Friday, May 16, 2008

Bush, the Nazis, and the making of a family fortune

By Michael J.W. Stickings

It's simply ridiculous for Bush to compare Obama and the Democrats to the appeasers of Nazism. And, given the history of the Bush Family, it's also hilarious, in a really ugly sort of way. The Guardian reports (read it all, but here's the gist of it):

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.

So: Prescott Bush profited off the Nazis. He helped them and they helped him. One of his sons become president, as did one of his grandsons, each one benefitting from the fortune he made.

If even talking to one's enemies constitutes "appeasement," what exactly is all this?

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10 Comments:

  • Umm, are you, like, impatriotic or sumpin? There's no way Emperor, uh, President Bush's grandfather was hand-in-hand with the Nazis! Don't confuse America with facts!

    Seriously though, great blog. More people need to know about this information.

    By Blogger Kameron, at 11:59 AM  

  • The highest stage of capitalism.

    By Blogger MSS, at 1:07 PM  

  • ironic and repulsive at the same time --- how did the members of the knesset not walk out.

    and mr idiot in chief -- who talked to qaddafi?

    i fucking hate this man

    By Blogger Distributorcap, at 6:26 AM  

  • Being filled with so much anger is not good for your blood pressure, and, therefore, your heart. I have diagnosed you with "Bush Derangement Syndrome" and prescribed some Zoloft. You will feel much better very soon and get off your high horse.

    By Blogger QueersOnTheRise, at 10:46 AM  

  • .45 ACP - apply directly to the forehead.

    I've blogged many times over the years about Prescott Bush, his partners in crime Averill Harriman and Fritz Thyssen, who called himself "Hitler's Banker" in his autobiography. Slinky Dinky Nixon here thinks treason doesn't matter as much as lapel pins.

    Funny how documented and damning facts can be dismissed as derangement, but funniest of all is being told to get off the high horse by a horse's ass.

    Prescott Bush's father in his turn got in trouble during WW I for claiming to have won medals for all sorts of brave things - he won nothing. The military considers this to be a crime, I'm told.

    It's the kind of family our current Republicans would be crucifying if logical consistency or basic honesty meant anything to them, but of course, and as you see here, it doesn't. It's the very definition of mental illness - hence their obsession with accusing others of it.

    Tell us more about how we hate America, you dimwitted, psychotic piece of Nazi-loving snake shit. Laugh at all the Americans who died because the Bush dynasty laundered money for Hitler, pilfered from the pockets of dead men, women and children. Go ahead - keep giggling about "Liberal Fascists," you traitorous, America hating Republican bastard.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 10:34 AM  

  • I'm a registered Independent. Are you related to any Israelis who've murdered Arabs in Palestine? No, you say, but CANN YOU BE SURE?!?!

    You hate labels, Fogg, but think it's fine to use them against me.

    Here's a label for you then - HYPOCRITE!

    By Blogger QueersOnTheRise, at 11:32 AM  

  • Remember how during the Clinton era there were all those rabid EOBs (Enemies of Bill) who seemingly devoted their every waking hour to propagating scurrilous stories about the president and his family? Well, an equally dedicated crew is now spreading sensational allegations about Dubya and his forebears. (Sample: the president's grandfather not only financed the Nazis, he used concentration-camp prisoners as slaves.) So each side gets a chance to drag the other through the mud. Is this a great country or what?

    Though the Bush family's detractors are legion, one of the most prominent is John Loftus, a former federal prosecutor and past president of the Florida Holocaust Museum in Saint Petersburg. In 1994 Loftus coauthored a book with Mark Aarons entitled The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People. The book alleges various misdeeds by George W.'s father, George H.W., his grandfather, Prescott Bush, and his great-grandfather, George Herbert Walker. Since space is limited we'll focus on the accusations against Prescott Bush, which in my opinion are the most serious.

    The central charge against Prescott Bush has a basis in fact. In 1942, under the Trading With the Enemy Act, the U.S. government seized several companies in which he had an interest. Prescott at the time was an investment banker with Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), which had funneled U.S. capital into Germany during the 1920s and '30s. Among the seized companies was the Union Banking Corporation (UBC) of New York, which was controlled by German industrialist Fritz Thyssen. Thyssen had been an early financier of the Nazi party--in fact, in 1941 he published a book entitled I Paid Hitler. Ergo, Prescott helped finance the Nazis.

