Wall Street was Trading With the Enemy and Getting Rich part 1
copyrighted June 2, 2013
Trading With the Enemy and Getting Rich
George Herbert Walker, a St Louis investment banker founded the banking and investment firm of G. H. Walker and Company in 1900. He was one of Hitler's most powerful financial supporters in the United States. The relationship went all the way back to 1924.
In 1924, George Walker helped set up his son-in-law, Prescott S. Bush in business with Union Banking Corporation in New York with Averill Harriman. Roland Harriman, (Averill's bother) Prescott Bush and the other directors didn't actually own their shares in Union Banking Corporation but merely held them on behalf of the Bank voor Handel in Rotterdam, Holland. It was not until 1999 that it was learned the Fritz Thyssen owned this bank.
After World War I, Fritz Thyseen's father, August Thyssen, was Germany's most powerful industrialist, had been badly hurt financially by the loss of assets under the harsh terms of the Versailles treaty. He was determined that it would never happen again and so he made up a plan to protect his family's wealth no matter who won the next war which I will try to describe for you.
He established three different banks during the 1920's; the August Thyssen Bank in Berlin, the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart (translated: Bank for Trade and Shipping) in Rotterdam, Holland and the Union Banking Corporation in New York City. His younger son married into Hungarian nobility and changed his name to Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza. The Baron a German, later claimed he was Hungarian as well as Dutch citizen. In public, he pretended to detest his Nazi brother August, but in private they met at secret board meetings in Germany to coordinate their plan to hide their ownership from the Nazis. If one brother were threatened with loss of property due to war, he would transfer his holdings to the other brother.
By the time Fritz Thyssen inherited the business empire in 1926. He joined the Nazi party in December 1931. He stepped in several times to bail out the struggling party. In 1928 he bought a Palace and turned into the headquarters of the Nazi party in Munich. The Thyssen's factories built the German battleship Bismark and the railroad to Auschwitz and Treblinka death camps. The Union Banking Corp. helped the Thyssens make the Nazi steel that killed Allied soldiers.
To protect their corporate holdings what the brothers had to do was move their ownership /corporate paperwork from one bank to the other. Fritz Thyssen sold his stock in Holland-American Trading Company for a tax loss, and the Union Banking Corporation in New York bought the stock. Similarly, the Bush family secretly invested Fritz Thyssen's money in American steel and manufacturing corporations.
Hendrik Jozef "HJ" Kouwenhoven - who met with W. Averell Harriman in 1924 to set up Union Banking Corporation. Harriman was also a member of the board of directors. He was also the managing director of Bank voor Handel (Rotterdam Bank), the director of the August Thyssen bank in Berlin, and a director of Fritz Thyssen's Union Steel Works, the holding company that controlled Thyssen's steel and coal mine empire in Germany.
In the late 1930s, Fritz Thyssen's first step began when he organized his shares in the Holland-American Trading Company to be credited to the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart in Holland, with HJ" Kouwenhoven and D.C. Schutte as managing partners. This bank was affiliated with the Averell Harriman financial interests in New York.
George H. Walker was Union Banking Corporation's president and the firm was located in the offices of Harriman's company in New York. In 1926 Walker made his son-in-law, Prescott Bush, vice president of Harriman & Company (banking). In 1931, Harriman & Company merged with a British-American investment company to become Brown Brothers, Harriman and Company. Prescott Bush became one of the senior partners of this new company. Employees of Brown Brothers Harriman included George Herbert Walker and his son-in-law Prescott Bush.
By the late 1930s, Brown Brothers Harriman, which claimed to be the world's largest private investment bank, and Union Banking Corporation in New York City had bought and shipped millions of dollars of gold, fuel, steel, coal and US treasury bonds to Germany, both feeding and financing Hitler's build-up to war. On April 17, l945 the Chase National Bank was placed on trial in federal court on charges of having violated the Trading With the Enemy Act by converting German marks into dollars. The Bank of international Settlements facilitated the money laundering. Because many countries refused to accept German currency during the war, the Nazis used foreign banks like Chase National to change the currency into money that would be accepted, and thus allowed them to purchase much need materials to prolong the war.
