We bring to the attention of Global Research readers this important article
on the links of the Bush famuily to Nazi Germany, first published in the The
New Hampshire Gazette in November 2003.
While this relationship has been amply documented by official US government
records (see the book by Webster Tarpley), the authors point in their article
to newly discovered US government documents, which suggest that the relationship
continued until 1951, nine years after the assets of Prescott Bush were seized
under the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1942.
After the seizures in late 1942 of five U.S. enterprises he managed on behalf
of Nazi industrialist Fritz Thyssen, Prescott Bush, the grandfather of President
George W. Bush, failed to divest himself of more than a dozen "enemy national"
relationships that continued until as late as 1951, newly-discovered U.S. government
Furthermore, the records show that Bush and his colleagues routinely attempted
to conceal their activities from government investigators.
Bush's partners in the secret web of Thyssen-controlled ventures included former
New York Governor W. Averell Harriman and his younger brother, E. Roland Harriman.
Their quarter-century of Nazi financial transactions, from 1924-1951, were conducted
by the New York private banking firm, Brown Brothers Harriman.
The White House did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Although the additional seizures under the Trading with the Enemy Act did not
take place until after the war, documents from The National Archives and Library
of Congress confirm that Bush and his partners continued their Nazi dealings
unabated. These activities included a financial relationship with the German
city of Hanover and several industrial concerns. They went undetected by investigators
until after World War Two.
At the same time Bush and the Harrimans were profiting from their Nazi partnerships,
W. Averell Harriman was serving as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's personal
emissary to the United Kingdom during the toughest years of the war. On October
28, 1942, the same day two key Bush-Harriman-run businesses were being seized
by the U.S. government, Harriman was meeting in London with Field Marshall Smuts
to discuss the war effort.
Denial and Deceit
While Harriman was concealing his Nazi relationships from his government colleagues,
Cornelius Livense, the top executive of the interlocking German concerns held
under the corporate umbrella of Union Banking Corporation (UBC), repeatedly
tried to mislead investigators, and was sometimes supported in his subterfuge
by Brown Brothers Harriman.
All of the assets of UBC and its related businesses belonged to Thyssen-controlled
enterprises, including his Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart in Rotterdam, the
Nevertheless, Livense, president of UBC, claimed to have no knowledge of such
a relationship. "Strangely enough, (Livense) claims he does not know the
actual ownership of the company," states a government report.
H.D Pennington, manager of Brown Brothers Harriman and a director of UBC "for
many years," also lied to investigators about the secret and well-concealed
relationship with Thyssen's Dutch bank, according to the documents.
Investigators later reported that the company was "wholly owned"
by Thyssen's Dutch bank.
Despite such ongoing subterfuge, U.S. investigators were able to show that
"a careful examination of UBC's general ledger, cash books and journals
from 1919 until the present date clearly establish that the principal and practically
only source of funds has been Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart."
In yet another attempt to mislead investigators, Livense said that $240,000
in banknotes in a safe deposit box at Underwriters Trust Co. in New York had
been given to him by another UBC-Thyssen associate, H.J. Kouwenhoven, managing
director of Thyssen's Dutch bank and a director of the August Thyssen Bank in
Berlin. August Thyssen was Fritz's father.
The government report shows that Livense first neglected to report the $240,000,
then claimed that it had been given to him as a gift by Kouwenhoven. However,
by the time Livense filed a financial disclosure with U.S. officials, he changed
his story again and reported the sum as a debt rather than a cash holding.
In yet another attempt to deceive the governments of both the U.S. and Canada,
Livense and his partners misreported the facts about the sale of a Canadian
Nazi front enterprise, La Cooperative Catholique des Consommateurs de Combustible,
which imported German coal into Canada via the web of Thyssen-controlled U.S.
"The Canadian authorities, however, were not taken in by this maneuver,"
a U.S. government report states. The coal company was later seized by Canadian
After the war, a total of 18 additional Brown Brothers Harriman and UBC-related
client assets were seized under The Trading with the Enemy Act, including several
that showed the continuation of a relationship with the Thyssen family after
the initial 1942 seizures.
The records also show that Bush and the Harrimans conducted business after
the war with related concerns doing business in or moving assets into Switzerland,
Panama, Argentina and Brazil - all critical outposts for the flight of Nazi
capital after Germany's surrender in 1945. Fritz Thyssen died in Argentina in
One of the final seizures, in October 1950, concerned the U.S. assets of a
Nazi baroness named Theresia Maria Ida Beneditka Huberta Stanislava Martina
von Schwarzenberg, who also used two shorter aliases. Brown Brothers Harriman,
where Prescott Bush and the Harrimans were partners, attempted to convince government
investigators that the baroness had been a victim of Nazi persecution and therefore
should be allowed to maintain her assets.
"It appears, rather, that the subject was a member of the Nazi party,"
government investigators concluded.
At the same time the last Brown Brothers Harriman client assets were seized,
Prescott Bush announced his Senate campaign that led to his election in 1952.
In 1943, six months after the seizure of UBC and its related companies, a government
investigator noted in a Treasury Department memo dated April 8, 1943 that the
FBI had inquired about the status of any investigation into Bush and the Harrimans.
"I gave 'a memorandum' which did not say anything about the American officers
of subject," the investigator wrote. "(Another investigator) wanted
to know whether any specific action had been taken by us with respect to them."
No further action beyond the initial seizures was ever taken, and the newly-confirmed
records went unseen by the American people for six decades.
What Does It All Mean?
So why are the documents relevant today?
