Culture Magazine

Spanish Diplomats Use Diplomatic Pouch To Make Money

By Sfalcont


posted by author Charles McCain



Spanish Fascist dictator France exchanging a warm handshake with the Fuhrer circa 1942.

9 Diplomats Remit Entire Salaries To Their Bank Accounts In Spain

Spanish diplomats in Nazi Germany were keen participants in the black market in Berlin. As World War Two continued year after bloody year, three items, easily and cheaply purchased in Spain, commanded huge sums in the Third Reich: coffee, cigarettes, and cognac.

While on leave in Spain, the diplomats loaded up with these commodities or simply imported them through the diplomatic pouch. A “pouch” can actually be as big as a shipping container. If marked as diplomatic mail, it cannot be opened for inspection.

So Spanish diplomats made quite a lot of ready cash by legally importing very scarce and desirable items to Berlin and selling them on the black market–which was illegal. However, diplomats have diplomatic immunity and can’t be arrested except under certain circumstances.

Source: Spaniards and Nazi Germany: Collaboration in the New Order by Wayne H. Bowen, University of Missouri Press, 2000.

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