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December 17, 2011

Are the Nazi-linked Backgrounds of Some of America's Biggest Corporations a Clue to the Direction We Are Headed?

By Richard Clark

Measures contained in the annual military budget bill strip the FBI, federal prosecutors and federal courts of most of their power to arrest and prosecute terrorists and hands it off to the military. The legislation could also give future presidents the authority to throw American citizens into prison for life, without charges or a trial. The bill was attached to the military budget bill to make it harder for Obama to veto.


Why are war profiteers who play both sides of the fence not prosecuted as Vice President Harry Truman said   they should be in 1942?

Did IBM knowingly assist the Nazis in rounding up the Jews and are big American corporations now helping our government prepare for the next roundup of scapegoats, trouble makers, and dissidents?

Video that answers this question.  (Warning:  a few very disturbing images. )  

It's a well-documented fact that IBM assisted in the Nazi's Final Solution.   Its financial and other assistance to the Nazi goal of conquering Europe was widely touted in Germany -- the same with regard to Ford, DuPont and other big US corporations.  But our powers-that-be kept that quiet here, of course.

The method for how they kept things like that quiet is interesting.   Ford never had to tell the newspapers to keep his factories' participation in the Nazi war machine secret.     The editors all knew that any mention of it would mean the withdrawal of Ford advertising.

And if you don't think this "ancient history" has any relevance to what is happening today, skip down to the last several paragraphs of this article, and then to the first comment in the discussion.   Or just read the following excerpt from an article in a recent issue of the N.Y. Times.   It shows that our military and our corporations are taking over our government.

"The trauma of Sept. 11, 2001, gave rise to a dangerous myth that, to be safe, America had to give up basic rights and restructure its legal system.   The United States was now in a perpetual state of war, the argument went, and the criminal approach to fighting terrorism -- and the due process that goes along with it -- wasn't tough enough.

"President George W. Bush used this insidious formula to claim that his office had the inherent power to detain anyone he chose, for as long as he chose, without a trial;   to authorize the torture of prisoners;   and to spy on Americans without a warrant.   President Obama came into office pledging his dedication to the rule of law and to reversing the Bush-era policies.   (Instead he continued them and even stepped them up.)

"Mr. Obama refused to entertain any investigation of the abuses of power under his predecessor, and he has been far too willing to adopt Mr. Bush's extravagant claims of national secrets to prevent any courthouse accountability for those abuses.   (This week he stated his intention to sign into law the terrible new measures that will make indefinite detention and military trials a permanent part of American law.)

"The measures, contained in the annual military budget bill, will strip the F.B.I., federal prosecutors and federal courts of all or most of their power to arrest and prosecute terrorists and hand it off to the military, which has made clear that it doesn't want the job. The legislation could also give future presidents the authority to throw American citizens into prison for life without charges or a trial. The bill, championed by Republicans in the House and Senate, was attached to the military budget bill to make it harder for Mr. Obama to veto it.

"Nearly every top American official with knowledge and experience spoke out against the provisions, including the attorney general, the defense secretary, the chief of the F.B.I., the secretary of state, and the leaders of intelligence agencies. And, for weeks, the White House vowed that Mr. Obama would veto the military budget if the provisions were left in. On Wednesday, the White House reversed field, declaring that the bill had been improved enough for the president to sign it now that it had passed the Senate.

"This is a complete political cave-in, one that reinforces the impression of a fumbling presidency. To start with, this bill was utterly unnecessary. Civilian prosecutors and federal courts have jailed hundreds of convicted terrorists, while the tribunals have convicted a half-dozen.

And the modifications are nowhere near enough. Mr. Obama, his spokesman said, is prepared to sign this law because it allows the executive to grant a waiver for a particular prisoner to be brought to trial in a civilian court. But the legislation's ban on spending any money for civilian trials for any accused terrorist would make that waiver largely meaningless."

Will the "journalists" who operate our mainstream media even try to protect us from this continuing takeover by the military-industrial complex?   Quite unlikely.   Consider the following example of why I say that:

A friend of mine was recently annoyed with an ad from 'The Plastics Council' on TV:    

"Do they think this will make us buy more plastic?"  

No, I answered;   the only purpose of those million-dollar ads is to keep the station from featuring stories that show plastics in a bad light.   Another example:   Archer Daniels Midland doesn't dump millions of dollars into National Public Radio because it's a good citizen or because it will help convince you to buy half a ton of lycine from them, but rather to keep NPR on a leash.   It's simply a disguised kind of payoff that allows them to continue to profit handsomely from getting away with murder.

Similarly, the mainstream media is afraid to acknowledge that our war in Iraq was a complete and total waste of three trillion dollars and three thousand American lives, and that it will cost us another trillion or two just to take care of the many thousands of wounded and disabled vets for the next 50 years -- vets who are committing suicide at a higher rate than they were killed in the war when they were on active duty.   So how long will it be before we get into another such war?   After all, wars are so very profitable for many of our major corporations, who have always been willing to betray us at the drop of a hat.   They always have been and they always will be.   No?   You don't think so?

Read "Trading with the Enemy," by Charles Higham for the full story of the sordid dealings of much of America's corporate elite with the Nazis, both before and throughout the war, and the punishments that were meted out -- to those who tried to expose the Nazi-American connection!

Excerpts from the preface of that book

Several of the greatest American corporate leaders were in league with Nazi corporations before and after Pearl Harbor.   Among those corporations our corporate leaders collaborated with were I.G. Farben, the colossal Nazi industrial trust that created Auschwitz.   Our corporate leaders interlocked through an association I have dubbed The Fraternity.   Each of these US business leaders was entangled with the others through interlocking directorates or financial sources.   All were represented internationally by the National City Bank [today's Citibank] or by the Chase National Bank and by the Nazi attorneys Gerhardt Westrick and Dr. Heinrich Albert.   All had connections to that crucial Nazi economist, Emil Puhl, of Hitler's Reichsbank and the Bank for International Settlements.

"Our tycoons were linked by an ideology known as the ideology of Business as Usual.   Bound by identical reactionary ideas, the members sought a common future in fascist domination, regardless of which world leader might further that ambition.   (Hitler's face even appeared on the cover   of Time Magazine as "Man of the Year" in 1939.  

"Several members of The Fraternity not only sought a continuing alliance of interests for the duration of World War II but supported the idea of a negotiated peace with Germany that would bar any reorganization of Europe along liberal lines.   It would leave as its residue a police state that would place "The Fraternity" in postwar possession of financial, industrial, and political autonomy.   When it was clear that Germany was losing the war the businessmen became notably more "loyal."   Then, when war was over, the survivors pushed into Germany, protected their assets, restored Nazi friends to high office, helped provoke the Cold War, and thereby insured the permanent financial future of The Fraternity.

"To this day the vast majority of Americans have no idea that The Fraternity ever existed.   The government smothered all information about it, during and even (inexcusably) after the war.   After all, what would have happened if millions of American and British people, struggling with coupons and lines at the gas stations, had learned that in 1942 Standard Oil of New Jersey managers shipped the enemy's fuel through neutral Switzerland and that the Nazis were operating their army on American fuel?   Suppose the public had discovered that the Chase Bank in Nazi-occupied Paris after Pearl Harbor was doing millions of dollars' worth of business with the Nazis, with the full knowledge of Chase's head office in Manhattan?   Or that Ford trucks were being built for the German occupation troops in France with full authorization from Dearborn, Michigan?   Or that Colonel Sosthenes Behn, the head of the international American telephone conglomerate ITT, flew from New York to Madrid to Berne during the war to help improve Hitler's communications systems and improve the robot bombs that devastated London?   Or that ITT helped build the Focke Wulf fighter planes that dropped bombs on, and strafed, British and American troops?   Or that hundreds of thousands of strategically-important ball bearings were shipped to Nazi-associated customers in Latin America with the collusion of the vice-chairman of the U.S. War Production Board operating in partnership with Herman Goring's cousin in Philadelphia -- when American military machine manufacturers were desperately short of them?   Or that all these arrangements were known about in Washington and either sanctioned or deliberately ignored?

