- This article on Nazis in the Republican party was originally
published in Online Journal on 1/28/00. However, the following includes
additional information regarding George H. W. Bush's father, Prescott,
and his maternal grandfather, George Herbert (Bert) Walker, and the fact
that the U. S. government investigated their financing of Adolf Hitler.
One book referenced here, Christopher Simpson's "Blowback," was
praised by journalist Seymour Hersh as "the ultimate book about the
worst kind of cold war thinking." Nora Levin, Director, Holocaust
Archive, Gratz College, said "The full story of this country's shameful,
cynical collaboration with Nazi criminals has not been told until now with
the publication of Simpson's book." Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman
said, 'Blowback' is a must read for anyone who wants to understand postwar
policy on Nazi war criminals and the cold war."
In another Simpson book, "The Splendid Blonde Beast," the author
wrote about George H. W. Bush's father, Prescott, and his maternal grandfather,
George Herbert Walker. Both Bert Walker and Prescott Bush were powerful
financial supporters of Adolf Hitler.
Walker was president of Union Banking Corporation, a firm that traded with
Germany and helped German industrialists consolidate Hitler's political
power. Simpson says Union Banking became a Nazi money-laundering machine.
Walker helped take over North American operations of Hamburg-Amerika Line,
a shipping line and cover for I. G. Farben's Nazi espionage unit in the
U. S. Hamburg-Amerika smuggled in German agents, and brought in money for
bribing American politicians to support Hitler. A 1934 congressional investigation
showed Hamburg-Amerika subsidized Nazi propaganda efforts in the U. S.
George H. W. Bush's father, Prescott, was a board member of Union Banking
and a senior partner in a Union Banking affiliate,Äîthe investment
firm Brown Brothers, Harriman. The U. S. government investigated both Bert
Walker and Prescott Bush, and under the Trading with the Enemy Act seized
all shares of Union Banking, including shares held by Prescott Bush. The
government held that "huge sections of Prescott Bush's empire had
been operated on behalf of Nazi Germany and had greatly assisted the German
Investigative reporter Christopher Simpson says in "Blowback"
that after World War II, Nazi ©migr©s were given CIA subsidies
to build a far-right-wing power base in the U. S. These Nazis assumed prominent
positions in the Republican Party's "ethnic outreach committees."
Simpson documents the fact that these Nazis did not come to America as
individuals but as part of organized groups with fascist political agendas.
The Nazi agenda did not die along with Adolf Hitler. It moved to America
(or a part of it did) and joined the far right of the Republican Party.
Simpson shows how the State Department and the CIA put high-ranking Nazis
on the intelligence payroll "for their expertise in propaganda and
psychological warfare," among other purposes. The most important Nazi
employed by the U.S. was Reinhard Gehlen, Hitler's most senior eastern
front military intelligence officer. After Germany's defeat became certain,
Gehlen offered the U. S. certain concessions in exchange for his own protection.
Gehlen promoted hyped up cold war propaganda on behalf of the political
right in this country, and helped shape U.S. perceptions of the cold war.
Journalist Russ Bellant ("Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican
Party") shows that Laszlo Pasztor, a convicted Nazi war collaborator,
built the Republican ©migr© network. Pasztor, who served as adviser
to Republican Paul Weyrich, belonged to the Hungarian Arrow Cross, a group
that helped liquidate Hungary's Jews. Pasztor was founding chairman of
the Republican Heritage Groups Council.
Two months before the November 1988 presidential election, a small newspaper,
Washington Jewish Week, disclosed that a coalition for the Bush campaign
included a number of outspoken Nazis and anti-Semites. The article prompted
six leaders of Bush's coalition to resign.
According to Russ Bellant, Nazi collaborators involved in the Republican
(1) Radi Slavoff, GOP Heritage Council's executive director, and head of
"Bulgarians for Bush." Slavoff was a member of a Bulgarian fascist
group, and he put together an event in Washington honoring Holocaust denier,
(2) Florian Galdau, director of GOP outreach efforts among Romanians, and
head of "Romanians for Bush." Galdau was once an Iron Guard recruiter,
and he defended convicted Nazi war criminal Valerian Trifa.
(3) Nicholas Nazarenko, leader of a Cossack GOP ethnic unit. Nazarenko
was an ex-Waffen SS officer.
