Maybe we in the US are at a “teachable moment.” If so, let this sink in: The Bush family (both of the President’s grandfathers) not only openly made fortunes supporting Hitler during World War II (and even had assets seized by the US government for their Nazi affiliations), but through blind trust inherited in 1980 from his father George Herbert Walker Bush, President Bush received a fortune in proceeds in part from the slave labor of the death camps of Auschwitz.
And it is no secret anywhere, except of course in the United States. The current limitless war and arms build-up? Family business as usual. Following is an excerpt from a 2004 Guardian article about Nazi Holocaust survivors who initiated suit against the Bush family in Germany (funny, these things never seem to emerge in the US media):
Saturday September 25, 2004
George Bush’s grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.
The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.
His business dealings, which continued until his company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz…
…The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator’s action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy…
…the new documents, many of which were only declassified last year, show that even after America had entered the war and when there was already significant information about the Nazis’ plans and policies, he worked for and profited from companies closely involved with the very German businesses that financed Hitler’s rise to power. It has also been suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped to establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty…
For the dubious, please read the above article in depth, and learn all you want about the key players and bankers.
Next some excerpts from an article by Toby Rogers of September 9, 2003:
On April 19, 2001, President George W. Bush spent some of Holocaust Remembrance Day in the Capital Rotunda with holocaust survivors, allied veterans, and their families. In a ceremony that included Jewish prayers and songs sung by holocaust victims in the camps, Benjamin Meed, a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, movingly described to the gathering what he experienced on April 19, 1943…
But while President Bush publicly embraced the community of holocaust survivors in Washington last spring, he and his family have been keeping a secret from them for over 50 years about Prescott Bush, the president’s grandfather. According to classified documents from Dutch intelligence and US government archives, President George W. Bush’s grandfather, Prescott Bush made considerable profits off Auschwitz slave labor. In fact, President Bush himself is an heir to these profits from the holocaust which were placed in a blind trust in 1980 by his father, former president George Herbert Walker Bush.
Throughout the Bush family’s decades of public life, the American press has gone out of its way to overlook one historical fact – that through Union Banking Corporation (UBC), Prescott Bush, and his father-in-law, George Herbert Walker, along with German industrialist Fritz Thyssen, financed Adolf Hitler before and during World War II. It was first reported in 1994 by John Loftus and Mark Aarons in The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People.
The US government had known that many American companies were aiding Hitler, like Standard Oil, General Motors and Chase Bank, all of which was sanctioned after Pearl Harbor. But as The New York Times reporter Charles Higham later discovered, and published in his 1983 groundbreaking book, Trading With The Enemy; The Nazi American Money Plot 1933-1949, “the government smothered everything during and even after the war.” Why?
According to Higham, the US government believed “a public scandal … would have drastically affected public morale, caused widespread strikes and perhaps provoked mutinies in the armed services.” Higham claims the government thought “their trial and imprisonment would have made it impossible for the corporate boards to help the American war effort.”
However, Prescott Bush’s banks were not just financing Hitler as previously reported. In fact, there was a distinct business link much deeper than Mr. Higham or Mr. Loftus knew at the time their books were published.
A classified Dutch intelligence file which was leaked by a courageous Dutch intelligence officer, along with newly surfaced information from U.S. government archives, “confirms absolutely,” John Loftus says, the direct links between Bush, Thyssen and genocide profits from Auschwitz.
The business connections between Prescott Bush and Fritz Thyssen were more direct than what has been previously written. This new information reveals how Prescott Bush and UBC, which he managed directly, profited from the Holocaust. A case can be made that the inheritors of the Prescott Bush estate could be sued by survivors of the Holocaust and slave labor communities…
Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939 ended the debate about Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation and Upper Silesian Coal and Steel Company. The Nazis knocked the Polish Government off Thyssen, Flick and Harriman’s steel company and were planning to replace the paid workers. Originally Hitler promised Stalin they would share Poland and use Soviet prisoners as slaves in Polish factories. Hitler’s promise never actually materialized and he eventually invaded Russia.
1940s: Business As Usual
Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation was located near the Polish town of Oswiecim, one of Poland’s richest mineral regions. That was where Hitler set up the Auschwitz concentration camp. When the plan to work Soviet prisoners fell through, the Nazis transferred Jews, communists, gypsies and other minority populations to the camp. The prisoners of Auschwitz who were able to work were shipped to 30 different companies. One of the companies was the vast Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation.
“Nobody’s made the connection before between Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation, Auschwitz and Prescott Bush,” John Loftus told Clamor.
“That was the reason why Auschwitz was built there. The coal deposits could be processed into either coal or additives for aviation gasoline.”
Even though Thyssen and Flick’s Consolidated Steel was in their possession, Hitler’s invasions across Europe spooked them, bringing back memories of World War I. Thyssen and Flick sold Consolidated Steel to UBC. Under the complete control of Harriman and management of Bush, the company became Silesian American Corporation which became part of UBC and Harriman’s portfolio of 15 corporations. Thyssen quickly moved to Switzerland and later France to hide from the terror about to be unleashed by the Nazi war machine he had helped build.
A portion of the slave labor force in Poland was “managed by Prescott Bush,” according to a Dutch intelligence agent. In 1941, slave labor had become the lifeblood of the Nazi war machine. The resources of Poland’s rich steel and coal field played an essential part in Hitler’s invasion of Europe.
According to Higham, Hitler and the Fraternity of American businessmen “not only sought a continuing alliance of interests for the duration of World War II, but supported the idea of a negotiated peace with Germany that would bar any reorganization of Europe along liberal lines. It would leave as its residue a police state that would place the Fraternity in postwar possession of financial, industrial, and political autonomy.”
