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Jewish Diamond Merchants in Netherlands Ask Return of Gems Surrendered to Nazis

Return of 50,000 carats of diamonds paid by Jewish diamond merchants of the Netherlands to the Nazis to purchase their freedom, has been requested by leaders of the diamond industry in Amsterdam, it was reported here today.

Dutch diamond merchants have asked their government to intercede with the allies to restore this loot, valued at approximately $7,600,000, according to “Foreign Commerce Weekly,” issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The return of these diamonds would greatly help restoration of Amsterdam’s famous industry, the publication states.

The Dutch say that the individual “contributions” of the Jewish merchants, ranging from 20,000 to 120,000 guilders, ultimately failed to protect the dealers against deportation, since toward the end of the war, the Germans sent most of them to Celle, in Germany where the Nazis had established a complete diamond industry. American troops seized the train en route to Celle, “Foreign Commerce Weekly” reports, and freed the merchants.