Edward Henry "Ned" Harriman (Averell Harriman's father) controlled the US railroad companies, Union Pacific, the Southern Pacific, the Saint Joseph and Grand Island, the Illinois Central, the Central of Georgia railroad, the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, and the Wells Fargo Express Company. From 1850-1871, the US government gave the US railroads at no cost more than 175 million acres of public land - an area more than one tenth of the whole United States and larger in area than Texas.
Averell Harriman served President Franklin D. Roosevelt as special envoy to Europe -the Lend Lease program, served as the US Ambassador to the Soviet Union and Britain, and later as Secretary of Commerce under President Truman. He served in numerous U.S. diplomatic assignments in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.
By the time the Nazis invaded Holland in May 1940, Fritz Thyssen had transferred his wealth outside of Germany which was illegal under Hitler. He felt that Hitler's economic policies were diluting his wealth through ruinous war inflation. Hitler's bank auditors inspected the Bank voor Handel vaults in Rotterdam, but they were empty of clues about the property Thyssen actually owned. What Fritz Thyssen had moved his ownership documents to his Thyssen Bank in Berlin. As soon as Berlin fell to the allies, he then shipped the ownership documents back to his Rotterdam bank in the neutral country of Holland. This was done under the friendly supervision of Allen Dulles, who was the corporate lawyer for Thyssen's Rotterdam bank and Baron Kurt Von Schroeder. Dulles worked for this rich German guy as well, the owner of the J.H.Stein Bank in Cologne, Germany.
J.H.Stein Bank was the bank favored by the Gestapo to deposit their stolen gold and money. Baron Kurt von Schroeder was a member of the Nazi Party and facilitated Hitler's assumption of the Chancellorship. He was tried by a German court for crimes against humanity, found guilty, and yet was sentenced to only three months in prison. He was also a member of the board of directors for the Bank of international Settlements, the bank that laundered gold taken the German Army from the banks of countries that they invaded.
In 1941, Thyssen fled Germany after falling out with Hitler but he was captured in France and detained for the remainder of the war. He spent the rest of the war under VIP house arrest.
Thyssen's partner in United Steel Works, which had coal mines and steel plants across the region, was Friedrich Flick, who also owned part of IG Farben, a giant German chemical company.
This affiliation and mutual business interest between Harriman and the Thyssen interests does not suggest that the Harrimans directly financed Hitler. On the other hand, it does show that the Harrimans were intimately connected with prominent Nazis HJ Kouwenhoven and Groeninger and a Nazi front bank, the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart. There is every reason to believe that the Harrimans knew of Thyssen's support for the Nazis.
The link between Harriman & Company's American investors and Thyssen started in the 1930s, through the Union Banking Corporation. There was nothing illegal in doing business with the Thyssens throughout the 1930s and many of America's best-known business names invested heavily in the German economic recovery. However, everything changed after Germany invaded Poland in 1939.
All this is complicated, so let me go thru it in another way.
The Union Bank was set up to provide a US bank for the Fritz Thyssens. The Bush family invested Thyssen's money in American steel and manufacturing corporations. Money that Thyssen was profits from his making war materials in his German defense factories. A network of companies spreading out from Union Banking Corporation was invested outside of Germany and into companies across Europe, America and Canada.
Walker also set up a deal to take over the North American operations of the Harriman's German shipping company, Hamburg-Amerika Line as part his holding company American Shipping & Commerce. (American Dynasty, by Kevin Phillips pgs. 37-38)
Hamburg-Amerika shipping line was also used by I.G. Farben's Nazi espionage unit to smuggle in German agents, propaganda, and money for bribing American politicians to see things Hitler's way. According to a 1934 Congressional investigation, the Hamburg-Amerika "subsidized a wide range of pro-Nazi propaganda efforts both in Germany and the United States." Unknown to Walker, one of his American employees, Dan Harkins, had blown the whistle on the spy apparatus to Congress. Harkins became a US double agent, kept up the pretense of being an ardent Nazi sympathizer, while reporting to Naval Intelligence on the shipping company's deals with Nazi intelligence.
Prescott Bush freely admitted his own role in running the Hamburg-Amerika Shipping Company saying: "Three or four of us were really running the business, the day to day business all the administrative decisions and the executive decisions. We were the ones that did it. We were the managing partners, let's say."
