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by Rodger 3:51pm Fri Feb 28 '03 (Modified on 5:04pm Fri Feb 28 '03) article#26890
"...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.
Six days after Pearl Harbor and the US declaration of war at the end of 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau and US Attorney General Francis Biddle signed the Trading With the Enemy Act, which banned any business interests with US enemies of war. Prescott Bush continued with business as usual, aiding the Nazi invasion of Europe and supplying resources for weaponry that would eventually be turned on American solders in combat against Germany.
On October 20, 1942, the U.S. government had had enough of Prescott Bush and his Nazi business arrangements with Thyssen. Over the summer, The New York Tribune had exposed Bush and Thyssen, whom the Tribune dubbed "Hitler's Angel." When the US government saw UBC's books, they found out that Bush's bank and its shareholders "are held for the benefit of ... members of the Thyssen family, [and] is property of nationals ... of a designated enemy country." The list of seven UBC share holders was:
E. Roland Harriman ?€“ 3991 shares Cornelis Lievense ?€“ 4 shares Harold D.Pennington ?€“ 1 share Ray Morris?€“?€“ 1 share Prescott S. Bush ?€“ 1 share H.J. Kouwenhoven ?€“ 1 share Johann G. Groeninger ?€“ 1 share.
The UBC books also revealed the myriad of money and holding companies funneled from the Thyssens and the government realized UBC was just the tip of the iceberg. On November 17, 1942, The US government also took over the Silesian American Corporation, but did not prosecute Bush for the reasons Higham noted earlier. The companies were allowed to operate within the Government Alien Property custodian office with a catch ?€“ no aiding the Nazis. In 1943, while still owning his stock, Prescott Bush resigned from UBC and even helped raise money for dozens of war-related causes as chairman of the National War Fund.
After the war, the Dutch government began investigating the whereabouts of some jewelry of the Dutch royal family that was stolen by the Nazis. They started looking into books of the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart. When they discovered the transaction papers of the Silesian American Corporation, they began asking the bank manager H.J. Kounhoven a lot of questions. Kouwenhoven was shocked at the discovery and soon traveled to New York to inform Prescott Bush. According to Dutch intelligence, Kouwenhoven met with Prescott soon after Christmas, 1947. Two weeks later, Kouwenhoven apparently died of a heart attack.
1950s: Bush Sells UBC Stock
By 1948, Fritz Thyssen's life was in ruins. After being jailed by the Nazis, he was jailed by the Allies and interrogated extensively, but not completely, by US investigators. Thyssen and Flick were ordered to pay reparations and served time in prison for their atrocious crimes against humanity.
On February 8, 1951, Fritz Thyssen died bitterly in Argentina at the age of 78. Thyssen was angry at the way he was treated by Europe after the war and how history would remember him as Hitler's most important and prominent financier.
When Thyssen died, the Alien Property Custodian released the assets of the Union Banking Corporation to Brown Brothers Harriman. The remaining stockholders cashed in their stocks and quietly liquidated the rest of UBC's blood money.
Prescott Bush received $1.5 million for his share in UBC. That money enabled Bush to help his son, George Herbert Walker Bush, to set up his first royalty firm, Overby Development Company, that same year. It was also helpful when Prescott Bush left the business world to enter the public arena in 1952 with a successful senatorial campaign in Connecticut. On October 8th, 1972, Prescott Bush died of cancer and his will was enacted soon after.
In 1980, when George H.W. Bush was elected vice president, he placed his father's family inherence in a blind trust. The trust was managed by his old friend and quail hunting partner, William "Stamps" Farish III. Bush's choice of Farish to manage the family wealth is quite revealing in that it demonstrates that the former president might know exactly where some of his inheritance originated. Farish's grandfather, William Farish Jr., on March 25th, 1942, pleaded "no contest" to conspiring with Nazi Germany while president of Standard Oil in New Jersey. He was described by Senator Harry Truman in public of approaching "treason" for profiting off the Nazi war machine. Standard Oil, invested millions in IG Farben, who opened a gasoline factory within Auschwitz in 1940. The billions "Stamps" inherited had more blood on it then Bush, so the paper trail of UBC stock would be safe during his 12 years in presidential politics.
It has been 60 years since one of the great money laundering scandals of the 20th century ended and only now are we beginning to see the true historical aspects of this important period of world history, a history that the remaining Holocaust survivors beg humanity to "never forget." Loftus believes history will view Prescott Bush as harshly as Thyssen. "It is bad enough that the Bush family helped raise the money for Thyssen to give Hitler his start in the 1920s, but giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war is treason. The Bush bank helped the Thyssens make the Nazi steel that killed Allied solders. As bad as financing the Nazi war machine may seem, aiding and abetting the Holocaust was worse. Thyssen's coal mines used Jewish slaves as if they were disposable chemicals. There are six million skeletons in the Thyssen family closet, and a myriad of criminal and historical questions to be answered about the Bush family's complicity."
There is no question that the Bush family needs to donate at least $1.5 million to the proper holocaust reparation fund. Since Prescott Bush is dead, the only way to compensate is for the main inheritors of his estate to make amends with surviving slaves and the families of slaves who died in Bush and Thyssen's coal mines. If the Bush family refuses to contribute the money to compensate for Prescott Bush's involvement in the Holocaust, it is like denying the Holocaust itself and their role in one of the darkest moments in world history.
Special thanks to John Loftus, Emmy winning journalist, author and current president of the Florida Holocaust Museum
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