Hitler's Silent Partners: Swiss Banks, Nazi Gold, and the Pursuit of Justice

Isabel Vincent, Author William Morrow & Company $25 (352p) ISBN 978-0-688-15425-7
Secret Swiss bank accounts have long been used to hide funds that depositors wish to protect from detection. European Jews threatened by Nazi Germany used such accounts to avoid confiscation of their assets. Vincent (See No Evil), an investigative journalist for Toronto's Globe and Mail, tells the story of one Viennese Jewish family, the Hammersfelds, who are now seeking to recapture such an account that they believe was opened by their grandfather after the Germans annexed Austria in 1938. One of the weaknesses of using the Hammersfeld family as an example of Swiss bankers' recalcitrance is that they admittedly possess no concrete evidence other than a recollection that their grandfather had set up a Swiss account before he eventually perished. From the book's title, one might expect exclusive insights into the role of supposedly neutral Swiss bankers during WWII in helping the Germans launder confiscated gold and finance the country's war machine, yet Vincent adds little to what is already known. Still, this compendium of information reads like a stirring saga of one family's struggle to survive. Author tour. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1997
Release date: 10/01/1997
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-688-16631-1
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-307-36645-0
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