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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

artticles-feb 16

News from around ndn country

Tribes appeal Kennewick Man ruling, seek role in future finds
2/16/2005, 8:04 a.m. PT
The Associated Press

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — Indian tribes that failed to block the scientific examination of the 9,400-year-old remains known as Kennewick Man are appealing a court ruling in hopes of gaining a role in future discoveries.

The appeal of a ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was brought Monday by the Nez Perce Tribe, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and Yakama Indian Nation, which claim Kennewick Man as an aboriginal ancestor.

"It's a fundamental right to protect the grave of your ancestor," said Audie Huber, intergovernmental affairs manager for the Umatilla Reservation's Department of Natural Resources. full article

Abenaki Speak Out For State Recognition
BY GARY E. LINDSLEY Staff Writer
Wednesday February 16, 2005

Melody Walker broke down in the middle of her testimony at a state Senate hearing Tuesday regarding state recognition of the Abenaki Nation.

More than a dozen people testified at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum as to why they believe Joint Senate Resolution No. 9 - sponsored by state Sen. Julius Canns, R-Caledonia - should be approved. The resolution calls for state recognition of the Abenaki Nation as a Native American tribe.

Walker, a senior at the University of Vermont, started crying as she testified about how the Abenaki Nation has helped pay her way through college. full article

Native groups speak out against mine

JUNEAU - The Taku River Tlingit First Nation in British Columbia and the
Douglas Indian Association in Juneau issued a joint statement against the
proposed Tulsequah Chief mine on Thursday.

Representatives for two tribes met for three hours on Tuesday in Juneau
before attending a forum on the Canadian mine. At the meeting, the groups
agreed to work together on their common concerns.

"We hope to establish regular meetings," said Ed White, an environmental
planner for the Douglas Indian Association.

In a written statement, Taku River Tlingit First Nation spokesman John Ward
said, "The Tlingit people on both sides of the border have a long-term
commitment to the land while the mining company (Redfern Resources Ltd.) has
only a short-term interest in this land. Their cash register is empty and
they want to use our land to fill it." full article

Utah tribe may store spent nuclear rods
Indians' sovereignty could play major role
By Dana Wilkie
February 16, 2005

WASHINGTON – An hour's drive from Salt Lake City, between Utah's Cedar and Stansbury mountain ranges, there lies a lonely, arid valley marked by perhaps three paved roads and the homes of a few American Indian families.

Skull Valley – a longtime dumping ground for hazardous waste, low-level radioactive debris and the byproducts of biological and chemical weapons testing – is a literal and figurative wasteland.

But in a matter of weeks, it could be on its way to becoming a gold mine for some, or further cursed for others. full article

Group seeks to abolish Native rights(my headline)
One Nation United says tribes should observe U.S. laws, regulations
By Eric Leach
Staff Writer

Saturday, February 12, 2005 - After decades of fighting in obscurity, a Thousand Oaks woman says her battle to bring Indian tribes under the same laws and regulations as the rest of the country is growing into a united front -- thanks in part to California's heated recall election and a new focus on Indian gaming.

Barb Lindsay, the new national director of One Nation United, says her group now has more than 300,000 members in all 50 states, including homeowner associations, local government agencies and trade groups.

One Nation United seeks standard tax laws and regulations across the United States to even the playing field between Indian tribes and non-Indian businesses full article

4 Comments:

At 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trading With the Enemy Act
(thing) by stewacide Fri Apr 26 2002 at 17:37:22


The Trading With the Enemy Act is the law that allows the United States government (specifically the President) to declare embargoes on unfriendly countries. While this act has been applied to many nations in its long history, the most notorious instance would have to be Cuba. Not only has the US government used this piece of legislation to prevent Americans and American companies from trading with Cuba, but it also has attempted on several occasions to apply these rules to foreign nationals and companies based outside of the United States. Several Canadian executives whose companies do business in Cuba are banned from entering the US, and one, James Sabzali (a Canadian citizen), has been tried, convicted, and will soon be sentenced in the US, despite the protest of the Canadian government and the international community, for selling water-purification chemicals to Cuban hospitals.


