Our president’s grandpa, Hitler’s banker

Anyone who has read up on the history of the Bush family knows about the cozy relationship Prescott Bush, goatboy’s grandfather, enjoyed with the Nazis during the mid-30s right up to the declaration of war with the US in 1942. (And maybe even after that.)

This was one of numerous things I first learned from Joseph Bosco during the time we spent together this past winter. He pointed me to Kevin Phillips’ must-read America Dynasty, which makes it clear the Bush family’s long-rumored friendship with the Nazi regime is no myth. Now, in a post that he obviously holds dear to his heart, Joseph has once more brought to our attention a new exposee of this shameful episode in the Bush family’s sordid history.

Dear readers, for more years than you care to know about, I have been trying to get the story of Prescott Bush’s long-documented history as Adolph Hitler’s American banker from out of the Congressional Record and into the mainstream press. It has finally happened! I can take none of the credit, other than to know that my voice and keyboard were among the legions of other serious researchers of the shameful Bush family legacy always working the story, hoping to break through the strange crystal box that has long enveloped the Bush family, protecting it to a degree unlike any other American political family.

Oh, excuse me–who is Prescott Bush, you ask? He was the father of Bush 41 and the grandfather of bush 43. He was the man who was censured by the United States Congress in 1942 under the Trading With the Enemy Act and stripped of his Nazi businesses–almost a year into the war to defeat the Nazi killing machine! Prescott had been at it for a long time, too. He and a few of his confederates had financed Hitler’s rise from a Munich beer hall in the mid 1920’s to the pinnacle of murderous power as the Fuhrer of the Third Reich. Without cash and munitions there never would have been an effective Nazi Party. Prescott Bush and his anti-democracy cohorts made certain Hitler had plenty of both.

The reason for Joseph’s (and my own) excitement is a groundbreaking article in today’s Guardian that uses previously undisclosed documents to trace Prescott Bush’s dealings with the Nazis via German industrialist Fritz Thyssen. This relationship apparently allowed Bush’s company to profit from the use of Jewish slave labor in Poland.

It is a complicated web of relationships and you need to wade through the article to piece it all together. The writers interview one John Loftus, now writing a book about the Bush family’s Nazi ties, and here’s one of several money quotes.

The author of the second book, to be published next year, John Loftus, is a former US attorney who prosecuted Nazi war criminals in the 70s. Now living in St Petersburg, Florida and earning his living as a security commentator for Fox News and ABC radio, Loftus is working on a novel which uses some of the material he has uncovered on Bush. Loftus stressed that what Prescott Bush was involved in was just what many other American and British businessmen were doing at the time.

“You can’t blame Bush for what his grandfather did any more than you can blame Jack Kennedy for what his father did – bought Nazi stocks – but what is important is the cover-up, how it could have gone on so successfully for half a century, and does that have implications for us today?” he said.

“This was the mechanism by which Hitler was funded to come to power, this was the mechanism by which the Third Reich’s defence industry was re-armed, this was the mechanism by which Nazi profits were repatriated back to the American owners, this was the mechanism by which investigations into the financial laundering of the Third Reich were blunted,” said Loftus, who is vice-chairman of the Holocaust Museum in St Petersburg.

“The Union Banking Corporation was a holding company for the Nazis, for Fritz Thyssen,” said Loftus. “At various times, the Bush family has tried to spin it, saying they were owned by a Dutch bank and it wasn’t until the Nazis took over Holland that they realised that now the Nazis controlled the apparent company and that is why the Bush supporters claim when the war was over they got their money back. Both the American treasury investigations and the intelligence investigations in Europe completely bely that, it’s absolute horseshit. They always knew who the ultimate beneficiaries were.”

While it’s important to note that there’s no evidence the Bush family sympathized with the Nazi’s program or philosophy, they certainly knew who it was they were doing business with.

So is it of any relevance today? Yes, because it is part of a long pattern within this family to profit from war. Its involvement with the Carlyle Group today is simply part of a natural progression. The episode is also symptomatic of the family’s love of the secret deal and of conspiracies, for playing beneath the radar screen. This is what much od Kevin Phillips’ book is about — this is the most untransparent of America’s super-rich families.

As the article says in its conclusion, “More than 60 years after Prescott Bush came briefly under scrutiny at the time of a faraway war, his grandson is facing a different kind of scrutiny but one underpinned by the same perception that, for some people, war can be a profitable business.”

