Fritz Thyssen : Nazi Germany

Fritz Thyssen : Nazi Germany

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Fritz Thyssen, the son of the successful industrialist, August Thyssen (1842-1926), was born on the 9th November, 1873. He joined the German Army in 1896 and reached the rank of second lieutenant.

In 1898 Thyssen joined Thyssen & Co a company owned by his father in the Ruhr. By the outbreak of the First World War the company employed 50,000 workers and produced 1,000,000 tons of steel and iron a year.

In 1923 took part in the resistance against the Ruhr Occupation by Belgian and French troops. He was arrested and received a large fine for his activities.

At a meeting with General Eric Ludendorff in October 1923, Thyssen was advised to go and hear Adolf Hitler speak. He did this and was so impressed he began to finance the Nazi Party.

Thyssen inherited his father's fortune in 1926. He continued to expand and in 1928 formed United Steelworks, a company that controlled more that 75 per cent of Germany's ore reserves and employed 200,000 people.

By 1930 Thyssen was one of the leading backers of the Nazi Party. The following year he recruited Hjalmar Schacht to the cause and in November, 1932, the two men joined with other industrialists in signing the letter that urged Paul von Hindenburg to appoint Adolf Hitler as chancellor. This was successful and on 20th February, 1933, they arranged a meeting of the Association of German Industrialists that raised 3 million marks for the Nazi Party in the forthcoming election.

Thyssen supported the measures that Hitler took against the left-wing political groups and trade unions. He also put pressure on Hitler to suppress the left of the Nazi Party that resulted in the Night of the Long Knives. However, as a Catholic, Thyssen objected when Hitler began persecuting people for their religious beliefs.

Thyssen resigned as state councillor in protest against Crystal Night. The following year he fled to Switzerland and Hitler promptly confiscated his property. Thyssen moved to France but was arrested by the Vichy government and was returned to Germany where he was sent to a concentration camp.

Thyssen was freed by Allied forces in 1945. Arrested he was convicted by a German court for being a former leader of the Nazi Party and was ordered to hand over 15 per cent of his property to provide a victims of Nazi persecution. Fritz Thyssen died in Buenos Aires on 8th February, 1951.

The Bolsheviks, who had seized power at Moscow during the October revolution, sent their most dangerous agents across the frontier. Incidents occurred everywhere; women and children demonstrated against food shortage or in favour of peace. At the front, Ludendorff made a last attempt at forcing a military decision. The success of the offensive of 1918 at first raised the morale of the German people. Final defeat made it fall all the lower.

In October, 1918, the revolution began to take shape. The Socialists of the extreme left had formed a group named Spartacus, after the Roman gladiator who started the Third Servile War in 73 B.C. The Spartacus group later on became the German Communist Party (K.P.D.). Radical elements, inspired by the Russian example, were preparing the formation of workers' and soldiers' councils, i.e. "Soviets".

I went to see Ludendorff chiefly to pay him a call of courtesy, but also in order to discuss with him the great national questions which then preoccupied his mind as much as mine. I deplored the fact that there were not at that time men in Germany whom an energetic national spirit would inspire to improve the situation.

"There is but one hope," Ludendorff said to me, "and this hope is embodied in the national groups which desire our recovery." He recommended to me in particular the Overland League and, above all, the National Socialist party of Adolf Hitler. Ludendorff greatly admired Hitler. "He is the only man," he said, "who has any political sense. Go and listen to him one day."

I followed his advice. I attended several public meetings organized by Hitler. It was then that I realized his oratorical gifts and his ability to lead the masses. What impressed me most, however, was the order that reigned in his meetings, the almost military discipline of his followers.

I have personally given altogether one million marks to the National Socialist Party. Not more. My contributions have been very much overestimated, because I have always been one of the richest men in Germany. But after all, what does it mean to own factories? It does not follow that a man has a lot of cash to spare. In any case, Hitler had other sources of money besides me. In Munich, for instance, there was Herr Bruckmann, the well-known printer; and in Berlin there was Carl Bechstein, the world-renowned piano manufacturer, who also contributed large sums. Aside from this, Hitler did not receive many subsidies from individual industrialists.

In order to allay discontent, Hitler conceived of a new idea. Every German shall own his car. He asked industry to devise a popular car model to be built at such a low price that millions could buy it. The Volkswagen (People's Car) has been talked of for the past five years and has never been seen on the market. "These cars will be built for the new highways," said the party propagandists; "an entire family will be able to ride in one of them at 100 kilometers (60 miles) an hour." The party leaders say that the highways were built for the People's Car. But the People's Car is one of the most bizarre ideas the Nazis ever had. Germany is not the United states. Wages are low. Gasoline is expensive. German workers never dreamed of buying a car. They cannot afford the upkeep; to them it is a luxury.

Dr. Ley, the stammering drunkard who is the chief of the German Labor Front. He controls the four to five hundred million marks paid in every year by the German workers as dues to the Labor Front. I do not say that he puts all this money into his own pocket. But the figure has certainly turned his head.

He had an automobile factory built for the production of the People's Car. On this occasion he invented a brand new form of knavery. The future buyers of the People's Car were invited to buy it in advance, by making predelivery installments. This is the reverse of the credit installment system. The system shows genius. Ley pocketed about a hundred million marks when the war came because the People's Car factory now had to produce tanks and motorcycles for the army.

Next to Goering, Hitler is a model of virtue. When he became chancellor of the Reich he renounced the usual salary with a noble gesture. I do not know whether this gesture has been followed through. Nevertheless, Hitler is the richest man in Germany. It is true that he has not grown rich on public revenues. His whole fortune is due to his pen. Indeed, Hitler is a man of letters. He is, if not the most read, at least the most purchased, of all men of letters in the world. Mein Kampf has reached a sale of seven or eight million copies. By a decision of the Reich ministry of the interior this book is distributed at the cost of the municipalities to all newlywed couples.

It was in November, 1938, that the Nazis, on the pretext of the murder of Vom Rath, a secretary of the embassy in Paris, by a young Polish Jew, organized the systematic persecution of the German Jews. The exact circumstances of the murder have never been established.

In Berlin, Nuremburg, Dusseldorf, Munich, and Augsburg, in almost all German towns, swastika-flagged columns of militia plundered the Jewish dwellings, smashing the furniture, slashing the pictures, and stealing everything they could carry away. At night and even in broad daylight, they drenched the synagogues with gasoline and set them ablaze. The fireman received instructions not to extinguish the fires but to confine themselves to save neighbouring buildings.

My conscience is clear. I know that I have committed no crime. My sole mistake is to have believed in you, our leader, Adolf Hitler, and in the movement initiated by you - to have believed with the enthusiasm of a passionate lover of my native Germany.

Since 1923 I have made the greatest sacrifices for the National Socialist cause, have fought with word and deed, without asking any reward for myself, merely inspired by the hope that our unfortunate German people would finally recover. The initial events after the National Socialists come to power seemed to justify this hope, at least as long as Herr von Papen was vice-chancellor.

A sinister development followed these events. The persecution of the Christian religion, taking the form of cruel measures against the priests and insults to the Churches, led me to protest in the early days, for instance when the police president of Dusseldorf issued a protest to Marshal Goering, It was in vain.

When, on November 9th, 1938, the Jews were despoiled and martyrized in the most cowardly and brutal manner, and their temples razed to the ground throughout Germany, I also protested. To reinforce this protest, I resigned my office as state councillor. This, too, as in vain.

My disappointment with Hitler dates almost from the very beginning of the Nazi regime. Hitler's eviction of the conservative elements from the government, of which he was the head, gave me some cause for anxiety. But I was inhibited by the impression produced by the burning of the Reichstag. Today I know that the crime was staged by the National Socialists themselves, in order to gain more power. Throughout Germany, they spread the fear of armed Communist rebellion. They induced the belief that this arson, organized by themselves, was the signal for a second Red revolution which would have precipitated the country into the bloody convulsions of civil war.

