World War II, the Holocaust petrifying and incomprehensible extermination of six million Jewish Europeans and the non-Jewish victims of the death camps, which, while never denied, are certainly less often mentioned - all three of these connected events should be studied in the context of the many eminent American and European industrialists and bankers who made fortunes backing German rearmament under Hitler.
Descendants of important investors in Nazi Germany are among America’s wealthiest and most powerful political figures, for example the son and grandchildren of Prescott Bush, who had his company's assets seized in 1942 by President Roosevelt under the Trading with the Enemy Act. More than sixty years later, in Germany, two former slave labourers at Auschwitz filed a civil action for damages against the Bush family. [The Guardian, Saturday 25 September 2004]
From a strictly business point of view, the initial, long-term, and deep investments of prestigious captains of American industry and finance in Nazi Germany made sense for the huge profits that these investment ties made before, during and after the Second World War Hitler that brought about.
Secondly, America’s power elite saw building up Fascist Germany into a strong and successful nation as a bulwark against communism. The hope of the capitalist West, which originally refused Soviet proposals for a united front to oppose the German threat, was that Hitler would expand Eastward against Russia.
The day before, Obama spoke at Buchenwald, commemorating those that perished in the Buchenwald concentration camp, another result of the West having cooperatively helped rearm Nazi Germany to be superior to any other nation in military power and conquering ability.
Even some notable support for Hitler’s early on scapegoating of Germany’s Jewish citizens came from various American tycoons. Henry Ford, a backer of the very beginning of Hitler’s political party, published The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem in 1920 - in 1924, volume 4, Aspects of Jewish Power in the United States.
At the Nuremberg War Crimes Trial Baldur von Schirach mentioned The International Jew made a deep impression on him and his friends in their youth and influenced them in becoming anti-semitic and said, “ we saw in Henry Ford the representative of success, also the exponent of a progressive social policy. In the poverty-stricken and wretched Germany of the time, youth looked toward America, and apart from the great benefactor Herbert Hoover, it was Henry Ford who to us represented America.” [Wikipedia]
President Obama's noted categories of murderous intolerance at Buchenwald, “racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism”, with an obvious and probably deliberate passing over mention of ‘communism.’ Communists, if one takes the deaths of both communist political prisoners and Soviet soldiers together, would probably easily represent the greatest number of inmates murdered at Buchenwald under a single category.
One supposes that a U.S. president, who believes in capitalism, would not wish to give attention to the Communist dead, though they were America’s allies and bore the brunt of Hitler’s military power.
CNN detailed part of the breakdown of inmates murdered at Buchenwald as part of the coverage of Obama address there.
“Total deaths = 56,000
Jewish deaths = 11,000”
Soviet soldiers deaths = 8,000
Communists, Poles, Gypsies, Cripples, Homosexuals, etc. 37,000
In any case, more often than not, it is Jewish deaths that are most remembered, which is very understandable, given the pre-war prejudice that Jews suffered throughout America and Europe that made their citizens feel horribly ashamed when the ghastly reality of death camps came to be graphically witnessed in 1945.
In 1947, trying to make up for their belatedly realized complicity in Hitler’s demonic and horrific brutal persecution, torture and mass murder of European Jews, the world powers in contrition, awarded the survivors, lands in the colonial occupied Middle East holy to their religion.
With the great majority of Palestinian Arabs in understandable resentful resistance, the Western powers including the Soviet Union, did not make it easy for the great numbers of European Jews flowing into where they would come to carve out a separate Jewish state eventually be given the largest part of the Palestine, and then coming to militarily occupy and slowly settle into that which was left.