Bank of England helped the Nazis to sell plundered gold
The Bank of England has admitted its role in one of the most controversial episodes in its history - helping the Nazis sell gold plundered from Czechoslovakia months before the outbreak of the Second World War.
An official history, written in 1950 but posted online for the first time on Tuesday, detailed how the "Old Lady" transfered gold held in its vaults to the Germans despite the UK Government of the day placing a freeze on all Czech assets held in London.
The Nazis invaded Czechoslovakia in September 1938. In March the following year, the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) asked the Bank of England to switch £5.6m-worth of gold from an account for the Czech national bank to one belonging to the Reichsbank.
Much of the gold - nearly 2,000 gold bars - was then "disposed" of in Belgium, Holland and London. The BIS was chaired at the time by Bank of England director, German Otto Niemeyer.