I then believed that by their energy Hitler and Goering had saved the country. Today I know that I, like millions of others, was deceived. But almost all Germans are still in the same state of deception, if so be they inhabit the Reich. In order to learn the truth I had to go abroad. The burning of the Reichstag, organized by Hitler and Goering, was the first step in a colossal political swindle.

Germany is once more plunged into war, without any kind of reference to the parliament or the state council, I inform you quite definitely I am opposed to this policy, and shall maintain this opinion even though I am accused of being a traitor.

Even from the standpoint of practical politics this policy amounts to suicide, for the sole person to benefit from it is the Nazis' mortal enemy of yesterday, transformed into the friend of today - Russia.

John Heartfield v Adolf Hitler: Censorship in Nazi Germany (Answer Commentary)

Käthe Kollwitz: German Artist in the First World War (Answer Commentary)

Adolf Hitler's Early Life (Answer Commentary)

The Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich (Answer Commentary)

Heinrich Himmler and the SS (Answer Commentary)

The Last Days of Adolf Hitler (Answer Commentary)

Trade Unions in Nazi Germany (Answer Commentary)

Fritz Thyssen : Nazi Germany - History

Just before his death, James Jesus Angleton, the legendary chief of counterintelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency, was a bitter man. He felt betrayed by the people he had worked for all his life. In the end, he had come to realize that they were never really interested in American ideals of "freedom" and "democracy." They really only wanted "absolute power."

Angleton told author Joseph Trento that the reason he had gotten the counterintelligence job in the first place was by agreeing not to submit "sixty of Allen Dulles' closest friends" to a polygraph test concerning their business deals with the Nazis. In his end-of-life despair, Angleton assumed that he would see all his old companions again "in hell."

The study of the past is beset by uncertainty. Experts on ancient inscriptions can easily get into arguments over whether or not two prominent people with the same name were actually a single individual. The student of modern history doesn't normally run into such problems because our lives today are so well documented. But suppose that most present-day records were to be lost in the course of time, leaving only a few semi-mythic narratives. In that case, future historians might well conclude that the only way to make sense of the twentieth century was by assuming that there were actually two Allen Dulleses.

One Allen Dulles, they would tell us, was the head of a powerful group of covert agents who served the great American Republic at mid-century. The other, who lived and worked slightly earlier, had been dedicated to promoting the interests of the Nazi Reich, which was the sworn enemy of the Americans. Despite the coincidence of names, there could obviously have been no connection between them.

We, with our documentation intact, have no choice but to accept that these two Allen Dulleses were one and the same. But the price of our superior knowledge is that for us the twentieth century threatens to make no sense at all.

How do we begin to untangle this puzzle? Perhaps it would help if we went back to the start.

Allen Welsh Dulles was born to privilege and a tradition of public service. He was the grandson of one secretary of state and the nephew of another. But by the time he graduated from Princeton in 1914, the robber baron era of American history was coming to an an end, ushered out by the Sherman Anti-Trust Act -- which had been used in 1911 to break up Standard Oil -- and by the institution of the progressive income tax in 1913. The ruling elite was starting to view government less as their own private preserve and more as an unwanted intrusion on their ability to conduct business as usual. That shift of loyalties in itself may account for many of the paradoxical aspects of Dulles's career.

Dulles entered the diplomatic service after college and served as a State Department delegate to the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, which brought a formal end to World War I. The Versailles Treaty which came out of this conference included a provision making it illegal to sell arms to Germany. This displeased the powerful DuPont family, and they put pressure on the delegates to allow them to opt out. It was Allen Dulles who finally gave them the assurances they wanted that their transactions with Germany would be "winked at."

Dulles remained a diplomat through the early 1920's, spending part of that time in Berlin. However, he left government service in 1926 for the greener pastures of private business, becoming a Wall Street lawyer with the same firm as his older brother, John Foster Dulles.

By the middle 20's, Germany had started recovering from the effects of the war and its postwar economic collapse, and the great German industrial firms were looking like attractive investment opportunities for wealthy Americans. W.A. Harriman & Co., formed in 1919 by Averell Harriman (son of railroad baron E.H. Harriman) and George Herbert Walker, had led the way in directing American money to German companies and had opened a Berlin branch as early as 1922, when Germany was still in chaos. At that time, Averell Harriman traveled to Europe and made contact with the powerful Thyssen family of steel magnates. It was to be a long-lasting and fateful partnership.

The Thyssens' steel business had suffered greatly from Germany's defeat, and old August Thyssen had decided to guard against future setbacks by creating a system of private banks. He founded one in Berlin and another in the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. In the wake of Harriman's trip, a third bank was added to the network, the Union Banking Corporation, founded in New York in 1924 with George Herbert Walker as president. Having their own personal banking system made it easy for the Thyssens to move assets around, launder money, conceal profits, and evade taxes.

By 1926, W.A. Harriman was doing so well that Walker gave his son-in-law, Prescott Bush, the gift of making him a vice president. In 1931, W.A. Harriman merged with a British firm to create Brown Brothers, Harriman, and Prescott Bush became a senior partner. During the 1930's, Brown Brothers, Harriman would increasingly direct its clients' investments to German companies. The Rockefeller family was prominent among these clients, and Standard Oil developed particularly close connections with the chemical giant I.G. Farben.

It was into this heady atmosphere of high-level investments and financial manipulation that Allen Dulles entered when he joined the firm of Sullivan and Cromwell in 1926. He would become the lawyer for the Thyssens' Rotterdam bank and would also represent other German firms, including I.G. Farben.

However, there was a serpent in this businessmen's Eden, and its name was Adolph Hitler. August Thyssen's son and successor, Fritz Thyssen, was an enthusiastic supporter of Hitler and had been funding the Nazi Party since 1923. Other German industrialists would do the same. It is hard to say to what extent the American investors shared Thyssen's enthusiasm, though it seems likely that most of them were swayed less by ideology than by the prospect that Hitler would be good for business. Either way, the outcome was that many wealthy and powerful Americans wound up supporting a regime that would ultimately become their own nation's enemy, and investing in the very firms that would provide the core of that regime's military machine.

Early in 1933, both Dulles brothers attended a meeting in Germany where German industrialists agreed to back Hitler's bid for power in exchange for his pledge to break the German unions. A few months later, John Foster Dulles negotiated a deal with Hitler's economics minister whereby all German trade with the United States would be coordinated through a syndicate headed by Averell Harriman's cousin. With the Nazis enforcing a favorable climate for business, the profits for Thyssen and other companies soared, and the Union Banking Corporation increasingly became a Nazi money-laundering machine. In 1934, George Herbert Walker placed Prescott Bush on Union Bank's board of directors, and Bush and Harriman also began to use the bank as the basis for a complex and deceptive system of holding companies.

The Hamburg-Amerika shipping line, which Harriman and Walker had controlled since 1920, had a particularly high degree of Nazi involvement in its operations. In 1934, a congressional investigation revealed it to have become a front for I.G. Farben's spying, propaganda, and bribery on behalf of the German government. Rather than advising Walker and Harriman to divest themselves of these tainted assets, Prescott Bush hired Allen Dulles to help conceal them. From 1937 on, the Dulles brothers would serve Bush and Harriman in all their covert dealings with Nazi firms. They also performed similar cloaking services for others, like the Rockefellers.

It goes without saying that Harriman, Walker, Bush, and Dulles were morally tainted by their connections with German firms like Thyssen and I.G. Farben, since they both funded and profited from Hitler's crimes against humanity. However, their entire enterprise was corrupt in a more subtle sense as well, in that its very basis was financial fraud on an unprecedented scale. That would have been true even if Hitler had never come to power. The real significance of adding the Nazis to the equation was that it upped the stakes, both increasing the potential rewards for the participants and forcing them into increasingly elaborate deceptions to conceal their frauds.

