Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! We only ask one time of year, but when we do, we mean it. Without your support we can’t continue to bring you the very best material, day-in and day-out. CounterPunch is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. Help make sure it stays that way.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Loyal to Their Class, Unhinged From Democracy

by

As stunning as it may sound, an argument can be made that neither the Nazi Party’s rise to power nor even WWII itself could have happened without the backing of U.S. industry and finance.  Cash contributions through the 1920’s and ’30’s helped elevate Hitler’s brownshirts from mere street thugs to a political party and financed “off budget” ops for the SS.  Before and after the U.S. entered the war, military equipment and critical technology transfers flowed from U.S. corporations and subsidiaries to the Reich.

The record reveals more than just self-serving opportunism.  It proves the existence of what sociologist C. Wright Mills called a Power Elite – born to privilege; attending the same prestigious schools; belonging to the same insular, rarified social circles; naturally assuming some God-given right to rule the world and in these particular cases, blinded by fanatical anti-communism and completely unhinged from democracy.

To discover the many personal relationships formed through class and propinquity that bind these elite, consult the sources cited to learn more of what we’re not taught in school.

Finance

U.S. firms like J.P. Morgan made millions financing World War I, a business that grew with post-war reconstruction and reparations.

The Bank for International Settlements, still operating today, was created to administer Germany’s WWI reparations.  Run by Thomas McKittrick, a Wall Street banker and friend of the Dulles brothers, it was “effectively controlled by Hitler’s regime” by 1940 and had laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in looted gold – from coins to teeth fillings.  Five BIS directors were charged at Nuremburg with war crimes.(1)

The Dawes Plan was created to rebuild German industry after World War I and provide reparations to England and France required by the Treaty of Versailles.  U.S. representatives on the international committee were Charles Dawes, first director of the U.S. Budget Bureau and Owen Young, president of General Electric Co.  In 1929, the Young Plan succeeded Dawes’.

Between 1924 and 1931, Germany paid 36 billion marks to the Allies, 33 billion of which was borrowed from investors who bought German bonds issued by Wall Street firms, paid to England and France as reparations and then sent to the U.S. as loan repayments.  The bondholders received interest payments and according to Sutton, “The international bankers sat in heaven, under a rain of fees and commissions” made by lending other people’s money to Germany.(2)

* During this period, John Foster Dulles, later Eisenhower’s Secretary of State, was CEO of Sullivan and Cromwell (S&C), at which his brother, Allen, later Eisenhower and Kennedy’s CIA chief, was a partner.  Foster structured deals that funneled U.S. investments to German companies like IG Farben and Krupp.  Sullivan and Cromwell “was at the center of an international network of banks, investment firms and industrial conglomerates that rebuilt Germany after WWI.”(1)

* An open secret through the ’20’s was Henry Ford’s financial support for Hitler.  A December 20, 1922 NY Times story claimed links between new uniforms and sidearms for 1,000 young men in Hitler’s “Storming Battalion” and Ford’s portrait and books the Fuehrer prominently displayed in his well-staffed Munich office.(2)  Sutton also claimed Ford’s money helped fund Hitler’s failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch that gave the fledgling dictator time in jail to write “Mein Kampf,” incorporating whole sections of Ford’s “The International Jew.”

* In 1932, Wilhelm Keppler, Hitler’s Secretary of State and a director of AEG, started a “Circle of Friends,” later combined with Himmler’s Circle of Friends to raise “off budget” funds for Himmler’s SS.  One contributor, the German-American Petroleum Co., was owned 94% by Standard of NJ and made payments until 1944.  In 1943-44, ITT contributed 127,000 marks.(2)

* In February 1933, Hermann Goering held a fundraiser at his home for the National Trusteeship, a front group from which Rudolf Hess paid Nazi Party election campaign expenses.  Industrialists and financiers pledged 3,000,000 marks including 400,000 from IG Farben and 60,000 from General Electric Corporation’s subsidiary, AEG.  On the board of IG Farben’s U.S. subsidiary were Edsel Ford; Walter Teagle, board member of the NY Federal Reserve, Standard Oil of NJ and FDR’s Warm Springs Foundation; Paul Warburg, Chairman of the Bank of Manhattan and a director of the NY Fed; and Carl Bosch, who was also on the board of Ford’s German subsidiary, Ford AG.  One week after that massive infusion of funds the Reichstag was burned.  A week later, national elections swept the Nazis into power.