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TRADING WITH THE ENEMY ACT ("TWEA")

UNITED STATES CODE

TITLE 50. WAR AND NATIONAL DEFENSE
TITLE 50 APPENDIX -- WAR AND NATIONAL DEFENSE
TRADING WITH THE ENEMY ACT OF 1917
ACT OCT. 6, 1917, CH 106, 40 STAT. 411

Sec. 5. Suspension of provisions relating to ally of enemy; regulation of transactions in foreign exchange of gold or silver, property transfers, vested interests, enforcement and penalties

(b) (1) During the time of war, the President may, through any agency that he may designate, and under such rules and regulations as he may prescribe, by means of instructions, licenses, or otherwise--

(A) investigate, regulate, or prohibit, any transactions in foreign exchange, transfers of credit or payments between, by, through, or to any banking institution, and the importing, exporting, hoarding, melting, or earmarking of gold or silver coin or bullion, currency or securities, and

(B) investigate, regulate, direct and compel, nullify, void, prevent or prohibit, any acquisition holding, withholding, use, transfer, withdrawal, transportation, importation or exportation of, or dealing in, or exercising any right, power, or privilege with respect to, or transactions involving, any property in which any foreign country or a national thereof has any interest, by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States; and any property or interest of any foreign country or national thereof shall vest, when, as, and upon the terms, directed by the President, in such agency or person as may be designated from time to time by the President, and upon such terms and conditions as the President may prescribe such interest or property shall be held, used, administered, liquidated, sold, or otherwise dealt with in the interest of and for the benefit of the United States, and such designated agency or person may perform any and all acts incident to the accomplishment or furtherance of these purposes; and the President shall, in the manner hereinabove provided, require any person to keep a full record of, and to furnish under oath, in the form of reports or otherwise, complete information relative to any act or transaction referred to in this subdivision either before, during, or after the completion thereof, or relative to any interest in foreign property, or relative to any property in which any foreign country or any national thereof has or has had any interest, or as may be otherwise necessary to enforce the provisions of this subdivision, and in any case in which a report could be required, the President may, in the manner hereinabove provided, require the production, or if necessary to the national security or defense, the seizure, of any books of account, records, contracts, letters, memoranda, or other papers, in the custody or control of such person.

(2) Any payment, conveyance, transfer, assignment, or delivery of property or interest therein, made to or for the account of the United States, or as otherwise directed, pursuant to this subdivision or any rule, regulation, instruction, or direction issued hereunder shall to the extent thereof be a full acquittance and discharge for all purposes of the obligation of the person making the same; and no person shall be held liable in any court for or in respect to anything done or omitted in good faith in connection with the administration of, or in pursuance of and in reliance on, this subdivision, or any rule, regulation, instruction, or direction issued hereunder.


(3) As used in this subdivision the term "United States" means the United States and any place subject to the jurisdiction thereof, [including the Philippine Islands, and the several courts of first instance of the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands shall have jurisdiction in all cases, civil or criminal, arising under this subdivision in the Philippine Islands and concurrent jurisdiction with the district courts of the United States of all cases, civil or criminal, arising upon the high seas]: Provided, however, That the foregoing shall not be construed as a limitation upon the power of the President, which is hereby conferred, to prescribe from time to time, definitions, not inconsistent with the purposes of this subdivision, for any or all of the terms used in this subdivision. As used in this section the term "person" means an individual, partnership, association, or corporation.

(4) The authority granted to the President by this section does not include the authority to regulate or prohibit, directly or indirectly, the importation from any country, or the exportation to any country, whether commercial or otherwise, regardless of format or medium of transmission, of any information or informational materials, including but not limited to, publications, films, posters, phonograph records, photographs, microfilms, microfiche, tapes, compact disks, CD ROMs, artworks, and news wire feeds. The exports exempted from regulation or prohibition by this paragraph do not include those which are otherwise controlled for export under section 5 of the Export Administration Act of 1979 [50 USCS Appx. @ 2404], or under section 6 of that Act [50 USCS Appx. @ 2405] to the extent that such controls promote the nonproliferation or antiterrorism policies of the United States, or with respect to which acts are prohibited by chapter 37 of title 18, United States Code [18 USCS @@ 791 et seq.].

Sec. 16. Offenses; punishment; forfeitures of property

(a) Whoever shall willfully violate any of the provisions of this Act or of any license, rule, or regulation issued thereunder, and whoever shall willfully violate, neglect, or refuse to comply with any order of the President issued in compliance with the provisions of the Act shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $ 1,000,000, or if a natural person, be fined not more than $ 100,000, or imprisoned for not more than ten years or both; and the officer, director, or agent of any corporation who knowingly participates in such violation shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $ 100,000 or imprisoned for not more than ten years or both.

(b)(1) A civil penalty of not to exceed $ 50,000 may be imposed by the Secretary of the Treasury on any person who violates any license, order, rule, or regulation issued in compliance with the provisions of this Act.

(2) Any property, funds, securities, papers, or other articles or documents, or any vessel, together with its tackle, apparel, furniture, and equipment, that is the subject of a violation under paragraph (1) shall, at the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, be forfeited to the United States Government.

(3) The penalties provided under this subsection may be imposed only on the record after opportunity for an agency hearing in accordance with sections 554 through 557 of title 5, United States Code, with the right to prehearing discovery.

(4) Judicial review of any penalty imposed under this subsection may be had to the extent provided in section 702 of title 5, United States Code.

(c) Upon conviction, any property, funds, securities, papers, or other articles or documents, or any vessel, together with tackle, apparel, furniture, and equipment, concerned in any violation of subsection (a) may be forfeited to the United States.


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The TWEA has been modified and extended over the years by many other acts, including the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, the Cuban Democracy Act, and The Helms-Burton Act, etc.




(thing) by haze 2 C!s Thu Jan 08 2004 at 3:51:17


The Trading with the Enemy Act was also the authority for the seizure, on Oct. 20, 1942, of Nazi German banking operations in New York City, run by Prescott Bush, later a U.S. Senator, and father of President George H.W. Bush and grandfather of President George W. Bush.

Bush was a managing partner of Brown Brothers Harriman. From 1930 until 1942, the Wall Street firm was the US.banking agent for Fritz Thyssen, the major financial backer of Hitler's Nazi party.

Dealing with Nazi Germany was not illegal until Hitler declared war on the United States of America and the President signed an order. Six days after Pearl Harbor, however, President Roosevelt did sign an order. Ten months later, as Americans went into combat against the Germans in North Africa, Prescott Bush was still managing assets for the Nazis. Prescott Bush's business interests, seized under the Trading with the Enemy Act in October and November 1942, included:

Union Banking Corporation (UBC)
Holland-American Trading Corporation
the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation
Silesian-American Corporation
While Bush's partner E. Roland Harriman owned the bulk of the stock in UBC, and directors such as Prescott Bush owned only one share, Bush was later reimbursed $1,500,000 for his interest in the seized company.




http://everything2.com/?node=Trading+With+the+Enemy+Act http://everything2.com/?node_id=1292055

 
At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big Business in Nazi Germany
(idea) by Schmik (2 wk) (print) ? 1 C! Tue Feb 06 2001 at 1:05:05


The Nazi Party had strong links with big business. Indeed, many industrial enterprises of the 1930s were headed by high-ranking Nazis and their friends. Gauleiter Wagner, for example, as the Bavarian Minister of Education, oversaw selection of textbooks at great profit to himself. Göring developed a huge industrial empire through his Four Year's Plan. Hitler's companion, Weber, had large investments on Munich's garbage collection, bus service and its retail fuel trade. Hjalmar Schacht, Reich Minister of Economics, was appointed president of the Reichsbank in 1933 and from this position produced twelve billion marks by 1938. Fritz Thyssen, a Nazi Party member and the iron and steel mogul, supplied the Nazis with large funds. Typically, the Nazi Party was not dependent on big business for funding, but had stronger support from small businessmen. The strained alliance the Nazis did have with big businesses was more the result of political expedience than shared attitudes.

Big business had generally been opposed to the Weimar Republic, but the arrival of Hitler helped them to mellow somewhat. Businessmen hated having to acknowledge the trade unions, which they believed had too much power, and claimed the Welfare taxation was ruining them. Hitler gained the acceptance of big business by ordering the disbandment of the trade unions and a share of the remunerative profits from armaments contracts. Predictably, this resulted in an accelerated rise (36% between 1933 and 39) in profits and a drop (5% between 1932 and 1939) in the share of wages of the Gross National Income. Throughout this, businesses had to survive several constraints, not the least of which was competition from high-ranking Nazis like Göring who received priority treatment under government regulations on imports, wage and price levels and the allotment of raw materials. Big businesses flourished, but not as well as much as they would have wanted.

Small businesses collectively contributed more to the economy than big businesses, but did not reap the same rewards. Largely this was because of the enormous taxes that were being used to prepare for the Second World War, and of the restrictions on trade and currency. Other policies, particularly anti-Semitic and militarist ones, hurt larger businesses as well because of the way they unsettled oreign trading partners and investors. Tourism was reduced considerably also as a result of Germany's foreign policy. A shortage of workers from 1935 caused by the reintroduction of military conscription caused many southern businessmen to become disillusioned with the Führer they had trusted. Among those who did benefit were the owners of factory|factories] and shops that produced and sold Nazi uniforms, tin soldiers and similar gear and the hundreds of clerks working for the party bureaucracy.

Although the relationship between the Nazis and big businesses was uneasy, it was a more comfortable one than the businesses had with others. Before the Nazi rise to power they had counted on the German People's Party (DVP) to protect their interests, but their dissolution on 4 July 1933 prompted most of the businessmen to turn to the NSDAP (Nazis) as the only other party left. Consequently, some large funds the DVP had received were transferred to the NSDAP. The ability of the Nazis to turn the potential enemies of big businessmen into (albeit weak) allies demonstrates their impressive manipulative abilities. and holidays it granted raised the workers' morale.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bibliography
Bollen, JD. & Cosgrove, JJ. (1992) Two Centuries. A Profile of Modern History. Pitman, Melbourne.
Charman, T. (1989) The German Home Front 1939-45. Barrie & Jenkins, London.
Fest, JC. (1974) Hitler. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London.
Fleming, G. (1986) Hitler and the Final Solution. Oxford, Oxford.
Geary, D. (1993) Hitler and Nazism. Routledge, New York.
Jamieson, A. (1972) Europe in Conflict: A History of Europe 1870-1970. Hutchinson, London.
Koch, HW. (1985) Aspects of the Third Reich. St. Martins, New York.
Large, DC. (1997) Where Ghosts Walked: Munich's Road to the Third Reich. Norton, New York.
Triggs, TD. (1991) Germany Between the Wars. Oliver & Boyd, London

 
At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Labour Front in Nazi Germany
(idea) by Schmik (2 wk) (print) ? 1 C! Mon Feb 05 2001 at 1:43:24


Nothing contributed so much to the success of Hitler as did his Four Years' Plan, which promised to end unemployment. When Hitler was appointed as chancellor in late January 1933 there were six million Germans without jobs. As a way of gaining the adulation of the workers, Hitler proclaimed May Day 1933 a public holiday and then worked to create employment for the millions that were out of work. To begin with, the Nazis organised workers in military-style labour camps, in schemes such as road-building, afforestation and land improvement schemes. These small projects were mainly intended to utilise the millions of workers while a massive rearmament project was developed. The Nazis saw Autobahnen (highways) as of great value, and so employed a large number to construct them in September 1933. Less than a year after his appointment as chancellor, Hitler had succeeded in reducing the unemployment figure by two million.

A new Labour Front, set up in 1934 and run by Robert Ley, allowed the Nazis to draft workers to occupations as part of the complete control they gained over the Third Reich's labour resources. As economic, commercial and labour institutions had always been independent of the state and self-administered, the Nazis had a great challenge in coordinating them. Under Ley, the Nazis immediately made lockouts and strikes illegal, and subdued trade unions and employers' associations. Many Germans became annoyed when Nazi Old Fighters received municipal jobs even if they were not fitted. Capitalists were as completely affected by Ley's Industrial Order as the millions of conscripted workers, as they also had to abide by the rule that the state's interests came before the individual's. New rules forced employees to join the Nazi Labour Front or be fired, and any opposition to the new Labour Front was quelled with brutal efficiency.

