- John Loftus, is a former U.S. Department of Justice Nazi
War Crimes prosecutor, the President of the Florida Holocaust Museum and
the highly respected author of numerous books on the CIA-Nazi connection
including The Belarus Secret and The Secret War Against the Jews, both
of which have extensive material on the Bush-Rockefeller-Nazi connection.
- For the Bush family, it is a lingering nightmare. For
their Nazi clients, the Dutch connection was the mother of all money laundering
schemes. From 1945 until 1949, one of the lengthiest and, it now appears,
most futile interrogations of a Nazi war crimes suspect began in the American
Zone of Occupied Germany. Multibillionaire steel magnate Fritz Thyssen-the
man whose steel combine was the cold heart of the Nazi war machine-talked
and talked and talked to a joint US-UK interrogation team. For four long
years, successive teams of inquisitors tried to break Thyssen's simple
claim to possess neither foreign bank accounts nor interests in foreign
corporations, no assets that might lead to the missing billions in assets
of the Third Reich. The inquisitors failed utterly.
- Why? Because what the wily Thyssen deposed was, in a
sense, true. What the Allied investigators never understood was that they
were not asking Thyssen the right question. Thyssen did not need any foreign
bank accounts because his family secretly owned an entire chain of banks.
He did not have to transfer his Nazi assets at the end of World War II,
all he had to do was transfer the ownership documents - stocks, bonds,
deeds and trusts--from his bank in Berlin through his bank in Holland to
his American friends in New York City: Prescott Bush and Herbert Walker.
Thyssen's partners in crime were the father and father-in-law of a future
President of the United States.
- The allied investigators underestimated Thyssen's reach,
his connections, his motives, and his means. The web of financial entities
Thyssen helped create in the 1920's remained a mystery for the rest of
the twentieth century, an almost perfectly hidden underground sewer pipeline
for moving dirty money, money that bankrolled the post-war fortunes not
only of the Thyssen industrial empire...but the Bush family as well. It
was a secret Fritz Thyssen would take to his grave.
- It was a secret that would lead former US intelligence
agent William Gowen, now pushing 80, to the very doorstep of the Dutch
royal family. The Gowens are no strangers to controversy or nobility. His
father was one of President Roosevelt's diplomatic emissaries to Pope Pius
XII, leading a futile attempt to persuade the Vatican to denounce Hitler's
treatment of Jews. It was his son, William Gowen, who served in Rome after
World War II as a Nazi hunter and investigator with the U.S. Army Counter
Intelligence Corps. It was Agent Gowen who first discovered the secret
Vatican Ratline for smuggling Nazis in 1949. It was also the same William
Gowen who began to uncover the secret Dutch pipeline for smuggling Nazi
money in 1999.
- A half-century earlier, Fritz Thyssen was telling the
allied investigators that he had no interest in foreign companies, that
Hitler had turned on him and seized most of his property. His remaining
assets were mostly in the Russian Occupied Zone of Germany (which he knew
were a write-off anyway). His distant (and disliked) relatives in neutral
nations like Holland were the actual owners of a substantial percentage
of the remaining German industrial base. As innocent victims of the Third
Reich, they were lobbying the allied occupation governments in Germany,
demanding restitution of the property that had been seized from them by
- Under the rules of the Allied occupation of Germany,
all property owned by citizens of a neutral nation which had been seized
by the Nazis had to be returned to the neutral citizens upon proper presentation
of documents showing proof of ownership. Suddenly, all sorts of neutral
parties, particularly in Holland, were claiming ownership of various pieces
of the Thyssen empire. In his cell, Fritz Thyssen just smiled and waited
to be released from prison while members of the Dutch royal family and
the Dutch intelligence service reassembled his pre-war holdings for him.
- The British and American interrogators may have gravely
underestimated Thyssen but they nonetheless knew they were being lied to.
Their suspicions focused on one Dutch Bank in particular, the Bank voor
Handel en Scheepvaart, in Rotterdam. This bank did a lot of business with
the Thyssens over the years. In 1923, as a favor to him, the Rotterdam
bank loaned the money to build the very first Nazi party headquarters in
Munich. But somehow the allied investigations kept going nowhere, the intelligence
leads all seemed to dry up.
- If the investigators realized that the US intelligence
chief in postwar Germany, Allen Dulles, was also the Rotterdam bank's lawyer,
they might have asked some very interesting questions. They did not know
that Thyssen was Dulles' client as well. Nor did they ever realize that
it was Allen Dulles's other client, Baron Kurt Von Schroeder who was the
Nazi trustee for the Thyssen companies which now claimed to be owned by
the Dutch. The Rotterdam Bank was at the heart of Dulles' cloaking scheme,
and he guarded its secrets jealously.