* That same year, Allen Dulles remarked on Goebbels’ “sincerity and frankness,” during a meeting with Hitler to see what might be in store for S&C’s German clients.

INDUSTRY

* Opel, a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Motors Corp., and Ford AG produced a significant number of the Wehrmacht’s vehicles.  In 1938, Henry Ford received the Grand Cross of the German Eagle award.  In December, 1941, Ford Afrique was incorporated in Vichy France and granted all rights of Ford’s British subsidiary in Algeria, Tunisia, French Morocco, Equitorial and West Africa.  In 1942, Vichy France paid Ford Co. 38,000,000 francs for damage RAF bombs caused a French Ford plant.  Ford also manufactured vehicles for Soviet Army at a plant in Gorki, Russia. (2)

* General Electric Co. of NY owned 25% of AEG, the largest electric company in Germany.  GE’s board chair, Owen Young, founded RCA Corp., was a director of GM, NBC, the International Chamber of Commerce and deputy chairman of the NY Federal Reserve. (2)

* In a 1936 memo, William Dodd, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, reported that Farben gave 200,000 marks to a p.r. firm “operating on American public opinion.”

* In 1938, the Luftwaffe urgently needed 500 tons of tetra-ethyl lead, the anti-knock compound critical for aviation fuel.  Ethyl Corp. (jointly owned by GM and Standard of NJ) “loaned” the amount to the Reich Air Ministry despite a U.S. Army Air Corps prohibition.  Brown Bros., Harriman and Co. of New York arranged collateral security.

* In 1940, a Berlin lawyer and S&C partner came to New York to lobby U.S. oil companies.  While there he threw a Waldorf-Astoria gala to celebrate the fall of Paris to the Nazis.  In the ensuing uproar in the press, Foster Dulles continued to defend him.

* By 1944, German oil (85% synthetic, produced with Standard of NJ technology) and high explosives production were controlled by IG Farben and Vereinigte Stahlwerk, respectively.  Both companies were created under the Dawes Plan and financed by Wall Street loans packaged by S&C.  An internal Farben memo, coincidentally written on D-Day, 1944, said Standard’s technical expertise in synthetic fuels, lubricating fluids and tetra-ethyl lead was “most useful to us,” without which “the present methods of warfare would be impossible.” (2)

Treason

* Churchill and FDR met in Casablanca in January, 1943 and agreed to fight Germany to an unconditional surrender, in part to keep Stalin in the Allies.  Soon after, Allen Dulles met in Switzerland with an agent for Himmler to tell him the agreement could “be scrapped without further ado” if Germany sued for a peace that would eliminate Hitler but leave the Reich intact.  Ignoring Casablanca and against FDR’s orders, Allen’s “Operation Sunrise” arranged for the surrender of German forces in Italy just before Germany’s surrender, infuriating Stalin.  Dulles’ German counterpart was General Karl Wolff, to whom Dulles gave a promise of immunity for war crimes, even though Wolf had arranged slave labor for Nazi industrialists; was the banker for Himmler’s Circle of Friends; shuttled Jews to Treblinka; administered medical experiments in Dachau; commanded Nazi security forces in Italy and as a result was high on the prosecution list.  Dulles kept his promise, submitting an affidavit on Wolff’s behalf which got him out of prison for time served in 1949.  In 1953 Wolff organized a German neo-fascist party and in ’56, an association of former SS officers. (1)

* Even after Hitler took power in 1933, Foster Dulles continued to represent IG Farben and refused to shut down S&C’s Berlin office until partners, tired of having to sign letters, “Heil Hitler,” rebelled in ’35.  Throughout the war, Foster protected the U.S. assets of Farben and also Merck from confiscation as alien property.  Arthur Goldberg, who served with Allen in the OSS, the CIA’s forerunner, and later on the Supreme Court, claimed both Dulles brothers were guilty of treason.(1)

