Subscribe to EIR Online
This article appears in the August 25, 2000 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Dubya's Grandpa and Great-Granddad Helped Put Adolf Hitler into Power

by Anton Chaitkin

The following is excerpted from an article that appeared in New Federalist, June 9, 1997, under the title "Now, as Then: Bush and the British, from Auschwitz to Africa."

When Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, his Nazi Party was in the minority. The Nazis had just suffered setbacks in the German elections of Nov. 6, 1932, losing 34 Reichstag seats. President Hindenburg had appointed Kurt von Schleicher Chancellor.

Yet, less than three months later, on Jan. 30, 1933, after a well-financed Nazi propaganda and armed-terror campaign, Hindenburg appointed Hitler to take Schleicher's place. The Nazis got Hindenburg to schedule new elections for March 5. With streams of money for their propaganda and guns, the Nazis "won" the election, and Hitler seized power.

The two principal German organizers of this Hitler takeover, were Hjalmar Schacht and Fritz Thyssen. Both men were operatives of the British Empire, through Bank of England Governor Montagu Norman, and of a British-controlled Wall Street grouping at the center of which were Averell Harriman, and Harriman's partner, Prescott Bush, the father of the later U.S. President George Bush.

Over several years, every Nazi step toward power in Germany was coordinated, and Nazi campaign finances were overseen, by this British-New York axis. Hitler's master-race ideology, which led to mass extermination, was simultaneously promoted and given the stamp of approval by this same British-New York faction.


Fritz Thyssen was the earliest important financial backer of Hitler. In 1923, he gave Gen. Erich Ludendorf 100,000 gold marks for the Nazis, prior to the attempted putsch by Hitler. From then through the 1930s, the bulk of the funds to build both the Nazi party, and Hitler's career, went through Thyssen.

On Oct. 5, 1942, during World War II, U.S. government investigators reported on Thyssen's Nazi base in America: "Averell Harriman was in Europe sometime prior to 1924 and at that time became acquainted with Fritz Thyssen, the German industrialist." Harriman and Thyssen agreed to set up a bank for Thyssen in New York.

"[C]ertain of [Harriman's] associates would serve as directors." Thyssen agent "H.J. Kouwenhoven . . . came to the United States . . . prior to 1924 for conferences with the Harriman Company in this connection."

The first Harriman-Thyssen meeting was most likely in 1922, when Averell Harriman had been in Berlin to set up the Berlin branch of W.A. Harriman & Co. This Harriman banking house had recently been created by the British-allied American financier, George Herbert Walker (George Bush's maternal grandfather), who was the bank's president.

In 1924, Harriman and Walker formally organized, within their New York office, a shell company entirely devoted to projects to be run through Thyssen, called the Union Banking Corporation. This interlocked with the Thyssen-owned Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart (BHS) in the Netherlands, which represented Thyssen's German interests.

Thus, the W.A. Harriman & Co. (alias Union Banking Corporation) would be transferring funds back and forth between New York and the European Thyssen projects. By putting up about $400,000, the Harriman organization became the controller of Thyssen's banking operations outside of Germany.

In 1926, Walker's son-in-law, Prescott Bush (George's father), joined the firm as vice president, and soon became its Chief Executive. That same year, Wall Street's Dillon Read set up the United Steel Works, Thyssen's main German corporation.

On Jan. 1, 1931, the Harriman bank merged with the old British-U.S. company, Brown Brothers. This put the new Brown Brothers Harriman, which would be the world's largest private investment bank, directly under the control of London's Montagu Norman. The governor of the Bank of England, personally a satanic Theosophist, and Britain's best-known public supporter of Adolf Hitler, Norman had earlier been a Brown Brothers partner; his family had run the firm since the 1860s. London's Hitler project was stepped up, with Harriman, Bush, and Thyssen as leading intermediaries.

After the war, Fritz Thyssen revealed to Allied interrogators, certain limited aspects of his mediation between the Norman-Harriman-Bush complex and the Nazi rise to power. He stated, "In 1930 or 1931 . . . I told [Hitler's deputy Rudolph] Hess . . . I would arrange a credit for him with a Dutch bank in Rotterdam, the Bank für Handel und Schiff [a branch of the Union Banking Corp.].

