A panel investigating Sweden's acquisition of gold from Hitler's Germany is looking into new allegations that Swedish companies traded in diamonds looted by the Nazis, its chairman said Tuesday.
Commission chairman Rolf Wirten acknowledged the latest investigation after Swedish radio and the respected newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported on the alleged sales.The report said a previously secret document from the U.S. Office of Strategic Service - the predecessor of the CIA - indicated diamonds were smuggled into Sweden by civil servants working at the German legation in Stockholm.
The diamonds, which came from Amsterdam, were then sold on the black market to Swedish jewelers, the report said. The Netherlands, a center of the worldwide diamond trade, was occupied by the Nazis during World War II.
It was not immdiately clear how much the diamonds were worth or whether the purchasers knew they were stolen.
Wirten said no firsthand evidence has surfaced to document the transactions.
The commission was formed this year in reponse to reports indicating Sweden had received far more gold from Nazi Germany than previously known.
Sweden, which was neutral during World War II, exported iron to Nazi Germany and was paid in gold. After the war, Sweden determined about 14 tons of the gold had been stolen and returned it to Belgium and the Netherlands.
Most of the gold looted by the Nazis - from occupied countries, from private holdings, even the fillings from teeth - is believed to have ended up in Switzerland, but some went to other neutral countries.