1. Given the complexity and referential nature of the For The Record programs, it is not necessarily easy for the casual listener to understand many of the connections between subjects presented on the broadcasts. FTR-278 is specifically designed to elucidate some of these connections. Consequently, most of the information presented in this program is reprised from other broadcasts.
2. The program begins with review of an excerpt from FTR-245, which details the activities of Deutsche Telekom, a German government-controlled mobile phone company. Mobile phones are seen as being central to the anticipated world of the internet and e-commerce. As such, DT’s advance into the American mobile phone market figures prominently in the series on German corporate control over American media.
In order to resist legislation that would impede the firm’s purchase of VoiceStream and Powertel, Deutsche Telekom has retained the powerful Washington law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. (The Wall Street Journal, 7/21/2000, p. A9.)
3. In an excerpt from FTR-139, the program highlights the recent addition of Matthias Wissman, the treasurer of the CDU party in Germany (and a former transport minister) to Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. (Financial Times, 3/2/99.)
4. The program also notes that Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering had represented Swiss banks in a lawsuit filed by Holocaust victims against Swiss banks, as well as acting as counsel for German corporations being sued over their use of slave labor in World War II. (Idem.)
5. This connection also suggests the presence of the Bormann group in the background of the lawsuits, as well as in the DT machinations. It should be noted that, as treasurer of the CDU, Wissman must have had first hand knowledge of the CDU funding scandal.
When considering German corporations, it is important to remember that they are controlled by the Bormann Organization. This institution has perpetuated its power in an effective, clandestine, and deadly, Mafia-like fashion in the years since World War II. American corporations are driven by the profit motive and coordinate policies on labor, environmental, marketing and taxation issues – they are otherwise relatively apolitical. In contrast, German corporations, under control of the Bormann group, function as coordinated elements of international economic and political control, not unlike the divisions of an army. Although they, too, strive to make money, profit is subordinate to the goal of German national hegemony.
6. After the discussion of DT, Wissman & Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, the program reviews the implications of Holocaust-related lawsuits for corporate operations in both the United States and Europe. FTR-275 discusses a recent lawsuit that charges IBM with complicity in the Nazi extermination programs. (“Lawsuit Says IBM Helped Nazis” by Barnaby J. Felder [New York Times]; San Francisco Chronicle; 2/11/2001; p. A9.)
7. The counsel for the plaintiffs noted that “public relations strategies have been as important as legal arguments in their Holocaust suits.” (Idem.)
8. This lawsuit was timed to coincide with the publication of a book that presents documentation for the plaintiffs’ arguments. Interestingly (and perhaps significantly) the book is being published by Crown books, a Random House (and Bertelsmann) subsidiary. (“Book Links IBM to Hitler” by Paul D. Colford; New York Daily News; 2/10/2001.)
9. This lawsuit now threatens the settlement of previous Holocaust-related lawsuits by disturbing the “legal peace” in the United States. (“IBM Legal Bombshell Threatens Landmark Holocaust Deal” by Richard Wolffe and John Authers; Financial Times; 2/15/2001; p. 5; “Polish Victims of Nazis Angered by Delay in Paying Compensation” by John Reed; Financial Times; 2/28/2001; p. 3.)
10. The possibility that the IBM suit may constitute (intentionally or otherwise) a “pressure point” that may hold the key to business operations in both Europe and the U.S. is not one to be too readily cast aside. Specifically, the information about the IBM suit, the publication of the Edwin Black volume by Bertelsmann (and the importance of the book for the IBM suit), the implications of the IBM suit for the settlement of litigation against German corporations and the role of the Third Reich era litigation in the trans-Atlantic globalization process constitute the reason for the reprise of this information in FTR-278. The possibility is mentioned that the opening up of the American telecommunications market to Deutsche Telekom and greater access to European markets by American corporations may hinge on the issue of the lawsuits. Note the position of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering and CDU treasurer Wissman in this scenario. Note also the information presented in FTR-275 concerning the publication in Germany of a book claiming that the holocaust has become “an extortion racket” run by “an American-Jewish elite.” One wonders if the IBM suit and/or the publication by Bertelsmann of the Black book may be (perhaps) intended to justify this charge in the minds of the German people. This should not be interpreted as cynicism toward the book IBM and the Holocaust .
11. Next, the program takes up the issue of the impact of the CDU funding scandal (and related issues) on domestic French politics and EU political integration. One of the major focal points of FTR-276 is French industrialist Alfred Sirven. A principal figure in the international financial web that figures in the CDU funding scandal, Sirven was a major executive with Elf-Aquitaine, a French oil company that served as “an oil ministry in a corporate guise.” (“Light Shed on an Extraordinary Past” by Bertrand Benoit; Financial Times; 2/3/-2/4/2001; p. 3.)
12. The firm served as a conduit for the placing of political bribes, a funding source for France’s right-wing political parties, as well as a front for French intelligence activity. (Idem.)
13. One of the most significant maneuvers conducted by Elf while Sirven was with the firm was the placing of a bribe with Helmut Kohl’s CDU. (Idem.)
14. This bribe secured the purchase of the Leuna oil refining facility for Elf. (Idem.) (Operated by the Nazi I.G. Farben firm on behalf of the Third Reich, the Leuna facility is located in the former East Germany.)
15. Eventually, Elf “succumbed to a hostile bid from rival TotalFina in 1999.” (Idem.)
16. On his way back to France, Sirven was to stop over in Frankfurt, Germany. (“Star Witness in French Corruption Trial Arrested” by Raphael Minder, David Owen, and Hugh Williamson; Financial Times; 2/3-2/4/2001; p. 1)
17. Sirven boasted that he “knew enough secrets to blow up the French Republic ten times over.” (“Sirven Set to Unpack Explosive Evidence” by Raphael Minder; Financial Times; 2/3/2/4/2001; p. 3.)
18. The program highlights aspects of the French political and economic infrastructure before, during, and after World War II. As discussed in Miscellaneous Archive Show M-61, the French power elite (its economic movers and shakers, in particular) had strong connections to their German counterparts. (Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; by Paul Manning; copyright 1981; Lyle Stuart [hardcover]; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; pp. 70-71.)
19. “They regarded the war and Hitler as an unfortunate diversion from their chief mission of preventing a communist revolution in France. Anti-bolshevism was a common denominator linking these Frenchmen to Germans, and it accounted for a volunteer French division on the Eastern Front.” (Ibid.; p. 71.)
20. These same interests effectively collaborated with the Third Reich. “Society’s natural survivors, French version, who had served the third Reich as an extension of German industry, would continue to do so in the period of postwar trials, just as they had survived the war, occupation and liberation. These were many of the French elite, the well-born, the propertied, the titled, the experts, industrialists, businessmen, bureaucrats, bankers.” (Ibid.; p. 30.)
21. In addition, the structure of “corporate France” was wedded to that of Germany during the occupation, with the dominant element becoming German. “These economic penetration specialists of the Third Reich handled France similarly, with but a slight difference. In the years before the war the German businessmen, industrialists and bankers had established close ties with their counterparts in France. After the blitzkrieg and invasion, the same Frenchmen in many cases went on working with their German peers. They didn’t have much choice, to be sure, and the occupation being instituted very few in the high echelons failed to collaborate. The Third Republic’s business elite was virtually unchanged after 1940.” (Ibid.; pp. 70-71.)
22. In the postwar period, the aforementioned Bormann organization maintained effective control over the French economy, in partnership with the French elite. “The characteristic secrecy surrounding the actions of German industrialists and bankers during the final nine months of the war, when Bormann’s flight capital program held their complete attention, was also carried over into the postwar years when they began pulling back the skeins of economic wealth and power that stretched out to neutral nations of the world and to formerly occupied lands. There was a suggestion of this in France. Flora Lewis, writing from Paris in The New York Times of August 28, 1972, told of her conversation with a French publisher: ‘It would not be possible to trace ownership of corporations and the power structure as in the United States ‘They’ would not permit it. ‘They’ would find a way to hound and torture anyone who tried, commented the publisher. ‘They’ seem to be a fairly small group of people who know each other, but many are not at all known to the public. ‘They’ move in and out of government jobs, but public service apparently serves to win private promotion rather than the other way around. The Government ‘control’ that practically everyone mentions cannot be traced through stock holdings regulatory agencies, public decisions. It seems to function through a maze of personal contacts and understandings.” The understandings arrived at in the power structure reach back to prewar days, were continued during the occupation, and have carried over to the present time. Lewis, in her report from Paris, commented further: “This hidden of government and corporations has produced a general unease in Paris.” Along with the unease, the fat that France has lingering social and political ailments is a residue of World War II and of an economic occupation that was never really terminated with the withdrawal of German troops beyond the Rhine.” (Ibid.; p. 271.) This Bormann control of the French economy, and the relative secrecy surrounding it may very well be the essence of what Sirven threatened to reveal.