Realising that domestic projects were not sufficient to cure Germany's unemployment ailment, Adolf Hitler began, in 1935, to conscript workers for arms development. They built new barracks, tanks and hospitals, and produced all kinds of weapons and munitions in numerous factories across Germany. According to the historian Klein, however, ". . . the National Socialists did not shift a large proportion of the labour force into war activities . . ." except for an unsurprising large increase in the army from the 100,000 that the Treaty of Versailles had set. With the onset of the second World War labourers again found themselves working in the arms industry as Germany's largest industries began to produce war goods. The very small German workforce meant that these companies had to rely heavily on foreign workers, so much that by 1944 one in four employees were non-German.

Between 1925 and 1939 there was a significant drop in the number of workers employed in agriculture and a proportional rise in public employment. Hitler's belief that the rural peasants were the foundation of a healthy German economy prompted him to distribute handouts, secure control of imports and set agricultural prices at higher levels. Despite this, the fact that farmers could not compete with urban industry in terms of wages ensured a steady flow of workers to the towns. Accordingly, Germany became urbanised very quickly and the nation found that she had to import many raw materials from other nations. This displeased Hitler, who had tried "to make Germany independent of foreign countries for all those materials which can possibly be manufactured in Germany" through the launch of a Second Four Years' Plan.

Under the Nazis, differences in earnings for the working class grew when they eliminated regional and national wage rates and employers paid workers in agreement with the "performance principle." Under this, labourers were paid according to their individual results - an arrangement that worked well for skilled or healthy young workers but not as well with the infirm. An increase in the length of the working day also resulted in a rise in wage pay between 1936 and 1938. Other rewards for good workers were provided by the "Strength through Joy" organisation. Although it mainly benefitted middle-class and skilled blue-collar workers, the leisure facilities and holidays it granted raised the workers' morale.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bibliography
Bollen, JD. & Cosgrove, JJ. (1992) Two Centuries. A Profile of Modern History. Pitman, Melbourne.
Charman, T. (1989) The German Home Front 1939-45. Barrie & Jenkins, London.
Fest, JC. (1974) Hitler. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London.
Fleming, G. (1986) Hitler and the Final Solution. Oxford, Oxford.
Geary, D. (1993) Hitler and Nazism. Routledge, New York.
Jamieson, A. (1972) Europe in Conflict: A History of Europe 1870-1970. Hutchinson, London.
Koch, HW. (1985) Aspects of the Third Reich. St. Martins, New York.
Large, DC. (1997) Where Ghosts Walked: Munich's Road to the Third Reich. Norton, New York.
Triggs, TD. (1991) Germany Between the Wars. Oliver & Boyd, London.