The American government was not the only object of these deceptions. In the late 1930's, Fritz Thyssen, worried about the economic impact of the oncoming war, started concealing his assets. He placed many of them under the names of distant relatives in Holland and also moved large amounts of cash through his family's Rotterdam bank and from there to the Union Banking Corporation in New York. He was aided in this by Prescott Bush, George Herbert Walker, and Allen Dulles.

Thyssen was not the only German who felt an impulse at this time to protect his wealth against the gathering storm. My best friend in high school was the granddaughter of German Jewish refugees, and she used to tell me with relish about how her grandparents cannily put their property into the hands of various non-Jewish friends before fleeing Europe and then returned after the war to reel it all back in. But Thyssen was no sweet old Jewish granny, and his machinations and those of his American friends amounted to treason against both nations.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 brought the United States into the war, the close associations of so many of its leading industrialists with German firms began to catch up with them. For example, it was discovered that Standard Oil had engaged in a cartel with I.G. Farben to produce artificial rubber and gasoline from coal for the Nazis. They had renewed this agreement even after war broke out in Europe in 1939 and had supplied certain patents to the Germans while keeping them hidden from the U.S. Navy and American industry.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr., the principal owner of Standard Oil, claimed he had no involvement in day-to-day operations, leaving the blame to fall entirely on company chairman William S. Farish. Farish -- whose daughter was married to Averell Harriman's nephew -- pled "no contest" to charges of criminal conspiracy in March of 1942 and agreed to make the patents available in the US. However, fresh revelations kept coming out, and Farish was called repeatedly to testify before a Senate committee investigating national defense. His health broken by the increasingly hostile questioning, he collapsed and died of a heart attack in November 1942.

At the same time, in October of 1942, Prescott Bush was charged with running Nazi front groups, and all shares of the Union Banking Corporation were seized by the U.S. Alien Property Custodian. The elaborate system of holding companies which Bush and Harriman had created in association with the bank started unraveling as well. Things were looking very bad for the old gang.

But just then, Allen Dulles worked a miracle. (to be continued . some day . when I figure out how he managed the trick)

Cory Panshin
March 2005

Previous: The Armies of Reaction
Next: Allen Dulles, the Nazis, and the CIA, Part II

Thyssen family

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Thyssen family, one of the world’s wealthiest families, its fortune based on a vast iron and steel empire established in the late 19th century.

August Thyssen (b. May 17, 1842, Eschweiler, Westphalia [Germany]—d. April 4, 1926, Kettwig, Ger.), variously called “King” and “Rockefeller of the Ruhr,” was a self-made millionaire. Born to a poor family in the Rhineland, Thyssen nonetheless managed to save 20,000 marks by his early 20s and bought a rolling mill. In 1871 he established the firm of Thyssen & Co. KG at Mülheim. Recognizing the vast natural resources of the Ruhr for iron and steel production, he literally transformed the region. By the outbreak of World War I he was employing 50,000 workers and producing one million tons of steel and iron a year.

A firm believer in vertical organization, Thyssen had his own railroads, ships, and docks. His holdings extended from Germany to France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and even India, Russia, and South America. He was the biggest coal operator in Germany, owned cement and allied industries, and broke the Krupp monopoly on heavy armaments manufacturing during World War I.

Despite his enormous wealth—estimated at $100 million at his death—Thyssen was noted for his simple, unostentatious lifestyle. He wore cheap suits, drove an old car, worked in a dingy office overlooking his steelworks, and often drank beer and ate wurst with his workmen. He was a thoroughgoing republican with a deep dislike of the kaiser and all hereditary power. His credo was unrelenting work, and the motto on the Thyssen coat of arms was “If I rest, I rust.” He died of pneumonia at the age of 84, following complicated eye surgery.

Fritz Thyssen (b. Nov. 9, 1873, Mülheim, Ger.—d. Feb. 8, 1951, Buenos Aires, Arg.) was a leading German industrialist and a major financial backer of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. Trained as an engineer, Fritz Thyssen entered the family iron, steel, and coal business created by his father, August. After World War I Fritz Thyssen was arrested for refusing to accede to the demands of French authorities occupying the Ruhr. Then, in 1921, the German government charged him with betraying the Ruhr district to the French during the war. It would not be the last time that he would run afoul of his nation’s leadership.

In 1926, at the age of 53, Fritz Thyssen inherited his father’s fortune and industrial empire. His brothers Heinrich and August, Jr., had proved disappointments to their father—Heinrich married a noblewoman and settled down to the comfortable life of a Hungarian baron, and August, Jr., became a spendthrift who fought for his mother’s dowry in a legal battle with his father. Fritz, on the other hand, was a shrewd businessman who combined the family holdings into a trust ( Vereinigte Stahlwerke AG [United Steelworks Co.]) that controlled more than 75 percent of Germany’s ore reserve and employed 200,000 workers.

Distressed at what he viewed as the socialistic drift of Germany into economic chaos during the 1920s, Fritz Thyssen became an early backer of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party and helped organize the meeting of German industrialists on Jan. 26, 1933, at which Hitler outlined his program. During Hitler’s drive for the German Chancellery, Thyssen contributed three million marks. Hitler then rewarded his financial sponsor by making Thyssen a member of the German Economic Council and a Prussian state counselor.

But Thyssen, viewing fascism as the only bulwark against bolshevism, backed Hitler solely as a nationalist and anticommunist. When Hitler led Germany into war and began persecuting Jews and Catholics (Thyssen was a Catholic), the industrialist broke with the Nazis and in 1939 fled to Switzerland. Hitler promptly confiscated the Thyssen fortune (about $88 million) and stripped Fritz Thyssen of German citizenship. Thyssen later wrote a scathing denunciation of Nazism titled “I Paid Hitler.”

Thyssen moved to France in 1940, but in 1941 the Vichy government picked him up as he was about to leave for South America. He was reportedly sent to Dachau and was found in a detention camp in the Italian Tirol at war’s end. Tried and convicted by a German denazification court of being a “minor Nazi,” Fritz Thyssen was ordered to turn over 15 percent of his property to a restitution fund for victims of Nazi persecution. A bitter man, he left Germany in 1950 to visit his daughter, Countess Zichy, in Argentina. It was at her Buenos Aires home that he died of a heart attack at the age of 77.

Amelia zur Helle Thyssen (b. 1878?—d. Aug. 25, 1965, Puchhof, Bavaria, W.Ger.) inherited the Thyssen steel and coal empire upon the death of her husband, Fritz, in 1951. During World War II she had voluntarily joined her husband at the Dachau concentration camp and later was held at Buchenwald as well. Following her husband’s death, she returned to Germany, but she never reclaimed her citizenship. She ran the family enterprises from her Bavarian castle (Puchhof), which was filled with valuable paintings and rare porcelain. Under her, Thyssen Steel merged with another large producer, creating the biggest steel company in western Europe and the third largest company (behind Volkswagen and Krupp) in Germany. For her role in launching the Fritz Thyssen Foundation to help advance German science, she received West Germany’s highest civilian medal, the Federal Service Cross.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Laura Etheredge, Associate Editor.

Forced labour

The ongoing war effort placed considerable strain on the Nazi war economy. As they occupied territory and launched offensives in the east, the Nazis relied more on confiscated resources, economic exploitation and the use of forced labour.

Types of labour

Though accurate figures cannot be known, in excess of 25 million Europeans were forced to labour for the Nazis at some point during World War II.

Civilians were forced to complete almost every conceivable kind of work: in mines and quarries, construction, road maintenance and demolition, in agricultural work, industrial factories and munitions manufacturing.

Forced labour was also used for dangerous war-related work like bomb disposal or the repair of bombed bridges and infrastructure. The more fortunate were deployed in less back-breaking jobs, like domestic service, small businesses, government offices, laundries, laboratories or other places where skilled labour was needed.

