During and after World War II, the Allies sought to recover and restore the gold, foreign currency, art, cultural objects, and other wealth plundered by the Nazis. Yet despite a concerted effort by the war's victors, there are large quantities of Nazi-looted assets that have never been found, including at least 100,000 works of art and an undetermined amount of non-monetary gold. Sheikdoms) and Yemen represent an area of great strategic interest to the U.S. The State Department central files document the controversial British presence and U.S. efforts to replace Britain as "protector" in the Gulf region, and other historic issues. Among these are oil production and revenues, domestic unrest, threat of Arab nationalism.
This edition of files from the State Department's Office of the Assistant Legal Adviser for Educational, Cultural, and Public Affairs covers the diplomatic, legal, and political maneuvering over assets seized by the United States as enemy property during World War II and German assets outside of Germany. The records are organized into three major groupings: Office of Alien Property; German assets outside Germany; and claims against Germany. The materials date from 1942 to 1987 and consist of correspondence, memoranda of meetings and conversations, legislation, newspaper clippings, transcripts of congressional testimony, and court documents.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Office of Alien Property (OAP) by Executive Order 9095 in March 1942. The OAP was "responsible for the administration, liquidation, distribution, and disposition of the interests in alien property which vested in the United States under the Trading with the Enemy Act" (Reel 1, Frame 0217). The OAP files cover three main topics: Swiss claims to property seized by the United States in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act; the Interhandel case involving Interhandel-owned stock in the General Aniline & Film Corporation; and miscellaneous claims of individuals and corporations. Other files cover German assets outside of Germany, and claims against Germany.