23. It should be noted that at this time, Germany is engaged in an attempt at “federalizing” the EU, much to the consternation of France. Bertelsmann’s parent (the Bertelsmann foundation) sponsored a think tank at which German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder called for the federalist integration of the EU into a European superstate. (“Schroder Launches Brussels Offensive” by Alan Hall; The Scotsman; 1/26/2001.)
24. This step would entail “a Europe where decisions on tax, defense, health, insurance and a plethora of other issues were defined by the EU and not national governments.” (Idem.) Such a state would, of course, be dominated by Germany. In effect, this would give Germany the control of Europe that it has sought through military conquest in two world wars.
25. In language reminiscent of the oratory of Adolf Hitler, German Foreign Minister warned that, unless this integration took place, grave measures would follow. (Idem.)
26. “The German government will not stand idly by, but would take courageous steps against the centrifugal forces of the inter-governmentalists,” warned Fischer. (Idem.) The possibility that the evidentiary tributaries leading to( and from) the CDU funding scandal are being deliberately manipulated in order to ensure French acquiescence in some of the German proposals for EU “reform” should not be too readily cast aside. It should be noted in that context that there was considerable anxiety in France over the temporary detention of Sirven in Frankfurt.
27. Yet another connection between the “dots” concerns the overlap between Bertelsmann and TotalFina. As noted in FTR #’s 275 and 276, one of the minority corporate partners in a crucial deal between Bertelsmann and RTL deal has significant capital participation in TotalFina Elf. (“Global GBL Falls for Bertelsmann’s Charms” by Dan Bilefsky; Financial Times; 2/6/2001; p. 18.)
28. TotalFina Elf is, in turn, involved in the complex conspiratorial web involved in the CDU funding scandal. It should be recalled that TotalFina took over Aquitaine Elf, as discussed earlier in the program.
29. The broadcast discusses the history of the Leuna refinery. Germany’s most important synthetic oil refinery during World War II, Leuna was the focal point of one of the major air battles of the war in Western Europe. (The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben; by Joseph Borkin; The Free Press [Macmillan]; Copyright 1978 [HC]; ISBN 0-02-904630-0; pp. 128-30.)
30. The program excerpts FTR-193, detailing an important aspect of the CDU funding scandal. This excerpt, in turn, comes from a major article about the CDU funding scandal from the New York Times. (“Big Kickbacks Under Kohl Reported” by Roger Cohen and John Tagliabue; New York Times; 2/7/2000.)
31. German industrial concern Thyssen AG was involved in a sale of tanks to Saudi Arabia (one of the many facets of this enormous, international scandal.) (Idem.)
32. In addition, Thyssen was involved with Aquitaine-Elf in some of the operations of the Leuna refinery. (Idem.)
33. Next, the program excerpts FTR-273. Recently, former Justice Department official John Loftus disclosed that the Bush family fortune came from the 1951 liquidation of the Union Banking Corporation. (“Author Links Bush Family to Nazis;” Sarasota Herald-Tribune; 11/11/2000.)
34. Excerpting a June, 1992 addendum to Miscellaneous Archive Show M-11, the program illustrates that the Union Banking Corporation was confiscated by the Alien Property Custodian in World War II. (“Will Family Scandals Sink George Bush?” by Curtis Lang; Village Voice; 5/5/92.)
35. This firm was a front for the Thyssen interests before, and during, the war. (Idem.) (Fritz Thyssen was one of Hitler’s earliest and most prominent financial backers.)
36. This broadcast notes that the I.G. Farben stock held in the Hermann Schmitz trust was folded into the Bormann group, reportedly giving the Bormann group as much stock in Standard Oil as the Rockefeller family. (Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; p. 292.) The I.G. is a major element of the Bormann group.
