- The president of the Florida Holocaust Museum said Saturday
that George W. Bush's grandfather derived a portion of his personal fortune
through his affiliation with a Nazi-controlled bank.
- John Loftus, a former prosecutor in the Justice Department's
Nazi War Crimes Unit, said his research found that Bush's grandfather,
Prescott Bush, was a principal in the Union Banking Corp. in Manhattan
in the late 1930s and the 1940s.
- Leading Nazi industrialists secretly owned the bank at
that time, Loftus said, and were moving money into it through a second
bank in Holland even after the United States declared war on Germany. The
bank was liquidated in 1951, Loftus said, and Bush's grandfather and great-grandfather
received $1.5 million from the bank as part of that dissolution.
- "That's where the Bush family fortune came from:
It came from the Third Reich," Loftus said. Loftus made his remarks
during a speech as part of the Sarasota Reading Festival. The author of
"Unholy Trinity: The Vatican, The Nazis and the Swiss Banks,"
Loftus documented the Swiss bank accounts that harbored funds confiscated
from Holocaust victims and the participation of Italian priests in smuggling
Nazi war criminals to safe haven in Canada, Central and South America and
the United States after the war.
- Although he said he had a file of paperwork linking the
bank and Prescott Bush to Nazi money, Loftus did not provide that documentation
- Loftus pointed out that the Bush family would not be
the only American political dynasty to have ties to the "wrong side
of World War II." The Rockefellers had financial connections to Nazi
Germany, he said.
- Loftus also reminded his audience that John F. Kennedy's
father, an avowed isolationist and former ambassador to Great Britain,
profited during the 1930s and '40s from Nazi stocks that he owned.
- "No one today blames the Democrats because Jack
Kennedy's father bought Nazi stocks," Loftus said. Still, he said,
it is important to understand these historical connections for what they
tell us about politics today. The World War II experience points out how
easy it was then -- and remains today -- to hide money in multinational
- That money flows into American politics today, he said,
from "a series of multinational corporations behaving like pirates.
They don't care about ideology; they care about money." Loftus' speech
left many in tears.
- "I am absolutely shocked," said Nancy Krauss
of Punta Gorda. "I wish this would have come out before the election.
My husband voted for Bush. I don't think he would have voted for him if
he would have known."