Letter: Adolf Hitler's giro account

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The Independent Online
Sir: Perhaps the seekers after Hitler's wealth in Switzerland are barking up the wrong banks ("Discovered: Hitler's secret Swiss bank account", 6 September).

On 25 March, 1939, Bland, the Minister at the Hague, wrote to Sir William Strang at the Foreign Office: "You may be interested to know that the father of our Commercial Secretary's Dutch clerk, who is employed in the local tax collector's office, has informed Laming that there is an account with the Netherlands Postal Cheque Clearance Service in the name of Eber Nachfolger GmbH, Thierstrasse 11, 22 Munich, Giro No 211846, and that, according to the inspector of taxes who in the course of his investigations discovered the fact, this account belongs to Herr Hitler."

In January, 1945, with the Germans showing a regrettable tendency to go on fighting, a committee was set up under Bruce Lockhart of SIS, Oliver Harvey of the Foreign Office and Ismay for the Chiefs of Staff, to suggest methods of "breaking the German will to resist". One suggestion was to open credits or deposit balances in a few banks in neutral capitals in the names of leading Nazis. "We should then attempt to suggest that the money had been deposited by Nazi leaders for their own purposes. The government would inform the neutral governments and invite investigations."

The effect would be to discredit the German generals and sow doubt and dissension within the higher reaches of the party.

If this flight of fancy was every carried through it would certainly muddy the waters for today's researchers.


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