* In 1945, Lt. Richard Nixon, wrapping up Navy east coast war accounts, discovered Nazi documents explaining how Foster and Allen Dulles laundered payments from their German clients.  Allen bought Nixon’s silence by agreeing to finance his 1946 congressional campaign against incumbent Jerry Voorhis, launching Nixon’s red-baiting career against a New Dealer whose “communist” activities consisted of supporting a government takeover of the Federal Reserve, creating a national credit union, expanding Social Security and opposing the oil depletion allowance and offshore drilling.(1)

Space limitations prevent describing post-war “ratlines” run by OSS officers that helped Nazis escape Germany; or Operation Paperclip, an official U.S. program to bring to the U.S. Nazis like Hitler’s rocket scientist, Werner von Braun; or various examples of OSS-funded and organized sabotage operations in Eastern Europe sure to fuel Moscow’s paranoia; or Operation Gladio, which armed right-wing partisans in Western Europe and stockpiled weapons for “stay-behind” paramilitary units; or sabotaging European political parties judged insufficiently anti-communist; or decades of aggression against Cuba fueled by mafia dons and corporations ejected by Castro’s revolution.

Besides the connections between U.S. corporations and Nazis, there is another sinister commonality.  America’s “secret government” resembles Himmler’s SS in the way both used funding from industrial and criminal elites to pursue ruthless “off budget” activities.

Some of the CIA’s sources included the Rockefeller Brothers who “served as private bankers for (Allen) Dulles’ intelligence empire,” including the MKULTRA mind-control experiments, and William Pawley, a U.S. sugar baron run out of Cuba by Castro.(1)

Today, those in the growing social movement to end corporate constitutional rights and the doctrine that money equals “free speech” are under no illusions.  It’s likely that passing resolutions for a constitutional amendment to strip corporations of these powers won’t be enough.

Political resistance to corporate rule and oligarchy at some point may become inevitable as the corporate and political elite extend their grip on government and culture – a development often identified as a marker of fascism.  Democracy activists may even have to risk their own personal safety to hold back that flood.  History tells us what may happen if we don’t.

Notes.

(1)“The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government” David Talbot 2015

(2) “Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler” Antony C. Sutton 1976

Mike Ferner is a writer from Ohio and former president of Veterans For Peace.  You can reach him at mike.ferner@sbcglobal.net

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 27, 2016
Louisa Willcox
The Tribal Fight for Nature: From the Grizzly to the Black Snake of the Dakota Pipeline
Paul Street
The Roots are in the System: Charlotte and Beyond
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
James McEnteer
Eugene, Oregon and the Rising Cost of Cool
Norman Pollack
The Great Debate: Proto-Fascism vs. the Real Thing
Michael Winship
The Tracks of John Boehner’s Tears
John Steppling
Fear Level Trump
Lawrence Wittner
Where Is That Wasteful Government Spending?
James Russell
Beyond Debate: Interview Styles of the Rich and Famous
September 26, 2016
Diana Johnstone
The Hillary Clinton Presidency has Already Begun as Lame Ducks Promote Her War
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Against Russia
Dave Lindorff
Parking While Black: When Police Shoot as First Resort
Robert Crawford
The Political Rhetoric of Perpetual War
Howard Lisnoff
The Case of One Homeless Person
Michael Howard
The New York Times Endorses Hillary, Scorns the World
Russell Mokhiber
Wells Fargo and the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival
Chad Nelson
The Crime of Going Vegan: the Latest Attack on Angela Davis
Colin Todhunter
A System of Food Production for Human Need, Not Corporate Greed
Brian Cloughley
The United States Wants to Put Russia in a Corner
Guillermo R. Gil
The Clevenger Effect: Exposing Racism in Pro Sports
David Swanson
Turn the Pentagon into a Hospital
Ralph Nader
Are You Ready for Democracy?
Chris Martenson
Hell to Pay
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Debate Night: Undecided is Everything, Advantage Trump
Frank X Murphy
Power & Struggle: the Detroit Literacy Case
Chris Knight
The Tom and Noam Show: a Review of Tom Wolfe’s “The Kingdom of Speech”
Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail