In September 1944, Sims Carter, assistant chief of the Economic Warfare section of the Justice Department, testified before the Kilgore Committee that despite military defeat, the industrial cartels of Germany had renewed activity from bases in Argentina: "All the machinery," he said, "is ready for safeguarding German supremacy in the steadily expanding South American market."
Much of that market had been quietly incorporated by I.G. Farben and other financial backers of Hitler well before the war began. In the 1930s, as German factories tooled up for the onslaught, German entrepreneurs quietly built factories, railroads and chemical and steel plants throughout South America. The munitions industry was all but monopolized by Farben and Krupp, providing business fronts for the Nazi fifth column. The insinuation of Nazism into Caribbean politics was directed by Alfred Becker and Arnold Margerie, officers of Farben La Quimica Bayer in Caracas. Down in Argentina, Axel Wenner-Gren, a Swedish millionaire and crony of Herman Göring, Hitler's propaganda minister, established subsidiaries and gracefully snatched up the key industrial plants.
[ ... ]
The Nazis definitely had organized plans for a comeback. At the center of the plan was Martin Bormann, the Reichsleiter. Bormann had risen through the ranks to Party Secretary, the number two spot in the Nazi hierarchy. Hitler had entrusted Bormann with ensuring the Reich would be able to stage a comeback once hostilities ceased. The meeting in the Red House was the beginnings of Bormann's effort to expand his plan to include industrialist and top ranking office. The meeting had been the result of Bormann’s order. However, Bormann did not attend the meeting. The Treasury Department has a transcript of the meeting from a captured document. The SS agent conducting the meeting told the group that all industrial material was to be evacuated to Germany immediately; admitting the battle for France was lost. He also assured the gathering the "Treason against the Nation Law" about foreign exchange was repealed. At a smaller conference that afternoon, Dr. Bosse of the German Armaments Ministry indicated the Nazi government would make huge sums available to industrialists to help secure bases in foreign countries. Dr. Bosse advised the industrialists that two main banks could be used for the export of capital: Schweizerische Kreditanstalt of Zurich and the Basler Handelsbank. He also advised the industrialists of Swiss cloaks that would buy Swiss property for a five-percent commission. A month later, Bormann countermanded Hitler’s scorched earth policy to preserve Germany’s industrial base.
That Germany lost the Second World War is not in doubt. That Germans suffered as a result is obvious. Some suffered more than others.
The Wehrmacht lost the war. The Luftwaffe lost the war. The civilians lost the war. The Nazis, however, did not lose the war. The Nazis got away.
It is true that a tiny minority of individual Nazis lost the war. Göbbels, Göring, Kaltenbrunner, and the man claiming to be Hess lost the war. Perhaps it is even true that Hitler and Himmler lost the war as well, though forensic evidence to the effect is notably scant.
Statistics recently issued by the British Ministry of Economic Warfare estimate that the Nazis looted close to $27,000,000,000 from the conquered European nations.
Much of this loot was used to pay for the war effort, but a large portion was still intact and in Nazi hands as the end of the war neared.
The Nazi Party and the S.S., as organizations, got away intact. They got away with the money, the Reichsbank treasury, $15,000,000,000 in 1945 money. Guinness calls it the world's largest unsolved bank robbery in history. Then there was all the stolen art, pieces of which, to this day, occasionally surface. The Nazis did very well in the war, from a business viewpoint. War is a business. It is fought for material gain. The Nazis gained materially, and lived to spend it thus, they won the war. They did not win as much as they wanted to win, but who does? They did win a great deal. What they lost was territory. What they gained was treasure, new friends, and experience.
The treasure included a couple of U-boats full of bearer bonds, numbered stock shares and patent certificates.
"... the hard core of Nazi wealth in Latin America. In 1944 a great treasure had been sent secretly across the Atlantic, the famous 'Bormann treasure.' Toward the end of 1943, Bormann gave orders for Aktion Feuerland 'Operation Land of Fire' to begin. This operation involved the transport from Germany to Argentina of several tons of gold, some securities, shares, and works of art ...
"... Several U-boats arrived in Argentine waters after the capitulation of Germany. They were the carriers of bundles of documents, industrial patents, and securities. On July 10, 1945, the U-530 surfaced at the mouth of the River Platte and entered the port of La Plata. The following month, on August 17, the U-977 also arrived at La Plata. In accordance with international conventions, both U-boats were interned by Argentina and later handed over to the United States authorities".
