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Descripción de editorial
It was the largest organized robbery in history: the systematic looting of Europe's Jews by the Nazis, in cooperation with most of the nations in Europe?Axis, Allied, and neutral. Award--winning journalist Richard Z. Chesnoff, one of the first reporters to break the story that Swiss banks had hoarded the assets of Holocaust victims, traveled to fourteen countries to research this heartbreaking, compelling story of human greed. Through exclusive interviews and information from hitherto classified files, Chesnoff tells a tragic tale, the vast scope of which is only beginning to be known. Revealing new details that many would prefer remained secret, Pack of Thieves describes the detective work used to trace Holocaust assets that continue to be hidden inside the financial systems of such Allied nations as France and the Netherlands. Daring, insightful, and necessary, Pack of Thieves is at once a fascinating piece of investigative journalism and an enraging account of one of history's greatest crimes.
While Switzerland has borne the brunt of much of the public criticism for serving as "Hitler's banker," Chesnoff makes it abundantly clear that people and governments in many countries took advantage of the plight of the Jews before and during WWII to enrich their coffers. From Swiss bankers to Italian insurance companies and the Swedish industrialist family Wallenberg (the uncles of Raoul), various parties were more than willing to cash in on the financial opportunities provided by the war. Indeed, by laundering money, numerous governments helped Germany prolong the war. Equally disheartening is how eager ordinary people were to move into houses and confiscate property that had been abandoned by Jews. Chesnoff, a senior correspondent with U.S. News & World Report, takes a country-by-country look at the wealth stolen from the Jews. While the looting began has a tool to help "Aryanize" Germany and German-held territory, the theft of Jewish property became an important element in financing the Nazi regime. Even after the war, both latent European anti-Semitism and the spread of communism made it all the more difficult to provide restitution to those who were robbed of their possessions. Chesnoff visited 11 countries, interviewed hundreds of people and examined newly unclassified documents. His diligent research leads to a passionate conclusion in which he argues for restitution and criticizes as perverse those who argue that by demanding reparations Jews are only reviving the stereotype of the money-grubbing Jew.