    An article by journalist Toby Rogers posted on Loftus's Web site makes an even more explosive charge. Another company in which Prescott and his associates had a stake was the Silesian-American Corporation (SAC), which owned several industrial concerns in Poland. The Auschwitz death camp was established in a district where SAC already had a steel plant. The plant allegedly used forced labor from Auschwitz during World War II. The article asserts that "a portion of the slave labor force in Poland was 'managed by Prescott Bush,' according to a Dutch intelligence agent." (See www.john-loftus.com/Thyssen.asp.)

    The slave labor charge is easy to dismiss. SAC plants in Poland were taken over by the German government after the Nazi invasion of 1939, and the Auschwitz prison camp wasn't established until 1940. No one can seriously claim that Prescott Bush managed camp inmates in any of those plants.

    Prescott's involvement with Nazi finance is more complicated. Though Thyssen had been an ardent backer of the Nazis in the early days, he broke with them in 1938 after the Kristallnacht pogrom against the Jews. He fled to Switzerland the following year, and Hitler confiscated his fortune and stripped him of his citizenship. In I Paid Hitler Thyssen confessed his role in financing the Nazis and denounced the F├╝hrer. Arrested in Vichy France, he spent the balance of the war as an Axis prisoner. Prescott Bush, for his part, owned a single share of stock (of 4,000) in UBC, the Thyssen bank. According to a 2001 Boston Globe piece, the New York Herald Tribune ran a story in July 1942 headlined "Hitler's Angel Has 3 Million in US Bank," in which Prescott and other BBH partners "explain[ed] to government regulators that their position [as directors of UBC] was merely an unpaid courtesy for a client."

    So, did Bush and his firm finance the Nazis and enable Germany to rearm? Indirectly, yes. But they had a lot of company. Some of the most distinguished names in American business had investments or subsidiaries in prewar Germany, including Standard Oil and General Motors. Critics have argued for years that without U.S. money, the Nazis could never have waged war. But American business has always invested in totalitarian regimes--witness our dealings with mainland China.

    Loftus tells me there's more to it than that. He says that the value of German industrial assets in which Bush and friends invested increased during World War II, in part due to slave labor, and that Bush benefited from this increase when the assets were returned--supposedly he got $1.5 million when UBC was liquidated in 1951. I'll buy the claim that Bush got his share of UBC back--it was an American bank, after all--but the idea that his German holdings increased in value despite being obliterated by Allied bombs is ridiculous.

    Uh, next week, we'll talk about how Bill Clinton single-handedly murdered Vince Foster.

    By Blogger QueersOnTheRise, at 11:46 AM  

  • I'm not arguing with most of what you bring up, single source wisdom, for the most part - there isn't time or motivation. What I am arguing with is your brainless mudslinging, infantile accusations, evasions and blame shifting.

    Keep acting like a schoolyard bully looking for attention and you'll continue to be treated as one.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 12:25 PM  

  • 45 ACP - apply directly to the forehead.

    You have a lot of nerve calling anyone a hypocrite, since you've been spamming this and other blogs with your relentless and idiotic name calling for weeks now.

    Your constant subject shifting, blame shifting, Clinton evocations ; your nitwit nattering and wikipedia wisdom cribbed from captious web-sites add up to nothing but the picture of an ugly, hate-filled mediocrity looking for attention by kissing the ass of one of the most hated men on Earth and a contestant for the worst president ever. Stop acting like you're not the mouthpiece of the deranged right.

    We're talking about a family history of war profiteering and it doesn't matter who else did it. "who else" isn't the president and "who else" didn't start a war that has made his associates enormously rich. We're not talking about Clinton or Israel or your mother and I've had quite enough of your Bush Worship Syndrome.

    9mm JHP will do just as well, by the way.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 12:42 PM  

  • You take yourself too seriously, and you have no sense of humor. In the end, I'm just a bitter white guy, with a gun in my left hand and a Bible in my right.

    To sum up:

    Radicals (that would you and your friends) and Racists (that would be Barack, Michelle, and Pastor Wright)
    Don't point your finger at me
    I'm a small town white boy
    Just tryin' to make ends meet
    Don't need your religion
    Don't watch that much T.V.
    Just makin' my livin', baby
    Well that's enough for me

    By Blogger QueersOnTheRise, at 2:00 PM  

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