-- "The Avengers", by Michael Bar-Zohar, Hawthorn Books, 1967, p 101
To the surprise of few, they were found to be empty of treasure.
"Two more U-boats, according to reliable sources, appeared off an uninhabited stretch of the coast of Patagonia between July 23, and 29, 1945".
In occupied Germany one could neither vote with these shares nor could one collect interest, dividends, nor royalties. When (West) Germany again "took its place among the nations of the World" in 1955, the Bundestag immediately changed all this. The holders of these once worthless scraps of paper suddenly, once again, possessed incredibly wealth.
Consider the case of I.G. Farben:
David M. Nichol, of the "Chicago Daily News Foreign Service", writing in 1947, observed:
"... Investigating teams were interested in German finances, as such, in the possible sources of reparations for Nazi damages to other countries, and in tracing as much as possible of the loot that the Germans had concealed outside their borders.
"Not the least of their interests was Farben's huge headquarters building in Frankfurt. Almost undamaged by bombs and fighting, it has served as the administration center for American occupation forces ever since..."
"I.G. Farben was broken up (on paper) into nine companies: the Big Three (Bayer, BASF, Hoechst) and nine smaller firms, including Agfa, Kalle, Casella, and Huels. Those in Allied countries who demanded the dissolution of I.G. 'as one means of ensuring world peace' were bitterly disappointed".
-- "The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben", by Joseph Borkin, The Free Press, A Division of Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. 1978
"When these firms, still owned and controlled by the same families, organizations and in many cases the same individuals, are considered as a whole, I.G. Farben is bigger and more powerful than ever.
"Corporate camouflage, the art of concealing foreign properties from enemy governments, has a special place in the history of I.G. Farben. Unlike I.G.'s involvement in mass murder and slave labor, which was a wartime aberration, I.G.'s program of camouflage long predated and outlived the war. Its political effects will persist for years to come".
In German they call this 'Tarnung', the magic hood that renders its wearer invisible.
Bormann was close friends with Schmitz, a director of I.G Farben and studied I.G.’s method of 'Tarnung' extensively. Bormann sorted his records and then shipped them to Argentina via Spain. Bormann began his flight capital, already having control of the Auslands-Organisation and the I.G. Verbindungsmänner. Both organizations placed spies in foreign countries disguised as technicians and directors of German corporations.
By the time, the Battle of the Bulge was raging; Bormann had already been very successful in moving assets out of Germany. In 1938, the number of patent registrations to German companies was 1,618 but after the Red House meeting it had risen to 3,377. Bormann had also created a two-price system with Germany’s trading partners. In it, the lower price was the price cleared or settled at the end of the banking day, the higher price was retained on the books of the neutral importer. The difference accumulated to a German account, becoming flight capital on deposit. Under this system Bormann amassed about $18 million kroner and $12 million Turkish lira. Balance sheets in Sweden showed Bormann acquired seven mines in central Sweden. Bormann created 750 new corporations. The corporations were scattered across the globe and represented a wide array of economic activity from steel and chemicals to electrical companies. The firms were located as follows: Portugal 58, Spain 112, Sweden 233, Switzerland 234, Turkey 35 and Argentina 98. All the corporations created by Bormann issued bearer bonds, so the real ownership was impossible to establish.
Bormann had several means of dispersing the Nazi assets. He used the diplomatic pouches of the Nazi’s foreign policy minister, von Ribbentrop, to send gold, diamonds, stocks and bonds to Sweden twice a month. A similar pattern was used to ferry more valuables to South America. In addition to Bormann’s Aktion Feuerland project, Bormann allowed other Nazis to transfer their own valuables through the same channels.
In Turkey, both the Deutsche Istanbul and the Deusche Orient banks were allowed to retain all their earnings rather than send them back to Berlin. The earnings were mere bookkeeping items that were ready to be transferred anywhere in the world.
In 1941, German investments in United States corporations held a voting majority in 170 corporations and minority ownership in another 108 American corporations. Many of these corporations were part of the I.G. Farben cartel. Additionally, American corporations had investments in Germany totaling $420 million. With his program for flight capital well on its way, Bormann gave permission for Nazis to once again buy American stocks.