"The credit was about 250,000-300,000 [gold] marks—about the sum I had given before. . . ."

In January 1931, immediately after Montagu Norman's Brown Brothers merged with Harriman and Bush, their agent Thyssen met privately to talk money and strategy with Adolf Hitler, Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, and Montagu Norman's German banker protégé, Hjalmar Schacht, at the home of Hitler's deputy Hermann Goering.

In Congressional hearings at the end of the war, the U.S. Treasury Department reported on the Harriman-Bush banking front for Thyssen, on the huge part that the Thyssen organization played in Hitler's war buildup, and on the flow of money that had put Hitler into power.

The Treasury officials stated:

"During the . . . two years [after the 1931 crash] Thyssen dedicated his fortune and his influence to the single purpose of bringing Hitler to power. In 1932, he arranged the now famous meeting in the Düsseldorf Industrialists' Club, at which Hitler addressed the leading businessmen of the Ruhr and the Rhineland. At the close of Hitler's speech, Thyssen cried, `Heil Herr Hitler'. . . . By the time of the German . . . elections later that year Thyssen had succeeded in eliciting contributions to Hitler's campaign fund from all of the big industrial combines. He himself is reported to have spent 3,000,000 marks on the Nazis in the year 1932 alone.

"During 1933 Thyssen served as intercessor between von Hindenburg, von Papen, and Hitler. He brought them together at a secret meeting which laid the basis for the appointment of Hitler as Reichschancellor."[1]

Schacht Passes the Hat

After Hitler was appointed Chancellor, Hjalmar Schacht hosted and chaired a meeting on Feb. 20, 1933 at Goering's Reichstag President's palace for Thyssen's representatives and a few other German businessmen. Schacht passed the hat, raising 3 million gold marks for the final drive to Nazi dictatorship.

The biggest contributors there were Karl Bosch and Georg von Schnitzler for the IG Farben company, steelmaker Gustav Krupp (who had previously held off supporting Hitler), and the Thyssen-Wall Street United Steel Works chief executive Albert Voegler. Herr Voegler was also a director of the Harriman-Bush affiliated BHS Bank in Rotterdam, and a director of the Hamburg-America shipping company, which would soon be owned jointly by the Harriman-Bush enterprise and the Hitler government.

With Hitler and the Gestapo in power, Central Bank President and Economics Minister Hjalmar Schacht threw all resources into creating a Nazi war machine. Fritz Thyssen was made the dictator of the Ruhr region, with mammoth war contracts. He and his British-Wall Street allies took complete ownership of every industrial concern in which Thyssen was involved; his opponents were defeated, purged, and arrested.

While Hitler cynically denounced the IG Farben company as an "international Jewish organization," Schacht simultaneously awarded that company huge contracts to produce munitions and chemicals for the military buildup.

Throughout this period, up until 1937, banker Max Warburg was the leading stockholder of IG Farben. Warburg (like the Rothschilds, politically loyal to the British crown) meanwhile presumed to instruct his fellow Jews in the western countries not to boycott or otherwise protest Hitler's anti-Jewish persecution.

Max Warburg had brokered the Harriman-Bush takeover of German companies, and their subsequent staffing by Nazis. The Warburg family's Kuhn Loeb bank in New York had earlier launched the Harriman family's railroad fortune, with capital from the British monarchy. In the 1930s, Kuhn Loeb was selling new bonds in New York for Hitler and Schacht, to replace, at a lower interest rate, the German public and private bonds held by Americans. Max Warburg meanwhile served as Schacht's deputy at the German central bank.

In May 1933, an agreement was reached in Berlin, for the coordination of all Nazi commerce with the U.S.A. The Harriman International Co., led by Averell Harriman's first cousin Oliver, was to head a syndicate of 150 firms and individuals, to conduct all exports from Hitler's Germany to the United States. This pact, reported in the May 20, 1933 New York Times, had been negotiated in Berlin by Hjalmar Schacht and John Foster Dulles, attorney for Harriman, Prescott Bush, and various Nazi enterprises, with the counsel of Max Warburg. Leading up to this agreement, a telegram (now in the Harriman papers, Library of Congress) was sent to Nazi official Hjalmar Schacht at the Mayflower Hotel, Washington, dated May 11, 1933: "Much disappointed to have missed seeing you Tuesday afternoon. . . . I hope to see you either in Washington or New York before you sail. With my regards, W.A. Harriman."

