The Bushes and Hitler’s Appeasement/by Robert Parry

May 21, 2008
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The Bushes and Hitler’s Appeasement

Monday 19 May 2008

by: Robert Parry, Consortium News

Prescott Bush and son George H. W. Bush Caption: Prescott Bush and son George H. W. Bush Credit: (Photo: Huffingtonpost.com)

The irony of George W. Bush going before the Knesset and mocking the late Sen. William Borah for expressing surprise at Adolf Hitler’s 1939 invasion of Poland is that Bush’s own family played a much bigger role assisting the Nazis.

If Borah, an isolationist Republican from Idaho, sounded naive saying “Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided,” then what should be said about Bush’s grandfather and other members of his family providing banking and industrial assistance to the Nazis as they built their war machine in the 1930s?

The archival evidence is now clear that Prescott Bush, the president’s grandfather, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from and collaborated with key financial backers of Nazi Germany.

That business relationship continued after Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and even after Germany declared war on the United States following Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. It stopped only when the U.S. government seized assets of Bush-connected companies in late 1942 under the “Trading with the Enemy Act.”

So, perhaps instead of holding up Sen. Borah to ridicule, Bush might have acknowledged in his May 15 speech that his forebears also were blind to the dangers of Hitler.

Bush might have noted that his family’s wealth, which fueled his own political rise, was partly derived from Nazi collaboration and possibly from slave labor provided by Auschwitz and other concentration camps.

A more honest speech before the Knesset – on the 60th anniversary of Israel’s founding – might have contained an apology to the Jewish people from a leading son of the Bush family for letting its greed contribute to Nazi power and to the horrors of the Holocaust. Instead, there was just the jab at Sen. Borah, who died in 1940.

President Bush apparently saw no reason to remind the world of a dark chapter from the family history. After all, those ugly facts mostly disappeared from public consciousness soon after World War II.

Protected by layers of well-connected friends, Prescott Bush brushed aside the Nazi scandal and won a U.S. Senate seat from Connecticut, which enabled him to start laying the foundation for the family’s political dynasty.

In recent years, however, the archival records from the pre-war era have been assembled, drawing from the Harriman family papers at the Library of Congress, documents at the National Archives, and records from war-crimes trials after Germany’s surrender.

Managers for the Powerful

One can trace the origins of this story back more than a century to the emergence of Samuel Bush, George W. Bush’s great-grandfather, as a key manager for a set of powerful American business families, including the Rockefellers and the Harrimans. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Bush Family Chronicles: The Patriarchs.”]

That chapter took an important turn in 1919 when investment banker George Herbert Walker teamed up with Averell Harriman, scion to a railroad fortune, to found a new investment banking firm, W.A. Harriman Company.

The Harriman firm was backed by the Rockefellers’ National City Bank and the Morgan family’s Guaranty Trust. The English-educated Walker assisted in assembling the Harriman family’s overseas business investments.

In 1921, Walker’s favorite daughter, Dorothy, married Samuel Bush’s son Prescott, a Yale graduate and a member of the school’s exclusive Skull and Bones society. Handsome and athletic, admired for his golf and tennis skills, Prescott Bush was a young man with the easy grace of someone born into the comfortable yet competitive world of upper-crust contacts.

Three years later, Dorothy gave birth to George Herbert Walker Bush in Milton, Massachusetts.

Lifted by the financial boom of the 1920s, Prescott and Dorothy Bush were on the rise. By 1926, George Herbert Walker had brought his son-in-law in on a piece of the Harriman action, hiring him as a vice president in the Harriman banking firm.

By the mid-Thirties, Prescott Bush had become a managing partner at the merged firm of Brown Brothers Harriman. The archival records also show that Brown Brothers Harriman served as the U.S. financial service arm for German industrialist Fritz Thyssen, an early funder of the Nazi Party.

Thyssen, an admirer of Adolf Hitler since the 1920s, joined the Nazi Party in 1931 when it was still a fringe organization. He helped bail the struggling party out with financial help, even providing its headquarters building in Munich.

Meanwhile, Averell Harriman had launched the Hamburg-Amerika line of steamships to facilitate the bank’s dealings with Germany, and made Prescott Bush a director. The ships delivered fuel, steel, coal, gold and money to Germany as Hitler was consolidating his power and building his war machine.

Other evidence shows that Prescott Bush served as the director of the Union Banking Corp. of New York, which represented Thyssen’s interests in the United States and was owned by a Thyssen-controlled bank in the Netherlands.

As a steel magnate, Thyssen was amassing a fortune as Hitler rearmed Germany. Documents also linked Bush to Thyssen’s Consolidated Silesian Steel Company, which was based in mineral-rich Silesia on the German-Polish border and exploited slave labor from Nazi concentration camps, including Auschwitz. But records at the National Archives do not spell out exactly when Bush’s connection ended or what he knew about the business details.

