to crush the Kurds, President Donald Trump ignored such damning truths.
He instead said of the Kurds, “They didn't help us with Normandy.”
Never mind that present day Kurds have suffered thousands of casualties as our most effective allies against ISIS.
Never mind that the Kurds of 1944 were scattered across a half dozen countries in the Middle East and were in no position to help even themselves.
And never mind that Turkey started out World War II pledged to support the Allies only to suddenly switch when it looked like the Nazis would win.
“Turkey began World War II bound to Britain and France by the military alliance of October 1939, moved to non-belligerency in June 1940 after the fall of France, and adopted a policy of ‘active neutrality’ in the spring of 1941 after German occupation of the Balkans and the conclusion of a German-Turkish Treaty of Friendship in June 1941,” notes a 1998 report on Holocaust restitution by the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services.
The report cites a November 1943 assessment by German Munitions Minister Albert Speer “that much of Germany's manufacture of armaments would come to a halt within 10 months if Turkey's chromite exports to Germany were ended.”
In the meantime, the Germans sold ingots of absolute evil in Turkey.
“Two German banks with branches in Turkey, the Deutsche Bank and the Dresdner Bank, took advantage of the high prices on the Turkish free gold market to sell looted gold provided by the Reichsbank in return for foreign currency, particularly Swiss francs,” the report says. “Some of the gold provided by the Reichsbank came from the infamous ‘Melmer account’ in which the SS deposited the gold jewelry, coins, bars, and dental fillings robbed from its victims at the killing centers and concentration camps.”
The Reichsbank was the central financial institution of Germany. Deutsche Bank would go on to become the lone financial institution in the 1990’s willing to risk making huge loans to Donald Trump.
Even as he condemns the Kurds for failing to do what they could not possibly have done at Normandy without a nation-state of their own, Trump says nothing about Deutsche Bank’s Nazi past or about Turkey’s continued sales of chromium ore to Germany until April 1944. Turkey finally returned to our side in August 1944—two months after Normandy—when it appeared that the Nazis were going to lose after all.
U.S. forces that fought their way from Normandy into Germany recovered ledgers showing that Deutsche Bank had sold at least 998 kilograms of what the congressional report terms “gold looted from individual victims of Nazi persecution.”
The report adds, “Other German gold acquired by Turkey during and after the War included coins and ingots from the account of German Foreign Minister Joachim Ribbentrop at the Reichsbank, which had been stocked with gold looted from occupied Europe.”
At war’s end, Turkey had done exactly nothing to assist the Allies besides no longer selling chromium to the Nazis. Turkey nonetheless argued that since it had been at war with Germany, it should not be expected to turn over whatever Nazi wealth it retained.
“Turkey, an 11th hour ally, returned no looted gold… and turned over no money,” the report notes.
Turkey also kept the money it made selling the Nazis chromium ore that kept the war going. The report says Turkey only stopped after President Franklin Roosevelt threatened Turkey with “economic war.”
Our current president made a similar threat this week, when he tweeted, “As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey.”
The major difference is that this threat seems to be having no effect.