-- After 60 years of inattention and even denial
by the U.S. media, newly-uncovered government
documents in The National Archives and Library
of Congress reveal that Prescott Bush, the grandfather
of President George W. Bush, served as a business
partner of and U.S. banking operative for the
financial architect of the Nazi war machine from
1926 until 1942, when Congress took aggressive
action against Bush and his "enemy national"
documents also show that Bush and his colleagues,
according to reports from the U.S. Department
of the Treasury, tried to conceal their financial
alliance with German industrialist Fritz Thyssen,
a steel and coal baron who, beginning in the
mid-1920s, personally funded Adolf Hitler's
rise to power by the subversion of democratic
principle and German law.
the declassified records demonstrate that Bush
and his associates, who included E. Roland Harriman,
younger brother of American icon W. Averell
Harriman, and George Herbert Walker, President
Bush's maternal great-grandfather, continued
their dealings with the German industrial tycoon
for nearly a year after the U.S. entered the
six decades these historical facts have gone
unreported by the mainstream U.S. media. The
essential facts have appeared on the Internet
and in relatively obscure books, but were dismissed
by the media and Bush family as undocumented
diatribes. This story has also escaped the attention
of "official" Bush biographers, Presidential
historians and publishers of U.S. history books
covering World War II and its aftermath.
White House did not respond to phone calls seeking
Summer of '42
unraveling of the web of Bush-Harriman-Thyssen
U.S. enterprises, all of which operated out
of the same suite of offices at 39 Broadway
in New York under the supervision of Prescott
Bush, began with a story that ran simultaneously
in the New York Herald-Tribune and Washington
Post on July 31, 1941. By then, the U.S. had
been at war with Germany for nearly eight months.
Angel Has $3 Million in U.S. Bank," declared
the front-page Herald-Tribune headline. The
lead paragraph characterized Fritz Thyssen as
"Adolf Hitler's original patron a decade
ago." In fact, the steel and coal magnate
had aggressively supported and funded Hitler
since October 1923, according to Thyssen's autobiography,
I Paid Hitler. In that book, Thyssen also acknowledges
his direct personal relationships with Adolf
Hitler, Joseph Goebbels and Rudolf Hess.
Herald-Tribune also cited unnamed sources who
suggested Thyssen's U.S. "nest egg"
in fact belonged to "Nazi bigwigs"
including Goebbels, Hermann Goering, Heinrich
Himmler, or even Hitler himself.
"bank," founded in 1924 by W. Averell
Harriman on behalf of Thyssen and his Bank voor
Handel en Scheepvaart N.V. of Holland, was Union
Banking Corporation (UBC) of New York City.
According to government documents, it was in
reality a clearing house for a number of Thyssen-controlled
enterprises and assets, including as many as
a dozen individual businesses. UBC also bought
and shipped overseas gold, steel, coal, and
U.S. Treasury bonds. The company's activities
were administered for Thyssen by a Netherlands-born,
naturalized U.S. citizen named Cornelis Lievense,
who served as president of UBC. Roland Harriman
was chairman and Prescott Bush a managing director.
Herald-Tribune article did not identify Bush
or Harriman as executives of UBC, or Brown Brothers
Harriman, in which they were partners, as UBC's
private banker. A confidential FBI memo from
that period suggested, without naming the Bush
and Harriman families, that politically prominent
individuals were about to come under official
U.S. government scrutiny as Hitler's plunder
of Europe continued unabated.
the "Hitler's Angel" article was published
Bush and Harriman made no attempts to divest
themselves of the controversial Thyssen financial
alliance, nor did they challenge the newspaper
report that UBC was, in fact, a de facto Nazi
front organization in the U.S.
the government documents show, Bush and his
partners increased their subterfuge to try to
conceal the true nature and ownership of their
various businesses, particularly after the U.S.
entered the war. The documents also disclose
that Cornelis Lievense, Thyssen's personal appointee
to oversee U.S. matters for his Rotterdam-based
Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart N.V., via UBC
for nearly two decades, repeatedly denied to
U.S. government investigators any knowledge
of the ownership of the Netherlands bank or
the role of Thyssen in it. Brown Brothers Harriman
sent letters to the government seeking reconsideration
of the seizures by using false information.
original group of business associates included
George Herbert Walker, President Bush's maternal
great-grandfather, who had a relationship with
the Harriman family that began in 1919. In 1922,
Walker and W. Averell Harriman traveled to Berlin
to set up the German branch of their banking
and investment operations, which were largely
based on critical war resources such as steel
Walker-Harriman-created German industrial alliance
also included partnership with another German
titan who supported Hitler's rise, Friedrich
Flick, who partnered with Thyssen in the German
Steel Trust that forged the Nazi war machine.
For his role in using slave labor and his own
steel, coal and arms resources to build Hitler's
war effort, Flick was convicted at the Nuremberg
trials and sentenced to prison.
1926, after Prescott Bush had married Walker's
daughter, Dorothy, Walker brought Bush in as
a vice president of the private banking and
investment firm of W.A. Harriman & Co.,
also located in New York. Bush became a partner
in the firm that later became Brown Brothers
Harriman and the largest private investment
bank in the world. Eventually, Bush became a
director of and stockholder in UBC.
the government documents note that Bush, Harriman,
Lievense and the other UBC stockholders were
in fact "nominees," or phantom shareholders,
for Thyssen and his Holland bank, meaning that
they acted at the direct behest of their German
October 20, 1942, under authority of the Trading
with the Enemy Act, the U.S. Congress seized
UBC and liquidated its assets after the war.
