Making a Killing
April 5, 2002
By Christian Dewar
Many Americans are probably not aware of the great extent to which U.S. corporations collaborated with the Nazi war machine during WWII. After the first world war, many wealthy American industrialists, bankers and financiers invested in Germany, in part, to avoid onerous U.S. regulations and also to reap the tremendous profits from the rebuilding of the nation.
Worried that there might be another war that would cause them to lose their investments, the directors of many of these companies plotted to protect their interests. Law firms like Sullivan and Cromwell specialized in helping to arrange these deals. When the second world war broke out, the Dulles brothers, Allen (who was a partner in that firm) and John, helped these companies hide their assets. As a result, many Nazi industrialist and their American collaborators maintained their wealth after the hostilites ceased.
Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg once stated that "The Dulles brothers were traitors." Some historians believe that Allen Dulles became head of the newly formed CIA in large part to cover up his treasonous behavior and that of his clients. Not confined to a few isolated companies, some of America's most prominent families and their financial empires worked with the Nazis well after the first bombs were dropped on Pearl Harbor.
On March 4th, 1998, a woman from Belgium brought a suit against the Ford Motor Company and it's German affiliate seeking compensation for the work she performed as a slave laborer for the company. Born in Russian, Elsa Iwanovwa claimed that she was abducted and forced to work at Ford's plant at Cologne. As many as 10,000 men, women and children may have labored there, many of them from the Buchenwald concentration camp.
The Ford plant in Germany played a major role in the Nazi war effort. While their American factories produced weapons for the allies, their German subsidiary manufactured troop transports, tracked vehicles, Panzer tanks, anti-tank guns and other crucial equipment for the Nazis. Providing weapons for both contestants in a world war was extraordinarily lucrative.
It is alleged that high ranking American officials including Edsel Ford oversaw the German plant's operations even during the war. Unlike most American businesses doing business in Germany during the war, Ford enjoyed significant independence and was never seized by the Nazi government.
The reason for this was in large part due to the close friendship that endured between Henry Ford and Adolf Hitler. Ford was known for his virulent anti-semitic views and he made substantial financial contributions to Hitler and the Nazi organization in its early years which may have sustained the party at a point where it might have otherwise collapsed.
Hitler's book, Mein Kampf borrowed heavily from Ford's anti-semitic book, The International Jew, a Worldwide Problem which was published in 1927. Hitler awarded Ford with Germany's highest civilian honor, the Great Cross of the German Order of the Eagle. Hitler's office had a large picture of Ford on the wall and stacks of Ford's books to give away to associates. Jim Mooney, GM's chief executive for overseas operations, was also awarded the Order of the German Eagle.
Ford was only one of many American corporations that eagerly helped the Germans. Some did so for ideological reasons and others for the immense profits which could be realized.
General Motors which was owned by the du Pont family during the 1930's manufactured thousands of bombers for the Luftwaffe and troop transports for the Wermacht at the same time that it's American plants were producing engines for the U.S. Air Force. Their German plant built propulsion systems for Germany's deadliest bomber, the Junker 88 and motors for their new, innovative jet fighters. They also repaired Geman trucks and converted them for alternative fuels at their facilites in Switzerland.
According to Charles Higham who wrote about the collaboration of American corporations with the Nazis in his book, Trading with the Enemy, GM may have even plotted with the Nazis against Roosevelt. Higham claims that high ranking officials in the company met with Baron Manfred von Killinger, head of a Nazi espionage rink and with Gestapo leader Baron von Tippleskirsh to sign an agreement "showing total commitment to the Nazi cause for the indefinite future" and that "in view of Roosevelt's attitude toward Germany, every effort must be made to remove him by defeat at the next election. Jewish influence in the political, cultural and public life in America must be stamped out. Press and radio must be subsidized to smear the administration" and an American fascist put in the White House.
Higham states that "Along with friends of the Morgan Bank and General Motors...certain du Pont backers financed a coup d'etat that would overthrow the president with the aid of a $3 million funded army of terrorists." The weapons were to be provided by Remington arms, a du Pont subsidiary.
