Nazi gold train discovery: Communists, Socialists should get their share of the spoils
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A train containing an estimated $3 billion in gold and other valuables which was hidden by retreating Nazis at the end of the Second World War has been found in Poland, although the exact location will not be revealed until the men who located it have agreed a 10% finders' fee with the authorities.
Even so, Art Recovery Group, a private company based in London, is already preparing to swoop on the haul in an effort to distribute the fortune to Jews with Eastern European family connections. "If this train was one of those (Nazi gold) trains, then it would contain materials from Eastern European countries, possibly dispossessed from Jews," Ms Cleary of Art Recovery Group said, possibly wringing her hands and licking her lips in anticipation of a sizable windfall.
The Jewish Agency was similarly quick off the mark in its pursuit of cash when just three months after the end of the Second World War they submitted a memorandum demanding reparations, restitution, and indemnification due to the Jewish people from Germany. The German government subsequently declared that it was ready to compensate Israel for material damage and losses and to negotiate with Israel and with representatives of Diaspora Jewry for other reparations. The following month, the Jewish community established the Conference on Jewish Material Claims against Germany and, as a result, billions of dollars were doled out to both the fledgling state of Israel and to Jewish individuals around the world.
Even so, as late as 1999, the Jewish community filed a series of class action lawsuits against numerous German companies including Deutsche Bank AG, Siemens, BMW, Volkswagen and Opel demanding even more cash. In return for dropping these cases, the German government gave between $2,500 and $7,500 to over 140,000 Jews from more than 25 countries.
Quite right too, you might say, but the Jews were not the only group to suffer at the hands of the Nazis. Among the earliest victims of discrimination and persecution in Nazi Germany were political opponents -- primarily Communists, Socialists, Social Democrats, and trade union leaders.
However, the leftists either felt that responsibility for human suffering could not be bought off with blood money or they were not motivated by personal financial gain in the same way as the Jewish Diaspora and so declined to push for financial compensation.
As a life-long Socialist myself, I too realise that money cannot compensate the families of the left-wing victims of the Holocaust, but I also realise that money can be used to improve the lives of oppressed Communists and Socialists today.
In the West, left-wingers are routinely demonized by the predominantly right-wing media and, as a result, face social exclusion. Furthermore, they are often victimized by employers, especially those with trade union affiliations.
That's why I aim to establish the Communist And Socialist Helpline (CASH) which will be a trust fund dedicated to distributing the remaining 90% of the recently-discovered Nazi gold to left-wingers in need.
I will ask the authorities to make a cheque for $2.7 billion out to CASH which I will deposit it in my bank account in Switzerland for safe-keeping. Then I will distribute the money to any deserving individuals or groups that can demonstrate their commitment to the Socialist cause and who can show that they are suffering under capitalist oppression.
The Jews have already filled their boots, now it's time for other victims of Nazi persecution to get their fair share of the spoils.
Firstly, I'd like to provide some information on exactly what Pro is referring to. Very recently this gold was found in Poland, and though Pro states the exact location is not known, most experts have concluded it to be hidden within the Sowa mountains 3 miles from the town of Walbrzeg, South-West Poland. It is believed that this gold would have been stolen from Wroclaw, in May 1945.
The Nazi forces were likely escaping the Red Army while on their way.
One important thing to note is that this gold still has yet to be found and authorities are still currently looking into it. Two men, Polish and German, claimed to have discovered the gold and have stated to authorities that they want a 10% share in reveling the precise location; however, this demand has yet to be met. [1.] http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
They have stated, through their lawyer, that they may reveal it to the president of Walbrzych this week. But naturally this remains to be seen. [2.] http://www.telegraph.co.uk...
One major thing is that an old German map of the village *does* in fact show a railway line, which now longer exists, going into the neighbouring of Walim. [2.]
Now addressing Pros main argument: which is that the gold (assuming it is found) should be given to 'communists and socialists'.
For starters, it is the area in which it is discovered and Polish authorities who will assume control of the gold--what is done with is obviously not known. My main contention is not necessarily *who* should get the gold, but why there doesn't seem to be a sufficient reason for it all be given to socialists and communists.
