Nazi Gold: Lenin's Swiss bank account discovered

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The Independent Online
Swiss bank officials sifting through dormant accounts have made an unexpected discovery. Among those not claimed since the Second World War lies an account in the name of Vladimir Ulyanov, containing the princely sum of 12.90 Swiss Francs.

According to yesterday's Neue Zuricher Zeitung, this Mr Ulyanov is the very same man who was later to rise to world fame as Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. The revolutionary leader lived in Zurich until April 1917, when German agents worried about the course of the war on the eastern front bundled him onto a train heading for Petrograd. The rest, as they say, is history.

Lenin had opened his savings account with the Zuricher Kantonalbank shortly before that fateful journey. It was from this account that he was to pay his membership dues to the local branch of the Bolshevik party.

In his hasty departure, he took the party with him, but not the account, whose contents have been underpinning Swiss capitalism ever since. One of Lenin's nieces is now claiming the loot, including interest.