The seizure is confirmed by Vesting Order No.
248 in the U.S. Office of the Alien Property
Custodian and signed by U.S. Alien Property
Custodian Leo T. Crowley.
August, under the same authority, Congress had
seized the first of the Bush-Harriman-managed
Thyssen entities, Hamburg-American Line, under
Vesting Order No. 126, also signed by Crowley.
Eight days after the seizure of UBC, Congress
invoked the Trading with the Enemy Act again
to take control of two more Bush-Harriman-Thyssen
businesses - Holland-American Trading Corp.
(Vesting Order No. 261) and Seamless Steel Equipment
Corp. (Vesting Order No. 259).
documents from the Archives also show that the
Bushes and Harrimans shipped valuable U.S. assets,
including gold, coal, steel and U.S. Treasury
bonds, to their foreign clients overseas between
1931-33, as Hitler engineered his rise to power.
1942, the information has not appeared in any
U.S. news coverage of any Bush political campaign,
nor has it been included in any of the major
Bush family biographies. It was, however, covered
extensively in George H.W. Bush: The Unauthorized
Biography, by Webster Tarpley and Anton Chaitkin.
Chaitkin's father served as an attorney in the
1940s for some of the victims of the Bush-Harriman-Thyssen
book gave a detailed, accurate accounting of
the Bush family's long Nazi affiliation, but
no mainstream U.S. media entity reported on
or even investigated the allegations, despite
careful documentation by the authors. Major
booksellers declined to distribute the book,
which was dismissed by Bush supporters as biased
and untrue. Its authors struggled even to be
reviewed in reputable newspapers. That the book
was published by Lyndon LaRouche's organization
undoubtedly made it easier to dismiss, but does
not change the facts.
essence of the story has been posted for years
on various Internet sites, including BuzzFlash.com
and TakeBackTheMedia.com, but no online media
seem to have independently confirmed it.
the 1990s, former U.S. Justice Department Nazi
war crimes prosecutor John Loftus, now honorary
president of the Florida Holocaust Museum, wrote
a book and launched a web site (<>www.john-loftus.com)
which did breakthrough reporting, including
establishing the link between Prescott Bush,
Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation and
forced labor at Auschwitz. Although the widely-respected
Loftus established a successful international
speaking career with his information, no U.S.
newspaper or major TV news program acknowledged
his decade of work, nor did he ever see many
of the recently released documents.
the mainstream media have apparently made no
attempt since World War II to either verify
or disprove the allegations of Nazi collaboration
against the Bush family. Instead, they have
attempted to dismiss or discredit such Internet
sites or "unauthorized" books without
any journalistic inquiry or research into their
National Review ran an essay on September 1
by their White House correspondent Byron York,
entitled "Annals of Bush-Hating."
"Are you aware of the murderous history
of George W. Bush - indeed, of the entire Bush
family? Are you aware of the president's Nazi
sympathies? His crimes against humanity? And
do you know, by the way, that George W. Bush
is a certifiable moron?" York goes on to
discredit the "Bush is a moron" IQ
hoax, but fails to disprove the Nazi connection.
more liberal Boston Globe ran a column September
29 by Reason magazine's Cathy Young in which
she referred to "Bush-o-phobes on the Internet"
who "repeat preposterous claims about the
Bush family's alleged Nazi connections."
Tackle the Topic
Polska, the magazine's Polish edition, published
a short piece on the "Bush Nazi past"
in its March 5, 2003 edition. The item reported
that "the Bush family reaped rewards from
the forced-labor prisoners in the Auschwitz
concentration camp," according to a copyrighted
English-language translation from Scoop Media
(<>www.scoop.co.nz). The story also reported
the seizure of the various Bush-Harriman-Thyssen
U.S. media outlets, including ABC News, NBC
News, CNN, The New York Times, Washington Post,
Washington Times, Los Angeles Times and Miami
Herald, as well as Knight-Ridder Newspapers,
have repeatedly declined to investigate the
story when information regarding discovery of
the documents was presented to them beginning
Friday, August 29. Newsweek U.S. correspondent
Michael Isikoff, famous for his reporting of
big scoops during the Clinton-Lewinsky sexual
affair of the 1990s, declined twice to accept
an exclusive story based on the documents from
1952, Prescott Bush was elected to the U.S.
Senate, with no press accounts about his well-concealed
Nazi past. There is no record of any U.S. press
coverage of the Bush-Nazi connection during
any political campaigns conducted by George
Herbert Walker Bush, Jeb Bush, or George W.
Bush, with the exception of a brief mention
in an unrelated story in the Sarasota Herald
Tribune in November 2000 and a brief but inaccurate
account in The Boston Globe in 2001.
--- John Buchanan is an award-winning and internationally
published journalist and investigative reporter
with 33 years of experience in New York, Los
Angeles, Washington and Miami. His work has
appeared in more than 50 newspapers, magazines
and books. He can be reached by e-mail at:
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