Emil Helfferich, the chairman Hamburg-Amerika Line, frequently wrote out checks to Heinrich Himmler (payable on a special Standard Oil account). According to US intelligence documents reviewed by author Anthony Sutton, Helfferich was still making these payments to the Nazi SS in 1944 -- the Gestapo which was rounding up, enslaving, and supervising the mass murder of "subhumans" (Russians, Jews, Gypsies, Poles, etc.), at IG Farben's death camps.
The manager of the Hamburg-Amerika office in Colon, Panama, Kurt Lindberg, was resident director of a German spy network operating there. Over the coming years, these German spies will accumulate a host of information on the Panama Canal, its vulnerabilities and defenses with a view to putting it out of commission in the event of war between Nazi Germany and the US.
In an elaborate corporate paper trail, Averill Harriman also owned stock in George Walker's holding company, American Shipping & Commerce which was controlled by yet another holding company, the Harriman Fifteen Corporation. The directors of this company were Averill Harriman, George Walker, and Prescott Bush.
In 1934, Walker arranged to put his son-in-law on the board of directors of Union Banking Corporation. In March 19, 1934, the Harriman family eventually hires John Foster Dulles's law firm Sullivan and Cromwell to help cover up any improprieties that might arise under investigative scrutiny. The Dulles brothers arranged American investments in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Some Americans made their connections to Germany through Allen Dulles's law firm of because they supported Fascism. (The Splendid Blond Beast' by Christopher Simpson)
Hitler invaded Poland in September 1939. One of Poland's richest mineral regions was located near the Polish town that the Germans called Auschwitz. The prisoners at Auschwitz were sent to work as slave laborers at Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation. In 1941, slave labor had become the lifeblood of the Nazi war machine. The resources of Poland's rich steel and coal-mining and zinc-mining field played an essential part in Hitler's invasion of Europe.
With Hitler's invasions across Europe, Fritz Thyssen and Friedrich Flick sold Consolidated Silesian Steel to Union Banking Corporation. . Flick owned two-thirds of Consolidated Silesian Steel Company. The other one-third was owned by Harriman Fifteen Corporation. (New York Times ,March 18 1934)
Under the complete control of Brown Brothers Harriman & Company, Consolidated Silesian Steel became Silesian American Corporation. This corporation became part of Union Banking Corporation and Harriman's holding company, the Harriman Fifteen Corporation.
During the war, the company made use of Nazi slave labor from the concentration camps, including Auschwitz and it was built there to supply slave labor to this factory. Author John Loftus writes, "Nobody's made the connection before between Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation, Auschwitz and Prescott Bush." The coal deposits nearby could be processed into either coal or additives for aviation gasoline, synthetic oil and synthetic rubber.
Six days after Pearl Harbor and the US declaration of war at the end of 1941, President Roosevelt, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau and US Attorney General Francis Biddle signed the Trading With the Enemy Act, which banned any business interests with US enemies of war. Prescott Bush continued with business as usual.
In October 1942, the Union Banking Corporation books revealed the myriad of money and holding companies funneled from the Thyssen. On November 17, 1942, The US government seized Silesian American Corporation under the Trading with the Enemy Act, but did not prosecute Prescott Bush. The companies were allowed to operate within the Government Alien Property custodian office leaving the US partners to carry on the business, but with no more aiding the Nazis.
Historian Burton Hersh documented that: "The Alien Property Custodian, Leo Crowley, was on the payroll of the J. Henry Schroeder Bank of New York where Foster and Allen Dulles both sat as board members. Foster Dulles arranged an appointment for himself as special legal counsel for the Alien Property Custodian while simultaneously representing [German] interests against the custodian." An Alien Property Custodian was an independent agency under his direct authority of President Roosevelt during World War II, serving as a Custodian of Enemy Property to property that belonged to US enemies. Pres. Roosevelt appointed Leo Crowley who was a former banker and chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. On May 13, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order 11281 which abolished the office.
In 1951, the Bush family reclaimed Union Bank Corporation from the US Alien Property Custodian, along with their stock in the Holland-American investment company.
In 1945, the former Dutch manager of the Rotterdam bank resumed control and discovered that he was sitting on a huge pile of hidden Nazi assets. In 1947, the manager threatened to inform Dutch authorities, and was immediately fired by the Thyssens. The bank manager then fled to New York City where he intended to talk to Union Bank director Prescott Bush. The manager intended to reveal to Prescott Bush the truth about Baron Hans Heinrich (aka Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza - Fritz Thyssen's borther) in order that some or all of the Thyssen interests might be seized and confiscated as German enemy property. The manager's body was found in New York two weeks later.
