One of the most common arguments of the opponents of the Karadjordjevic dynasty was deliberately placed lie that HM King Petar II had stolen and brought with him into exile gold from the vaults of the National Bank of Yugoslavia.
Before the Second World War, the government of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia possessed 84,574 kilograms of gold, of which, as a deposit in the Bank of England, it had 44,886 kilograms of gold. After the beginning of the war, most of these reserves were transferred to the U.S., along with a certain portion of gold bars that were in Yugoslavia, so the amount of deposits in the U.S. was 47,852 kilograms and 11,203 kilograms in UK.
On March 18th, 1941, the Yugoslav government has sold, for foreign currency, on the gold market 20,002 kilograms of pure gold in favor of the Brazilian bank deposits in the amount of 11,225,000 U.S. Dollars.
In the vaults in the country remained 10,701 kilograms of gold, of which in the underground vault in Uzice 9,611 kilograms, while in Sarajevo’s branch of the National Bank left 1,090 kilograms.
Minister of Finance in Simovic’s coup government, Dr. Juraj Sutej, commanded on April 7th, 1941, that the gold from the vault in Uzice (204 chests) be moved to Mostar. When on April 10th the NDH was proclaimed in Zagreb, the gold was on April14th immediately evacuated to Niksic and hidden in a cave of Trebjesa mountain.
It had not stayed here for a long time either, but, 15th, on April was transferred to the airport Krapina’s field, in order to be transfered further abroad. The gold that has remained in Sarajevo was seized by the Ustashas.
Upon evacuation of the King and the government, on April 15th and 16th, 1941, on Niksic airport has remained 190 chests of gold, and the government and generals, due to the small bearing capacity of airplane, brought with them only 14 chests (674 kilograms of gold). Coup government brought eight chests (385 kilograms) and generals six chests (289 kilograms).
The gold that the government has brought to Britain had to be deposited in the Bank of England, and from it were, during the war, paid salaries to the ministers of the refugee government and other members of the state apparatus. Converted into U.S. Dollars, this amounted to four million dollars for the amount of 385 kilograms according to ones, and according to others, of 245 kilograms of pure gold.
What happened to the gold that was left in Niksic?
Italians seized 176 chests or 8,393 kilograms of pure gold. Germans seized in Ostrog monastery four chests or 188 kilograms.
The Chetniks found and took one chest.
OZNA found five chests and handed them over to Josip Broz.
After many years of arduous research of Reparations Commission, and after World War II and restitution, it was determined that 49,033 kilograms of gold remained in the ownership of FPRY.
It may be safely said that in Montenegro 100 kilograms of gold was stolen, mostly after the escape of putschists from Niksic. Pavelic’s Ustashas seized 1,090 kilograms as well.
From the pre-war 84,574 kilograms of pure monetary gold, after the war remained 49,033 kilograms. What happened to the 35,541 kilograms of national monetary gold?
A significant portion was spent by the refugee government on financing during the war.
After the war, the United States estimated that the confiscated property of their citizens in Yugoslavia is worth 17 million U.S. Dollars. The Americans demanded that Yugoslavia pays out from its gold reserves which were kept at the Federal Reserves. Thus, Americans from the Yugoslav deposit of 47,852 kilograms of monetary gold took for themselves 15,649 kilograms.
King Petar II took in exile with him a personal luggage and only 26 kilograms of gold. During and after the war, members of the Royal family lived more than modestly, and the story of a stolen people’s money is well-orchestrated lie of the communist propaganda.