Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Published by
Public Affairs (2023-11-07)
Current material
MS: Final Edited
Original language
Politics & government


The Flight of Nazi Treasure, 1945 - 1948

by Lochery, Neill

A new history of the many schemes to preserve the looted wealth of the Third Reich as it approached its doom, and why some of those assets were never recovered and instead became the foundation of post-war Germany.

While the story of art and Nazis has been told in some forms, Cashing Out addresses the economic consequences and uncovers a more global scheme that allowed some Nazis to secure assets even after the war had ended. For readers of Monuments Men, Lochery's work will add needed historical clarity and contribute to a new understanding of the era and its consequences.

With the failure of the Ardennes Offensive in January 1945, many Germans knew the war was not just lost but that they would be utterly defeated. Some then firmed up exit plans to try to evade Allied justice before the catastrophe was inescapable.

By 1945, sales in art auction houses were dominated by German efforts to launder the stolen property. Rare artworks, gold and silver, diamonds as well as other jewels flooded the market until prices collapsed. As a result, fleeing Germans realized it was more prudent from a financial point of view to simply smuggle the goods out of Europe and worry about selling them later. The Allies, realizing the looting had begun, commenced Operation Safehaven to try to intercept and recover the wealth before it disappeared. This effort persisted until 1948, when ex-Nazi officials, scientists and businessmen became important to the NATO-led resistance to the Soviet threat.

Cashing Out traces the cat and mouse game as the stolen wealth of the Third Reich passed through neutral European cities such as Stockholm, Zurich, and Lisbon, to safe havens in Latin America. It also reveals the gross injustice committed when the world forgot about the case for restitution--allowing Nazi sympathizers to keep their wealth intact-- when the Cold War began.

Neill Lochery is a world-renowned source on the politics and modern history of Europe and the Mediterranean Middle East. He has authored a series of critically acclaimed books, including the international bestseller Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-1945 and most recently Brazil: The Fortunes of War, World War II and the Making of Modern Brazil. He divides his time between London, Portugal and the United States.

Available rights (1)

Language Territory Type Vendor Status
German World All

Mohrbooks Literary Agency
Sebastian Ritscher

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