- Several decades after the war, investigative reporter
Paul Manning, Edward R. Murrow's colleague, stumbled across the Thyssen
interrogations in the US National Archives. Manning intended to write a
book about Nazi money laundering. Manning's manuscript was a dagger at
Allen Dulles' throat: his book specifically mentioned the Bank voor Handel
en Scheepvaart by name, albeit in passing. Dulles volunteered to help the
unsuspecting Manning with his manuscript, and sent him on a wild goose
chase, searching for Martin Bormann in South America.
- Without knowing that he had been deliberately sidetracked,
Manning wrote a forward to his book personally thanking Allen Dulles for
his "assurance that I was "on the right track, and should keep
going.'"Dulles sent Manning and his manuscript off into the swamps
of obscurity. The same "search for Martin Bormann"scam was also
used to successfully discredit Ladislas Farago, another American journalist
probing too far into the laundering of Nazi money. American investigators
had to be sent anywhere but Holland.
- And so the Dutch connection remained unexplored until
1994 when I published the book "The Secret War Against the Jews."As
a matter of historical curiosity, I mentioned that Fritz Thyssen (and indirectly,
the Nazi Party) had obtained their early financing from Brown Brothers
Harriman, and its affiliate, the Union Banking Corporation. Union Bank,
in turn, was the Bush family's holding company for a number of other entities,
including the "Holland American Trading Company."
- It was a matter of public record that the Bush holdings
were seized by the US government after the Nazis overran Holland. In 1951,
the Bush's reclaimed Union Bank from the US Alien Property Custodian, along
with their "neutral" Dutch assets. I did not realize it, but
I had stumbled across a very large piece of the missing Dutch connection.
Bush's ownership of the Holland-American investment company was the missing
link to Manning's earlier research in the Thyssen investigative files.
In 1981, Manning had written:
- "Thyssen's first step in a long dance of tax and
currency frauds began [in the late 1930's] when he disposed of his shares
in the Dutch Hollandische-Amerikanische Investment Corporation to be credited
to the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, N.V., Rotterdam, the bank founded
in 1916 by August Thyssen Senior."
- In this one obscure paragraph, in a little known book,
Manning had unwittingly documented two intriguing points: 1) The Bush's
Union Bank had apparently bought the same corporate stock that the Thyssens
were selling as part of their Nazi money laundering, and 2) the Rotterdam
Bank, far from being a neutral Dutch institution, was founded by Fritz
Thyssen's father. In hindsight, Manning and I had uncovered different ends
of the Dutch connection.
- After reading the excerpt in my book about the Bush's
ownership of the Holland-American trading Company, retired US intelligence
agent William Gowen began to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Mr.
Gowen knew every c orner of Europe from his days as a diplomat's son, an
American intelligence agent, and a newspaperman. William Gowen deserves
sole credit for uncovering the mystery of how the Nazi industrialists hid
their money from the Allies at the end of World War II.
- In 1999, Mr. Gowen traveled to Europe, at his own expense,
to meet a former member of Dutch intelligence who had detailed inside information
about the Rotterdam bank. The scrupulous Gowen took a written statement
and then had his source read and correct it for error. Here, in summary
form, is how the Nazis hid their money in America.
- After World War I, August Thyssen had been badly burned
by the loss of assets under the harsh terms of the Versailles treaty. He
was determined that it would never happen again. One of his sons would
join the Nazis; the other would be neutral. No matter who won the next
war, the Thyssen family would survive with their industrial empire intact.
Fritz Thyssen joined the Nazis in 1923; his younger brother married into
Hungarian nobility and changed his name to Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza. The
Baron later claimed Hungarian as well as Dutch citizenship. In public,
he pretended to detest his Nazi brother, but in private they met at secret
board meetings in Germany to coordinate their operations. If one brother
were threatened with loss of property, he would transfer his holdings to
- To aid his sons in their shell game, August Thyssen had
established three different banks during the 1920's -- The August Thyssen
Bank in Berlin, the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart in Rotterdam, and the
Union Banking Corporation in New York City. To protect their corporate
holdings, all the brothers had to do was move the corporate paperwork from
one bank to the other. This they did with some regularity. When Fritz Thyssen
"sold" the Holland-American Trading Company for a tax loss, the
Union Banking Corporation in New York bought the stock. Similarly, the
Bush family invested the disguised Nazi profits in American steel and manufacturing
corporations that became part of the secret Thyssen empire.
