Saturday, December 28, 2013

I came across this article at The Atlantic: Why Gold Would Be Useless in an Economic Apocalypse and later on this follow up at Outside the Beltway. Among the comments to the Beltway post was this gem...
Slugger says:
In 1943 my mother was an inmate in the concentration camp at Lodz. The Germans would surround a building early in the morning, roust the inhabitants, and march them off to the railroad station to ship them elsewhere. Often, the inhabitants were surprised by the raids and sometimes left some stuff behind. The other camp inmates would try to salvage the goods under the watchful eye of the camp guards. In this manner, my mother got hold of a bar of soap which was small enough that she could conceal it on her body and sneak it home.
After she got the soap home, she started to use it and felt something hard concealed in the soap. The hard object turned out to be an American eagle, a ten dollar gold piece.
After her initial happiness about this windfall, she started to worry about using the gold. Anyone, guard or fellow inmate, that saw her with this gold would assume that she had more, and this would lead to interrogation and torture of her entire family either by the Germans or the inevitable internal gangs that arise in anarchies.
Turning gold or over valuables into food, shelter, or protection in a world without law is not easy.
Eventually, a clever relative was able to arrange an exchange with one of the internal gang lords that shielded her identity. Interestingly, the gold was traded for cigarettes; the cigarettes for food.
Add tobacco to the list of guns and booze that are useful in a crazy world.
Anne Marie and Hannah will be here this afternoon, I'm so looking forward to seeing them


Anonymous Robert Taylor said...

The value of gold is mostly mystical. When it comes down to it, you can't eat gold. In occupied Germany right after WWII, the currency of exchange became cartons of American cigarettes as the Reichmark had become worthless.

12:00 AM  

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