- WASHINGTON -- After 60 years
of inattention and even denial by the U.S. media, newly-uncovered government
documents in The National Archives and Library of Congress reveal that
Prescott Bush, the grandfather of President George W. Bush, served as a
business partner of and U.S. banking operative for the financial architect
of the Nazi war machine from 1926 until 1942, when Congress took aggressive
action against Bush and his "enemy national" partners.
- The documents also show that Bush and his colleagues,
according to reports from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, tried to
conceal their financial alliance with German industrialist Fritz Thyssen,
a steel and coal baron who, beginning in the mid-1920s, personally funded
Adolf Hitler's rise to power by the subversion of democratic principle
and German law.
- Furthermore, the declassified records demonstrate that
Bush and his associates, who included E. Roland Harriman, younger brother
of American icon W. Averell Harriman, and George Herbert Walker, President
Bush's maternal great-grandfather, continued their dealings with the German
industrial tycoon for nearly a year after the U.S. entered the war.
- No Story?
- For six decades these historical facts have gone unreported
by the mainstream U.S. media. The essential facts have appeared on the
Internet and in relatively obscure books, but were dismissed by the media
and Bush family as undocumented diatribes. This story has also escaped
the attention of "official" Bush biographers, Presidential historians
and publishers of U.S. history books covering World War II and its aftermath.
- The White House did not respond to phone calls seeking
- The Summer of '42
- The unraveling of the web of Bush-Harriman-Thyssen U.S.
enterprises, all of which operated out of the same suite of offices at
39 Broadway in New York under the supervision of Prescott Bush, began with
a story that ran simultaneously in the New York Herald-Tribune and Washington
Post on July 31, 1941. By then, the U.S. had been at war with Germany for
nearly eight months.
- "Hitler's Angel Has $3 Million in U.S. Bank,"
declared the front-page Herald-Tribune headline. The lead paragraph characterized
Fritz Thyssen as "Adolf Hitler's original patron a decade ago."
In fact, the steel and coal magnate had aggressively supported and funded
Hitler since October 1923, according to Thyssen's autobiography, I Paid
Hitler. In that book, Thyssen also acknowledges his direct personal relationships
with Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and Rudolf Hess.
- The Herald-Tribune also cited unnamed sources who suggested
Thyssen's U.S. "nest egg" in fact belonged to "Nazi bigwigs"
including Goebbels, Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler, or even Hitler himself.
- Business is Business
- The "bank," founded in 1924 by W. Averell Harriman
on behalf of Thyssen and his Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart N.V. of Holland,
was Union Banking Corporation (UBC) of New York City. According to government
documents, it was in reality a clearing house for a number of Thyssen-controlled
enterprises and assets, including as many as a dozen individual businesses.
UBC also bought and shipped overseas gold, steel, coal, and U.S. Treasury
bonds. The company's activities were administered for Thyssen by a Netherlands-born,
naturalized U.S. citizen named Cornelis Lievense, who served as president
of UBC. Roland Harriman was chairman and Prescott Bush a managing director.
- The Herald-Tribune article did not identify Bush or Harriman
as executives of UBC, or Brown Brothers Harriman, in which they were partners,
as UBC's private banker. A confidential FBI memo from that period suggested,
without naming the Bush and Harriman families, that politically prominent
individuals were about to come under official U.S. government scrutiny
as Hitler's plunder of Europe continued unabated.
- After the "Hitler's Angel" article was published
Bush and Harriman made no attempts to divest themselves of the controversial
Thyssen financial alliance, nor did they challenge the newspaper report
that UBC was, in fact, a de facto Nazi front organization in the U.S.
- Instead, the government documents show, Bush and his
partners increased their subterfuge to try to conceal the true nature and
ownership of their various businesses, particularly after the U.S. entered
the war. The documents also disclose that Cornelis Lievense, Thyssen's
personal appointee to oversee U.S. matters for his Rotterdam-based Bank
voor Handel en Scheepvaart N.V., via UBC for nearly two decades, repeatedly
denied to U.S. government investigators any knowledge of the ownership
of the Netherlands bank or the role of Thyssen in it. Brown Brothers Harriman
sent letters to the government seeking reconsideration of the seizures
by using false information.
- UBC's original group of business associates included
George Herbert Walker, President Bush's maternal great-grandfather, who
had a relationship with the Harriman family that began in 1919. In 1922,
Walker and W. Averell Harriman traveled to Berlin to set up the German
branch of their banking and investment operations, which were largely based
on critical war resources such as steel and coal.
- The Walker-Harriman-created German industrial alliance
also included partnership with another German titan who supported Hitler's
rise, Friedrich Flick, who partnered with Thyssen in the German Steel Trust
that forged the Nazi war machine. For his role in using slave labor and
his own steel, coal and arms resources to build Hitler's war effort, Flick
was convicted at the Nuremberg trials and sentenced to prison.
- The Family Business
- In 1926, after Prescott Bush had married Walker's daughter,
Dorothy, Walker brought Bush in as a vice president of the private banking
and investment firm of W.A. Harriman & Co., also located in New York.
Bush became a partner in the firm that later became Brown Brothers Harriman
and the largest private investment bank in the world. Eventually, Bush
became a director of and stockholder in UBC.