Victims of forced labour

Across Nazi-occupied Europe, forced labour was imposed on non-German civilians, Jews and prisoners-of-war, especially those of Slavic origin. While the majority of forced labour took place in Nazi-occupied countries, it was also used extensively within Germany.

Several million Poles and eastern Europeans were shipped into Germany against their will. Called zivilarbeiters, these workers were not technically prisoners – but as foreigners, they were still subject to harsh restrictions. Zivilarbeiters were housed in labour camps or tenements they were subject to curfews and restrictions on movement, prohibited from mixing with Germans and given meagre food rations.

Outside Germany, civilians forced to labour by the Nazis usually lived in labour camps or ghettos. Their living conditions varied and depended on the type of work performed, the nature of Nazi occupation in their country, the availability of food supplies, the methods employed by the SS or camp authorities, and their political and racial status.

Wages and conditions

The real beneficiaries of forced labour were the Nazi regime and the owners and shareholders of German businesses that came to rely on it.

Wages for forced civilian labourers were set by local Nazi administrators. These wages were much lower than those of free civilian workers, usually between 30-50% less. The opportunity to employ a workforce at significantly lower cost enticed hundreds of German companies to request forced labour during the war.

The allocation of forced labour, however, was strictly controlled by the Nazi bureaucracy. Within Germany, it was managed by a government department called the Arbeitseinsatz (‘Labour Conscription Office’). In the occupied territories, the deployment of forced labour was overseen by Gauleiters and SS administrators.

As elsewhere in Nazi economics, the allocation and management of forced labour were riddled with bribery and corruption. Government officials and SS officers often received pay-offs or kickbacks for approving requests for forced labour.

Beneficiaries of forced labour

The list of German firms that employed forced labour is extensive. Some of the better-known companies included:

IG Farben. The fourth-largest company in the world and the largest outside the United States, IG Farben produced chemicals, including pharmaceuticals, dyes, photographic agents, pesticides and industrial chemicals. During the war it diversified its production, making synthetic fuels, oil and rubber. IG Farben also supplied the infamous Zyklon-B, the cyanide-based poison used in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. IG Farben was the largest employer of forced labour in Nazi Germany. It was so heavily involved in the Nazi war economy that 23 of its directors and managers were later placed on trial at Nuremberg. All were either acquitted or treated lightly, and most returned to their previous positions.

Krupp. One of Germany’s oldest companies, Krupp was the nation’s largest steel and armaments manufacturer. Prior to and during the war, Krupp produced submarines, armour plate, artillery guns, tanks and munitions for the Nazi military. Krupp was an extensive employer of forced workers, who were often subject to brutal treatment in its factories. Twelve Krupp directors stood trial at Nuremberg, charged with forcing more than 100,000 people to labour in their factories, one-quarter of them prisoners-of-war. All bar one were found guilty and given prison sentences of up to 12 years.

Thyssen AG. A major steel manufacturer, Thyssen AG was Krupp’s largest competitor. Its manager, Fritz Thyssen, was a keen supporter and bankroller of the Nazis until he fell out with them in 1939. Thyssen AG nevertheless supplied the war effort, aided by large amounts of forced labour. The company built and operated 17 labour camps, and a member of the Thyssen family was present when 200 Hungarian Jews were massacred at Reichnitz Castle in Austria in March 1945, allegedly for the entertainment of high-ranking Nazi guests. Thyssen also had extensive business interests, steel holdings and bank deposits within the United States, including links with Prescott Bush, an ancestor of presidents George Bush Senior and George W. Bush.

Volkswagen. The prominent German automobile manufacturer was formed by the Nazis in 1937, who hoped to stimulate the economy by producing cheap ‘people’s wagons’. During the war, the company diversified into military vehicles, under the guidance of engineer Frederick Porsche. Volkswagen’s plant in northern Germany reportedly used between 15,000 and 20,000 forced labourers around one-tenth of this number were Jewish. In 1998 the company began an $11.7 million compensation fund for Holocaust survivors. Porsche later began his own company designing tanks, though it is unclear if it utilised forced labour.

Hugo Boss. Today, Hugo Boss is renowned for its stylish men’s suits and flashy silk ties. During the 1930s and 1940s, however, it was one of the main uniform suppliers to the Nazis. Its namesake and founder, Hugo Boss, was an enthusiastic NSDAP member. Boss designed and supplied uniforms to the party’s paramilitary arms, such as the SA, SS and the Hitler Youth. Since Hugo Boss employed mainly on German seamstresses, and women could be hired for lower wages, he did not have the same need for forced labour. Nevertheless around 200 forced workers were used in Boss factories at various times.

Siemens. A manufacturer of electrical and electronic equipment, Siemens was both a supporter and a beneficiary of the Nazi regime. The company supplied engines, electrical generators and switches to the German military. At the peak of its production, Siemens employed 244,000 workers, around 50,000 of whom had been forced to labour. In the final years of the war, Siemens shifted much of its production out of major cities to avoid damage from Allied air raids. The company built and operated makeshift factories inside or near notorious concentration camps, including Auschwitz.

Jewish labour

Forced labour was not just used to meet Germany’s war needs. It was also an ideological response to the so-called ‘Jewish question’, a way of relegating European Jews to what the Nazis considered was their rightful place in the economic order.

German and Austrian Jews were subjected to forced labour well before the outbreak of World War II. In December 1938, a Nazi edict ordered that all Jews without jobs and reliant on welfare had to perform unskilled work, such as road construction. By mid-1939, more than 20,000 of Germany’s 167,000 Jews were involved in forced labour. The conquest of Poland in September 1939 and western Europe in mid-1940 gave Berlin rein over several million more Jews, many of whom were conscripted to work for the Reich.

The treatment of Jewish forced labourers was significantly worse than other civilian workers. Jews were held as geschlossener arbeitseinsatz (‘locked-up labour’) in walled ghettos or labour camps. Jewish workers did not receive any payment: their ‘salary’, as little as a few Reichmarks a day, was paid by the employer to the Nazi government.

By mid-1942, more than 1.5 million Jews were detained in concentration camps and around half of this number was forced to work.

Jewish attitudes

The attitude of Jews to forced labour could be surprisingly positive. While engaged in important work like construction or munitions production, some Jewish forced labourers thought themselves a vital component of the Reich economy. The optimistic believed that nothing worse could happen while they remained essential to the Nazi war effort.

This was a false optimism. By 1942, Berlin’s Jewish policy had shifted and the Nazis had decided on the eventual extermination of Europe’s Jewish population. Some labour camps embraced an unofficial policy called Vernichtung durch Arbeit (‘Extermination through labour’). In other words, Jews would be literally worked to death then replaced with fresh arrivals.

Under Nazi rule, more than 800,000 Jews died from the effects of overwork, including injuries, infection, fatigue, malnutrition and disease.

“The corporations that made use of forced labour during the war met any and all accusations in later decades with the defence borrowed from the Nuremberg Trial defendants. They argued that the Nazi state forced companies to accept slaves, that businesses were left no choice and no influence in the matter. A long series of studies have exploded this myth. However many companies today still refuse to open their wartime archives, especially to potentially critical historians.”
Reinhold Billstein, historian

1. The Nazis made extensive use of forced labour of civilians and prisoners, in order to support and supply their war effort.

2. Thousands of forced labourers were imported into Germany, where they lived and worked under strong restrictions.

3. The low pay rates for forced labour made it an attractive proposition for German and pro-German firms such as IG Farben, Krupp, Thyssen and Seimens.

4. Forced labourers were usually housed in tenements, labour camps or, in the case of Jews, ghettos and concentration camps.

5. Forced labour became an important component of the Nazi regime’s anti-Jewish policies. In some locations, Jews were intentionally worked to death as a means of elimination.

Citation information
Title: “Forced labour”
Authors: Jennifer Llewellyn, Steve Thompson
Publisher: Alpha History
Date published: August 10, 2020
Date accessed: June 26, 2021
Copyright: The content on this page may not be republished without our express permission. For more information on usage, please refer to our Terms of Use.

