of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have
circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions
of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy
Act are still being felt by today’s president
George Bush’s grandfather, the late US
senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that
profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi
Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the
US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director
was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.
business dealings, which continued until his company’s assets were
seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act, has led more than
60 years later to a civil action for damages being brought in Germany
against the Bush family by two former slave labourers at Auschwitz and
to a hum of pre-election controversy.
The evidence has also
prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the
late senator’s action should have been grounds for prosecution for
giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
The debate over Prescott
Bush’s behaviour has been bubbling under the surface for some time.
There has been a steady internet chatter about the "Bush/Nazi"
connection, much of it inaccurate and unfair. But the new documents,
many of which were only declassified last year, show that even after
America had entered the war and when there was already significant
information about the Nazis’ plans and policies, he worked for and
profited from companies closely involved with the very German
businesses that financed Hitler’s rise to power. It has also been
suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped to
establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty.
little of Bush’s dealings with Germany has received public scrutiny,
partly because of the secret status of the documentation involving him.
But now the multibillion dollar legal action for damages by two
Holocaust survivors against the Bush family, and the imminent
publication of three books on the subject are threatening to make
Prescott Bush’s business history an uncomfortable issue for his
grandson, George W, as he seeks re-election.
While there is no
suggestion that Prescott Bush was sympathetic to the Nazi cause, the
documents reveal that the firm he worked for, Brown Brothers Harriman
(BBH), acted as a US base for the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen,
who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s before falling out with him at
the end of the decade. The Guardian has seen evidence that shows Bush
was the director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC)
that represented Thyssen’s US interests and he continued to work for
the bank after America entered the war. More……………………..