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Yaron Svoray  

Investigative Journalist Treasure Hunter

Yaron Svoray is an investigative journalist, who working in conjunction with the Simon Wiesenthal Center infiltrated the Neo-Nazi terrorist movement in Germany, Italy and South America. His infiltration became an international bestseller in the book "In Hitler's Shadow" and was subsequently adapted into an HBO Movie "The Infiltrator" starring Oliver Platt as Yaron Svoray .

His reputation as a committed and highly successful investigator was solidified when he recovered 40 uncut diamonds that were stolen by the Nazis During WWII. His search and recovery of the diamonds was documented in the History Channel's critically acclaimed 'Blood from a Stone.'

Svoray has recently uncovered a dumping ground for the destroyed remains of properties plundered during Kristallnacht (The "Night of Broken glass"). His investigative work in the Austrian alps aired on 60 minutes and his findings there became the basis for the Oscar winning movie "The Counterfeiters."

Yaron Svoray is currently working on the retrieval of art, treasures and jewelry stolen by Hitler's designated successor Hermann Goering.

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Inside The Belly of The Beast

The story of a son of Holocaust survivors posing as a neo-Nazi sympathizer to infiltrate the highest echelons of this murderous organization and bring them to justice. And almost be found out at a beer hall dinner: "You are a Jew!"

How does a neo-Nazi terrorist organization function? What do they want? How will they try to accomplish it? What are their connections to similar American groups? And-how do we stop them?

What qualities must an ordinary man have to volunteer to undertake these extraordinary dangers, and what qualities must we have to face what life throws at us.

This lecture will be accompanied by the screening of segments from the HBO film, THE INFILTRATOR, based on Yaron's book, IN HITLER'S SHADOW.

The Search for the Life Diamonds

The story of how a lecture in Bangor, Maine, started Yaron on a decade long search, resulting in an international team of Israelis, Germans, an award winning writer and a William Morris agent digging up forty diamonds buried in a foxhole on the French-German border.

The story in very brief: They were called "life diamonds." They were uncut, looked like sugar cubes, could easily be hidden in plain sight on a table or sewed into the linings of garments. They were portable and could always be sold to keep their owners alive. Unless their owners were rounded up, taken to death camps, stripped and gassed. This is the story of forty of these diamonds, stolen by the Gestapo, taken back by American GIs, and buried in a foxhole on the French-German border where they lay from 1944 until unearthed fifty five years later.Yaron's brief meeting in Bangor with one of the American GIs was the start. Sam Nyer told him approximately where the diamonds were buried but would never return to claim them himself because he believed they were 'cursed:' anyone who touched them died. The "where" was inexact. There was a hill on the French-German border. A church was here. A farmhouse was there. A tree was downed. Barbed wire. For almost ten years, Yaron would walk these hills dreaming of finding the diamonds, of great wealth…but was kept from them. It was only after his realization that he was never meant to profit from these that Heaven seemingly opened the gates for him to find them….and donate all to children's charities around the world. Why children? It was children who went through the clothing of the dead retrieving the wealth sewed into pockets and linings.

Takeaways: must have takeaways. Tenacity, tenacity, tenacity, to find how the puzzle pieces link together. Life can accidentally take you to unexpected turns but never lose sight of the prize. Generosity has its price (forty diamonds worth!) but when you believe in something, nothing else matters.

This lecture will be accompanied by the screening of segments from the History Channel docudrama, BLOOD FROM A STONE, based upon Yaron's book, and featuring Yaron, scenes from a decade of search, and actual footage of his finding the diamonds.

Finding Hidden World War II Treasures

Buried diamonds in a foxhole, forged money at the bottom of a lake with a 60 Minutes camera crew in tow (and an Oscar winning film to be based on the story), coins buried in the center of a Polish city, Kristalnacht plunder in a German forest, jewelry at the edge of a concentration camp, or the smudged diary notes of a German soldier suggesting a vastness of stolen Nazi loot trucked out of Berlin in the final days of the second world war. Each episode a story worthy of an entire lecture, but seamlessly knitted together, one operation leading to another.

What goes into the planning of an operation. (You don't just waltz into a town with a pick and shovel and announce you're there to unearth what many are dedicated to have stayed forever buried, or others would kill you for what you're searching for). There is often only one shot: how to make it count. How do you research disparate clues, make sense of a hand drawn map with literally "x" marks the spot as the only marker.

Bringing this home to ourselves: most of us won't ever be confronted with the potential of a "treasure." But what are the qualities a treasure FINDER can teach us? Organization: one opportunity, in and out. And the flip: roll with the moment. There is always a curve. How to deal with curves. (And how to deal with a neo-Nazi who has you in his sights as you're squirreling deep into a bunker built by Mussolini on the Italian border with Austria). Patience, of course: no operation before its time. Bob and weave and improvise as you think on your feet. And eye on the prize, whether its gold, money, a job, a relationship, or a goal. And for business audiences: planning, planning, planning. Pieces together. Contingencies.

This lecture will feature segments from the HBO movie, THE INFILTRATOR and the History Channel docudrama, BLOOD FROM A STONE.

Insights into the Middle East: Players, Problems and Possible Solutions

Yaron Svoray, an expert on Middle Eastern affairs, is available to speak on the latest tensions in the Middle East especially related to the possible Israeli attack of Iran's nuclear facilities. As you know, there is great debate within Israel as well as of course around the globe about the merits of an attack.

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