At the top, Montagu Norman made all the decisions. Schacht went abroad to meet several times each year with Norman to plan the budget of Nazi Germany within the guidelines of British credit policy. These meetings were often at Montagu Norman's London house, or at the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland, which was controlled entirely by Norman and his Nazis. Norman, whenever he was in the U.S.A., coordinating Britain's Hitler project with his New York allies, would stay at the home of his fanatical devotee, Thatcher Brown, the partner of Harriman and Bush.

Friedrich Flick, a direct partner of Harriman and Bush, and of Thyssen, was another contributor to the Hitler takeover. In preparation for the Nuremberg war crimes trials, the U.S. government said that Flick was "one of leading financiers and industrialists who, from 1932, contributed large sums to the Nazi Party. . . ."

Harriman-Bush: Banking on the Nazis

The Flick-Harriman partnership was directly supervised by Prescott Bush, President Bush's father, and by George Walker, President Bush's grandfather.

The Harriman-Walker Union Banking Corporation's arrangements for the German Steel Trust had made them bankers for Flick and his vast operations in Germany by no later than 1926.

The Harriman Fifteen Corporation (George Walker, president, Prescott Bush and Averell Harriman, sole directors) held a substantial stake in the Silesian Holding Co. at the time of the merger with Brown Brothers, on Jan. 1, 1931. This holding correlated with Averell Harriman's chairmanship of the Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation, the Harriman-Bush group owning one-third of a complex of steelmaking, coal-mining, and zinc-mining activities in Germany and Poland, in which Friedrich Flick owned two-thirds.

The Nuremberg prosecutor characterized Flick as "proprietor and head of a large group of industrial enterprises (coal and iron mines, steel producing and fabricating plants) . . . `Wehrwirtschaftsführer,' 1938 ["Military Economy Leader," the title awarded to prominent industrialists for merit in the armaments drive]. . . ."

For this buildup of the Hitler war machine with coal, steel, and arms production, using slave laborers, Flick was condemned to seven years in prison at the Nuremberg trials, and served three years.

On March 19, 1934, Prescott Bush, by then manager of Harriman's personal funds and director of the Union Banking Corp., sent a memo to Harriman alerting him to an emerging resistance by the Polish government to the Bush-Harriman-Nazi enterprise, which was then looting Poland's labor and mineral wealth. Hitler solved this resistance problem in 1939 by invading Poland, thus starting World War II.

George Bush's father and grandfather were not prosecuted at Nuremberg. But, acting under the Trading with the Enemy Act in 1942, U.S. government officials had quietly seized their assets in the various Nazi enterprises.

Before the Pearl Harbor attack brought the United States into the war, the American end of the Hitler project had gotten some play in the press. Here is a report in the New York Herald Tribune, July 31, 1941:

Thyssen has $3,000,000 Cash in New York Vaults; Union Banking Corp. May Hide Nest Egg for High Nazis He Once Backed

by M.J. Racusin

In the tides of economic warfare now surging over the world, the New York Herald Tribune has discovered that Fritz Thyssen, the German industrialist who was Adolf Hitler's original patron on a prodigal scale a decade ago, has $3,000,000 in American cash salted away in the bank vaults of downtown New York.

In the American colony of Thyssen enterprises perhaps the most interesting is the Union Banking Corporation, 39 Broadway, nominal guardian of the $3,000,000 cache, all in United States currency—a sort of nest egg for Herr Thyssen or perhaps for some of his high-placed Nazi friends when the present troublous days are over.

Among other Thyssen interests in New York are half a dozen corporations engaged in the shipping, export and import trades, centering chiefly about the coal and steel industries and operating under the wing of the Union Banking Corporation. . . .

Perhaps it wasn't Herr Thyssen's money at all, some persons suggest. Maybe he sent it here for safekeeping for some of the Nazi bigwigs—perhaps for Goering, for Goebbels, for Himmler, or even Hitler himself.

