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.
Edward Stettinius, U.S. secretary of state, speaking at an inter-American conference in 1945, warned that the Nazis would attempt "to escape the consequences of their crimes. We must be constantly on the alert for the flight into this hemisphere of Nazi funds and Nazi underground leaders who will seek to find a refuge here for an ultimate comeback". Among those to slip through the Allied dragnet in occupied Germany, scramble across the rat lines set up by American intelligence and the secret orders of the Vatican and settle in South America were Klaus Barbie (Bolivia), Heinrich Müller (Argentina), Josef Mengele (Paraguay), Walter Rauff (Chile), and Friedrich Schwend (Peru). Financial and political ties in South America, the collusion of American and Latin officials and military intelligence, subverted any attempt to block the resurgence. The heart of the Nazi Party remained nearly intact. In a book on Nazi industry and politics, German émigré Karl Otten described the underground leadership's ability "to perpetuate itself, and to render itself immortal, through its innermost core, the brains of a bellicose nation's brains ... in anonymity, [residing in] unknown places, secluded from the world, controlling politics no less than operations in the field."
In August, 1945 the U.S. argued for, and succeeded in disbanding, the UN War Crimes Commission in favour of the Nuremburg Tribunal. The architect of Nuremburg was Henry Stimson, a Yale 'Bones' man, former secretary of state under Herbert Hoover. Stimson, a vocal atom bomb proponent, suggested it be used against Japan and every wheel and cog in government went into motion to accommodate him.
At Nuremburg, he fell back on a strategy that would become the staple of Congressional hearings - narrowing the scope of the investigation. "With the judgment at Nuremburg," wrote Stimson for "Foreign Relations" in January, 1947 [published by the Council of Foreign Relations, a public disinformation bureau], "we at least reached to the core of international strife".
Articulate, smooth, disingenuous words.
Stimson's tribunal reached to "the core of the strife," but the "penalty" for participation in genocide was hardly severe. The directors of I.G. Farben, the economic and industrial sponsors of the Nazi party, and Krupp, the principal supplier of munitions, were tried for making war in violation of the Briand-Kellogg Treaty, and were led through a revolving door - it couldn't be "proven beyond a doubt" their intent was "aggressive," as stipulated by the treaty. Upon their release, the directors of Krupp and Farben immediately went on to exchange Nazi gold for Swiss notes on the sly.
They hid reserves away for the next phase of the war. All I.G. Farben facilities were left standing by American bombers on strict order from Washington. To smooth the path to corporate growth, General Patton stepped in and - in violation of the Potsdam Agreement, which specifically called for the dismantling of Farben - reorganized the company and promoted many of its former mid-level executives. For every Nazi convicted at Nuremberg, four were released. Stimson's Catch 22 demanded that it be proven the culprits had shaped war policy. With "Judgment at Nuremberg" constricted by such reasoning, it was hardly surprising that the first trial ended with the conviction of a dozen Nazis from a pool of 22. For the next trial, the definitions of intent and authority were constricted even further, and 49 of the 52 leading German officers and industrialists were set free.
Dr. Robert Kempner, who might be described as an early "conspiracy theorist," wrote that with few exceptions, "the other SS leaders convicted at Nuremberg on charges of murder have been prematurely pardoned and freed, as a result of strong pressure by certain, partly still anonymous Hintermänner [sponsors]".
In June 1949 jurisdiction over the war criminals was handed to High Commissioner John McCloy, a hard-core "anti-Nazi". His attitude underwent a drastic change in closed sessions, however. McCloy's secret Clemency Board reduced the sentences of all but the most intractable SS. Nearly a third were released for "good behavior" at the behest of the General German Staff. Others were granted amnesty by the thousands. A year later, Jim Martin, a Defense Department investigator, traveled to Germany to track down Gerhard Westrick, the CEO of ITT in Germany and already a mover in the formation of the Fourth Reich.
Westrick had fled the Berlin bombing and took refuge in a castle to the south. By post he appealed for help from his Army cronies, who smuggled him to Paris to apprise Colonel Alex Sanders of the condition of ITT's German holdings. Westrick received a token prison sentence and was released.
The emerging order was merely a reorganization of the old. Anyone who caught on was ignored, or if they went public, were tarred by government officials as "Communists," including Dexter White and Lauchlin Currie of the Treasury Department. White and Currie were investigating financial dealings with Germany throughout the course of the war by Standard Oil, Chase and National City Banks, the Morgan family, ITT, Ford and GM, among others. The careers of both investigators were wiped out by the McCarthy hearings, and they were effectively silenced. Telford Taylor, chief counsel at Nuremberg, saw the proceedings for what they were. He was beside himself that the most powerful Nazis were acquitted on technicalities. "Murder, maiming, enslavement, ravage and plunder are a familiar litany," he wrote in 1970. What was unique about the Nazi conquests, especially in Eastern Europe, he said, "was the enormous scope of the atrocities and the systematic planning and meticulous execution of these hideous enterprises".
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To this day the CIA denies the Nazis had a plan for a comeback despite captured Nazi documents showing otherwise. Even members of Congress and in particular members of the Kilgore Committee were aware of Nazi plans for a comeback. They come from documents captured near the end of the war.