Update: American Street also has a good post about this. Here’s the point:

[T]his is not to say George W. Bush is in any way responsible for his grandfather’s actions during that time. Instead, it’s interesting to see the double standards applied with this story in how it has escaped scrutiny for so long (can you imagine if it had been discovered that the Clinton’s family had helped Stalin rise to power?!), and how some people can be more interested in making a buck that they will even do business with the enemy to pad the bottom line. Halliburton anyone?

The Discussion: 13 Comments

Richard, no offence but, coming from you, printing a blog linking or highlighting soebody elses link beetween the Bush family and the Nazis sounds like desperation. Particularly when your talking about Bush’s grandfather and not Bush himself.

Linking peoples long dead relatives to long dead Nazi sounds an awful lot you’ve lost your objectivity here and have turned this into a personal crusade to blacken Bush’s name at any price. This story is beneath you.

Coming from the country that I do I certainly know that my forebears marched around and did some pretty distastful things in the past, and killed a fairfew Americans while they were at doing it, not to mention a good few other nationalities to boot, but it doesn’t mean that I’m about to spring up and pillage the free world does it or that my nation is the same country that it once was.

It is one thing to say that the Bush family like secrets and that they have a history of double dealing, but the moment that you bring the name Nazi into the ball court, you have changed the game.

September 25, 2004 @ 6:57 pm | Comment

ACB, this story just came out and it is a topic I have written about at length before, so of course I blogged about it. There is no desperation here, I assure you. If I were desperate, I’d be posting about georgie, not his grandfather. I am not tarring bush with nazism, but his family history is something of strong interest to me. Please, if you had any idea of my conversations with Joseph months ago you would understand this. I wrote about it then, and now that there is breaking news about it I am writing about it again. You are reading way too much into it — look at the post, and you will see cokespoonboy is hardly mentioned.

It is one thing to say that the Bush family like secrets and that they have a history of double dealing, but the moment that you bring the name Nazi into the ball court, you have changed the game.

The Bush family’s association with the Nazis is a matter of fact, not conjecture. Are you saying it should not be referred to? John Kennedy’s father had similar associations, and you’ll find it in plenty of contemporary writings on that famiuly. Should it be ignored? I don’t understand your point.

September 25, 2004 @ 7:13 pm | Comment

Richard I appreciate that you presented this as a historical story and not as an attack on Geoge Bush. I come to your blog because you have a good way of putting things in context and pointing readers to stuff they might not find elsewhere. I don’t see why Angry Chinese Blogger believes this shouldn’t be discussed especially in the light of emerging documents. This is news, it’s fair and it’s in keeping with what you write about. Keep up the great work and don’t let negative comments get you down.

September 25, 2004 @ 7:23 pm | Comment

ACB isn’t a negative commenter — he takes strong moral stands on issues and often we see things very similarly. I just think he saw this post as an attempt to smear bush as a Nazi, which it isn’t. Old Prescott wasn’t a Nazi either. Just an opportunist and a lover of the secret deal/ He set the stage for the way the bush boys do business, and their MO has always had the same characteristics. The episode of 1942 was just one in a long history of secrecy, questionable moral judgement and profiting from the misery of others.

September 25, 2004 @ 7:42 pm | Comment


I’m sorry I got here late to help you with those who do not understand the relevance of what Prescott Bush did 60 years ago to the re-election campaign of the latest ranking member of the only dynastic restoration in American history…

But when I did get here I laid out a long comment of explanation, point-by-point, in this box and then somehow in my fast typing I hit the wrong key and suddenly this box closes and Salon’s website opens up instead! Poof! The whole thing is gone!

Instead of trying to lay it out again here, folks, I am going to finish an essay on the issue that clearly explains the relevance and put it up on my site. I will link back to Richard, explaining that he is under a polite siege, and we will hash this all out like gentlemen.

Believe me, please, ACB, the relevance is there and it has nothing to do with Prescott Bush being a Nazi and the “sins of the father…” old saw that you are sensitive about and I fully respect you for it.

It is all about a consistent pattern of the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex that Eisenhower warned us all against in his farewell address to the nation–and he WAS talking about THEM: The Bush family, the Harriman family, the Dulles family, and the Walker family. They had by that time been up to their international wheeling and dealing with an amoral compass–neither right, left, fascist, communist, whatever, they won on the upside and the downside of wars and governments coming and going–ever since they all got a good taste of it during World War One. They are still at it today! And I am no conspiracy theorist fruitcake, I detest the ilk instinctively.