In 1941, Thyssen had a falling out with Hitler and fled to France where he was captured. Much of Thyssen’s empire went under the direct control of the Nazis, but even that did not shatter the business ties that existed with Prescott Bush and Harriman’s bank.

It wasn’t until August 1942 that newspaper stories disclosed the secretive ties between Union Banking Corp. and Nazi Germany.

After an investigation, the U.S. government seized the property of the Hamburg-Amerika line and moved against affiliates of the Union Banking Corp. In November 1942, the government seized the assets of the Silesian-American Corp. [For more details, see an investigative report by the U.K. Guardian, Sept. 25, 2004.]

No Kiss of Death

For most public figures, allegations of trading with the enemy would have been a political kiss of death, but the disclosures barely left a lipstick smudge on Averell Harriman, Prescott Bush and other business associates implicated in the Nazi business dealings.

“Politically, the significance of these dealings – the great surprise – is that none of it seemed to matter much over the next decade or so,” wrote Kevin Phillips in American Dynasty.

“A few questions would be raised, but Democrat Averell Harriman would not be stopped from becoming federal mutual security administrator in 1951 or winning election as governor of New York in 1954. Nor would Republican Prescott Bush (who was elected senator from Connecticut in 1952) and his presidential descendants be hurt in any of their future elections.”

Indeed, the quick dissipation of the Nazi financial scandal was only a portent of the Bush family’s future. Unlike politicians of lower classes, the Bushes seemed to travel in a bubble impervious to accusations of impropriety, since the Eastern Establishment doesn’t like to think badly of its own. [For details, see Robert Parry’s Secrecy & Privilege.]

To this day – as President Bush showed by mocking the long-forgotten Sen. Borah and then wielding the Nazi “appeasement” club against Barack Obama and other Democrats – the assumption remains that the bubble will continue to protect the Bush family name.

However, the evidence from dusty archives suggests that the Bush family went way beyond appeasement of Adolf Hitler to aiding and abetting the Nazis.


Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, “Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush”, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, “Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq” and “Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth'” are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com.

Learning From the Cultural Conservatives, Part III: Taking It To The Street

April 8, 2008
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Part I
Part II

The conservative worldview has succeeded so wildly — and is still holding such tenacious sway over the ways Americans approach their current stack of problems — because the conservatives started out 30 years ago with a focused plan that put promoting their model of reality at the center of every other action. Over the past two posts, I’ve been mining the specific strategies that early planners like Paul Weyrich used to advance the conservative worldview, in the hope that we might gain some insight that will help us engage them directly on this deepest, most important territory.

Progressives will not be able to implement their vision of the future until we’re able to supplant the conservative worldview with our own. We won’t win until we take control of the discourse, offer Americans new ways to make meaning and evaluate and prioritize events, and get them to abandon conservative assumptions about how reality works.

I’d like to thank Bruce Wilson at Talk2Action again for turning me onto Eric Huebeck’s 2001 document that summarized, updated, and refocused the original Weyrich strategies. In this final piece, we’ll look some of the specific ways the conservatives structured their campaign to take their worldview to the streets, and ultimately replaced long-held democratic assumptions about government, economics, and society with the deadly and wrong-headed assumptions that now drive the thinking of the entire nation. (more…)

Obama’s Money Cartel:How he’s fronted for the most vicious firms on Wall Street

March 16, 2008
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In viewing the “race” for president this year I have been astounded by the lack of depth in the coverage given by our so called free press, the “main stream Media”.Reading for content in the local rag, the Dayton Dumb News, is a five minute blitz, leaving the reader to wonder, “where’s the Beef”?

As an equal opportunity Presidential race cynic my focus has been on countering the mythology of “free and open elections” by looking for and posting and reposting articles that define the CLASS nature of the “selection” process.
To think that we are choosing from anyone outside the ruling cabal in Washington, regardless of the smoke and mirrors and the hifalutin rhetoric, is to ignore the underlying forces that actually shape and direct the “process of democracy” in the US of A.

By Pam Martens

Source: CounterPunch

Pam Martens’s ZSpace Page

Wall Street, known variously as a barren wasteland for diver­sity or the last plantation in America, has defied courts and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for decades in its failure to hire blacks as stockbrokers. Now it’s marshal­ling its money machine to elect a black man to the highest office in the land. Why isn’t the press curious about this?