Six days after Pearl Harbor and the US declaration of war at the end of 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau and US Attorney General Francis Biddle signed the Trading With the Enemy Act, which banned any business interests with US enemies of war. Prescott Bush continued with business as usual, aiding the Nazi invasion of Europe and supplying resources for weaponry that would eventually be turned on American solders in combat against Germany.
On October 20, 1942, the U.S. government had had enough of Prescott Bush and his Nazi business arrangements with Thyssen. Over the summer, The New York Tribune had exposed Bush and Thyssen, whom the Tribune dubbed “Hitler’s Angel.” When the US government saw UBC’s books, they found out that Bush’s bank and its shareholders “are held for the benefit of … members of the Thyssen family, [and] is property of nationals … of a designated enemy country.” The list of seven UBC share holders was:
E. Roland Harriman – 3991 shares Cornelis Lievense – 4 shares Harold D.Pennington – 1 share Ray Morris– 1 share Prescott S. Bush – 1 share H.J. Kouwenhoven – 1 share Johann G. Groeninger – 1 share.
The UBC books also revealed the myriad of money and holding companies funneled from the Thyssens and the government realized UBC was just the tip of the iceberg. On November 17, 1942, The US government also took over the Silesian American Corporation, but did not prosecute Bush for the reasons Higham noted earlier. The companies were allowed to operate within the Government Alien Property custodian office with a catch – no aiding the Nazis. In 1943, while still owning his stock, Prescott Bush resigned from UBC and even helped raise money for dozens of war-related causes as chairman of the National War Fund.
After the war, the Dutch government began investigating the whereabouts of some jewelry of the Dutch royal family that was stolen by the Nazis. They started looking into books of the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart. When they discovered the transaction papers of the Silesian American Corporation, they began asking the bank manager H.J. Kounhoven a lot of questions. Kouwenhoven was shocked at the discovery and soon traveled to New York to inform Prescott Bush. According to Dutch intelligence, Kouwenhoven met with Prescott soon after Christmas, 1947. Two weeks later, Kouwenhoven apparently died of a heart attack.
1950s: Bush Sells UBC Stock
By 1948, Fritz Thyssen’s life was in ruins. After being jailed by the Nazis, he was jailed by the Allies and interrogated extensively, but not completely, by US investigators. Thyssen and Flick were ordered to pay reparations and served time in prison for their atrocious crimes against humanity.
On February 8, 1951, Fritz Thyssen died bitterly in Argentina at the age of 78. Thyssen was angry at the way he was treated by Europe after the war and how history would remember him as Hitler’s most important and prominent financier.
When Thyssen died, the Alien Property Custodian released the assets of the Union Banking Corporation to Brown Brothers Harriman. The remaining stockholders cashed in their stocks and quietly liquidated the rest of UBC’s blood money.
Prescott Bush received $1.5 million for his share in UBC. That money enabled Bush to help his son, George Herbert Walker Bush, to set up his first royalty firm, Overby Development Company, that same year. It was also helpful when Prescott Bush left the business world to enter the public arena in 1952 with a successful senatorial campaign in Connecticut. On October 8th, 1972, Prescott Bush died of cancer and his will was enacted soon after.
In 1980, when George H.W. Bush was elected vice president, he placed his father’s family inherence in a blind trust. The trust was managed by his old friend and quail hunting partner, William “Stamps” Farish III.
Bush’s choice of Farish to manage the family wealth is quite revealing in that it demonstrates that the former president might know exactly where some of his inheritance originated. Farish’s grandfather, William Farish Jr., on March 25th, 1942, pleaded “no contest” to conspiring with Nazi Germany while president of Standard Oil in New Jersey. He was described by Senator Harry Truman in public of approaching “treason” for profiting off the Nazi war machine. Standard Oil, invested millions in IG Farben, who opened a gasoline factory within Auschwitz in 1940. The billions “Stamps” inherited had more blood on it then Bush, so the paper trail of UBC stock would be safe during his 12 years in presidential politics.
It has been 60 years since one of the great money laundering scandals of the 20th century ended and only now are we beginning to see the true historical aspects of this important period of world history, a history that the remaining Holocaust survivors beg humanity to “never forget.” Loftus believes history will view Prescott Bush as harshly as Thyssen. “It is bad enough that the Bush family helped raise the money for Thyssen to give Hitler his start in the 1920s, but giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war is treason. The Bush bank helped the Thyssens make the Nazi steel that killed Allied solders. As bad as financing the Nazi war machine may seem, aiding and abetting the Holocaust was worse. Thyssen’s coal mines used Jewish slaves as if they were disposable chemicals. There are six million skeletons in the Thyssen family closet, and a myriad of criminal and historical questions to be answered about the Bush family’s complicity.”
There is no question that the Bush family needs to donate at least $1.5 million to the proper holocaust reparation fund. Since Prescott Bush is dead, the only way to compensate is for the main inheritors of his estate to make amends with surviving slaves and the families of slaves who died in Bush and Thyssen’s coal mines. If the Bush family refuses to contribute the money to compensate for Prescott Bush’s involvement in the Holocaust, it is like denying the Holocaust itself and their role in one of the darkest moments in world history.
As to financing wars in general and production of weaponry, the Bush family – on both sides – didn’t merely finance World Wars I and II, they very well built those wars, arming both sides
In light of current torture issues – in light of insane government spending on perpetual warfare – can we say the fruit didn’t fall far from the tree?
Follow the money…