I Paid Hitler

While Thyssen was imprisoned in Germany, a biography was published in the United States in 1941 under the title I Paid Hitler. The book was written by Emery Reves, allegedly based on memoirs dictated by Thyssen. This book supports Reves' idea that the German industrialists as a class supported and funded Hitler and put him into power. The book has been popular among Communists. It is not well regarded even by politically correct historians of the period

David Irving writes that "Hermann Rauschning's Conversations with Hitler (Zürich, 1940) has bedeviled analysis of Hitler's policies ever since it was published by the evil propagandist Emery Reves (Imre Revéüsz) along with a host of other fables. Rauschning, a former Nazi Danzig politician, met Hitler on only a couple of formal occasions. [. ] Reves was also publisher of that other famous "source" on early Nazi history, Fritz Thyssen's "memoirs," I Paid Hitler (London, 1943). Henry Ashby Turner, Jr., has pointed out in a paper in Vierteljahrsheft für Zeitgeschichte (No. 3, 1971) that the luckless Thyssen never even saw eight of the book's nineteen chapters, while the rest were drafted in French!" Ώ]

Regarding other less politically correct views, see the "External links" section.

Special Operations Outlook 2019 Digital Edition is here!

Adolf Hitler and Fritz Thyssen visit a Thyssen factory in the Ruhr, ca. 1935. Bundesarchive photo

“Fritz Thyssen, German industrialist who gave Reichsfuehrer Hitler early financial backing, is now in the hands of the Gestapo, it was reliably learned here today.”

—Reuters wire service report, Sept. 1, 1942

In German legend, Faust was a successful scholar and astronomer who, dissatisfied with his life, transacted a deal with the Devil, selling his soul in exchange for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasure. Over time, the term “Faustian bargain” came to mean the moral corruption of an individual for profit. If ever there were a real life Faust, it was industrialist Fritz Thyssen.

Thyssen was the son of steel magnate August Thyssen, head of the largest steel manufacturer in Germany, far larger than the “cannon kings” of Krupp. In 1926, he assumed control of the family empire. Within two years Thyssen’s companies controlled more than 75 percent of Germany’s iron ore reserves and employed more than 200,000 people. A devout Catholic, political conservative, and ardent German nationalist, Thyssen held a prominent role in elite German circles.

Fritz Thyssen, ca. 1928. Bundesarchive photo

Thyssen’s association with the Nazis began in 1923, when retired general Erich Ludendorff convinced him to attend a rally where Adolf Hitler was to give a speech. Thyssen was captivated by Hitler’s oratory and found common cause in Hitler’s hatred of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. Shortly afterward Thyssen donated 100,000 gold marks, the first of many financial contributions to the Nazi party. It’s worth noting the indirect manner of this donation, because it suggests a more complex reason for his later falling out with the Nazis.

In 1945, Thyssen was one of a large group of German industrialists, politicians, scientists, and generals held and interrogated by the Americans. Operation Paperclip, focusing on scientists making rockets and jet engines, was the most famous of these. Thyssen was interrogated as part of Operation Dustbin. Of that first contribution, Thyssen told his interrogator Clifford Hynning, “I did not want to give any money directly to the [Nazi] party, so I gave it to Ludendorff and he gave it to the party.”

Thyssen was the first important industrialist to support the Nazis, and he was instrumental in bringing on board his fellow industrialists and helping the Nazis gain political control of Germany.

Hitler’s growing militarism alarmed Thyssen, who believed another war would be ruinous. When Hitler ordered the invasion of Poland, the breach between the two was complete. Thyssen and his wife went into exile, first to Switzerland, then to France. Thyssen left behind a document intended for publication by the German press. It was an impassioned attack on Hitler and his policies and it concluded with the sentence, “Your policy will terminate in a finis Germaniae.” The document was not published. Thyssen’s companies and properties were confiscated.

There was a family precedent to Thyssen’s document. In World War I, his father published a pamphlet that indicted the Kaiser and the House of Hohenzollern for its pre-war policies and deception during the war. Thyssen pére was arrested for treason, later freed.

German police issued an international arrest warrant against Fritz Thyssen, charging him with “theft, embezzlement, fraud, non-payment in income and other taxes, and contravention of the German currency restrictions.” When interviewed by reporters, Thyssen called the charges “ridiculous.” But in this instance the Nazis actually had a credible case. The Thyssen family had a history of tax evasion dating back to World War I, when August Thyssen set up a number of firms in the neutral Netherlands, including a bank, in order to safeguard and funnel assets and avoid taxes. In 1939 the Tax Directorate in Düsseldorf gathered sufficient proof to indict Thyssen for tax evasion and illegal foreign currency transactions.

After Germany’s defeat of France in 1940, Thyssen took refuge in Vichy France, ultimately intending to go to Argentina. But in August 1942 Vichy authorities turned him over to the Gestapo. Later joined by his wife, they were eventually imprisoned in Dachau.

In April 1945, with the war in Europe in its final days, Thyssen and his wife were rounded up with other important prisoners, collectively known as the Niederdorf group after the name of a hotel where they were to stay, and transported by the SS to the Austrian Tyrol. The newsreel clip above shows the group, including Thyssen and his wife, shortly after they were freed by American troops.


Nazi Connection to JFK Assassination - by Mae Brussell on Col. Prouty website
This is a story of how key nazis, even as the Wehrmacht was still on the offensive, anticipated military disaster and laid plans to transplant nazism, intact but disguised, in havens in the West. It is the story of how honorable men, and some not so honorable, were so blinded by the Red menace that they fell into lockstep with Nazi designs. It is the story of the Odd Couple Plus One: the mob, the CIA and fanatical exiles, each with its own reason for gunning for Kennedy. It is a story that climaxes in Dallas on November 22, 1963 when John Kennedy was struck down.
And it is a story with an aftermath -- America's slide to the brink of fascism . As William L. Shirer author of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich , put it in speaking of the excesses of the Nixon administration, "We could become the first country to go fascist through free elections."

As Heinz Hohne and Hermann Zolling phrased it in The General Was A Spy, the German general took his entire apparatus, "unpurged and without interruption, into the service of the American superpower."

Dulles may not have invited such a man to his club, but he did the next best thing: he funneled an aggregate of $200 million in CIA funds to the Gehlen Organization.

The American role in World War Two is regularly mentioned and even hyped to promote a mentality of jingoism, ultra-patriotism, American exceptionalism, and the like. After all, we beat Hitler, the arch-evil archetype. This hype also serves to demonize dissent for all other American military adventures completely unrelated to fighting fascism, even those U.S. military actions which prop up fascism under the guise of 'defending democracy'.

What is completely off-limits in mainstream debates is the voluminous information on the involvement of key Americans in boosting and supporting the Nazis , and funding the Nazi Party before they came to power, and funding and arming them during the march through Europe. Some 2500 American companies financed Hitler.
Most of this American back-channel Nazi support stopped after 12/7/1941, Pearl Harbor. However some of this corporate collusion and money-laundering had to be ordered stopped by President Roosevelt. And despite a Federal crackdown on trade with the Nazis and Nazi businesses, some of this continued throughout the war and even after the war , to assist in Nazi flight capital and protecting Nazi war criminals . While American soldiers and Allies were being slaughtered by Axis powers on the beaches of Normandy and elsewhere, key US elites continued to assist the Nazis. None of these Americans were ever brought to justice for Treason . Further, some of them became prominent politicians and continued in the role of Ruling Families. The Bush family is just one of these traitors.

Probably , far more significant than the Bush family connections with the Third Reich is the CIA connections with the Third Reich , but these two worlds overlap. People in the OSS and Wall Street helped fund Nazi industry and finance, and the Nazi Party both directly and indirectly, the SA Brownshirts (goon squad, many butch anti-femme-gay homosexuals) and the SS Blackshirts (Nazi Intelligence). Former Nazi SS officer Reinhard Gehlen helped his American friends form the CIA , including Allen Dulles the CIA director after William Sullivan. The Dulles brothers were corporate lawyers acting as middlemen between Wall Street and Nazi corporations and the Nazi government, facilitating deals, and arranging corporate shell games to LIE and hide the paper trail from U.S. authorities and the public.

Wall Street had praise for Franco and Mussolini as well. They admired the fascist Croix de feu (Cross of Fire) in France, and exhibited deep hatred for labor solidarity. They hated 'socialism' so bad they wanted to destroy America to eradicate all traces of it. This they called "patriotism". Still do. Ultimately, the goal is to roll back not only Modern Liberalism, but even Enlightenment Liberalism, which includes the Age of Reason supplanting superstition and religion, and the rise of democratic governance.

Prescott Bush was part of that milleau, appointed as managing director of Union Banking Corporation by Averill Harriman (railroad magnate). UBC was a front and a clearinghouse for a variety of Nazi industrial and financial holdings, particularly those of Fritz Thyssen who later wrote an apologetic book, " I Paid Hitler ". Bush was actually an agent for these companies which were completely controlled by Thyssen. This Wall Street network included Allen Dulles and his brother John Foster, with Rockefeller (oil, banking), Carnegie (steel), and DuPont (petrochemicals), and many others. I.G. Farben was a German version of "Halliburton", and had interlocking directorates with U.S. corporations.
Prescott, and his father-in-law George Herbert Walker , each held one share of UBC stock, and each cashed out with 3/4 million of UBC stock, when UBC was closed after the war. In 1946, $1.5 million was a LOT of moolah for the Walker-Bush family, and the Bush team was also rewarded handsomely throughout that time. Harriman held 3000 shares of UBC. He became a multi-billionaire. CIA under Dulles worked Operation Paperclip, restoring the money and positions of some Nazi war criminals in Germany, and assisting others in their escape from Justice by bringing them to America or South America. Extensive records are linked on this page.

Feeling insufficiently patriotic lately? Defensive?
There's been a lot of talk about the " Blame America First " crowd . Well, if the American government -- us -- overthrows democracies and installs murderers, then the shoe fits that America is to blame for it's decisions and actions.

But were you aware that "blame America first" is a pun on the name of the original (large Acrobat PDF)-> " America First Committee " ? While AFC originally included liberals, socialists, and conservatives, including Gerald Ford and of course Lindbergh, there was also strong crossover with an overt pro-Hitler movement in America and even with the American Nazi Party . Some wanted America to STAY OUT of World War 2, specifically to not help Jews or Brits. Some actually wanted America to LOSE or to adopt Hitler's form of government, to align America with Nazi Germany and turn it into an analogue. They wanted to change our democratic-Republic into a Corporate State, all while wrapping themselves in the Constitution and Patriotism. Of course if Hitler had seized the British Navy and British Air Force .

Some like Pat Buchanan defend AFC as mere patriotic anti-communits, not Nazis or fascists. (There's a huge difference btw being antiwar with regards to Iraq vs. Nazi Germany, which did intend to rule the world.)

See photo of Laura Ingalls on page 2 of the PDF, convicted of being in pay of the Nazis , she claimed she was "more patriotic" than those who convicted her. On page 8, the author (an FBI informant) writes:
My mentor was Hubert Schmuederrich whom I hadn't met since the America First Rally at Madison Square Garden. Hubert boasted that since seeing me last he had mailed 800 copies of the booklet, National Socialism-and Its Justification to United States Army men, each stamped with the swastika imprint of the Grey Shirts.
Others called for butchering Americans they did not like , such as liberals and democrats who opposed Hitler.

The American Axis -
Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, and the Rise of the Third Reich
"When I read Lindbergh's speech, I felt that it could not have been better put if it had been written by Goebbels himself ," the President wrote to Henry Stimson, a Republican politician whom Roosevelt had recently asked to serve as his new secretary of war. "What a pity that this youngster has completely abandoned his belief in our form of government and has accepted Nazi methods because apparently they are efficient ."

In January 1940, the FBI arrested eighteen members of a Christian Front splinter group and charged them with attempting to overthrow the United States government . . planning for years .
At their Christian Front meetings, they addressed their leader as " Führer " and gave the Nazi salute . Most alarmingly, the plotters had already been given thousands of rounds of ammunition, arms and explosives by an officer of the New York National Guard. General Moseley . described Jews as "crude and unclean, animal-like things. It's like writing about something loathsome such as syphilis."

The America First Committee was formed by Douglas Stuart at Yale (home of Skull and Bones) , the son of a Quaker Oats vice president. He was contacted by General Robert E. Wood, chairman of the Sears Roebuck Corporation , offering to help the cause by any means at his disposal. Enlisted Henry Ford for the National Committee. "Ford's pet peeve was Franklin Roosevelt, but any mention of the war in Europe or this country's involvement upset him almost to incoherence ."
Robert Sherwood, an American playwright, called the men Hitler's "bootlickers" .
Lawrence Dennis wrote of "Good Old Hitler" and " I should like nothing better than to be a leader or a follower of a Hitler who would crush and destroy many now in power. " In New York, the official newspaper of the pro-Nazi Bund , the Free American . implication that the Jews' "elimination in this country" might be "less gentle." Asked whether he believed America would ever be governed by National Socialism , Joe Mcwilliams replied, " Hell yes . Just give us six months . "

Notorious Support: The America First Committee and The Personalization of Policy
Hitler and Goebbels praised the America First Committee, as did the German-American Bund , domestic fascists, .

Not much has changed.

Does it bother anyone that two of 'W's and Poppy's and Jeb's closest allies are admitted (nay, bragging) mass murderers. One was called an "unrepentant terrorist" by a former Atty Gen., and one of the most deadly terrorists working "within the hemisphere", per the Bush-41 Defense Dept.

One of the more extensive anti-fascist archives on the web: butler+bankers+coup (about Gen. Smedley "War is a Racket" Butler and the Banker's coup of 1933)

Although Butler's patriotic efforts did thwart this fascist coup plot, the Wall Street bankers and corporate leaders who sponsored it continued to conspire behind the scenes to rid America of FDR and to smash his “New Deal.” Evidence of continued efforts by powerful U.S. fascists to regain control of the White House is illustrated by a 1936 statement by William Dodd, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany . In a letter to Roosevelt, he stated:

“ A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy . I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime. A prominent executive of one of the largest corporations, told me point blank that he would be ready to take definite action to bring fascism into America if President Roosevelt continued his progressive policies. Certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there. Propagandists for fascist groups try to dismiss the fascist scare . (Like most of the MSM denying that Bush is operating just like Hitler.) We should be aware of the symptoms. When industrialists ignore laws designed for social and economic progress they will seek recourse to a fascist state when the institutions of our government compel them to comply with the provisions .”

The Architect of the Cold War
The Legacy of George F. Kennan , 1904-2005
"We have about 50 percent of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population . In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity . The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts ." Kennan to Truman

The architect of America's cold war doctrine of containment came long ago to repudiate the poisoned fruits of his inspiration: a divided world, a militarized and cheapened culture, and $12 trillion flushed down the drain.
. Kennan's melancholy admission that his political warfare idea was "the greatest mistake I ever made."

story by "Werther" - a Northern Virginia-based defense analyst.

Prescott's son, George Herbert Walker Bush, apparently got a job fresh out of Yale working for Allen Dulles . His best friend's at Skull and Bones, his father was recruiter for the CIA and also a member of Skull and Bones along with Director Allen Dulles and many others. Pretty tight circle.

The year is 1946. With the defeat of the Nazis, the USSR is shaping up as the big enemy of freedom. In Munich, Germany, ALLEN DULLES of the OSS , the Allies' WWII secret spy network, begins recruiting Nazis to shelter under the umbrella of the U.S. government . Among other American agents working to recruit the presumably dead Hitler's master spies are RICHARD HELMS, JAMES ANGLETON, THEODORE SHACKLEY and WILLIAM HARVEY . All these would later become Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) big shots .

The Beast Reawakens
by Martin A. Lee
Little, Brown & Co., 1997 Routledge, 2000 ISBN 0-316-51959-6
During World War II tens of millions of people died horribly and brutally in the great fight against fascism. And yet, like some bloodthirsty dinosaur in a political Jurassic Park, fascism survived that monumental defeat and is now making a comeback. Neofascism is an ugly reality in the world today, and it's growing.

The Beast Reawakens examines how and why the CIA hired and protected many high-ranking Nazis after WWII. That's right Mousketeers, it was none other than good ol' Uncle Sham who lovingly helped fascism to survive the fall of the Third Reich. Particularly since the end of the Cold War, fascism and neo-Naziism have again begun to publicly flex their muscles and rear their ugly heads, like the outbreak of a virulent disease we thought we had a vaccine for.


Bush-Hitler connection unfair - Opinion (WAH!!)
Duncan Campbell - There has been a steady internet chatter about the "Bush/Nazi" connection, much of it inaccurate and unfair .
But the new documents , many of which were only declassified last year, show that even after America had
entered the war and when there was already significant information about the Nazis' plans and policies, he worked for and profited from companies closely involved with the very German businesses that financed Hitler's rise to power . It has also been suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped to establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty.

William 'Stamps' Farish III - George H. W. Bush connection
"In 1980, when George H.W. Bush was elected vice president, he placed his father's family inherence in a blind trust . The trust was managed by his old friend and quail hunting partner, William 'Stamps' Farish III . Bush's choice of Farish to manage the family wealth is quite revealing in that it demonstrates that the former president might know exactly where some of his inheritance originated.

Farish's grandfather, William Farish [Sr.], on March 25th, 1942, pleaded 'no contest' to conspiring with Nazi Germany while president of Standard Oil in New Jersey. He was described by Senator Harry Truman in public of approaching 'treason' for profiting off the Nazi war machine .

Standard Oil, invested millions in IG Farben , who opened a gasoline factory within Auschwitz in 1940 . The billions 'Stamps' inherited had more blood on it then Bush, so the paper trail of UBC stock would be safe during his 12 years in presidential politics." Thanks to GWB, Stamps Farish is now our Ambassador to London.

Stamps also became a partner in Zapata Petroleum, which had links to Operation 40 terrorism and the Kennedy Assassination .

CHILLING DEJA VU: The Original, Eerily Premonitive Bush:Hitler Comparison from July 2001

When a number of senior members of George HW Bush's 1988 campaign team were revealed to be old-school Nazi sympathizers it generated something of a media flap - Pete Hamill titled a New York Post column "George Bush and his fascist fan club" - but the scandal is little remembered today.
But what else would one expect, given the CIA was essentially a co-creation of Nazis like General Reinhard Gehlen and his Abwehr anti-Soviet intelligence apparatus and Nazi money launderers like Allen Dulles and the corporatist/intelligence old boy network of Sullivan and Cromwell . +Sullivan+Cromwell+nazi
As Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles used Sullivan and Cromwell to help carry on his support for former Nazi businessmen.
"And do not forget the petty scoundrels in this regime note their names, so that none will go free! They should not find it possible, having had their part in these abominable crimes, at the last minute to rally to another flag and then act as if nothing had happened!" - from the fourth leaflet of the anti-Nazi resistance , The White Rose, 1942.

So which World War is it? It's neither the Third nor the Fourth it's still the Second . Even though the apologists of the Pirate Class in their red, white and blue shirts will never own the name "fascist."

When we talk about Nazis in America , we're talking about more than the more than passing resemblance to the Bush Cartel. That Prescott's family business profited handsomely by the Nazis is well known, at least by those who think it important to note such things. But the story is larger and uglier than more dirty dealings by a Bonseman.

It also goes deeper than the Republican Party's active recruitment of fascists and racists since the mid-50s through the aegis of its Heritage Groups Council ,

When a number of senior members of George HW Bush's 1988 campaign team were revealed to be old school Nazi sympathizers it generated something of a media flap - Pete Hamill titled a New York Post column "George Bush and his fascist fan club" - but the scandal is little remembered today.

The Nazi virus entered America's system long ago. It's been Americanized . But what else would one expect, given the CIA was essentially a co-creation of Nazis like General Reinhard Gehlen and his Abwehr anti-Soviet intelligence apparatus and Nazi money launderers like Allen Dulles and the corporatist/intelligence old boy network of Sullivan and Cromwell .

The Roaring 20s and the Roots of American Fascism - Part 2: Economic Warfare & Traitors in High Places
Nazis in the attic, part 6

Political Friendster: Allen Dulles worked with brother John Foster Dulles, as lawyer and international finance specialist for Sullivan & Cromwell , a Wall Street law firm in New York (1927-1941). While there, he worked with top Nazi industrialists and played a pivotal role in promoting U.S.-Nazi corporate relations . Allen worked with Prescott Bush (grandfather of President George Walker Bush) and George Herbert Walker (Prescott's father-in-law) who ran Union Banking Corporation for the Nazis. Allen was legal counsel for Standard Oil and the Nazi's I.G. Farben , co-owned by the Rockefellers. (Other U.S. millionaires allied to the Nazis were: William Randolph Hearst Sr., Andrew Mellon, Irenee du Pont, Henry Ford and J.P. Morgan . Morgan, du Pont and others were even involved in a Fascist plot to overthrow the U.S. government in 1934.)
Operation 40

collection of links and detailed articles

Look around you
The militarization of America
One of the constant sources of propaganda that Americans are subjected to is the militarization of our thought process. The content of our entertainment , the way the fourth estate reports the news and how law and order is maintained on our streets are all effected by this propaganda. This has been a subtle and constant force since the end of WWII but its subtle nature has evolved into an overt force since the first Persian Gulf War.

The military, its suppliers and its second cousins are all around us. Turn on the TV if you have cable and there is literally a 24-hour a day presence of the military on your TV. The Military History Channel is one of the many channels which fall under the broadcast umbrella of General Electric and it's A&E Television Networks.

I have not seen a single example of criticism of the fraud, corruption or fleecing of the American public by the makers of the American weapons industry on these channels. It is only wall-to-wall praise and glory for the purported capabilities of these weapons, weapon delivery systems and their designers.

The Guardian Investigates the Nazi Ties of Bush's Grandfather

George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.
The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

His business dealings, which continued until his company's assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than 60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and to a hum of pre-election controversy.

The evidence has also prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator's action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

The debate over Prescott Bush's behaviour has been bubbling under the surface for some time. There has been a steady internet chatter about the "Bush/Nazi" connection, much of it inaccurate and unfair. But the new documents, many of which were only declassified last year, show that even after America had entered the war and when there was already significant information about the Nazis' plans and policies, he worked for and profited from companies closely involved with the very German businesses that financed Hitler's rise to power. It has also been suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped to establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty.

Remarkably, little of Bush's dealings with Germany has received public scrutiny, partly because of the secret status of the documentation involving him. But now the multibillion dollar legal action for damages by two Holocaust survivors against the Bush family, and the imminent publication of three books on the subject are threatening to make Prescott Bush's business history an uncomfortable issue for his grandson, George W, as he seeks re-election.

While there is no suggestion that Prescott Bush was sympathetic to the Nazi cause, the documents reveal that the firm he worked for, Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), acted as a US base for the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s before falling out with him at the end of the decade. The Guardian has seen evidence that shows Bush was the director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that represented Thyssen's US interests and he continued to work for the bank after America entered the war.

New insight into pre-Nazi Germany

I recently received an email from Felix de Taillez, a German scholar of European history.