Walk into any of the largest Wall Street brokerage firms today and you’ll see a self-portrait of upper management rac­ism and sexism: women sitting at secre­tarial desks outside fancy offices occupied by predominantly white males. According to the EEOC as well as the recent racial discrimination class actions filed against UBS and Merrill Lynch, blacks make up between 1 per cent to 3.5 per cent of stockbrokers – and this after 30 years of litigation, settlements and empty prom­ises to do better by the largest Wall Street firms.
The first clue to an entrenched white male bastion seeking a black male occupant in the oval office (having placed only five blacks in the U.S. Senate in the last two centuries) appeared this month on a chart at the Center for Responsive Politics website. It was a list of the 20 top con­tributors to the Barack Obama campaign, and it looked like one of those compre­hension tests where you match up things that go together and eliminate those that don’t. Of the 20 top contributors, I elimi­nated six that didn’t compute. I was now looking at a sight only slightly less fright­ening to democracy than a Diebold vot­ing machine. It was a Wall Street cartel of financial firms, their registered lobbyists, ! and go-to law firms that have a death grip on our federal government.

Why is the “yes, we can” candidate in bed with this cartel? How can we, the people, make change if Obama’s money backers block our ability to be heard? (more…)


March 4, 2008
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March 2, 2008
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2007 Board of Trustees

Dennis Rediker*
President and CEO
Standard Register CompanyWilliam Mercurio*
Immediate Past Chairman
Chief Executive Officer
Plastic Trim, Inc.
Paul Barbas
President and CEO
DPL, Inc.Mary Boosalis
President and CEO
Miami Valley Hospital

Dr. Daniel J. Curran*
University of Dayton

Robert Curry

John Danis
Chairman and CEO
Danis Building Construction Co.

Dr. Barbara Gellman-Danley
Antioch University McGregor

Doug Fecher
President and CEO
Wright Patt Credit Union Inc

Dr. Mark Erickson
Wittenberg University

Patrick Field
Wallace & Turner Insurance

Mark Fornes
Mark Fornes Realty

Douglas E. Franklin*
Chief Executive Officer
Cox Ohio Publishing

Dan Graham
President and CEO
The Berry Company

Peter Haley
Managing Parnter

James R. Hoehn
President and CEO
National City Bank, Dayton OH

David Hopkins
Wright State University

Dr. Steven Lee Johnson
Sinclair Community College

Todd Kelchner
Kelchner Inc.

Dr. David Kinsaul
President and CEO
Children’s Medical Center

George Kling, Jr.
Moraine Materials Co.

John T. Landess*
Executive Director
The Turner Foundation

Bruce Langos
Senior VP Global Operations
NCR Teradata Business OperationsPeter A. Luongo*
Retired President and CEO
The Berry CompanyClayton L. Mathile*

Fin O’Neill
Vice Chairman
The Reynold and Reynolds CompanyFrancisco J. Perez, FACHE
President and CEO
KMC Network/Kettering Adventist Healthcare

L. Douglas Petitt
VP Government Affairs
Vectren Corp.

Kurt P. Sanford*
President and CEO

Mark Thompson
LJB Inc.

Ray Webb
President and CEO
Fifth Third Bank

Joe Zehenny
Sr. Vice President
KeyBank NA

Mike Zettler

Internal Staff
John P. (JP) Nauseef*
President and CEO
Dayton Development Coalition

Department of Defense Liaison to Coalition
General Bruce Carlson*
Air Force Material Command

Mrs. Barbara Westgate
Executive Director
Air Force Material Command

* Executive Committee

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February 22, 2008
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McCain’s ‘Never’ Is a Long Time/By Robert Parry

February 21, 2008
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McCain’s ‘Never’ Is a Long Time

By Robert Parry
February 21, 2008

John McCain must hope that Americans won’t read the entire New York Times story about his friendship with a female lobbyist, because if they do, they’ll realize that his statement – that he “has never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists” – simply isn’t true.

Though the article focuses on the friendship between the 71-year-old Arizona senator and Vicky Iseman, an attractive 40-year-old lobbyist for telecommunications companies, it also recounts McCain’s complicated history as both a violator of congressional ethics and a champion for ethics reform. (more…)

PSYCHO COPS [STARK CO., OH!!] Strip Search Woman – part 1 of 2

February 3, 2008
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And, if after watching this outrageous video, you would like to relay your reaction[s] to the people responsible you can do so direct to the Stark County Sheriff’s email


That would be a mighty responsible thing for you to do….



FEBRUARY 11 UPDATE: According to reports on WKYC TV, Akron, the Ohio Attorney General’s office has announced that it was going to investigate the strip search of Hope Steffey. More details as they become available.


A VIDEO BY SALLY ANTHONY “SO LONG”:the anguish of today

February 2, 2008
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Mike Turner and the Real Estate/Development Interests {orig. post from Daytonology}

January 22, 2008
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Monday, January 21, 2008

reposted from Daytonology [thanks to Jeffery for some Excellent research on Congressman Mike Turners ties to the Construction/”development” industry.]

Mike Turner has received significant contributions from a cluster of donors best described as the real estate/development special interest community. This includes PAC and individual donors from real estate, contracting, construction, engineering and architecture, and building trades unions.

read the rest of this story [ and be sure to check out the comments section!] at


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