 
At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heir to the Holocaust
Prescott Bush, $1.5 million, and Auschwitz: how the Bush family wealth is linked to the holocaust
Toby Rogers
While the Enron scandal currently unfolds, another Bush family business scandal lurks beneath the shadows of history that may dwarf it.
On April 19, 2001, President George W. Bush spent some of Holocaust Remembrance Day in the Capital Rotunda with holocaust survivors, allied veterans, and their families. In a ceremony that included Jewish prayers and songs sung by holocaust victims in the camps, Benjamin Meed, a survivor of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, movingly described to the gathering what he experienced on April 19, 1943.
"I stood outside a Catholic church, which faced the ghetto," Mr. Meed said, "a young Jewish boy posing as a gentile. As I watched the ghetto being bombarded by the German artillery, I could see many of the Jews of my community jumping out of windows of burning buildings. I stood long and mute."
The survivor concluded his reminiscence saying, "We tremble to think what could happen if we allow a new generation to arise ignorant of the tragedy which is still shaping the future."
President Bush, appearing almost uncomfortable, read a statement that said that humanity was "bound by conscience to remember what happened" and that "the record has been kept and preserved." The record, Mr. Bush stated, was that one of the worst acts of genocide in human history "came not from crude and uneducated men, but from men who regarded themselves as cultured and well schooled, modern men, forward looking. Their crime showed the world that evil can slip in and blend in amid the most civilized surroundings. In the end only conscience can stop it."
But while President Bush publicly embraced the community of holocaust survivors in Washington last spring, he and his family have been keeping a secret from them for over 50 years about Prescott Bush, the president's grandfather. According to classified documents from Dutch intelligence and US government archives, President George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush made considerable profits off Auschwitz slave labor. In fact, President Bush himself is an heir to these profits from the holocaust which were placed in a blind trust in 1980 by his father, former president George Herbert Walker Bush.
Throughout the Bush family's decades of public life, the American press has gone out of its way to overlook one historical fact – that through Union Banking Corporation (UBC), Prescott Bush, and his father-in-law, George Herbert Walker, along with German industrialist Fritz Thyssen, financed Adolf Hitler before and during World War II. It was first reported in 1994 by John Loftus and Mark Aarons in The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People.
The US government had known that many American companies were aiding Hitler, like Standard Oil, General Motors and Chase Bank, all of which was sanctioned after Pearl Harbor. But as The New York Times reporter Charles Higham later discovered, and published in his 1983 groundbreaking book, Trading With The Enemy; The Nazi American Money Plot 1933-1949, "the government smothered everything during and even after the war." Why?
According to Higham, the US government believed "a public scandal ... would have drastically affected public morale, caused widespread strikes and perhaps provoked mutinies in the armed services." Higham claims the government thought "their trial and imprisonment would have made it impossible for the corporate boards to help the American war effort."
However, Prescott Bush's banks were not just financing Hitler as previously reported. In fact, there was a distinct business link much deeper than Mr. Higham or Mr. Loftus knew at the time their books were published.
A classified Dutch intelligence file which was leaked by a courageous Dutch intelligence officer, along with newly surfaced information from U.S. government archives, "confirms absolutely," John Loftus says, the direct links between Bush, Thyssen and genocide profits from Auschwitz.
The business connections between Prescott Bush and Fritz Thyssen were more direct than what has been previously written. This new information reveals how Prescott Bush and UBC, which he managed directly, profited from the Holocaust. A case can be made that the inheritors of the Prescott Bush estate could be sued by survivors of the Holocaust and slave labor communities. To understand the complete picture of how Prescott Bush profited from the Holocaust, it is necessary to return to the year 1916, where it all began.
Post World War I: Thyssen Empire On The Ropes
By 1916, August Thyssen could see the writing on the wall. The "Great War" was spinning out of control, grinding away at Germany's resources and economy. The government was broke and his company, Thyssen & Co., with 50,000 German workers and annual production of 1,000,000 tons of steel and iron, was buckling under the war's pressure. As the main supplier of the German military, August Thyssen knew Germany would be defeated once the US entered the war.
At 74, "King" August Thyssen knew he was also running out of time. His first born "prince" Friedrich (Fritz) Thyssen, had been groomed at the finest technical business schools in Europe and was destined to inherit his father's estimated $100,000,000 fortune and an industrial empire located at Muehhlheim on the Ruhr.
In addition to Fritz, plans were also made for the second son Heinrich. At the outbreak of the war, Heinrich Thyssen discreetly changed his citizenship from German to Hungarian and married the Hungarian aristocrat Baroness Margrit Bornemisza de Kaszon. Soon Heinrich Thyssen switched his name to Baron Thyssen Bornemisza de Kaszon.