"For the government did sanction such dubious transactions -- both before and after Pearl Harbor.   A presidential edict, issued six days after December 7, 1941, actually set up the legislation whereby licensing arrangements for trading with the enemy could officially be granted.   Often during the years after Pearl Harbor the government permitted such trading.   For example, ITT was allowed to continue its relations with the Axis and Japan until 1945, even though that conglomerate was regarded as an official instrument of United States Intelligence.   No attempt was made to prevent Ford from retaining its interests for the Germans in Occupied France, nor were the Chase Bank or the Morgan Bank expressly forbidden to keep open their branches in Occupied Paris.   It is indicated that the Reichsbank and Nazi Ministry of Economics made promises to certain U.S. corporate leaders that their properties would not be injured after the Fuhrer was victorious.   Thus, the bosses of the multinationals knew that whichever side won the war, they would not be adversely affected.   (Why gamble and risk billions when you don't have to?)

"It is important to consider the size of American investments in Nazi Germany at the time of Pearl Harbor.   These amounted to an estimated total of $475 million (which would be many hundreds of billions in today's dollars).   Standard Oil of New Jersey had $120 million invested there;   General Motors had $35 million;   ITT had $30 million; and Ford had $17.5 million -- invested in Nazi Germany!   ....  

It is interesting that whereas there is no evidence of any serious attempt by Roosevelt to impeach the guilty in the United States, there is evidence that Hitler strove to punish certain German Fraternity associates on the grounds of treason to the Nazi state.   Indeed, in the case of ITT, perhaps the most flagrant of the corporations in its outright dealings with the enemy, Hitler and his postmaster general, the venerable Wilhelm Ohnesorge, strove to impound the German end of the business.   But even they were powerless in such a situation:   the Gestapo leader of counterintelligence, Walter Schellenberg, was a prominent director and shareholder of ITT by arrangement with New York -- and even Hitler dared not cross the Gestapo.

"As for Roosevelt, the Sphinx still keeps his secrets.   That supreme politician held all of the forces of collusion and betrayal in balance, publicly praising those executives whom he knew to be questionable.   Before Pearl Harbor, he allowed such egregious executives as James D.   Mooney of General Motors and William Rhodes Davis of the Davis Oil Company to enjoy pleasant tete-a-tetes with Hitler and Goring, while maintaining a careful record of what they were doing.   During the war, J. Edgar Hoover, Adolf A. Berle, Henry Morgenthau, and Harold Ickes kept the President fully advised of all internal and external transgressions.   ....

Why did high-level officials of the American government allow these transgressions to continue after Pearl Harbor?  

Not to have allowed them would have involved public disclosure;   then the procedure of legally disconnecting these alliances under the antitrust laws would have resulted in a public scandal that would have drastically affected public morale, caused widespread strikes, and perhaps provoked mutinies in the armed services.   Moreover, as some corporate executives were never tired of reminding the government, their trial and imprisonment would have made it impossible for the corporate boards to help the American war effort. Therefore, the government was powerless to intervene.   After 1945, the Cold War, which the executives had done so much to provoke, made it even more necessary that the truth of The Fraternity agreements should not be revealed.

Quite significantly, Lauchlin Currie, of Roosevelt's White House Economics Staff, was banished to Bogota, Colombia, and his citizenship stripped from him in 1956, for exposing American-Nazi connections."

Higham's entire book, Trading With the Enemy , fully documented, can be read online (or downloaded).  

As far as working for, or dealing with the Nazis, IBM is probably as good or better than most corporations doing business in the USA.   Many of the existing corporations that got their start after World War II cannot be matched when it comes to ill intent.   It's always good to know about a corporation's history.   In today's world, as in yesterday's, corporations operate for profit, exclusively, and their only loyalty is to money.   They are not concerned, and never have been concerned, with whom, or where, they are doing business.

As the book carefully explains, this has been the case ever since corporations first came into existence.   See, for example, how Rockefeller, Gould and others obtained their first fortunes during the Civil War -- by buying defective rifles that blew up when fired by the Union soldiers to whom they were eventually issued.   Rockefeller and Gould bought these defective rifles for pennies on the   dollar, then shipped them to other areas of the country so that they could be sold back to the Army at their face value -- at a huge mark-up -- for use by Union soldiers on the front, with huge numbers of injuries to the soldiers who fired them, probably causing defeat in any number of their battles with the Confederacy.