No matter how the story comes out, the United States government has the situation in hand. Every penny of known Thyssen assets is frozen, under the strictest control. . . .

The circumstances of [the bank's] relationship [to the Nazi Thyssen] were frankly set forth in a letter addressed by Knight Wooley, a partner of the Brown Brothers Harriman firm. . . .

January 14, 1941
William R. White, Esq.
Superintendant of Banks, State of New York

Dear Mr. White:

As you are aware, my partners, E.R. Harriman [Averell's brother], Ray Morris, Prescott S. Bush and our [employee] H.D. Pennington, are directors of the Union Banking Corporation, a state institution under your supervision. This corporation is located at 39 Broadway, and it is in effect a New York office, or agency, of the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, in Rotterdam. . . .

From London, to New York, to Auschwitz

On June 14, 1940, nine months after the Nazi tanks rolled into Poland, the IG Farben company opened the Auschwitz factory and slave labor camp in occupied Poland, to produce artificial rubber and gasoline from coal. The Hitler government thereafter supplied IG Farben with political opponents and Jews as the slaves, who were worked to near death and then murdered. Later, Jews and others were simply mass-exterminated there.

The Auschwitz slave camp was a project of the merger and worldwide cartel agreements between IG Farben and the Rockefeller family's Standard Oil company (later called Exxon). On Oct. 12, 1939, eight months before Auschwitz opened, a Standard Oil executive wrote to its president, William S. Farish, concerning a renewal of their earlier agreements with the Nazis, and the British approval for the deal. The report to Farish stated:

In England I met by appointment the Royal Dutch [Shell Oil Co.] gentlemen from Holland, and . . . a general agreement was reached on the necessary changes in our relations with the IG [Farben], in view of the state of war. . . . [T]he Royal Dutch Shell group is essentially British. . . . I also had several meetings with . . . the [British] Air Ministry. . . .

I required help to obtain the necessary permission to go to Holland. . . . The gentlemen in the Air Ministry . . . very kindly offered to assist me [later] in reentering England. . . .

Pursuant to these arrangements, I was able to keep my appointments in Holland [having flown there on a British Royal Air Force bomber], where I had three days of discussion with the representatives of IG. They delivered to me assignments of some 2,000 foreign patents and we did our best to work out complete plans for a modus vivendi which could operate through the term of the war, whether or not the U.S. came in.

Emil Helfferich, chief executive of both Standard Oil's Germany subsidiary, and of Harriman, Bush, and Hitler's Hamburg-America lines, testified after the war that money to pay the SS guards at the Auschwitz death camp, was paid out of a Standard Oil bank account. Both Emil Helfferich and fellow Harriman-Bush shipping director Karl Lindemann were authorized to write Standard Oil checks to Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler.

In 1936, the Warburg bank had transmitted a letter from this Helfferich to the Harriman-Bush enterprise, stating: "It is the intention to continue the relations with Mr. Harriman on the same basis as heretofore"—that is, just as before the Hitler dictatorship! After Helfferich sent a Nazi emissary to New York to meet Averell Harriman, the Harriman-Bush office replied: "I am glad to learn that Mr. Hellferich [sic] has stated that relations between the Hamburg American Line and ourselves will be continued on the same basis as heretofore."

This reply was sent to Rudolph Brinkmann, Max Warburg's employee at the Warburg bank.

Max Warburg was forced out of IG Farben in 1937, as the Hitler regime bore down upon the Jews. Brinkmann, a non-Jew acceptable to Hitler, kept the Warburg bank going for the Nazis—under the name "Brinkmann," as the IG Farben-Standard Oil cartel moved toward its Auschwitz project.

After countless hundreds of thousands of victims were murdered at Auschwitz, the money made by the IG-Standard cartel for Standard President William S. Farish, was inherited by his grandson, William S. Farish III. This Auschwitz heir is Queen Elizabeth's main host on her current visits to the U.S.A., and George Bush's closest friend: Farish took control of managing Bush's personal fortune after Bush's 1980 election as U.S. Vice President.