37. The Thyssen firm is a major element of the Bormann group. “During the final year of his life, in Argentina, dividing his time between the villa in Buenos Aires and the ranches, one in Argentina, the other in Paraguay, Fritz Thyssen completed establishing the control that would assure everlasting family through Thyssen A.G. Elder Grandson Count Federico Zichy-Thyssen of Buenos Aires was placed on the board of this German steel trust. When the count votes at board meetings in Dusseldorf three or four times a year, he votes for the entire Thysen family of South America and Europe. Count Federico Zichy-Thysen, who has a younger brother Count Claudio Zichy-Thyssen, represents the largest single shareholding group with the 25 percent of the stock of Thyssen A.G. The remainder of the stock is diffused into Deutsche bank in Frankfurt and Buenos Aires, which holds shares for many individuals on both continents including those representing the Bormann group.” (Ibid.; pp. 256-7.)
38. As noted in a number of programs, the Thyssen family remained very close to Martin Bormann himself after the war. “Count Federico Zichy-Thyssen, grandson of old Fritz Thyssen, Claudio Zichy-Thyssen, and their families are intimate friends of Bormann Because of this friendship, Martin Bormann has three sanctuaries: his own pampas spread in Argentina and the Thyssen ranches in Argentina and Paraguay.” (Ibid.; p. 292.)
39. Next, the program reviews the fact that Bertelsmann kingpin Reinhard Mohn maneuvered one of his proteges (Dieter Vogel) into the top position of Thyssen A.G. (Global Dreams: Imperial Corporations and the New World Order; Richard Barnet and John Cavanaugh; Simon & Schuster; Copyright 1994 [HC]; ISBN 0-671-63377-5; p. 75.) This is indicative of the probable status of Bertelsmann within the Bormann group.
40. Next, the program reviews the Bush family involvement with the Hamburg-Amerika line, confiscated as a Nazi front company during World War II. (The Secret War Against the Jews: How Western Espionage Betrayed the Jewish People, by John Loftus and Mark Aarons; St. Martin’s Press; copyright 1994; ISBN 0-312-11057-X; p. 359.)
41. The Hamburg-Amerika line, in turn, was deeply involved with “Himmler’s Circle of Friends,” a group of industrialists that financed the day-to-day operations of the SS. “Himmler, for example had been tapping leading bankers and business leaders for contributions to his WW welfare fund, from which he did not personally benefit, oddly enough. The companies contributing comprised a list of important banks and industries: Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank, Commerzbank, the Reichstag Bank, the J.H. Stein Bankhaus, Nordeutscher Lloyd and Hamburg-Amerika Shipping Line.” (Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; by Paul Manning; p. 43.)
42. In the post-war planning for the Bormann group, a Third Reich official stressed that the German industrialists must continue to fund the Nazi party in an underground fashion. “A smaller conference in the afternoon was presided over by Dr. Bosse of the German Armaments Ministry. It was attended only by representatives of Hecko, Krupp, and Rochling. Dr. Bosse restated Bormann’belief that the war was all but lost, but that it would be continued by Germany until certain goals to insure the economic resurgence of Germany after the war had been achieved. He added that the German industrialists must be prepared to finance the continuation of the Nazi Party, which would be forced to go underground, just as had the Machis in France.” (Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile: by Paul Manning; p. 26.)
43. The program excerpts FTR-193, discussing German politician Franz Joseph Strauss, a link between Karl-Heinz Schreiber (one of the principal figures in the CDU funding scandal) and a postwar “Circle of Friends.” (The Bormann Brotherhood; Harcourt Brace, Jovanovich; Copyright 1973 [HC]; ISBN 0-15-113590-8; p. 133.)
44. Next, the program excerpts FTR-194, recapitulating information about Bertelsmann’s involvement with the Circle of Friends. Bertelsmann patriarch Heinrich Mohn was also a member of the “Circle of Friends.” (Insert reference from the New York Times.)
45. It should also be noted that Bertelsmann CEO is a friend of the Bush family. (“Leading Bertelsmann’s Race to the Future” by Doreen Carvajal; New York Times; 1/30/2000.)