Of Operation Fish, World War II, and Gold
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If you’re interested in investing in gold, then you and Hitler have something in common: Hitler wanted gold too. And not for dissimilar reasons.
In the 1920s, once the Versailles Treaty had reduced Germany to economic rubble, the country was looking at every possible option that could help turn things around for them. Gold, of course, was a major consideration. This is because the post-WWI era was a time of not just inflation, but hyperinflation for the Reich—the situation was dire.
And in the Germany of 1920, all that glittered was definitely gold.
Enter the Great Depression
Germany wasn’t the only place where the economy was suffering, though. The Great Depression hit the United States around the same time, sending unemployment rates up to 30%.
In Europe, the newly-minted Fuhrer had grand ideas: he wanted to establish Germany as one of the world’s greatest economies. And he did do that. Germany’s economy soared under his reign, and this much tells us that Hitler knew a thing or two about fighting inflation and boosting the economy.
Germany and Gold
Here’s when the gradually progressing Reich succumbed to all-powerful hate and the remilitarization of Germany began. In order to push for his plans for world domination, Hitler needed weapons, and for that, he needed money, and money he had none.
Germany had a tiny gold reserve which amounted to only $109 million. Hitler needed more to fund his pogroms—and he found a way to do so.
Soon after they started invading neighboring regions, the looting of gold began. Dubbed “the Nazi Gold Heist,” this is a chapter in history that tells us the tale of one of history’s most mass-scale thefts.
Eventually, they did end up collecting enough gold and monetizing it to fund their grand ambitions, and the Second World War would have been over far sooner had Germany not gotten hold of all the gold in Austria and other countries. This mass movement of wealth from the rest of Europe to Germany is known today as Operation Fish.
Lesson Learnt: Gold Can Save Failing Economies
Although the early 1940s were a travesty that taught us many things about humanity, they also taught us something about the economy. And it was this: gold is your friend, and that if you have reserves in gold, no magnitude of inflation can bring you down.
Today, many governments have reserves in gold for this very reason. Many private businesses and clever individuals do the same.