Quietly, George's father, Prescott, had persevered with his comrades in the old Auschwitz gang. Witness a Nov. 15, 1961 internal memo of Brown Brothers Harriman warning of an embezzlement at the August Thyssen bank, which memo stated that the "information [on the Thyssen family bank] came to us through our trainee, Rudy Brinkmann, and apparently was confirmed by E.M. Warburg & Co., New York."

Harriman's Eugenics Movement
and Nazi Race Science

The smoldering bodies in Auschwitz followed logically upon the race propaganda festival which had been staged by the Harriman-Bush enterprise a decade earlier in New York. The Third International Congress on Eugenics, held at the American Museum of Natural History on Aug. 21-23, 1932, had given a seal of approval to the then-planned takeover of Germany by the Nazi master-race fanatics.

The Eugenics Congress was officially dedicated to Averell Harriman's mother, who had paid for the founding of the "race-science" movement in America. She had built the Eugenics Record Office as a branch of the Galton National Laboratory in London.

Averell Harriman's sister Mary, hostess and director of "entertainment" for the Eugenics Congress, lived in Virginia fox-hunting country. Fellow Virginian W.A. Plecker, state Commissioner of Vital Statistics and crusader against race-mixing, spoke on "racial purity."

Averell Harriman personally arranged with the Walker/Bush/Helfferich Hamburg-America Line to transport Nazi ideologues from Germany to New York for this meeting. The most famous such guest was Dr. Ernst Rudin, psychiatrist at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Genealogy and Demography in Berlin, where the Rockefeller family paid for Dr. Rudin to occupy an entire floor with his eugenics research.

Harriman's 1932 Eugenics Congress elected Ernst Rudin president of the International Federation of Eugenics Societies. Rudin thus became official leader of the world racist movement, dedicated to sterilization of mental patients, euthanasia execution of the insane and the terminally ill, and prevention of births to parents from "inferior" blood stocks.

The New York Times gave favorable front-page coverage to the Eugenics Congress as a "distinguished gathering of scientists from many parts of the world."

Harriman-nominee Rudin went back to Germany. Hitler was soon installed in power, and Rudin wrote Hitler's "Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Diseases in Posterity." This sterilization law was printed in the September 1933 Eugenical News (U.S.A.) with Chancellor Hitler's signature, and advertised therein as an American Model Law. Anthropologist Josef Mengele, later notorious for his crimes at Auschwitz, wrote reports for special courts which enforced Rudin's racial purity law against cohabitation of Aryans and non-Aryans.

A quarter-million Germans were sterilized: mental patients, blind, deaf, and alcoholics. Rudin and his associates trained physicians and psychiatrists as sterilizers and as killers. They killed first at euthanasia centers, then at slave camps and racial extermination centers.

In 1943, Mengele was assigned as medical commandant of Auschwitz. His boss, Othmar Verschuer, wartime director of Rockefeller's Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Genetics in Berlin, got money for Mengele's experiments at Auschwitz from the German Research Council, to which Verschuer reported: "My co-researcher in this research is my assistant the anthropologist and physician Mengele. He is serving as Hauptsturmführer and camp doctor in the concentration camp Auschwitz. . . . With the permission of the Reichsführer SS Himmler, anthropological research is being undertaken on the various racial groups in the concentration camps and blood samples will be sent to my laboratory for investigation."

Mengele constantly checked the railroad lines leading into Auschwitz, looking for twins, and other interesting persons, on whom to perform heredity experiments. Needles were injected into eyes for work on eye color. Organs and limbs were removed, sometimes without anesthetics. Sex changes were attempted. Females were sterilized, males were castrated. Those killed were autopsied at the Verschuer-grant laboratory next to the crematory, which was burning bodies to hide the evidence. Various organs, eyes, heads, and limbs were sent to Rockefeller's employee Verschuer at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute.

In 1946, Verschuer wrote to the Bureau of Human Heredity in London, asking for help in continuing his "scientific research." In 1947, the Bureau of Human Heredity, moved from London to Copenhagen. The new Danish building for this was built with Rockefeller money. Verschuer soon became a member of the American Eugenics Society, headquartered in Rockefeller Center. . . .

[1] "Elimination of German Resources for War," Part 5, page 879; Hearings of the Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Military Affairs.

Back to top