Readers may like to know that I have added a number of sites dedicated to various books I have published over the last few years, with an emphasis on the research involving Nazis as well as my other work, and you are encouraged to check out TheHitlerLegacy.com as well as PeterLevenda.com for more information and updates.
That said, there are a number of events have transpired over the past few weeks that bear mentioning.
First of all, there is a new interview with me posted on the Brent Holland site, and you can see it here:
Secondly, there has been a very fruitful exchange of information with a reader whom we will call Jinni. Jinni noticed an important clue in The Hitler Legacy that refers to a mysterious bunch of letters and numbers in Ratline. This connection — which escaped me! — quite possibly ties the Austrian Nazis Georg Anton Poech and his wife the anthropologist Hella Poech to the Sukarno gold enigma in a very definite way and which reveals the interest that the Javanese prince Soeryo Goeritno had in the Poech documentation and why he was so insistent on getting his hands on the original Poech papers.
Those of you who have a copy of Ratline flip to page 117. There you will see that I refer to the inside front cover of the Poech address book where a cryptic notation appears: JR KepaD No. 35 637 and 35 638. These last two numbers are accompanied by the signs for Male and Female, respectively.
Jinni — a close reader if ever there was one! — noticed a similarity between that notation and an address that appears in The Hitler Legacy on page 270. There I refer to PT Galaxy Trust, the bank where Edison Damanik was an officer and which figures prominently in the stories that swirl around Sukarno’s gold and the Revolutionary Fund. The address of the PT Galaxy Trust in Jakarta, Indonesia is given as Jalan Rawa Kepa VI.
As Jinni points out, JR Kepa is shorthand for Jalan Rawa Kepa. The Roman numeral VI in the address was probably mistaken for the letter D, as the VI would have been written as 6. In Poech’s spidery German hand the 6 could easily have passed for a D.
This means that the Poechs probably had accounts — 35 637 and 35 638 — at the very same, rather obscure, financial institution that was the epicenter (decades later) of the attempt to negotiate the Sukarno gold certificates. Remembering that Poech died in 1970, that means that the couple had accounts at PT Galaxy Trust long before that date.
I have often wondered how the Poech couple managed to support themselves in what appears to be a thoroughly western fashion on that remote Indonesian island, and wondered as well as to what they might have been up to all those years. Had they been caretakers of one of the greatest hordes of stolen gold of the twentieth century? Were they somehow involved in moving assets from Europe to Indonesia in the early 1950s at the time of the Bandung Conference which saw the first indications that Sukarno was planning his Revolutionary Fund as an alternative to the World Bank and the IMF? How would the Poechs have even known that PT Galaxy Trust existed, much less have accounts at that bank?
Does it connect in any way with Poech’s statement to a passing tourist that he came over under the aegis of the ICA?
As mentioned in The Hitler Legacy, ICA was the forerunner of US AID. It was ostensibly designed as an international aid program of the United States. Under ICA cover, however, Lee Harvey Oswald associate George de Mohrenschildt visited Yugoslavia and was detained on suspicion of being a spy for the CIA. And in Philip Agee’s expose of the CIA – Inside the Company: A CIA Diary — we find references to ICA as a front for CIA activities in Latin America.
There is much more to the story of Poech, Sukarno, ICA and the gold and we will be following this trail vigorously. Watch this space!
And … many thanks to Jinni for solving one of my most perplexing mysteries, the strange notation in the Poech address book!