Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #511 Uncle Sam & The Swastika: 25 Years Later

Recorded May 15, 2005
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Introduction: Reprising the first of the Archive Shows (originally recorded on 5/23/1980), this program examines the corporate relationships between German and American firms that were instrumental in the rise of the Third Reich. Miscellaneous Archive Show M11—“Uncle Sam and the Swastika: U.S Industrial Support for Nazi Germany” contains insights that are even more relevant and more frightening than they were in 1980. As the 25th anniversary of the original broadcast passed, Mr. Emory re-broadcast the show, with editorial comment before and after its playing. In particular, Mr. Emory noted the hauntingly contemporary insights that author James Stewart Martin imparted at the conclusion of his landmark text All Honorable Men. Mr. Martin warned that the American component of the trans-Atlantic fraternity that had funded and armed Hitler might chose to bring fascism to America “as a calm judgment of business necessity.”

Program Highlights Include: Henry Ford’s financing of Hitler and Ford’s contribution to Hitler’s anti-Semitic ideology; the role of American investment bankers in re-capitalizing Germany after World War I; how that re-capitalization led to the growth of the great German cartels that funded and armed the Third Reich; the German firms’ use of cartel agreements with US companies as weapons of economic warfare (gaining the Third Reich access to key raw materials and technology while denying the Allies access to those same materials and technical capabilities); analysis of several significant cartel agreements between Standard Oil of New Jersey and I.G. Farben that gave the Third Reich technology essential for the successful prosecution of modern industrial warfare; the Nazis’ skillful use of reinsurance treaties with the US to gain critical intelligence about Allied shipping to Europe; the Nazi U-boats’ use of that intelligence to deadly effect; the appointment of personnel from the same US firms that had funded Hitler to key positions overseeing the economic reconstruction of Germany; the subversion of the de-nazification and de-cartelization of Germany by these individuals.

1. The first major topic of discussion concerns Henry Ford’s financing of Hitler and his ideological influence on Der Fuhrer. (Note that the original “Uncle Sam and the Swastika” broadcast was recorded many years before Mr. Emory began doing written descriptions of the programs. The sources presented in this description are the books from which the information has been researched, but page numbers and text will not, for the most part, be included.) Ford financially underwrote Hitler’s early efforts through three major conduits: a White Russian named Boris Brasol, a former bicycle racer named Warren “Fuzzy” Anderson and composer Richard Wagner’s daughter—Winifred Wagner Williams. Ford’s anti-Semitic tract The International Jew (compiled from his periodical “The Dearborn Independent”) was a key influence on Hitler’s developing hatred of the Jews.
(The material on Ford and Hitler is taken from Who Financed Hitler by James and Suzanne Poole. Both hard and softcover editions were published by Dial Press.)

2. Next, the program sets forth the recapitalization of Germany after World War I. Utilizing capital provided by American financial institutions under the auspices of the Dawes and Young plans, three German industrial giants came to dominate the German economic landscape: I.G. Farben, AEG (German General Electric) and Vereinigte Stahlwerke (United Steel). American investors were deeply involved with these institutions and their American subsidiaries. These companies were the backbone of German industrial production during the Hitler years and also played a pivotal role in financing Hitler’s rise to power. Many of these firms helped to finance the operations of the SS.
(The information in this portion of the program was taken from a number of texts, chiefly All Honorable Men by James Stewart Martin, published in hardcover by Little Brown & Co.; Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler; Anthony C. Sutton; ’76 Press [HC]. Note that the Sutton text contains some excellent information. It also has some serious and [probably] deliberate distortions. Caveat Emptor.)

3. Devising agreements with their industrial counterparts in other countries, the large German firms used patent licensing arrangements and cartel agreements to gain vital strategic raw materials and technical capabilities, while restricting their enemies’ access to those materials and technologies. This enabled the Germans to wage very effective economic warfare against the allies.
(All Honorable Men by James Stewart Martin, published in hardcover by Little Brown & Co.)

4. Next, the program examines three primary examples of the cartel agreements that the German corporations utilized to the great advantage of Hitler and the Third Reich. One of the most important of these agreements was the Standard/I.G. Agreement of 1929, concluded between Standard Oil of New Jersey and I.G. Farben. This gave I.G. Farben badly needed capital (in the form of Standard stock) and permitted that company to develop the synthetic oil necessary to prosecute the Second World War. (This agreement is covered at length in FTR#506.)
(The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben; Joseph Borkin; Copyright 1978 [HC] by The Free Press [a division of MacMillan]; ISBN 0-02-904630-0.)

5. Two other critical arrangements between Standard Oil of New Jersey, General Motors and I.G. Farben also gave Hitler essential technology for the prosecution of modern mechanized war. Standard Oil licensed I.G. Farben to manufacture iso-octane and provided it with the licensed technology and technical know-how necessary to do so. This was the first time that iso-octane technology (essential for the testing necessary to produce high-quality gasoline) had been licensed to a former power. Despite a warning from the War Department, the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation (jointly owned by Standard and General Motors) licensed I.G. to manufacture tetra-ethyl lead and showed them how to do it. Again, this was the first time that this technology (essential to the manufacture of high-quality fuel) had been licensed abroad. Because the Germans were not able to produce enough tetra-ethyl lead to meet Hitler’s timetable for invading Poland, the Ethyl Corporation sold Germany enough tetra-ethyl to proceed with the invasion. The firm that brokered the agreement was Brown Brothers, Harriman, with Prescott Bush Sr. and George Herbert Walker joining the Harriman brothers (Averell and E. Roland) in overseeing the company’s operations.
(The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben; Joseph Borkin; Copyright 1978 [HC] by The Free Press [a division of MacMillan]; ISBN 0-02-904630-0.)

