During WWII the German civilian camp system held eighteen million inmates of which over five million were Jews. In the perspective of human suffering one should note that the number of 3.5 million Soviet prisoners of war starved to death was larger than the number of 3.06 million Jews murdered in the Nazi gas chambers in the extermination camps. An additional 1.2 million Jews were killed by the Einsatzgrupen (Atrocity Troups) and one half of a million Jews were killed in each in the main concentration camps, or died in the ghettos including those who were killed during transport. The Jewish victims were a part of the 25 million non-combat civilians killed during WWII.
German Jews were selected to serve in the Crematoria Commandos because of their knowledge of the German language, and as a form of degradation inflicted on them by the Nazis. The Jews serving in the crematoria had to turn over to the Nazi authorities all gold collected by them in the crematoria in the form of golden teeth, wedding rings, etc. However, there was also an illegal trade with the Nazi SS guards carried on by the Jews working in the crematoria. It consisted of exchanging gold for food and other items such as cigarettes, drugs, atc.
Gold Teeth collected in crematoria were classified as Nazi "Non-Bullion Gold" according to the NAZI GOLD: The British and Allied attempt to deal with loot from the Second World War and the implications for the Tripartite Gold Commission" published by "The Holocaust Education Trust, November 1997 - Second Edition.
In Auschwitz, a laboratory for melting gold (Goldgiesserei) was built in Crematorium III, where gold teeth as well as other gold-containing loot were turned into ingots.. Naturally most of the gold which the Nazis stole originated from the national bank reserves of the occupied countries. Gold, by its very nature, has the property of being easily changed in appearance. During the trial at Nuremberg, it was established that on Saturday 3 February 1945, with a German defeat imminent, the Reichsbank building in Berlin was bombed during a massive raid by American air forces. The Reichsbank personnel began to move the bank's gold reserves, as well as cash, art and sculpture to the salt mine at Merkers in Thuringia, 200 miles south-west of Berlin.
Two months later, on the morning of 4 April 1945, the American forces discovered the enormous hoard. Colonel Bernard Bernstein, the chief of finance branch, was placed in charge of the gold reserves, worth about $238,490,000. This, represented 91% of all the gold recovered in Germany. The remaining nine per cent was discovered by Allied forces in a number of hoards throughout Germany.
On 14 and 15 April 1945, under American orders and rigid security conditions, the contents of the Merkers mine were taken to the Reichsbank building in Frankfurt (re-named the Frankfurt Exchange Depository or FED), which had fallen to the Americans on 26 March. Amongst the Nazi loot discovered in Merkers were over two hundred valises with an SS mark on each, containing valuables from concentration camp victims. These had been carefully stored separately from other gold reserves both in the Reichsbank and the salt mine.
Colonel Bernstein was careful to ensure that these items were separated from bhllion gold bars, as they were clearly the possessions of individuals. They were housed in a separate vault. According to Bernstein: "No one was allowed on the inside other than myself, and I could go into the vault area alone and open up some of the valises to show the eyeglass frames, wedding rings and the melted down pieces of gold from the gold fillings (gold teeth) and so on." Bernstein estimated that the total amount of SS loot was worth $14,500,000. Some of what was discovered in gold bar form may have originated from personal gold possessions. They assumed that its origin was monetary, and that assumption appears never to have been questioned in spite of the fact that a US Intelligence document from July 1945 suggests that this should have occurred. It points out that 1,625 bars of "non-recognized" origin weighing 307,528 fine grams, were included amongst the bars shipped from the Reichsbank to Merkers These made up approximately 18% of the total gold held in the salt mine.
The Allies decided that recovered Nazi gold would be returned to claimant nations in equal proportion to their losses - i.e. that approximately 64 per cent of all claims would be met - and hence identifying whether a gold bar belonged to a specific treasury was unnecessary.
The above listed facts are well known and therefore it is surprising to read in a Polish magazine "Poltyka" published in October 2011 a sarcastic joke by commentator Ludwik Stomma about my article on Holocaust Profiteering By Literary Hoax in which I have mentioned the role of gold in the operation of the crematoria in concentration camps. Stomma wrote: "It is a pity that the author does not mention at what rate the Jews in camps sold gold to the guards and why the practical minded guards did not build kiosks in the camps to expedite the [Sic] – illegal exchange." Apparently Stomma, despite his expertise in anthropology, is unfamiliar with the reality documented in Jewish literature on Holocaust profiteering in such books as Norman Finkelstein's "The Holocaust Industry: Reflections On The Exploitation of Jewish Suffering."
I have learned many details of the transactions with golden teeth from my friend, a German Jew, Paul Kaufman. Paul was personally acquainted with some Jews from the Crematorium Commando, who helped him with food. Paul was a victim of a Nazi medical experiment, which resulted in his having a drop foot and a lame walk. He had to report periodically for examination and was in Sachsenchausen when most of the Jews were ominously shipped east. The fact that prisoner's numbers were not tattooed on the hands of the inmates, the way it was done in Auschwitz, allowed me to offer to Paul the prisoner's number of a deceased Pole so that he could get rid of the star of David on his clothes and survive. Paul did not speak Polish and did not take advantage of my offer because he was afraid that if found out he would be tortured.
Remembering the activities of the criminal mafia in Sachsenhausen I should mention the murder by hanging on a lamp hook of Leonard Krasno dębski in 1943. Krasnodebski arrived at Sachsenhausen on August 10, 1940 , from Tarnów , together with me and about 500 other Polish prisoners of the Gestapo.
The process of collecting the gold teeth and the trade with gold teeth was a significant part of the Nazi Gold loot, and one can notice that , officially, gold teeth were classified as Nazi non-bullion gold.