My connection with Felix de Taillez started when he contacted the Gazette, saying that, on the Internet, he found some of my columns describing the relationship between Fritz Thyssen, the head of Germany's giant United Steelworks that controlled more than 75% of Germany's iron ore reserves and Emery Reves. He asked the editor of the Gazette to put him in touch with me.

Fritz Thyssen gained notoriety as the major financial supporter of the fledgling Nazi Party, and was instrumental in persuading Germany's President Paul von Hindenburg, to appoint Hitler chancellor in 1932. But once the Nazi dictatorship took hold, Thyssen became openly critical of the regime. He had to flee with his family to Switzerland, subsequently moving to Paris, where he met Emery Reves.

Reves was the president of Cooperation Publishing Co. Inc, an international newspaper syndicate. He was able to persuade Thyssen to put on paper his memoirs. Reves obtained the publishing rights, and "I Paid Hitler," was published in 1941.

Referring to my relationship with Reves, who after the Second World War become my mentor and friend, de Taillez remarked, "It is a great privilege to communicate with a contemporary witness." His extensive research dwelt deeply into the motives that guided Thyssen's actions.

I asked him, what new facts did his research reveal?

"My book is the first systematic study of the actions and perceptions of two of the most important members of the German economic elite. It demonstrates that the relations of the Thyssen brothers with the public were very different. Fritz Thyssen became a media personality in 1923 when he organized the "passive resistance" against the French–Belgian occupation of the Ruhr Valley, Germany's industrial heart. Fritz Thyssen got the image of a national hero.

De Taillez's research revealed that in 1931, Thyssen was invited to an important conference of American and European industrial leaders at Columbia University. He became a follower of the entrepreneurial ideal formulated by Edward L. Bernays, the pioneer in the field of public relations. Bernays advocated globalization and free trade. To attain this goal, Thyssen wanted to establish an anti-democratic authoritarian corporate state in Germany.

"The main reason why Thyssen became a public sympathizer of National Socialism in January 1932 was his hope in the restoration of political and economic stability in Germany, not racist or anti-Semitic reasons," he said


The Fritz Thyssen Foundation was founded as an independent non-profit foundation governed by private law on 7 July 1959. Amélie Thyssen and her daughter Anita Countess Zichy-Thyssen created the foundation in memory of August and Fritz Thyssen.

Anita Countess Zichy-Thyssen (1909-1990)

Amélie Thyssen and Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer on August 7, 1960 at the award ceremony of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany

Foundation offices Rudolfplatz from 1961 to 1972

Foundation offices Am Römerturm from 1972 to 2011

Amélie Thyssen (1877-1965) and her daughter Anita Countess Zichy-Thyssen (1909-1990), the two heirs of steel industrialist Fritz Thyssen, established the Foundation on 7 July 1959 as an independent charitable foundation governed by private law based in Cologne. In 1960 they provided the Foundation with the proceeds – and in 1964 ownership – of a stock share package in August Thyssen-Hütte AG having a nominal value of DM 100 million. The market value was considerably higher. While her daughter, who was living in Argentina, contributed a quarter of the Foundation’s capital, Amélie Thyssen raised the largest sum. She donated almost half of her entire holdings in the company.

Amélie Thyssen established the Foundation in memory of her husband, the oldest son of the founder of the dynasty, August Thyssen. Her husband died in 1951. The couple had wed in 1900 their daughter Anita was born in 1909. Following the death of August Thyssen (1926), Fritz contributed his industrial legacy to Vereinigte Stahlwerke AG, where he served as Chairman of the Supervisory Board from 1926 to 1939. Fritz Thyssen was one of the earliest powerful industrialist to support Hitler. Amélie also joined the NSDAP (1931). In 1939 she also backed her husband’s break with the Nazi regime, however, and accepted the consequences: Expropriation and expatriation after their escape together to Switzerland, arrest and extradition by the French Vichy government in December 1940. During the period of the couple’s imprisonment – January 1941 to May 1943 in the psychiatric ward of a private sanatorium then until February 1945 as “special prisoners” in Sachsenhausen concentration camp, afterwards being deported to South Tyrol via Buchenwald and Dachau – she acted as stabilising force supporting her sickly husband. This was even more so the case during the period of his arrest by the US military government and his denazification proceedings (1945-1948).

Following Fritz Thyssen’s death in February 1951, Amélie fostered the reconstruction of the Thyssen Group as guardian of the family tradition and holder of important property rights. She viewed the Foundation as the crowning achievement in the company’s successful history, and a gesture of honour in memory of her husband. Her closest advisors were the banker Robert Pferdmenges, the asset managers Robert Ellscheid and Kurt Birrenbach, and the CEO of August Thyssen-Hütte AG, Hans-Günther Sohl. They attached considerable importance to retaining part of the family assets in the company. Ellscheid and Birrenbach were the main advocates of promoting science and research. Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, an old friend of the family, also strongly supported the establishment of the Foundation. He viewed it as a prime example of the imperative laid down in Article 14 of the Basic Law (the German Constitution): “Ownership is associated with obligations”. Upon his instigation, Amélie Thyssen became the first woman to be awarded the second highest Order of Merit in the Federal Republic of Germany.

The Fritz Thyssen Foundation was the first large, private foundation for the promotion of science and research in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany. The family was not seeking any tax benefits in all this, but it did play a pioneering role in the German tax system: it served as a precedent in the exemption of all charitable foundations from capital gains tax.

According to its Statutes , the sole purpose of the Foundation is the direct promotion of science and research at universities of applied science and research institutions, primarily in Germany, with special consideration being provided to young researchers. As early as 1962, an amendment to the Statutes established a broad latitude for the promotion of international cooperation projects. The founding committees resolved to place the emphasis on promotion of the humanities and social sciences and – in line with the desires of Amélie Thyssen – to also include medicine. The Foundation developed its own initiatives and formed topical working groups from the very beginning. The large-scale interdisciplinary project 󈬃th century” marked the beginning.

The following persons were members of the first Board of Trustees:
  • Dr. h. c. Robert Pferdmenges | Chairman
  • Prof. Dr. Robert Ellscheid | DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
  • Dr. Dr. h. c. Kurt Birrenbach | DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
  • Dr. Julian Freiherr von Godlewski
  • Dr. h. c. Harald Kühnen
  • Dr.-Ing. E. h. Hans-Günther Sohl
  • Fritz Berg

Of decisive importance was the appointment of the first Scientific Advisory Council, in which the chairmen of major scientific research organisations played a crucial role: the presidents of the German Research Foundation, the Max Planck Society and the West German Rectors’ Conference as well as the chairman of the Science Council.

The first members of the Scientific Advisory Council were:
  • Prof. Dr. Helmut Coing | CHAIRMAN
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Hermann Jahrreiß | DEPUTY CHAIRMAN
  • Prof. Dr. Arnold Bergsträsser
  • Prof. Dr. Götz Briefs
  • Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Adolf Butenandt
  • Prof. Dr. Alois Dempf
  • Lazy Graf Henckel von Donnersmarck
  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Haberland
  • Prof. Dr. Gerhard Hess
  • Prof. Dr. Paul Martini
  • Prof. Dr. Hans Peters
  • Dr. Hans Reuter
  • Prof. Dr. Hans Rothfels
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schadewaldt
  • Prof. Dr Hermann Schenck
  • Prof. Dr. Helmut Thielicke
  • Dr. Ernst-Hellmut Vits
  • Prof. Dr. Carl Friedrich von Weizäcker
  • Prof. Dr. Theodor Wessels

Dr. Ernst Coenen and, for a brief period, former CFO Georg Eichhorn became the members of the first Board , set up in 1961. Werner Schütz, former Minister of Education, replaced Mr. Eichborn in 1963.

The Fritz Thyssen Foundation has apportioned a total of approx. EUR 561 million to support science and research since its inception.