Higham writes that Irenee du Pont was obsessed with Hitler and once made a speech to the American Chemical Society in 1926 "advocating a race of supermen to be achieved by injecting special drugs into them in boyhood to make their characters to order. He insisted his men reach physical standards equivalent to that of a marine and have blood as pure as that in the veins of the Vikings." The du Ponts financed anti-semitic, facist groups in the U.S. and along with some of America's most prominent families, promoted sterilization programs to assist in the effort to promote the white race over those deemed to be defective.
Higham also states that the du Ponts used their tremendous wealth "to finance the notorious Black Legions. This terrorist organization had as it's purpose the prevention of automobile workers from unionizing. The members wore hoods and black ropes, with skull and crossbones. They fire-bombed union meetings, murdered union organizers, often by beating them to death, and dedicated their lives to destroying Jews and communists. They were linked to the Ku Klux Klan."
The du Ponts formed an armed gang of men "modeled on the Gestapo to sweep though the plants and beat up anyone who proved rebellious. They hired the Pinkerton Agency to send its swarms of detectives through the whole chemicals, munitions and automobile empire to spy on left-wingers or other malcontents." The du Ponts also formed and financed the American Liberty League, "a Nazi organization whipping up hatred of blacks and Jews, love of Hitler, and loathing of Roosevelts." This group had chapters at 26 colleges and subsidiaries nationwide.
Standard Oil has also been implicated in providing crucial support for the Nazi war machine. The helped the Germans develop plants and gave them the necessary technology for the manufacture of synthetic fuels and leaded gas. Standard also assisited the Germans in stockpiling $20 million worth or petrolium products in anticipation of the war. This deal was concluded with the assistance of the Wall Street investment firm Brown Brothers Harriman where the senior managing partner was George H.W. Bush's father, Prescott Bush.
It also is alleged that Standard made a deal with the Germans to thwart the development of synthetic rubber in the United States and to withhold a method of producing synthetic ammonia. The U.S. government eventually seized some of Standard's patents. When the oil giant sued to retain the them, their case was denied. A judge who reviewed the appeal stated that "Standard Oil can be considered an enemy national in view of it's relationships with I.G. Farben after the United States and Germany became active enemies."
When threatened with sanctions, Standard essentially blackmailed the U.S. government, threatening to cut off supplies to the American military. Standard executives received a token fine of a few thousand dollars divided among several defendants. Roosevelt is said to have been reluctant to prosecute the heads of the company for fear of sparking another depression.
ITT also collaborated with the Nazis extensively. They owned significant shares of stock in several companies producing weapons for the Nazi including Focke-Wolfe which built fighter planes and bombers. Their subsidiaries, according to Higham, produced vital supplies such as "switchboards, telephones, alarm gongs, buoys, air raid warning devices, radar equipment and 30,000 fuses per month for artillery shells used to kill British and American troops" as well as "ingredients for the rocket bombs that fell on London."
The Curtis-Wright Aviation Corporation was another U.S. company doing business with the Nazis. Their planes were well suited for dive bombing. Although the Nazi pilots used this technique as an integral part of their blitzkrieg strategy of warfare, it was developed by the US. It was so effective that air plane manufacturers were forbidden to teach this to foreigners. Curtis-Wright managed to manuever around this inconvenient policy by not 'teaching' it, but rather demonstrating it at air shows in order to boost sales to Hitler.
Adding insult to injury, several of these American corporations who had collaborated had the audacity to sue the American government for damage that had been inflicted on their German plants by Allied bombers. GM managed to extract $33 million for the destruction of their Folke-Wulf plant. ITT received $27 million and Ford, a mere $1 million.
American banks have also been implicated in assistance to Nazi Germany including J.P. Morgan, Guaranty Trust of New York, Bank of the City of New York, Chase National Bank and American Express which turned over Jewish accounts to the Nazis. Higham reports that "the Nazi government through Chase National Bank offered Nazi in America the opportunity to buy German marks with dollars at a discount. The arrangement was open to those who wished to return to Germany and would use the marks in the interest of the Nazis."
The Chase Bank of Paris was involved in substantial financing of the Nazi embassy's activities throughout the war with the full knowledge of Chase's American headquarters. The Vichy branch of Chase "were strenuous in enforcing restrictions against Jewish property even going so far as to refuse to release funds belonging to Jews because they anticipated a Nazi decree with retroactive provisions prohibiting such a release."