6. The third of the agreements was the Jasco agreement. This agreement, again between I.G. Farben and Standard Oil. This arrangement provided for the Germans to obtain critical butyl rubber technology, essential for the prosecution of modern industrial warfare. The Germans had promised to give the Americans the technology for I.G’s buna rubber technology. I.G. Farben and Hitler never kept their part of the bargain.
(The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben; Joseph Borkin; Copyright 1978 [HC] by The Free Press [a division of MacMillan]; ISBN 0-02-904630-0.)

5. One of

the most shocking of the commercial arrangements between the U.S. and Germany was a reinsurance agreement between U.S., German and Swiss insurance companies. This arrangement provided the Germans with all of the information about the cargoes, sailing times, courses and destinations of Allied ships leaving the U.S. for Europe. Equipped with intelligence like this, the Nazi U-boats were able to wreak havoc on Allied shipping leaving the U.S. The losses among Navy and Merchant Marine personnel resulting from this glaring counterintelligence shortcoming were enormous.
(All Honorable Men by James Stewart Martin, published in hardcover by Little Brown & Co.)

7. One of the main reasons that the Third Reich’s commercial relationships with American corporations remained hidden was the fact that the personnel assigned to oversee the economic reconstruction of Germany were drawn largely from the U.S. firms that were involved with Hitler. Not surprisingly, these individuals saw to it that the status quo was maintained, and the economic de-nazification and de-cartelization of Germany was subverted.
(All Honorable Men by James Stewart Martin, published in hardcover by Little Brown & Co.; Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler; Anthony C. Sutton; ’76 Press [HC]. Note that the Sutton text contains some excellent information. It also has some serious and [probably] deliberate distortions. Caveat Emptor.)

8. Concluding the program, Mark and Dave relate the insights of James Stewart Martin, who oversaw the unsuccessful effort to interdict the German/American industrial and financial axis. Noting how the American industrialists and financiers had undermined the attempts at de-cartelization in Germany, Martin observed that they might decide to do the same thing in the U.S. that their German counterparts had done in Germany. “The ecopolitical masters of Germany boosted Hitler and his program into the driver’s seat at a time when the tide in the political fight between the Nazis and the supporters of the Weimar Republic was swinging against the Nazis. All of the men who mattered in banking and industrial circles could quickly agree on one program and throw their financial weight behind it. Their support won the election for the Nazis. We must assume that the same thing is not yet true in the United States. We do have economic power so concentrated that it would lie in the power of not more than a hundred men—if they could agree among themselves—to throw the same kind of combined economic weight behind a single program. They have not agreed yet. . . .If the United States should run into serious economic difficulties, however, most of the conditions for a re-enactment of the German drama would already exist on the American stage. The slight differences within the camp of the fraternity then may be the only real barrier to the kind of integration of the financial and industrial community behind a single repressive program, like that which the financiers and industrialists of Germany executed through Hitler. Are we safe in assuming that it would take a grave economic crisis to precipitate the dangers inherent in economic concentration? The basic integration of the financial and industrial groups in the United States is evident when we look at the increase of concentration in the past few years. . . .”
(All Honorable Men; James Stewart Martin; Copyright 1950 [HC]; Little, Brown & Co.; p. 295.)

9. Dave and Mark echoed Martin’s warning to the world, made in 1950, echoed in 1980 and all the more relevant at the distance of a quarter of a century. “ . . . The moral of this is not that Germany is an inevitable menace, but that there are forces in our own country which can make Germany a menace. And, more importantly, they could create a menace of their own here at home, not through a deliberate plot to bring about a political catastrophe but as a calm judgment of ‘business necessity.’ The men who would do this are not Nazis, but businessmen; not criminals, but honorable men.”
(All Honorable Men; p. 300.)

10. Note that in the more than 25 years since the broadcast was recorded, a number of books have been published discussing the US/Nazi industrial relationships. Some of the more noteworthy are:
Trading with the Enemy
by Charles Higham
The Old Boys: the American Elite and the Origins of the CIA by Burton Hersh
The Splendid Blonde Beast: Money, Law and Genocide in the 20th Century by Christopher Simpson
The Secret War Against the Jews by Mark Aarons and John Loftus.

Discussion

2 comments for “FTR #511 Uncle Sam & The Swastika: 25 Years Later”

  1. […] Uncle Sam and the swastika: 25 years later This entry was posted in Nazism, Real History, Warfare and tagged American I.G., Brown Brothers Harriman, Butyl Rubber, Ford Motor Company, German General Electric, Grand Cross of the German Eagle, Henry Ford, Hitler, Hydrogenation Process, I.G. Farben, Invasion of Poland, Iso-Octane, ITT, Mein Kampf, Reinsurance, Rockefeller, Standard Oil of New Jersey, Sullivan and Cromwell, Tetra-Ethyl Lead, The International Jew, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Third Reich, United Steel, WWII, Zyklon-B. Bookmark the permalink. ← Marine Le Pen, Intégralité : Discours du 1er Mai 2011 […]

    Posted by Uncle Sam and Nazism: The role played by Henry Ford and other industrialists in the rise of the Third Reich | Lys-d'Or | January 22, 2012, 6:50 pm
  2. One of the best FTR shows you’ve ever done, Dave. In fact, I just started listening to it again. =)

    Posted by Steve L. | May 28, 2012, 5:47 pm

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