"The story of Prescott Bush and Brown Brothers Harriman is an introduction
to the real history of our country," says L.A. art book publisher and historian
Edward Boswell. "It exposes the money-making motives behind our foreign
policies, dating back a full century. The ability of Prescott Bush and the Harrimans
to bury their checkered pasts also reveals a collusion between Wall Street and
the media that exists to this day."
Sheldon Drobny, a Chicago entrepreneur and philanthropist who will soon launch
a liberal talk radio network, says the importance of the new documents is that
they prove a long pattern of Bush family war profiteering that continues today
via George H.W. Bush's intimate relationship with the Saudi royal family and
the bin Ladens, conducted via the super-secret Carlyle Group, whose senior advisers
include former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III.
In the post-9/11 world, Drobny finds the Bush-Saudi connection deeply troubling.
"Trading with the enemy is trading with the enemy," he says. "That's
the relevance of the documents and what they show."
Lawrence Lader, an abortion rights activist and the author of more than 40
books, says "the relevance lies with the fact that the sitting President
of the United States would lead the nation to war based on lies and against
the wishes of the rest of the world." Lader and others draw comparisons
between President Bush's invasion of Iraq and Hitler's occupation of Poland
in 1939 - the event that sparked World War Two.
However, others see an even larger significance.
"The discovery of the Bush-Nazi documents raises new questions about the
role of Prescott Bush and his influential business partners in the secret emigration
of Nazi war criminals, which allowed them to escape justice in Germany,"
says Bob Fertik, co-founder of Democrats.com and an amateur 'Nazi hunter.' "It
also raises questions about the importance of Nazi recruits to the CIA in its
early years, in what was called Operation Paperclip, and Prescott Bush's role
in that dark operation."
Fertik and others, including former Justice Department Nazi war crimes prosecutor
John Loftus, a Constitutional attorney in Miami, and a former Veterans Administration
official, believe Prescott Bush and the Harrimans should have been tried for
Now, say Fertik and Loftus, there should be a Congressional investigation into
the Bush family's Nazi past and its concealment from the American people for
"The American people have a right to know, in detail, about this hidden
chapter of our history," says Loftus, author of The Secret War Against
the Jews. "That's the only way we can understand it and deal with it."
For his part, Fertik is pessimistic that even a Congressional investigation
can thwart the war profiteering of the present Bush White House. "It's
impossible to stop it," he says, "when the worst war profiteers are
George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, who operate in secrecy behind the vast powers
of the White House."
John Buchanan is a journalist and magazine writer based in Miami Beach. He
can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stacey Michael is a New Orleans-based journalist and the author of Religious
Conceit. His most recent book is Weapons of Mass Dysfunction: The Art of "Faith-Based"
Politics, due in early 2004. He can be reached by email at
Bush - Nazi Link Confirmed By by John Buchanan from
The New Hampshire Gazette Vol. 248, No. 1, October 10, 2003
By John Buchanan
WASHINGTON - 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" partners.
The documents also show that Bush and his colleagues, according to reports
from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and FBI, 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.
Furthermore, 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 baron for nearly eight months
after the U.S. entered the war.
For 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.
The White House did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.
The Summer of '42
The 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 under the supervision
of Prescott Bush, began with a story that ran in the New York Herald-Tribune
on July 30, 1942. By then, the U.S. had been at war with Germany for nearly
"Hitler's Angel Has $3 Million in U.S. Bank," declared the 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.
The 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.
Business is Business
The "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 and war 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.
The 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
After 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.
Instead, 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
UBC's original group of business associates included George Herbert Walker,
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 and coal.
The 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 seven years in prison.
The Family Business
In 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
However, 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 client.
On 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.
In 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). In November, Congress seized the Nazi
interests in Silesian-American Corporation, which allegedly profited from slave
labor at Auschwitz via a partnership with I.G. Farben, Hitler's third major
industrial patron and partner in the infrastructure of the Third Reich.
The documents from the Archives also show that the Bushes and Harrimans shipped
valuable U.S. assets, including gold, coal, steel and U.S. Treasury and war
bonds, to their foreign clients overseas as Hitler geared up for his 1939 invasion
of Poland, the event that sparked World War II.
That's One Way to Put It
Following the Congressional seizures of UBC and the other four Bush-Harriman-Thyssen
enterprises, The New York Times reported on December 16, 1944, in a brief story
on page 25, that UBC had "received authority to change its principal place
of business to 120 Broadway." The Times story did not report that UBC had
been seized by the U.S. government or that the new address was the U.S. Office
of the Alien Property Custodian. The story also neglected to mention that the
other UBC-related businesses had also been seized by Congress.
Still No Story?
Since then, 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
The 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 a Lyndon LaRouche's organization undoubtedly
made it easier to dismiss, but does not change the facts.
The essence of the story been posted for years on various Internet sites, including
BuzzFlash.com and TakeBackTheMedia.com, but no online media seem to have independently
Likewise, 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 veracity.
The National Review ran an essay on September 1 by their White House correspondent
Byron York, entitled "Annals of Bush-Hating." It begins mockingly:
"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.
The 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."
Poles Tackle the Topic
Newsweek 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 businesses.
Still Not Interested
Major U.S. media outlets, including ABC News, NBC News, The New York
Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times and Miami Herald,
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 the archives.
After the seizures of the various businesses they oversaw with Cornelis Lievense
and his German partners, the U.S. government quietly settled with Bush, Harriman
and others after the war. Bush and Harriman each received $1.5 million in cash
as compensation for their seized business assets.
In 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 a 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