This riveting, never-before-told story is one of World War II's most compelling and unresolved mysteries: the disappearance of the Hungarian Gold Train. An astonishing tale of espionage, betrayal, greed, secrecy, and depravity, this is a real history that rivals the best of John le Carre, Robert Harris, and Alan Furst. 16-page photo insert. Maps, ...
This riveting, never-before-told story is one of World War II's most compelling and unresolved mysteries: the disappearance of the Hungarian Gold Train. An astonishing tale of espionage, betrayal, greed, secrecy, and depravity, this is a real history that rivals the best of John le Carre, Robert Harris, and Alan Furst. 16-page photo insert. Maps, notes, bibliography, index.
Publishers Weekly, 2002-09-09 The fabulous "gold train" of Budapest, filled with treasures stolen from Hungarian Jews, has long been a legend of WWII. More recently, it's been the subject of several lawsuits filed by concentration camp survivors. But the real history of the gold train has remained obscure, a situation Zweig corrects in this precise and sober-minded study. In late 1944, Zweig writes, as the Russian army was approaching Budapest, the Hungarian government (a puppet Nazi state) decided to evacuate the loot it had confiscated from its Jewish citizens. The treasure, worth approximately $50 million-$120 million in 1944 dollars, was secretly loaded onto a train and sent on a tortured four-month odyssey westward from the capital. At various points, the treasure was hidden in a castle, a bathhouse and in deep coal mines. In mid-1945, the train was captured by Allied troops, but the drama, Zweig shows, was only beginning. For years, the fate of the gold was subject to the political maneuverings and bickering of the Allies. Eventually, the U.S. gave its portion to Jewish relief organizations, which then transferred much of the funds to the Zionist movement in Palestine; the French returned its portion to the Hungarian government. Almost none of the surviving Jews who lost their property ever saw it returned. Zweig, a historian at Tel Aviv University, does an admirable job of untangling a complicated story and sorting fact from fiction in this fascinating subplot in the vast, tragic narrative of WWII. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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