President Bush’s grandfather was a director of a bank seized by the federal government because of its ties to a German industrialist who helped bankroll Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, government documents show.
Prescott Bush was one of seven directors of Union Banking Corp., a New York investment bank owned by a bank controlled by the Thyssen family, according to recently declassified National Archives documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
Fritz Thyssen was an early financial supporter of Hitler, whose Nazi party Thyssen believed was preferable to communism. The documents do not show any evidence Bush directly aided that effort. His position with Union Banking never was a political issue for Bush, who was elected to the Senate from Connecticut in 1952.
Reports of Bush’s involvement with the seized bank have been circulating on the Internet for years and have been reported by some mainstream media. The newly declassified documents provide additional details about the Union Banking-Thyssen connection.
Trent Duffy, a spokesman for President Bush, declined to comment.
Union Banking was owned by a Dutch bank, Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaardt N.V., which was “closely affiliated” with the German conglomerate United Steel Works, according to an Oct. 5, 1942, report from the federal Office of Alien Property Custodian. The Dutch bank and the steel firm were part of the business and financial empire of Thyssen and his brother, Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, the report said.
The 4,000 Union Banking shares owned by the Dutch bank were registered in the names of the seven U.S. directors, according a document signed by Homer Jones, chief of the division of investigation and research of the Office of Alien Property Custodian, a World War II-era agency that no longer exists.
E. Roland Harriman, the bank chairman and brother of former New York Gov. W. Averell Harriman, held 3,991 shares. Bush had one share.
Both Harrimans and Bush were partners in the New York investment firm of Brown Brothers, Harriman and Co., which handled the financial transactions of the bank as well as other financial dealings with several other companies linked to Bank voor Handel that were confiscated by the U.S. government during World War II.
Union Banking was seized by the government in October 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act.
No charges were brought against Union Banking’s American directors. The federal government was too busy trying to fight the war, said Donald Goldstein, a professor of public and international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.
“We did not have the resources to do these things,” Goldstein said.
Fritz Thyssen broke with the Nazis in 1938 over their persecution of Catholics and Jews, and fled to Switzerland. He later was arrested and spent 1941 to 1945 in a Nazi prison. His brother lived in Switzerland from 1932 to 1947 but continued to operate businesses in Germany.
The new documents were first reported by freelance writer John Buchanan in The New Hampshire Gazette.
Where, oh where are all those boastful wingnuts I smacked all over Mike Malloy’s board back then, who pooh-poohed and minimized this–a connection anyone with ANY claim to morality at all should be deeply ashamed of? I have something I want to rub your noses in, fellas.
Meanwhile, speaking of, er, stuff hitting the fan…
The soldier son of talk radio relationship counselor Laura Schlessinger is under investigation for a graphic personal Web page that one Army official has called “repulsive.”
The MySpace page, publicly available until Friday when it disappeared from the Internet, included cartoon depictions of rape, murder, torture and child molestation; photographs of soldiers with guns in their mouths; a photograph of a bound and blindfolded detainee captioned “My Sweet Little Habib”; accounts of illicit drug use; and a blog entry headlined by a series of obscenities and racial epithets.
The site is credited to and includes many photographs of Deryk Schlessinger, the 21-year-old son of the talk radio personality known simply as Dr. Laura. Broadcast locally on 570 KNRS, “Family Values Talk Radio,” the former family counselor spends three hours daily taking calls and offering advice on morals, ethics and values.
“Yes . . . F—ING Yes!!!” said one blog entry on the Schlessinger site. “I LOVE MY JOB, it takes everything reckless and deviant and heathenistic and just overall bad about me and hyper focuses these traits into my job of running around this horrid place doing nasty things to people that deserve it . . . and some that don’t.”
Deryk Schlessinger joined the Army in 2004, telling a crowd of Santa Barbara, Calif., Army reservists gathered for an appearance by his mother that he resented the way Americans criticize the war without recognizing soldiers’ sacrifices.
“Real people were fighting, and I wanted to be part of that,” the younger Schlessinger said, according to The Associated Press.
Laura Schlessinger’s appearance in Utah last week included a visit with Army families at Fort Douglas. In an interview with The Tribune, she said, “We raised our son to be a warrior.”
After her Utah visit, Schlessinger received criticism for telling The Tribune that she didn’t want to hear the complaints of military wives whose husbands are deployed. “He could come back without arms, legs or eyeballs, and you’re bitching?” Schlessinger said. “You’re not dodging bullets, so I don’t want to hear any whining.”
Schlessinger later wrote on her Web site – www.drlaura.com – that she was trying to communicate her belief that military spouses shouldn’t complain to war-deployed family members, who have more pressing concerns. “I never whine to my son when he is able to call between missions,” she wrote.
Gee, I wonder if she’ll whine to him about THIS. Go on, Laura–you know you wanna!
Folks, remember, this woman is a class-A right-wing hypocrite. She preaches about family values all the time, but she falls more than a little short on the practice thereof. Remember how touchingly she looked after her own mother? Mom was dead of heart failure for two months before her remains were found. Not by Laura, mind you, but by a concerned neighbor who hadn’t seen the elder Ms. Schlessinger for several weeks.
Are we really so surprised that her son turned out to be one of those Bad Apples we’re always hearing about? The ones who, funnily enough, landed up at Abu Ghraib?
Oh, but of course, we’re not supposed to believe the son of “Dr.” Laura is really such a bad guy…
Mike Paul, spokesman for Laura Schlessinger, released a statement which said, in part, “We hope all news media outlets will respect his privacy for his safety and the safety of those serving with him.” In an interview with The Tribune, Paul suggested that the page could be a fake.
That was a contention echoed by Army spokesman Robert Tallman, who said “it may be possible that our enemies are actually behind this.
“Our enemies are adaptive, technologically sophisticated, and truly understand the importance of the information battlespace,” Tallman continued. “Sadly, they will use that space to promulgate and disseminate untrue propaganda.”
MySpace is an online social network in which users link pages together through like interests and shared friendships. The Deryk Schlessinger page included nearly a dozen “friends,” including a number of soldiers in Afghanistan, several of whom were l
inked back to Schlessinger’s page and some of whom had additional photos of, and comments from, Schlessinger on their sites.
Deryk Schlessinger’s Web site indicated the 21-year-old soldier is stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where, the site’s author writes, “godless crazy people like me,” have become “a generation of apathetic killers.”
The site indicated Schlessinger’s team has survived numerous mortar, rocket and roadside bomb attacks. It also included several graphic cartoons. In one of the stick drawings, a top-hatted man laughs as he rapes a bound and bleeding woman in front of her family. In another depiction, a man forces a boy to perform oral sex at knifepoint as the child’s mother pleads for her son’s life.
It’s unclear who created the cartoons, but Army spokesman Robert Tallman said the drawings “are repulsive and not anywhere near being acceptable,” for a soldier’s personal Web page.
The Tribune learned of the Web page earlier this week from a former schoolmate of Deryk Schlessinger. Army officials said they were unaware of the site until alerted to its presence by the newspaper Thursday.
Yep, you know you’re up against a very clever and adaptive enemy when they not only know who Laura Schlessinger’s son is and where he’s stationed, but they also post authentic links on that “fake” page to his army buddies AND his old schoolmates. And then they get one of those schoolmates to contact the Salt Lake Tribune. My God, what won’t they stoop to?
Well, I’ve a strange hunch they wouldn’t abandon their own mothers and leave them to rot for a couple of months. But I guess it makes me the Enemy to say so!