The purchase of American stocks was usually done through a neutral country, typically Switzerland or Argentina. From foreign exchange funds on deposits in Switzerland and Argentina, large demand deposits were placed in such New York banks as National City, Chase, Manufacturers Hanover, Morgan Guaranty, and Irving Trust. Manning reports that over $5 billion dollars of American stocks was purchased in such a manner. These same banks were active in supporting Germany. In addition, every major Nazi corporation transferred assets and personnel to their foreign subsidiaries.
The United States and Britain never could fully grasp the extent of the Nazi flight capital. John Pehle provides an interesting insight to why the United States was unable to stop Bormann and his movement of Nazi assets to neutral countries. Pehle was the original director of the Foreign Funds Control. Pehle’s reasoning is given below:
"In 1944, emphasis in Washington shifted from overseas fiscal controls to assistance to Jewish war refugees. On presidential order I was made executive director of the War Refuge Board in January 1944. Orvis Schmidt became director of Foreign Funds Control. Some of the manpower he had was transferred, and while the Germans evidently were doing their best to avoid Allied seizure of assets, we were doing our best to extricate as many Jews as possible from Europe".
Pehle’s explanation seems overly simple. Additional personnel would have been useful and more could have been accomplished. However, the real problem was the rot and corruption within the United States. The leaders of America’s largest corporations were all in sympathy with the Nazis and almost all of them had invested heavily in Nazi Germany. Additionally, there were many in Congress that sympathized with the Nazi cause. The mood in Congress was one of "get the boys home and get on with business". When Orvis Schmidt testified before congress to the extent of the Nazi infiltration of neutral countries before the end of the war, it fell on deaf ears. An excerpt of his testimony is given below.
"The danger does not lie so much in the fact that the German industrial giants have honeycombed the neutrals, Turkey and Argentina, with branches and affiliates which know how to subvert their commercial interest to the espionage and sabotage demands of their government. It is important and dangerous however, that many of these branches, subsidiaries and affiliates in the neutrals and much of the cash, securities, patents, contracts and so forth are ostensibly owned through the medium of secret numbered accounts or rubric accounts, trusts, loans, holding companies, bearer shares and the like by dummy persons and companies claiming neutral nationality and all of the alleged protection and privileges arising from such identities. The real problem is to break through the veil of secrecy and reach and eliminate the German ability to finance another world war. We must render useless the devices and cloaks which have been employed to hide German assets.
"We have found an I.G. Farben list of its own companies abroad and at home--- a secret list hitherto unknown--- which names over 700 companies in which I.G. Farben has an interest".
The list referred to in the quote list does not include the 750 companies Bormann set up. Following the war Schmidt testified again to congress as follows:
"They were inclined to be very indignant. Their general attitude and expectations was that the war was over and we ought now to be assisting them in helping to get I.G. Farben and German industry back on its feet. Some of them have outwardly said that this questioning and investigation was in their estimation, only a phenomenon of short duration, because as soon as things got a little settled they would expect their friends in the United States and England to be coming over. Their friends, so they say would put a stop to activities such as these investigations and would see that they got the treatment which they regarded as proper and the assistance would be given to them to help reestablish their industry".
"... the resurgence of West Germany was due to hard work by its people, assistance from the Marshall Plan, an infusion of buying orders from the United States military establishment during the Korean War, and a(n) ... economic policy that enabled business and industry to wheel and deal in world markets and come up with profits ... Allowing business to have its head was, to go back, the formula adopted by Hitler during the 1930s; he harnessed the people instead of nationalizing industry ..."
-- "Martin Bormann, Nazi in Exile", by Paul Manning, Lyle Stuart, 1981
It is also true that the resurgence of West Germany was financed in part by Nazi blood money.
It is easy and profitable to blame a dead, 'crazy' man for one's mistakes and crimes. Hitler has assumed mythic proportions since his death. In life, he was mainly a front man, a mouthpiece, a lightning rod, and above all, the Nazi's 'great communicator'.
While the masses worshipped him like a god, his friends plotted behind his back, used him as a cat's paw and scapegoat, and (perhaps) cynically sacrificed him to save their own skins and fortune. Hitler had cleverly parlayed his position as figurehead into control over the military by rewording the soldiers oath. However, military power has always been subordinate to economic power. The purse strings of the Nazi Party were controlled by Bormann, and Bormann got away. So did the purse.
"... the alleged Bormann skull is that of a grisly stand-in a substitute ...
"... Substituting one body for another has been a ploy much used by General Heinrich Müller of the Gestapo. It was he who coordinated the details of Bormann's disappearance".