Near the end of World War I, August Thyssen opened the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart in Rotterdam. The neutral Holland was the perfect location outside of Germany to launder assets from the August Thyssen Bank in Berlin when the financial demands of the Allied forces surfaced. But the war ended much sooner than even Thyssen calculated and what developed caught the "Rockefeller of the Ruhr" off guard.
On November 10, 1918, German socialists took over Berlin. The following morning at 5 a.m., what was left of Germany surrendered to the Allies, officially ending World War I. "At the time of the Armistice and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, my Father and I were deeply saddened by the spectacle of Germany's abject humiliation," Thyssen recalled later in his autobiography, I Paid Hitler.
After the war, chaos descended on Germany as food ran short. Winter was looming over a starving nation when on Dec. 7, 1918, the socialist Spartacists League came knocking on the Thyssen Villa with armed militia. August and Fritz were arrested and dragged from jail to jail across Germany for four days. Along the way, they were lined up in staged executions designed to terrorize them.
It worked. When released, the two Thyssens were horrified at the new political climate in their beloved Germany. They could not accept that Germany was responsible for its own demise. All Germany's problems, the Thyssens felt, "have almost always been due to foreigners." It was the Jews, he and many others believed, who were secretly behind the socialist movement across the globe.
Meanwhile Fritz's younger brother Baron Thyssen Bornemisza de Kaszon moved to Rotterdam and became the principal owner of the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart. All the Thyssens needed now was an American branch.
1920s: The Business Ties That Bind
Railroad baron E.H. Harriman's son Averell wanted nothing to do with railroads, so his father gave him an investment firm, W.A. Harriman & Company in New York City. E.H. hired the most qualified person in the country to run the operation, George Herbert Walker. Averell hired his little brother Edward Roland "Bunny" Harriman as a vice president.
By 1920, George Herbert Walker had already built a fortune in Missouri. Walker, a charismatic former heavyweight boxing champion, was a human pit bull. He lived life to the fullest, owning mansions around the east coast and one of the most extravagant apartments in Manhattan. His hobbies were golf, hunting, drinking scotch and beating his sons to a pulp. Elsie Walker, one of Walker's grandchildren described Walker as a "tough old bastard" whose children had no love "for their father." He was also a religious bigot who hated Catholics, although his parents raised him to be one. According to other sources, he also did not like Jews.
In 1922, Averell Harriman traveled to Germany to set up a W.A. Harriman & Co. branch in Berlin. The Berlin branch was also run by Walker. While in Germany, he met with the Thyssen family for the first time. Harriman agreed to help the Thyssens with their plan for an American bank.
The following year, a wounded Germany was growing sicker. The government had no solution and froze while Germany rotted from within. With widespread strikes and production at a near standstill, Fritz Thyssen later recalled, "We were at the worst time of the inflation. In Berlin the government was in distress. It was ruined financially. Authority was crumbling. In Saxony a communist government had been formed and the Red terror, organized by Max Hoelz, reigned through the countryside. The German Reich ... was now about to crumble."
In October, 1923, an emotionally desperate Fritz Thyssen went to visit one of his and Germany's great military heroes, General Erich Ludendorff. During the 1918 socialist rule in Berlin, Ludendorff organized a military resistance against the socialists and the industrialists were in great debt to him. When Thyssen met with Ludendorff, they discussed Germany's economic collapse. Thyssen was apocalyptic, fearing the worst was yet to come. Ludendorff disagreed. "There is but one hope," Ludendorff said, "Adolph Hitler and the National Socialist party." Ludendorff respected Hitler immensely. "He is the only man who has any political sense." Ludendorff encouraged Thyssen to join the Nazi movement. "Go listen to him one day" he said to Thyssen.
Thyssen followed General Ludendorff's advice and went to a number of meetings to hear Hitler speak. He became mesmerized by Hitler. "I realized his orator gifts and his ability to lead the masses. What impressed me most however was the order that reigned over his meetings, the almost military discipline of his followers."
Thyssen arranged to meet privately with Hitler and Ludendorff in Munich. Hitler told Thyssen the Nazi movement was in financial trouble, it was not growing fast enough and was nationally irrelevant. Hitler needed as much money as possible to fight off the Communists/Jewish conspiracy against Europe. Hitler envisioned a fascist German monarchy with a nonunion, antilock national work force.
Thyssen was overjoyed with the Nazi platform. He gave Hitler and Ludendorff 100,000 gold marks ($25,000) for the infant Nazi party. Others in the steel and coal industries soon followed Thyssen's lead, although none came close to matching him. Many business leaders in Germany supported Hitler's secret union-hating agenda. However, some donated because they feared they would be left out in the cold if he actually ever seized power.
Most industry leaders gave up on Hitler after his failed coup in 1923. While Hitler spent a brief time in jail, the Thyssens, through the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, opened the Union Banking Corporation in 1924.

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