Other Nazi collaborators include William Hearst, the media giant. After meeting with top Nazi officials and the payment of substantial sums of money, Hearst agreed to a policy whereby his newspaper would only report favorably on Nazi affairs.
Many Americans today might be surprised to discover that President Bush's family fortune was in large part compiled as a result of collaborating with the Nazis after the WWII had commenced. Author John Loftus has written about this recently and it is also covered extensively in the online book, The Elkhorn Manifesto.
According to the online book, George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, written by Webster G. Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin, accessible only on the internet, George Bush senior's family "played a central role in financing and arming Adolf Hitler for his takeover of Germany; in financing and managing the buildup of Nazi war industries for the conquest of Europe and war against the U.S.A.; and in the developent of Nazi genocidal theories and racial propaganda".
The authors claim that "The president's family fortune was largely a result of the Hitler project" and that Bush's banking activities were "not just politically neutral money-making ventures which happened to coincide with the aims of of German Nazi" but rather that all of the firm's European business during that time "was organized around anti-democratic political forces." The book states that "Certain actions taken directly by the Harriman-Bush shipping line in 1932 must be ranked among the gravest acts of treason in this century."
One of the most influential players in financing Hitler's war industries was Brown Brothers Harriman. Prescott Bush, the current president's grandfather, was the managing director. Bush was also director of the Union Banking Corporation. The stock shares were owned by Bush, E. R.Harriman and three Nazi Nazi executives including Fritz Thyssen, one of Hitler's primary financiers. The U.S. government eventually confiscated the Nazi banking operations of Union Banking Corporation in which Bush was a director under the Trading with the Enemy Act.
Another Bush business associate was Friedrick Flick who gave considerable financial support for the SS. Flicks's steel plants used about 48,000 slave laborers from Dachau, most of whom died.
Bush and his business associates were also involved in the operation of the Hamburg-Amerika Line. It was later shown to be a cover for Nazi espionage, spy infiltration and propaganda activities. The U.S. government also seized the Holland-American Trading Corporation, Seamless Steel and the Silesian-American Corporation in which Bush and his associates were involved.
Ultimately, the international corporations, the lawyers, bankers and financiers who collaborated with the Nazis prevailed. They exerted tremendous influence to thwart investigators delving into their seditious activities after the war. Many of the key players were elevated to senior postions in the U.S. government. Many of them were able to maintain their fortunes intact after the war. Officers from the Nazi intelligence and scientific communities became U.S. allies in the Cold War against the Soviets.
Americans at the highest levels of finance, industry and government willingly cooperated with the Nazis for political, ideological and financial reasons. They were heavily responsible for the rise of Hitler. They sustained his war effort and helped to shelter the perpetrators after the war. It would have been a bitter death for the brave American soldiers fighting in Europe if they had realized that comfortable American businessmen back in the States were making fortunes financing the same industrial cartels that manufactured the weapons that were being used to kill them.
Now Prescott's son, former George H.W. Bush, is making another fortune as a merchant of death, marketing weapons thorough the secretive Carlyle group. His power and influence is so pervasive that he can sell the Pentagon obsolete equipment such as the 70-ton Crusader cannon which is poorly suited to the realities of combatting terrorism and which the generals don't even want. George Bush Senior helped to arm both sides, Iran and Iraq, during their murderous war. This was a policy promulgated by his friend Ted Shackley, the legendary CIA spook, who advocated selling arms to both sides in a conflict as a way of enhancing the bottom line.
Historians know that Bush Senior arranged for the U.S. to sell millions of dollars of weapons to Hussein almost up to the time that he decided to invade Iraq country during the Gulf War. His administration sold weapons to the Iranians at a time when they were declared a terrorist nation and held American citizens hostage. As Yogi Berra once said, it's "Deja vu all over again."
Now his son, this administration and their corporate cronies who put them in office are poised to make obscene amounts of money from the weapons industries and oil. This war against a faceless foe and with no end game is costing our country over a billion dollars a month and George Bush wants even more money for defense. President Eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex.
Like grandfather, like father, like son. Some things never change. The Bushes know that there is a killing to be made in killing.