Still more evidence of US corporate involvement with the Nazis

According to Anthony Sampson's book    The Sovereign State of ITT ,  one of the first US businessmen Hitler received after taking power in 1933 was  Sosthenes Behn , then the CEO of ITT, and his German representative, Henry Mann.   Antony C. Sutton , in his book Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler, informs us that ITT subsidiaries made cash payments to  SS  leader Heinrich Himmler .

ITT, through its subsidiary The Lorenz Company, owned 25% of   Focke-Wulf , the German aircraft manufacturer, builder of some of the most successful  Luftwaffe   fighter aircraft .   In the 1960s, ITT Corporation quite incredibly won $27 million in compensation for damage inflicted on its share of the Focke-Wulf plant by  Allied  bombing during   World War II .   In addition, Sutton's book uncovers that ITT owned Huth and Company, G.m.b.H. of   Berlin , which made  radio  and  radar  parts that were used in equipment for the   Wehrmacht .

Excerpt From Sampson's book

"After Pearl Harbor, at meetings with Kurt von Schroder and Behn in Switzerland, Westrick nervously admitted he had run into a problem. Wilhelm Ohnesorge, the elderly minister in charge of post offices, who was one of the first fifty Nazi party members, was strongly opposed to ITT's German companies continuing to function under New York management in time of war.   Behn told Westrick to use Schroder and the protection of the Gestapo against Ohnesorge.   In return, Behn guaranteed that ITT would substantially increase its payments to the Gestapo through the so-called Circle of Friends.

"A special board of trustees was set up by the German government to cooperate with Behn and his thirty thousand staff in Occupied Europe.   Ohnesorge savagely fought these arrangements and tried to obtain the support of Himmler.   However, Schroder had Himmler's ear, and so, of course, did his close friend and associate Walter Schellenberg.   Ohnesorge appealed directly to Hitler and condemned Westrick as an American sympathizer.   However, Hitler realized the importance of ITT to the German economy and proved supportive of Behn.   Thus, an American corporation literally entered into partnership with the Nazi government in time of war."   Source Article

    ITT's role in the overthrow of Salvador Allende through the fascist military coup that brought Augusto Pinochet   to power is proof, if any were needed, that Nazi-allied corporadoes don't change their spots.

Another clue about what might be in store for us

"Our" Congress recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in a 283-to-136 vote.   190 Republicans and 93 Democrats voted for; 43 Republicans and 93 Democrats voted "against." Prepare to be arrested, without charge, simply because someone "up there" believes or says you engage in "terroristy" stuff.   Good luck proving them wrong.

It passed the Senate in slightly different form, 93 to 7.   Three Democrats, three Republicans and one Independent (no, not Lieberman) voted for this egregious abuse of power;   Obama put the word out that it encroached on his sovereign powers, and said he'd veto it.   But according to Sen. Carl Levin, who with McCain authored the bill, it was Obama who insisted on all the most draconian provisions, so it is hard to see why he would veto it.   Although it is in blatant violation of the Constitution, the presently constituted Supreme Court, including Obama's two appointees, is highly unlikely to ameliorate the worst provisions.   After all, the repeal of habeas corpus, the "bulwark" of English common law for over 700 years, took place in 2006-7 with neither the press, the public, not the courts so much as raising a metaphorical eyebrow.

And, if you haven't done so already, listen     to Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show Podcast in which he interviews Constitutional Attorney Bruce Fein, who says that the NDAA is an "unprecedented intrusion that has begun to be used to destroy what we are as a republic and as a nation.

Finally, watch this brilliantly simple cartoon clip   that explains how our democracy has to a large extent temporarily been taken away from us and how we can get it back.

Submitters Bio:

Several years after receiving my M.A. in social science (interdisciplinary studies) I was an instructor at S.F. State University for a year, but then went back to designing automated machinery, and then tech writing, in Silicon Valley. I've always been more interested in political economics and what's going on behind the scenes in politics, than in mechanical engineering, and because of that I've rarely worked more than 8 months a year, devoting much of the rest of the year to reading and writing about that which interests me most.