(4) Method Balco, GOP activist. Balco organized yearly memorials for a
Nazi puppet regime.
(5) Walter Melianovich, head of the GOP's Byelorussian unit. Melianovich
worked closely with many Nazi groups.
(6) Bohdan Fedorak, leader of "Ukranians for Bush." Fedorak headed
a Nazi group involved in anti-Jewish wartime pogroms.
The Philadelphia Inquirer ran an article on the Bush team's inclusion of
Nazis (David Lee Preston, "Fired Bush backer one of several with possible
Nazi links," September 10, 1988.) The newspaper also ran an investigative
series on Nazi members of the Bush coalition. The articles confirmed that
the Bush team included members listed by Russ Bellant.
Journalist Martin A. Lee, has written for The Nation, Rolling Stone, The
San Francisco Chronicle, and other publications. In "The Beast Reawakens,"
Lee confirms that during both the Reagan and Bush years, the Republican
Party's ethnic outreach arm recruited members from the Nazi ©migr©
Lee says that the Republican Party's ethnic outreach division had an outspoken
hatred of President Jimmy Carter's Office of Special Investigations (OSI),
an organization dedicated to tracking down and prosecuting Nazi war collaborators
who entered this country illegally. Former Republican Pat Buchanan attacked
Carter's OSI after it deported a few suspected Nazi war criminals.
According to Lee, public relations man Harold Keith Thompson was principal
U.S. point man for the postwar Nazi support network known as die Spinne,
or the Spider. In the late 40s and early 50s, Thompson worked as the chief
North American representative for the remaining National Socialist German
Worker's Party and the SS. Lee writes that the wealthy Thompson gave generously
to Republican candidates Senator Jesse Helms and would-be senator Oliver
North. Thompson's money gained him membership in the GOP's Presidential
Legion of Merit. Lee says Thompson also "received numerous thank-you
letters from the Republican National Committee." Those letters are
now in the Hoover Institution Special Collections Library.
Christopher Simpson writes in "Blowback" that in 1983, Ronald
Reagan presented a Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor,
to CIA ©migr© program consultant James Burnham. Burnham was a
psychological warfare consultant who promoted something called "liberationism."
Just before the 1952 election, the CIA worked up a multimillion-dollar
public relations campaign aimed at selling Americans on expanding cold
war activities in Europe. Part of the guiding theory (given the name "liberationism")
was the idea that certain Nazi leaders from World War II should be brought
in as "freedom fighters" against the USSR.
Reagan said that Burnham's ideas on liberation "profoundly affected
the way America views itself and the world," adding, "I owe [Burnham]
a personal debt, because throughout the years of traveling on the mashed-potato
circuit I have quoted [him] widely." Reagan may not have known Burnham's
theories were based on his work on projects that enlisted many Nazi collaborators,
but it seems that Reagan's CIA Director Casey or former CIA Director, Vice
President George Bush, would have informed him.
At a May 9, 1984 press conference, Simon Wiesenthal said, "Nazi criminals
were the principal beneficiaries of the Cold War." The cold war mentality,
hyped by Reinhard Gehlen and other Nazis, became the shelter for tens of
thousands of Nazi criminals. Helping the far right in this country to promote
cold war hysteria became the Nazi war criminals "reason for being."
As Christopher Simpson says, the cold war became those criminals' means
"to avoid responsibility for the murders they had committed."
Journalist Seymour Hersh says Christopher Simpson's "Blowback"
is "the ultimate book about the worst kind of cold war thinking, in
which some of our most respected statesmen made shameful decisions that
they mistakenly believed to be justified." To this day, says Simpson,
the U. S. intelligence agencies hide the scope of their post-World War
II collaboration with Nazi criminals.
Are Republicans like George H. W. Bush, Oliver North, and Jesse Helms aware
they have been assisted by Nazi collaborators? Bush once worked for the
CIA and should have known about the nature of the Nazis in his '88 campaign.
No doubt he knows the history of Nazi/CIA collaboration. Whether or not
Bush knew of the fascists' involvement in his campaign, the Republican
Party should have done a far better screening job. One thing is certain:
The intelligence agencies know the scope and extent of Nazi involvement
with the political right in this country. It is a shame they keep it hidden
from the majority of the American people.