For the following reasons:
-It was not their gold to begin with.
-The gold was stolen from Wroclaw, Poland, a place that at the time had a significant Jewish community; thus making it theirs.
-No socialists and communists have been involved in the/a discovery of this gold. People that may individually assign to socialism/communism do not count, as Pro is arguing that it should be given communists/socialists as a group.
-Pro himself negates that it would be slightly contradictory to give the gold to socialists and communists, on the basis that they are technically supposed to be against immoderate wealth; the reason why I use terms such as that is because the gold, if found, would amount to billions.
As I can see, Pro has yet to give valid reasons on why they should receive all of this alleged gold. Another problem he has is asserting exactly how it is supposed to be divided between this political group of people. Are all of them in the world to get it? Who/what actually classifies as a socialists or communist?
Another rebuttal I have is the fact that other minorities also suffered extensively during the Holocaust; it would seem Pro thinks it's only Jews and communists that were killed and/or sent into Nazi concentration camps. However, Roma gypsies were also persecuted and it is estimated that 250,000 died [3.] https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org...
Poles and Slavs were also viewed as racially inferior, thus many were made to go into forced into labour camps: [4.] https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org...
As well as that, you had other groups such as Jehovah's witnesses [5.] http://www.ushmm.org... and homosexuals [6.] http://www.ushmm.org...
Even many Catholics were no like by the Nazi's: [7.] http://www.catholic.com...
It is true that the gold cannot be directly attributed to Socialists, no more than it can be directly attributed to Jews: but that didn't prevent the Jews from claiming previous hordes of Nazi loot on the basis of collective suffering - and the same principle should apply to the other victimized groups of Nazi oppression.
It is also correct that the gold was discovered in the vicinity of Wroclaw but it was on a train - meaning it could have come from anywhere in Nazi-controlled Europe - to say that it was found en-route to its final destination in a town that had a sizable Jewish population does not entitle Jewish individuals in the US, Israel or elsewhere, who might already be very wealthy, from seizing it to line their own pockets.
Finally, I am aware that Socialists do not lust over wealth just for the sake of being wealthy as some other groups do but a few dollars here and there to help pay the bills would not compromise Socialist principles. Remember, I will be keeping all the money in my Swiss bank account and will be very strict about who qualifies for assistance and who does not.
Thanks Pro, it has been a pleasure to debate this topic.
As it happens, the existence of the gold has now been confirmed by Polish authorities--though it seems some experts are still skeptical as to how much of it there actually is.
Yesterday, a Polish official stated that ground-radar images had left him '99% convinced' that the gold had in fact been directly located [8.] http://www.bbc.co.uk...
Now, I'd like to note that Pro has failed to give sufficient reasons on as to *why* this gold should be given to socialists; which is exactly what his resolution was advocating. There is also a contradiction in stating that the 'same principle should apply to other victimized groups of Nazi oppression', when he believes that the Jews, technically the most persecuted group under Nazi Germany, should not receive any of this themselves.
Once again, the primary reason on why Jews have claimed stolen Nazi gold is because in most if not all cases, it originally belonged to them--it would be misleading to assume that it was only because of 'collective suffering'. It should be recognized that each Jew [or Jewish family] that was killed and/or sent into Nazi concentration camps lost everything that they had previously owned. This includes their home, and of course personal belongings such as gold.
Even gold teeth from Jews was removed during the Holocaust, with much of it being used on the Reichsbank [9.] http://www.jewishhistory.org...
The likelihood of this gold being stolen from wealthy Jews who had previously inhabited Warsaw, Poland, and other parts of Eastern Europe is extremely likely: [10.] http://www.ctvnews.ca...
However, I'd highlight again that I'm not arguing that the gold should go towards the Jews, either exclusively or in parts, but that there is a very valid reason why they historically been the main beneficiaries of stolen gold and financial compensation.
To negate Pros resolution, my only task is to show that there is significant lack [if any] reason for the newly discovered gold to go towards socialists and communists. He has also not outlined exactly *how* this gold would be distributed among this particular group of people.
Therefore, vote CON.
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