Heir to the Holocaust
While the Enron scandal currently unfolds, another Bush family
business scandal lurks beneath the shadows of history that may
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.
"I stood outside a Catholic church, which faced the ghetto," Mr.
Meed said, "a young Jewish boy posing as a gentile. As I watched
the ghetto being bombarded by the German artillery, I could see
many of the Jews of my community jumping out of windows of burning
buildings. I stood long and mute."
The survivor concluded his reminiscence saying, "We tremble
to think what could happen if we allow a new generation to arise
ignorant of the tragedy which is still shaping the future."
President Bush, appearing almost uncomfortable, read a statement
that said that humanity was "bound by conscience to remember
what happened" and that "the record has been kept and
preserved." The record, Mr. Bush stated, was that one of the
worst acts of genocide in human history "came not from crude
and uneducated men, but from men who regarded themselves as cultured
and well schooled, modern men, forward looking. Their crime showed
the world that evil can slip in and blend in amid the most civilized
surroundings. In the end only conscience can stop it."
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
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. To understand the
complete picture of how Prescott Bush profited from the Holocaust,
it is necessary to return to the year 1916, where it all began.
Post World War I: Thyssen Empire On The Ropes
By 1916, August Thyssen could see the writing on the wall. The "Great
War" was spinning out of control, grinding away at Germany's
resources and economy. The government was broke and his company,
Thyssen & Co., with 50,000 German workers and annual production
of 1,000,000 tons of steel and iron, was buckling under the war's
pressure. As the main supplier of the German military, August Thyssen
knew Germany would be defeated once the US entered the war.
At 74, "King" August Thyssen knew he was also running
out of time. His first born "prince" Friedrich (Fritz)
Thyssen, had been groomed at the finest technical business schools
in Europe and was destined to inherit his father's estimated $100,000,000
fortune and an industrial empire located at Muehhlheim on the Ruhr.
In addition to Fritz, plans were also made for the second son
Heinrich. At the outbreak of the war, Heinrich Thyssen discreetly
changed his citizenship from German to Hungarian and married the
Hungarian aristocrat Baroness Margrit Bornemisza de Kaszon. Soon
Heinrich Thyssen switched his name to Baron Thyssen Bornemisza
Near the end of World War I, August Thyssen opened the Bank voor
Handel en Scheepvaart in Rotterdam. The neutral Holland was the
perfect location outside of Germany to launder assets from the
August Thyssen Bank in Berlin when the financial demands of the
Allied forces surfaced. But the war ended much sooner than even
Thyssen calculated and what developed caught the "Rockefeller
of the Ruhr" off guard.
On November 10, 1918, German socialists
took over Berlin. The following morning at 5 a.m., what was left
of Germany surrendered to the Allies, officially ending World War
I. "At the time of the Armistice and the signing of the Treaty
of Versailles, my Father and I were deeply saddened by the spectacle of Germany's
abject humiliation," Thyssen recalled later in his autobiography, I
After the war, chaos descended on Germany as food ran short. Winter
was looming over a starving nation when on Dec. 7, 1918, the socialist
Spartacists League came knocking on the Thyssen Villa with armed
militia. August and Fritz were arrested and dragged from jail to
jail across Germany for four days. Along the way, they were lined
up in staged executions designed to terrorize them.
It worked. When released, the two Thyssens were horrified at the
new political climate in their beloved Germany. They could not
accept that Germany was responsible for its own demise. All Germany's
problems, the Thyssens felt, "have almost always been due
to foreigners." It was the Jews, he and many others believed,
who were secretly behind the socialist movement across the globe.
Meanwhile Fritz's younger brother Baron Thyssen Bornemisza de
Kaszon moved to Rotterdam and became the principal owner of the
Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart. All the Thyssens needed now was
an American branch.
1920s: The Business Ties That Bind
Railroad baron E.H. Harriman's son Averell wanted nothing to do
with railroads, so his father gave him an investment firm, W.A.
Harriman & Company in New York City. E.H. hired the most qualified
person in the country to run the operation, George Herbert Walker.
Averell hired his little brother Edward Roland "Bunny" Harriman
as a vice president.
By 1920, George Herbert Walker had already built a fortune in
Missouri. Walker, a charismatic former heavyweight boxing champion,
was a human pit bull. He lived life to the fullest, owning mansions
around the east coast and one of the most extravagant apartments
in Manhattan. His hobbies were golf, hunting, drinking scotch and
beating his sons to a pulp. Elsie Walker, one of Walker's grandchildren
described Walker as a "tough old bastard" whose children
had no love "for their father." He was also a religious
bigot who hated Catholics, although his parents raised him to be
one. According to other sources, he also did not like Jews.
In 1922, Averell Harriman traveled to Germany to set up a W.A.
Harriman & Co. branch in Berlin. The Berlin branch was also
run by Walker. While in Germany, he met with the Thyssen family
for the first time. Harriman agreed to help the Thyssens with their
plan for an American bank.
The following year, a wounded Germany was growing sicker. The
government had no solution and froze while Germany rotted from
within. With widespread strikes and production at a near standstill,
Fritz Thyssen later recalled, "We were at the worst time of
the inflation. In Berlin the government was in distress. It was
ruined financially. Authority was crumbling. In Saxony a communist
government had been formed and the Red terror, organized by Max
Hoelz, reigned through the countryside. The German Reich ... was
now about to crumble."
In October, 1923, an emotionally desperate Fritz Thyssen went
to visit one of his and Germany's great military heroes, General
Erich Ludendorff. During the 1918 socialist rule in Berlin, Ludendorff
organized a military resistance against the socialists and the
industrialists were in great debt to him. When Thyssen met with
Ludendorff, they discussed Germany's economic collapse. Thyssen
was apocalyptic, fearing the worst was yet to come. Ludendorff
disagreed. "There is but one hope," Ludendorff said, "Adolph
Hitler and the National Socialist party." Ludendorff respected
Hitler immensely. "He is the only man who has any political
sense." Ludendorff encouraged Thyssen to join the Nazi movement. "Go
listen to him one day" he said to Thyssen.
Thyssen followed General Ludendorff's advice and went to a number
of meetings to hear Hitler speak. He became mesmerized by Hitler. "I
realized his orator gifts and his ability to lead the masses. What
impressed me most however was the order that reigned over his meetings,
the almost military discipline of his followers."
Thyssen arranged to meet privately with Hitler and Ludendorff
in Munich. Hitler told Thyssen the Nazi movement was in financial
trouble, it was not growing fast enough and was nationally irrelevant.
Hitler needed as much money as possible to fight off the Communists/Jewish
conspiracy against Europe. Hitler envisioned a fascist German monarchy
with a nonunion, antilock national work force.
Thyssen was overjoyed with the Nazi platform. He gave Hitler and
Ludendorff 100,000 gold marks ($25,000) for the infant Nazi party.
Others in the steel and coal industries soon followed Thyssen's
lead, although none came close to matching him. Many business leaders
in Germany supported Hitler's secret union-hating agenda. However,
some donated because they feared they would be left out in the
cold if he actually ever seized power.
Most industry leaders gave up on Hitler after his failed coup
in 1923. While Hitler spent a brief time in jail, the Thyssens,
through the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, opened the Union Banking
Corporation in 1924.
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