Similarly, in 1996 a Dutch journalist Eddy Roever went to London to interview the Baron Hans Heinrich trying to uncover the truth about the Thyssens. Roever's body was discovered two days later. Was it only a coincidence that both healthy men had died of heart attacks?
In 1999, a former US Army special agent William Gowen traveled to Europe to meet a former member of Dutch intelligence who had detailed inside information about the Rotterdam bank and together they uncover the secret Dutch pipeline for smuggling Nazi money into Union Bank Corporation. Gowen had worked for Army Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) during WWII to hunt down Nazis war criminals after WWII and searching for assets stolen by the Nazis during their invasions of other countries. At the time Gowen had discovered one piece of the puzzle but it took him until 1999 to solve it.
Once Thyssen ownership of the Union Banking Corporation was proven, it makes a prima facie case of treason against the Dulles and Bush families for giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war. For a half-century earlier, Fritz Thyssen had been telling the allied investigators that he had no interest in foreign companies, that Hitler had turned on him and seized most of his property.
The Bushes knew perfectly well that Brown Brothers was the American money channel into Nazi Germany, and that Union Bank was the secret pipeline to bring the Nazi money back to America from Holland. The Bushes had to have known how the secret money circuit worked because they were on the board of directors in both Brown Brothers Harriman and Union Bank Corporation.
In 1951, US Government returned Union Bank Corporation, despite seizing it in 1942 as a Nazi front. E. Roland Harriman (Averell's brother) was a director of, this Union Banking Corporation. He owned 3991 shares, were held by him in trust for the Rockefellers. That's about $30 billion dollars in today's money.
Cornelis Lievense--4 shares, Harold D. Pennington--1 share, Ray Morris--1 share, Prescott S. Bush--1 share, H.J. Kouwenhoven--1 share, Johann G. Groeninger--1 share, all of which were shares actually held for the benefit of the Thyssen family. The Union Banking Corporation of New York City was a joint Thyssen-Harriman operation with the following directors in 1932.
Prescott Bush and his father in law George Herbert Walker each received one share of Union Bank Corporation. stock, worth $750,000 each (or from $7 to $17 million in 2013 dollars).
If Union Bank Corporation was not the conduit for laundering the Rockefeller's Nazi investments back to America, then how could the Rockefeller-controlled Chase Manhattan Bank end up owning 31 percent of the Thyssen group after the war? Thyssen group was the largest industrial conglomerate in Germany, and with a net worth of more than $50 billion dollars. It was one of the wealthiest corporations in the world.
John Loftus, a former US attorney who prosecuted Nazi war criminals in the 1970s stressed; "You can't blame (George HW) Bush for what his grandfather did any more than you can blame Jack Kennedy for his father" buying Nazi stocks. But "what is important is the cover-up. How it could have gone on so successfully for half a century, and does that have implications for us today?"
Just before WWII, the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Chase Bank collaborated with the J.H.Stein Bank of Germany to raise $25 million for Germany's war economy. They also supplied the German government with names and background information on 10,000 fascist sympathizers in America. Throughout WWII, Chase Bank stayed open in Nazi-occupied Paris, providing services for Germany's embassy and its businesses. Baron von Schroeder was head of the J.H. Stein Bank and was affiliated with the L. Henry Schroder Banking Corporation of New York. (Trading with the Enemy by Charles Higham).
After the fall of France in May 1942, the Paris branch of Chase Bank appeased and collaborated with the Nazis, and refused to release funds to Jews and enforced restrictions against Jewish property. (Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler, by Antony C. Sutton, 1976, pgs. 150 and 166 - 167)
By 1941 Standard Oil of New Jersey was the largest oil company in the world, controlling 84 percent of the US petroleum market. Its bank was Chase and its owners were the Rockefellers. After the Rockefellers, the next largest stockholder in Standard Oil was I.G. Farben. This investment was part of a pattern of reciprocal investments between the US and Germany during the Nazi years. During the Great Depression, Germany was viewed as a hot area in which to invest.