When Müller's grave was exhumed by court order in 1963, the grave held three skeletons, none of which even remotely resembled Müller's short stature and high forehead.
"... it was Mr. Brandt and his government that provided Martin Bormann with what amounted to a 'passport to freedom' in 1973 by stating that the former Hitler aide had perished in Berlin in 1945".
Bormann had help from his friends. Consider, Herman Abs:
"While Germany's bankers were collectively responsible for the financing of Hitler's war effort, the dean of them all is Herman Josef Abs. Money was his life, and his astuteness in banking and international financial manipulations enabled Deutsche Bank to serve as leader in fuelling the ambitions and accomplishments of Adolf Hitler and Martin Bormann. His dominance was retained when the Federal Republic of Germany picked itself up from the ashes; he was still there as chairman of Deutsche Bank, director of I.G Farben, and of such others as Daimler-Benz and the giant electrical conglomerate, Siemans. Abs became a financial advisor to the first West German chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, and was a welcome visitor in the Federal Chancellery under Mr. Adenauer's successors, Ludwig Erhard and Kurt George Kiesinger ... ... (Bormann's) friendship with Dr. Herman Josef Abs predated Abs's move into the management of Deutsche Bank. Dr. Abs had been a partner in the prestigious private bank of Delbruck, Schickler & Co. in Berlin.
"Recalling those days, Abs has written: 'The Reich Chancellery in Berlin was its largest account, and it was through this account that Adolf Hitler received his salary as Chancellor of the Reich'.
"... Reichsleiter Bormann knew that his relationship with Abs would tighten as his own power grew ... He knew in 1943 that with his Nazi banking committee well established, he had the means to ... set new Nazi state policy when the time was ripe for the general transfer of capital, gold, stocks, and bearer bonds to safety in neutral nations".
Under the direction of Dr Herman Josef Abs (who never became a Nazi) the Deutsche Bank was responsible for financing the slave labour used by business giants such as Siemens, BMW, Volkswagen, I.G. Farben, Daimler Benz and others. The banks wealth quadrupled during the twelve years of Hitler's rule. Arrested by the British after the war for war crimes, he was quietly released after the intervention of the Bank of England to help restore the German banking industry in the British zone This caused much dissension between the British and the Americans who wanted the German Economy crushed.
This is the same Hermann Abs who was chosen by Pope John Paul II to oversee the reorganization of the Vatican Bank when it was caught red-handed laundering counterfeit securities and heroin profits for the Gambino crime family. It is worth noting that in his youth J.P. II was, according to the official version, once a slave labourer for I.G. Solvay, a Farben subsidiary specializing primarily in pharmaceuticals. He is supposed to have laboured in the Solvay quarries near Auschwitz. It's a rare slave indeed who becomes pope at all, let alone then hires his former master to keep track of his money. Wonders truly never cease.
It is equally worthy of note that despite the name, dyes alone were not the source of the wealth upon which I.G. Farben was founded. Pharmaceuticals played a major rule.
"In 1898 ... the Bayer Company ... began mass production of diacetylmorphine and coined the trade name heroin to market the new remedy ... Bayer described heroin as a non-addictive panacea for adult ailments and infant respiratory diseases...
"... During the late nineteenth century, the same manufacture also promoted another narcotic, cocaine".
-- "The Politics of Heroin in South East Asia", by Alfred McCoy, Lawrence Hill Books, 1972, p 5-6
"In October 1978 the Marshall Foundation was utilized as a platform for Dr. Herman J. Abs, now honorary president of Deutsche Bank A.G. as he addressed a meeting of businessmen and Bankers and members of the Foreign Policy Association in New York City on the 'Problems and Prospects of American-German Economic Co-operation.' This luncheon was chaired by his old friend, John J. McCloy, Wall Street banker and lawyer, who had worked closely with Dr. Abs when McCloy served as U.S. High Commissioner for Germany during those postwar reconstruction years. At that time, Hermann Abs, as chief executive of Deutsche Bank was also directing the spending of America's Marshall Plan money in West Germany as the chairman of the Reconstruction Loan Corporation of the Federal Republic of Germany".
This is the same McCloy who designed the Pentagon building and served on the Warren Commission. While Undersecretary of War, he had forbidden bombing of the rail lines to Auschwitz on the grounds that it might provoke retaliation against the Jews. One cannot but wonder what he had in mind.
