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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

World War II Gold

NEW YORK () -- Newly declassified U.S. government documents released Thursday show that Hitler's foreign minister smuggled 13.5 metric tons of gold bullion out of Germany, more than two-thirds of it in the months before the fall of Berlin.

The paperwork, uncovered and made public by the World Jewish Congress, was part of a continuing effort by Jewish groups to uncover a fortune that was stolen from Holocaust victims and could run into billions of dollars.

"We're talking about gold stolen by the Nazis across occupied Europe throughout the war," said Elan Steinberg, WJC executive director. "From banks, from concentration camp victims -- gold fillings taken from victims."

At Thursday's price of $14 per gram, the "Rippentrop gold fund" would now be valued at more than $185 million. None of it was ever recovered, according to Steinberg.