From the I.G. Farben laboratories and factories flowed the strategic raw materials that Germany's own territory could not supply, the synthetics of oil, gasoline, rubber, nitrates, and fibers. In addition, I.G. Farben produced vaccines and drugs such as Salvarsan, aspirin, Atabrine, and Novocain, along with sulfa drugs, as well as poison gases and rocket fuels.
Drawn by the seemingly limitless supply of death camp labor, Farben built I.G. Auschwitz, a huge industrial complex designed to produce synthetic rubber and oil. This installation used as much electricity as the entire city of Berlin, and more than 25,000 camp inmates died during its construction. I.G. Farben eventually built its own concentration camp, known as Monowitz. This death camp was closer to the site of the complex than was Auschwitz, in order to eliminate the need to march prisoners several miles to and from the plant every day.
I.G. Farben was the company enthusiastically embraced by Standard Oil as well as other major American corporations like Du Pont and General Motors.
The high performance engines within the Luftwaffe's airplanes needed tetraethyl lead gasoline. In 1938, Walter C. Teagle, then president of Standard Oil, I.G. Farben to acquire 500 tons of tetraethyl lead from Ethyl, a British Standard Oil subsidiary. A year later, I.G. Farben obtained an additional 15 million dollars worth of tetraethyl lead which was to be turned into aviation gasoline back in Germany. In 1901, Standard Oil bought out the Teagle family refinery and Walter Teagle moved up in Standard Oil management. In 1938, Brown Brothers, Harriman was also involved in funding the supply of leaded gas for the Nazi Luftwaffe.
Britain and France declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939. After the war began in Europe the British became angry about US companies shipments of strategic materials to Nazi Germany. Standard Oil immediately changed the registration of their entire fleet to Panamanian to avoid British search or seizure. These ships continued to carry oil to Tenerife in the Canary Islands, where they refueled and siphoned oil to German tankers for shipment to Hamburg. Standard Oil had also withheld from the US defense industries, information on the production of artificial rubber that could have help the US during the war.
This deception was exposed on March 31, 1941 when the US State Department issued a detailed report on refueling stations in Mexico and Central and South America that were suspected of furnishing oil to Italian and German merchant vessels. The report listed Standard Oil of New Jersey and Standard Oil of California among those fueling enemy ships. Similar deals between Standard Oil and the Japanese government for the purchase of tetraethyl lead have also been uncovered. There is no record of any prosecution as a result of this discovery.
Instead of divesting the Nazi money, Prescott Bush hired Allen Dulles to hide the assets in June 1936. Standard Oil of New Jersey had completed a major stock transaction with Dulles's Nazi client, I.G. Farben. By the end of January 1937 Dulles had merged all his cloaking activities into one client account: Brown Brothers Harriman-Schroeder Rockefeller (Standard Oil). Schroeder, of course, was the Nazi bank on whose board Dulles was a director.
In 1938, James Forrestal, was president Dillon Read and Company (a banking company) and for several years an officer of General Aniline and Film Corporation, the hidden US subsidiary of I.G. Farben. Dillon Read was a major investment-bank (holding company) a notable and active investors in a Germany rapidly rearming under Adolf Hitler.
In 1940 Pres. Roosevelt appointed Forrestal as one of his advisers and in August 1940. Forrestal was appointed under secretary of the navy. Journalists made claims that Forrestal had owned shares in large companies in Nazi Germany and had used his influence to stop the bombing of German cities during the Second World War. http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAforrestal.htm
In 1939 the German electrical equipment industry was concentrated into a few major corporations linked in an international cartel and by stock ownership to two major U.S. corporations General Electric and I.T.T. This industrial complex was never a prime target for bombing in World War II. The A.E.G. and I.T.T. plants were hit only incidentally in area raids and then but rarely. The electrical equipment plants bombed as targets were not those affiliated with US firms. As a result, German production of electrical war equipment rose steadily throughout World War II, peaking as late as 1944.
Firm and Type
Percent of German
Heavy Current Industry
General Electric (A.E.G. )
International General Electric
Siemens Schukert A.G.
Brown Boveri et Cie
Telephone and Telegraph
Siemens und Halske
Telefunken (A.E.G. after 1941)
International General Electric
Wire and Cable
Felton & Guilleaume A.G.