- However, the government documents note that Bush, Harriman,
Lievense and the other UBC stockholders were in fact "nominees,"
or phantom shareholders, for Thyssen and his Holland bank, meaning that
they acted at the direct behest of their German client.
- On October 20, 1942, under authority of the Trading with
the Enemy Act, the U.S. Congress seized UBC and liquidated its assets after
the war. The seizure is confirmed by Vesting Order No. 248 in the U.S.
Office of the Alien Property Custodian and signed by U.S. Alien Property
Custodian Leo T. Crowley.
- In August, under the same authority, Congress had seized
the first of the Bush-Harriman-managed Thyssen entities, Hamburg-American
Line, under Vesting Order No. 126, also signed by Crowley. Eight days after
the seizure of UBC, Congress invoked the Trading with the Enemy Act again
to take control of two more Bush-Harriman-Thyssen businesses - Holland-American
Trading Corp. (Vesting Order No. 261) and Seamless Steel Equipment Corp.
(Vesting Order No. 259).
- The documents from the Archives also show that the Bushes
and Harrimans shipped valuable U.S. assets, including gold, coal, steel
and U.S. Treasury bonds, to their foreign clients overseas between 1931-33,
as Hitler engineered his rise to power.
- Still No Story?
- Since 1942, the information has not appeared in any U.S.
news coverage of any Bush political campaign, nor has it been included
in any of the major Bush family biographies. It was, however, covered extensively
in George H.W. Bush: The Unauthorized Biography, by Webster Tarpley and
Anton Chaitkin. Chaitkin's father served as an attorney in the 1940s for
some of the victims of the Bush-Harriman-Thyssen businesses.
- The book gave a detailed, accurate accounting of the
Bush family's long Nazi affiliation, but no mainstream U.S. media entity
reported on or even investigated the allegations, despite careful documentation
by the authors. Major booksellers declined to distribute the book, which
was dismissed by Bush supporters as biased and untrue. Its authors struggled
even to be reviewed in reputable newspapers. That the book was published
by Lyndon LaRouche's organization undoubtedly made it easier to dismiss,
but does not change the facts.
- The essence of the story has been posted for years on
various Internet sites, including BuzzFlash.com and TakeBackTheMedia.com,
but no online media seem to have independently confirmed it.
- In the 1990s, former U.S. Justice Department Nazi war
crimes prosecutor John Loftus, now honorary president of the Florida Holocaust
Museum, wrote a book and launched a web site (<>www.john-loftus.com)
which did breakthrough reporting, including establishing the link between
Prescott Bush, Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation and forced labor
at Auschwitz. Although the widely-respected Loftus established a successful
international speaking career with his information, no U.S. newspaper or
major TV news program acknowledged his decade of work, nor did he ever
see many of the recently released documents.
- Meanwhile, the mainstream media have apparently made
no attempt since World War II to either verify or disprove the allegations
of Nazi collaboration against the Bush family. Instead, they have attempted
to dismiss or discredit such Internet sites or "unauthorized"
books without any journalistic inquiry or research into their veracity.
- Loyal Defenders
- The National Review ran an essay on September 1 by their
White House correspondent Byron York, entitled "Annals of Bush-Hating."
- mockingly: "Are you aware of the murderous history
of George W. Bush - indeed, of the entire Bush family? Are you aware of
the president's Nazi sympathies? His crimes against humanity? And do you
know, by the way, that George W. Bush is a certifiable moron?" York
goes on to discredit the "Bush is a moron" IQ hoax, but fails
to disprove the Nazi connection.
- The more liberal Boston Globe ran a column September
29 by Reason magazine's Cathy Young in which she referred to "Bush-o-phobes
on the Internet" who "repeat preposterous claims about the Bush
family's alleged Nazi connections."
- Poles Tackle the Topic
- Newsweek Polska, the magazine's Polish edition, published
a short piece on the "Bush Nazi past" in its March 5, 2003 edition.
The item reported that "the Bush family reaped rewards from the forced-labor
prisoners in the Auschwitz concentration camp," according to a copyrighted
English-language translation from Scoop Media (<>www.scoop.co.nz).
The story also reported the seizure of the various Bush-Harriman-Thyssen
- Still Not Interested
- Major U.S. media outlets, including ABC News, NBC News,
CNN, The New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, Los Angeles
Times and Miami Herald, as well as Knight-Ridder Newspapers, have repeatedly
declined to investigate the story when information regarding discovery
of the documents was presented to them beginning Friday, August 29. Newsweek
U.S. correspondent Michael Isikoff, famous for his reporting of big scoops
during the Clinton-Lewinsky sexual affair of the 1990s, declined twice
to accept an exclusive story based on the documents from the archives.
- In 1952, Prescott Bush was elected to the U.S. Senate,
with no press accounts about his well-concealed Nazi past. There is no
record of any U.S. press coverage of the Bush-Nazi connection during any
political campaigns conducted by George Herbert Walker Bush, Jeb Bush,
or George W. Bush, with the exception of a brief mention in an unrelated
story in the Sarasota Herald Tribune in November 2000 and a brief but inaccurate
account in The Boston Globe in 2001.
- John Buchanan is an award-winning and internationally
published journalist and investigative reporter with 33 years of experience
in New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Miami. His work has appeared in
more than 50 newspapers, magazines and books. He can be reached by e-mail
- This article was forwarded
- courtesy of Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz
- and Tetrahedron Publishing Group
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