This is tough because I read this story probably decades ago, so memory is hard served. I do remember that the gold was collected from the victims' teeth and fillings in a Nazi camp, and that some retribution is exacted upon those who come into contact with it. I thought the title might be "Martyr's Gold" But I am unable to locate this story anywhere. Any knowledge or help is appreciated

  • oh-- the agony of unrequited knowledge ! If you can steer me somewhere that I might find this story I would be very grateful. Finding titles and authors are usually helpful,-of course- but a bit of a tease when hints come to naught! I The KCk literary curriculum was a bust, and Rogue mag and Alfred Hitchcock t as well
    – Fey Ray
    May 24, 2016 at 4:37
  • What was the problem with the KCK Literary Curriculum? The link didn't work? You couldn't find the Sambrot story there? You can't open a Microsoft Word document? Are you in the United States? If so, the first listing for Stories Not for the Nervous at the Abe.com page I linked to is $3.49 including postage.
    – user14111
    May 24, 2016 at 5:01
  • Here is a copy of the Dec. 1963 Rogue for $6.17 postpaid in the U.S.
    – user14111
    May 24, 2016 at 5:04

1 Answer 1


"The Substance of Martyrs" by William Sambrot, first published in the December 1963 issue of Rogue, reprinted in the 1965 anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents Stories Not for the Nervous, available online from KCK Literacy Curriculum.

“Can’t you guess where that gold came from?” Dumphrey said. “Hohler was one of the butchers of Dachau. Stripping the rings from his victims’ fingers as they were led wailing into the gas chambers. Wrenching the gold teeth and fillings from their lifeless mouths as they were fed into the furnaces. Accumulating his pile of gold, melting it down into bars—“

I think that must be the story you wanted. However, the part about "retribution" does not exactly match. Some Christians have innocently made the gold into a new crucifix for their church, being unaware of the true origin of the gold bars, believing the gold to be from their old crucifix which had been stolen by Nazis, and which they erroneously believed to have been made of gold. And far from being "cursed":

Above the altar that strangely serene, that powerful golden figure enveloped them in a warmth they’d never known before.

And as if to prove that God was indeed among them, there occurred then the first of the miracles attribute to the golden Christ. A child, a victim of a shelling attack, had been brought to the service. The child had been buried alive in the ruins of his blasted home, pinned beneath the bodies of his parents. When they’d dug him out, he had shrieked once, then it was as though a light had been extinguished within him: his eyes went blank. He became mute, an unresisting, and unsmiling creature, with no spark of humanity.

But in the church he’d look upon the golden Christ. A faint light leaped into his eyes. He stared. His eyes became brighter. Brighter. And suddenly he screamed, a terrible, piercing scream. He began to cry. The tears were real, genuine tears of emotion. He was alive again, a thinking, feeling human soul; in great anguish—but sane.

“He is a strong young man now, with children of his own,” Dumphrey finished, as we walked down the worn stone steps and back to the car. “His was the first, but there have been similar . . . cures.”

  • @USER14111--If you can steer me to a site where i can read or buy this story i would be most obliged. l I put my feelers out and am unable to find where to beg borrow steal or buy this story. I'm extremely curious about it. Could Dumphrey be a soldier, undertaker, concentration camp worker? And what the results are-if not retribution of these actions.
    – Fey Ray
    May 24, 2016 at 4:28
  • "Colonel Dumphrey (retired), D.S.O. O.B.E., was (and is) a renowned scholar and linguist, an expert on Italian Renaissance and Middle-European medieval art. During the war, Colonel Dumphrey had been a major in Military Intelligence (British Army), on special detached duty with the 45th Division (American)." From the 4th paragraph of the story, which is freely available (in the form of a Microsoft Word document) if you follow the last link in my answer and search for "sambrot".
    – user14111
    May 24, 2016 at 4:33
  • If you want a hard copy, click here to see some copies offered for sale.
    – user14111
    May 24, 2016 at 4:38
  • I've added more detail to my answer. If after reading that, or after reading the story itself, or for any other reason you should ever decide that my answer is not the one you were looking for, you should unaccept it. To do that you click once more on the green check mark.
    – user14111
    May 24, 2016 at 4:55
  • 1
    @FuzzyBoots A fantasy short from five decades ago, about Nazi gold stolen from Holocaust victims, with "Martyrs" in the title, seemed too much to be coincidental. Blessings and curses are the same sort of thing, aren't they? Easy to get them mixed up.
    – user14111
    May 24, 2016 at 20:25

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