- When the Nazis invaded Holland in May 1940, they investigated
the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart in Rotterdam. Fritz Thyssen was suspected
by Hitler's auditors of being a tax fraud and of illegally transferring
his wealth outside the Third Reich. The Nazi auditors were right: Thyssen
felt that Hitler's economic policies would dilute his wealth through ruinous
war inflation. He had been smuggling his war profits out through Holland.
But the Rotterdam vaults were empty of clues to where the money had gone.
The Nazis did not know that all of the documents evidencing secret Thyssen
ownership had been quietly shipped back to the August Thyssen Bank in Berlin,
under the friendly supervision of Baron Kurt Von Schroeder. Thyssen spent
the rest of the war under VIP house arrest. He had fooled Hitler, hidden
his immense profits, and now it was time to fool the Americans with same
- As soon as Berlin fell to the allies, it was time to
ship the documents back to Rotterdam so that the "neutral" bank
could claim ownership under the friendly supervision of Allen Dulles, who,
as the OSS intelligence chief in 1945 Berlin, was well placed to handle
any troublesome investigations. Unfortunately, the August Thyssen Bank
had been bombed during the war, and the documents were buried in the underground
vaults beneath the rubble. Worse, the vaults lay in the Soviet Zone of
- According to Gowen's source, Prince Bernhard commanded
a unit of Dutch intelligence, which dug up the incriminating corporate
papers in 1945 and brought them back to the "neutral" bank in
Rotterdam. The pretext was that the Nazis had stolen the crown jewels of
his wife, Princess Juliana, and the Russians gave the Dutch permission
to dig up the vault and retrieve them. Operation Juliana was a Dutch fraud
on the Allies who searched high and low for the missing pieces of the Thyssen
- In 1945, the former Dutch manager of the Rotterdam bank
resumed control only to discover that he was sitting on a huge pile of
hidden Nazi assets. In 1947, the manager threatened to inform Dutch authorities,
and was immediately fired by the Thyssens. The somewhat naive bank manager
then fled to New York City where he intended to talk to Union Bank director
Prescott Bush. As Gowen's Dutch source recalled, the manager intended "to
reveal [to Prescott Bush] the truth about Baron Heinrich and the Rotterdam
Bank, [in order that] some or all of the Thyssen interests in the Thyssen
Group might be seized and confiscated as German enemy property. "The
manager's body was found in New York two weeks later.
- Similarly, in 1996 a Dutch journalist Eddy Roever went
to London to interview the Baron, who was neighbors with Margaret Thatcher.
Roever's body was discovered two days later. Perhaps, Gowen remarked dryly,
it was only a coincidence that both healthy men had died of heart attacks
immediately after trying to uncover the truth about the Thyssens.
- Neither Gowen nor his Dutch source knew about the corroborating
evidence in the Alien Property Custodian archives or in the OMGUS archives.
Together, the two separate sets of US files overlap each other and directly
corroborate Gowen's source. The first set of archives confirms absolutely
that the Union Banking Corporation in New York was owned by the Rotterdam
Bank. The second set (quoted by Manning) confirms that the Rotterdam Bank
in turn was owned by the Thyssens.
- It is not surprising that these two American agencies
never shared their Thyssen files. As the noted historian Burton Hersh documented:
- "The Alien Property Custodian, Leo Crowley, was
on the payroll of the New York J. Henry Schroeder Bank where Foster and
Allen Dulles both sat as board members. Foster arranged an appointment
for himself as special legal counsel for the Alien Property Custodian while
simultaneously representing [German] interests against the custodian."
- No wonder Allen Dulles had sent Paul Manning on a wild
goose chase to South America. He was very close to uncovering the fact
that the Bush's bank in New York City was secretly owned by the Nazis,
before during and after WWII. Once Thyssen ownership of the Union Banking
Corporation is proven, it makes out a prima facie case of treason against
the Dulles and Bush families for giving aid and comfort to the enemy in
time of war.
- PART TWO
- The first key fact to be proven in any criminal case
is that the Thyssen family secretly owned the Bush's Bank. Apart from Gowen's
source, and the twin American files, a third set of corroboration comes
from the Thyssen family themselves. In 1979, the present Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza
(Fritz Thyssen's nephew) prepared a written family history to be shared
with his top management. A copy of this thirty-page tome entitled "The
History of the Thyssen Family and Their Activities"was provided by
Gowen's source. It contains the following Thyssen admissions:
- "Thus, at the beginning of World War II the Bank
voor Handel en Scheepvaart had become the holding of my father's companies
- a Dutch firm whose only shareholder was a Hungarian citizen..Prior to
1929, it held the shares of .the August Thyssen Bank, and also American
subsidiaries and the Union Banking Corporation, New York.The shares of
all the affiliates were [in 1945] with the August Thyssen Bank in the East
Sector of Berlin, from where I was able to have them transferred into the
West at the last moment"
- "After the war the Dutch government ordered an investigation
into the status of the holding company and, pending the result, appointed
a Dutch former general manager of my father who turned against our family..
