Researchers in Argentina, seeking information on Nazi bank accounts in Switzerland, known to be containing funds looted from Holocaust victims during the Second World War, have discovered a list of 12,000 Nazis residing there in the 1940s, prepared by an Argentinian government agency tasked with Denazification. The list, which was believed to have been included in records later burned by a pro-Nazi group in Argentina, after the government agency was disbanded, was uncovered in a storeroom at the former Argentinian Nazi headquarters in Buenos Aires recently.
The importance of the list cannot be understated; many Nazis had accounts at what is now Credit Suisse Bank, and any high balances, far in excess of their salaries and possible savings, were presumptively acquired through looting and theft from civilian victims of the Holocaust.
|A closer look at two pages of the list|
These accounts, which are of course now dormant, as the holders would be over one hundred years old, once confirmed, can be subject to forfeiture and seizure, for the victims and their heirs, and for many other legitimate and relevant purposes. Credit Suisse has reportedly not cooperated with any requests for information, or to assist in identifying the accounts, in the past, but this may change, now that the story has been made public.
The reputation damage that Credit Suisse could suffer in the EU, should it be seen to be uncooperative, plus the inevitable publicity over any litigation that resulted, should be enough to immediately propel it into assisting with the investigation, though it may result in a major loss of accounts, which have been earning interest for the bank since 1945.