"Auschwitz was intended, first and foremost, to be a synthetic rubber and synthetic fuel factory complex. The more well-known dead Jews were to be merely a by-product. Abs had arranged the financing of its construction. In charge of synthetic rubber production was Otto Ambros, who also developed the root technology on which magnetic data storage is based. He was convicted of 25,000 counts of slavery and mass murder, and was sentenced to eight years in prison. After three and a half years, McCloy freed him. The head of the W.R. Grace & Co., J. Peter Grace (a Knight of Malta) hired Ambros as a research chemist and petitioned Congress to allow his emigration to the United States. This is the same J. Peter Grace who President Reagan appointed to head the so-called 'Grace Commission. to make the United States government more "efficient".
-- "Esquire", 12/19/78
More than Nazi money went underground.
"... Himmler was quoted as summing up his talk with Bormann to his most trusted lieutenants in these words: 'It is possible that Germany will be defeated on the military front. It is even possible that she may have to capitulate. But never must the National Socialist German Workers' Party capitulate. That is what we have to work for from now on.'
-- ~T"The Nazis Go Underground", by Curt Riass, Doubleday, Doran, and Co., Inc. 1944
"Ex"-S.S. men infiltrated, among other things, every major intelligence apparatus on earth. They have been major players in postwar history. Spymaster Reinhardt Gehlen, for example, created the rationale for starting the Cold War out of whole cloth. As we now know, had the Red Army actually been intending to continue their drive westward, as Gehlen said they did, they would not have been tearing up railroad track in front of themselves. They relied heavily on rail to transport their troops. Our leaders didn't know; they believed Gehlen, and acted accordingly. Or they knew, and they lied to us. There is no third possibility. This comes as no surprise to those who have actually studied war.
Truth is the first casualty.
"Adolf Hitler's top intelligence officials worked with U.S. intelligence officials during World War II, according to a transcript made available Tuesday of secret testimony by Allen Dulles before a House Select committee in 1947".
-- "UPI", 9/29/82
This is the same Dulles who served on the Warren Commission, investigating the assassination of the President who had fired him just prior to the murder in Dallas that enabled the success of the coup of '63. It is interesting to note that Dulles's law firm, Cromwell and Sullivan, also represented I.G. Farben before the War.
The S.S. was designed from inception to stand alone, a thing apart. It was, and is, more of a religious institution than a political or military one.
"Ex"-S.S men flooded South America, where they were met with open arms. They took over day to day operation of the lucrative cocaine trade. Germans have maintained a monopoly on the South American pharmaceutical business since the middle of the last century. Their fortunes have multiplied enormously.
"Dr. Josef Mengele, the Nazi 'angel of death,' was a major dealer in the international drug traffic for many years ... according to testimony in a U.S. Senate investigation ...
"... Because of the partial blackout of the CIA reports, the senators said, many questions are unanswered.
"It is difficult to determine to what extent ... U.S. agencies attempted on a serious determined basis to bring Mengele to Justice.
"... The CIA unit, which had prepared an article on Mengele's activities for the "International Narcotics Review", withdrew the article, which has since been 'misplaced.'
-- "Heritage, 4/1/85
It is difficult to believe that any U.S. agency made a serious attempt to bring Mengele to justice, or justice to him, until it was too late.
"... according to declassified CIA documents released by two Republican senators:
"Mengele's reported involvement in drugs could explain how he was able to finance his life and travels in South America for years, according to one of the senators, Alphonse M. D'Amato of New York. One CIA document said Mengele may have used a farm machinery business in Paraguay 'as a mechanism to move or launder large sums of money, as well as to cover the movement of illicit narcotics.'
"But the 28 heavily censored pages of long hidden CIA records were often vague and inconclusive, D'Amato and Sen. Arlen K. Specter of Pennsylvania acknowledged at a news conference. Because many sentences were blacked out to conceal the CIA's sources of information about Mengele, it is difficult to determine what data in the documents might be credible ...
"... Referring to the documents, Specter said, 'They're vague, but that's the starting point for our investigation.'
-- "Los Angeles Times News Service", 2/27/85
Vague, censored documents are a not unfamiliar concept to Specter who was once counsel for the Warren Commission.
"Some of the CIA documents and cables spoke of Mengele living at 'a well-guarded ranch' and enjoying 'the protection of Stroessner' a reference to Paraguayan dictator Walter [sic] Stroessner".
Nazi roots run deep in Paraguay. Paraguay, became home to South America's first Nazi party, in 1929.