In that same year, 1947, I returned to Germany for the first time after
the war, disguised as a Dutch driver in military uniform, to establish
contact with our German directors"
- "The situation of the Group gradually began to be
resolved but it was not until 1955 that the German companies were freed
from Allied control and subsequently disentangled. Fortunately, the companies
in the group suffered little from dismantling. At last we were in a position
to concentrate on purely economic problems -- the reconstruction and extension
of the companies and the expansion of the organization."
- "The banking department of the Bank voor Handel
en Scheepvaart, which also functioned as the Group's holding company, merged
in 1970 with Nederlandse Credietbank N.V. which increased its capital.
The Group received 25 percent.The Chase Manhattan Bank holds 31%. The name
Thyssen-Bornemisza Group was selected for the new holding company."
- Thus the twin US Archives, Gowen's Dutch source, and
the Thyssen family history all independently confirm that President Bush's
father and grandfather served on the board of a bank that was secretly
owned by the leading Nazi industrialists. The Bush connection to these
American institutions is a matter of public record. What no one knew, until
Gowen's brilliant research opened the door, was that the Thyssens were
the secret employers of the Bush family.
- But what did the Bush family know about their Nazi connection
and when did they know it? As senior managers of Brown Brothers Harriman,
they had to have known that their American clients, such as the Rockefellers,
were investing heavily in German corporations, including Thyssen's giant
Vereinigte Stahlwerke. As noted historian Christopher Simpson repeatedly
documents, it is a matter of public record that Brown Brother's investments
in Nazi Germany took place under the Bush family stewardship.
- When war broke out was Prescott Bush stricken with a
case of Waldheimers disease, a sudden amnesia about his Nazi past? Or did
he really believe that our friendly Dutch allies owned the Union Banking
Corporation and its parent bank in Rotterdam? It should be recalled that
in January 1937, he hired Allen Dulles to "cloak" his accounts.
But cloak from whom? Did he expect that happy little Holland was going
to declare war on America? The cloaking operation only makes sense in anticipation
of a possible war with Nazi Germany. If Union Bank was not the conduit
for laundering the Rockefeller's Nazi investments back to America, then
how could the Rockefeller-controlled Chase Manhattan Bank end up owning
31% of the Thyssen group after the war?
- It should be noted that the Thyssen group (TBG) is now
the largest industrial conglomerate in Germany, and with a net worth of
more than $50 billion dollars, one of the wealthiest corporations in the
world. TBG is so rich it even bought out the Krupp family, famous arms
makers for Hitler, leaving the Thyssens as the undisputed champion survivors
of the Third Reich. Where did the Thyssens get the start-up money to rebuild
their empire with such speed after World War II?
- The enormous sums of money deposited into the Union Bank
prior to 1942 is the best evidence that Prescott Bush knowingly served
as a money launderer for the Nazis. Remember that Union Banks' books and
accounts were frozen by the U.S. Alien Property Custodian in 1942 and not
released back to the Bush family until 1951. At that time, Union Bank shares
representing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of industrial stocks
and bonds were unblocked for distribution. Did the Bush family really believe
that such enormous sums came from Dutch enterprises? One could sell tulip
bulbs and wooden shoes for centuries and not achieve those sums. A fortune
this size could only have come from the Thyssen profits made from rearming
the Third Reich, and then hidden, first from the Nazi tax auditors, and
then from the Allies.
- The Bushes knew perfectly well that Brown Brothers was
the American money channel into Nazi Germany, and that Union Bank was the
secret pipeline to bring the Nazi money back to America from Holland. The
Bushes had to have known how the secret money circuit worked because they
were on the board of directors in both directions: Brown Brothers out,
Union Bank in.
- Moreover, the size of their compensation is commensurate
with their risk as Nazi money launderers. In 1951, Prescott Bush and his
father in law each received one share of Union Bank stock, worth $750,000
each. One and a half million dollars was a lot of money in 1951. But then,
from the Thyssen point of view, buying the Bushes was the best bargain
of the war.
- The bottom line is harsh: It is bad enough that the Bush
family helped raise the money for Thyssen to give Hitler his start in the
1920's, but giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war is treason.
The Bush's bank helped the Thyssens make the Nazi steel that killed allied
soldiers. 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. ___
- First published September, 2000
- This article is provided courtesy of Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz
and Tetrahedron Publishing Group www.tetrahedron.org