All the best,


September 26, 2004 @ 4:39 am | Comment

Joseph, I thank you for helping me out here. I think that anyone who truly wants to understand why this is essential to understanding what the bush family is all about and how they operate must read Phillips’ American Dynasty. “Clandestine” is their middle name, and it was not a one-time phenomenon in 1940 — it is their MO to this very day, with the family continuing to reap incredible rewards from the suffering of wars’ victims. It is also key to understanding the maddening secrecy of this administration, it’s disgust for transparency and flow of information. This goes back to the very roots of the family. Those who choose not to examine or recognize it have only themselves to blame as bush strives ever more zealously to make his regime totally unaccountable and above the law.

September 26, 2004 @ 10:49 am | Comment

This is of no more relevance than the sordid activities of Joe Kennedy. Indeed, it’s even less relevant, given it’s two generations removed. Bush-Hitler ain’t going to win this campaign no matter how you try to package it.

September 27, 2004 @ 1:26 am | Comment

While I admittedly do not know much of Prescott Bush’s Nazi connections, and just conjecture that Joe Kennedy’s views led Nazi Germany to believe (rightly) that the US would not fight the final solution, this Prescott-Hitler connection might have some legs.

Right now, historically Democratic voting Jews are leaning toward Dubya because of his continued support for the state of Israel. Thus far, Kerry has said nothing about the Middle East, specifically Israel, and that makes the Jewish voting block nervous.

This posting, interestingly timed for the Jewish New Year, might sway some Jewish voters to Kerry. Was that the plan? I doubt it – if it was, the book wouldn’t be released in 2005, but next month.

September 27, 2004 @ 10:46 am | Comment

Interesting points, Jeremy. I’d like to know where you get the notion that Jews are nervous about Kerry and Israel. He has always been strongly pro-Israel. Where are you hearing such doubts expressed (aside from Little Gren Footballs)?

September 27, 2004 @ 11:04 am | Comment

As someone that is involved in the Jewish community here and in another city – and who reads the Jewish press in both cities – I’m getting it from their editorials and letters to the editors.

Kerry has not come out with any comments about Israel that will counteract Bush’s commitment to Israel.

And, that has nothing to do with LGF – but with the Jewish press.

September 27, 2004 @ 12:25 pm | Comment

And You Shall Know A Tree By It’s Fruit! The fact is George Bush is a liar. He lied about the reason for war. He lied about winning the war with his arrogant speech from an aircraft carrier. He lied about the saudi conection and on and on If I had time. Do not be deceived God is not mocked. Can the lepeord change his spots can the etheopian change his skin? Can you do good who are acustomed to doing evil.

June 20, 2005 @ 2:20 pm | Comment

pls help me in finance

July 10, 2005 @ 9:12 am | Comment

Jason Jimez and Steven Rodgruiez planned the
first High School in 1992 on the 200th birthday of Adolph Hitler grandfather birthday of Febuary 28, 1992 or September 28, 1992 with bombs and guns in their room planning out the attack in 1992 of the Christopher Columbus
high school according to American news channel of seven EywitnessNews ! According to students Jason Jimez and Steven Rodgruiez where the school BombMakers of Christopher Columbus High School in 1992 ! Accodring to Eywitness News in 1992 JasonJimez and Steven Rodgruiez hide bombs in the basement of the prative house in 1993 was revieled ! In 1992 Eywitness said ” A chineese boy in Christopher Columbus High School was taking a bomb to school to show off to friends is one story ! Then Another story was a chineese boy in Christopher Columbus High School was playing with the bomb then blow up his hand in
the basement was the Second story in the high
school in the Bronx ! None of these stories where true to begin with in the high school in 1992 ! What was true is JasonJimez and Steven Rodgruiez maded fun of AdolphHitler in high school and want to take students hostage
like a seige in Munich , Germany and PamAm hostage in 1988 with middle eastern desecent
terrorists ! Jason Jimez idol was Saddam Hussien and Osama Bin Ladden , AyatollahRuhollah Khomeni from what i heard talking to his school friend or Friend in the Neighborhood sitting very to close him and His friend listening to a plan to blowup the whole Christopher Columbus HighSchool and behead , Genocide thewhole Christopher Columbus High School ! Jason Jimez and His friend joked about AdolphHitler saying ” The Hitler method of genociding Jews in 1939 to 1945 from Germany ! ”

December 17, 2005 @ 5:20 pm | Comment

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