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FTR #921 The Trumpenkampfverbande, Part 4: Trump on the Stump (The Underground Reich Emerges Into Plain View, Part 2)

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained HERE [1]. The new drive is a 32-gigabyte drive that is current as of the programs and articles posted by early winter of 2016. The new drive (available for a tax-deductible contribution of $65.00 or more.) (The previous flash drive was current through the end of May of 2012.)

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment [6].

thinkbignkickass [7]MeinKampf [8]Introduction: Continuing our coverage of what we have termed “The Trumpenkampfverbande”–the Nazi phenomenon that is the Presidential candidacy of Donald Trump.

A major element of analysis here concerns Trump’s skillful use [9] of the rhetorical techniques [10] used so successfully by Adolf Hitler [11].

Josh Marshall [of Talking Points Memo] noted [9]: “ . . . This was as wild and as unbridled a speech as I’ve seen from Trump. Even if you couldn’t understand English, it would be stunning to watch the slashing hand gestures, the red face, the yelling. It’s hard to imagine any presidential candidate in living memory giving such a speech. And again, this is if you didn’t know what the words even meant.

As the speech was unfolding, I said something on Twitter that I’m sure many will find extreme or beyond the pale. But watching this speech, compared to the press conference today in Mexico City, what kept coming to my mind was the contrast between Hitler’s uniformed rally speeches from the hustings and the suited, statesman Hitler we see in the old news reels in Munich and at other iconic moments in the late 1930s. . . . the demagogic style, the frenzied invocation of familial blood sacrificed to barbaric outsiders – these are not unique to him [Hitler]. When we see this lurid, stab-in-the-back incitement, the wild hyperbole, the febrile railing against outsiders who will make us no longer a country – the similarities are real. More than anything, perhaps the most chilling part of this day is the contrast between the two men – a measured, calm statesman figure we saw this afternoon and this railing, angry demagogue figure who captured the emotional tenor of a Klan rally. . . .”

The similarity noted above by Josh Marshall was not coincidental [11]: . . . . Donald Trump appears to take aspects of his German background seriously. John Walter works for the Trump Organization, and when he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says, ‘Heil Hitler,’ possibly as a family joke. . . . Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, ‘My New Order,’ which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. . . .”

Waffen SS-clad World War II reenactors, in original photo used by Trump [12]

Waffen SS-clad World War II reenactors, in original photo used by Trump

Observers have noted that Trump apparently [10] studied the book carefully: “. . . . But it appears that one way or another, much of the content in My New Order about how Hitler says propaganda works, and how he structures his speaking style, and how Hitler targets the lowest-common denominator as his intended audience, has seeped into Trump: the way he speaks, argues, rages and responds in public. This goes beyond what has been reported in the New York Times, which analyzed 95,000 words from five months of speeches and concluded that Trump shares a style with the 20th century’s biggest demagogues. . . . What is really stunning—whether or not he carefully read My New Order—is that Trump is channeling the very tenets about how propaganda works laid out by Hitler in his books. . . .”

Next, we note that a recent Trump campaign disclosure appears to be yet another “dog whistle” for Trump’s Nazi followers. Citing 88 high-ranking military officers [13] supporting Trump, the Trump campaign is probably referencing the number as a long-standing numerical code for “Heil Hitler.” In the aftermath of the Allied occupation of Germany, it was forbidden to use the Nazi salute. Instead, “88” was given voice by the Nazi faithful–“H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

It is worth noting that, from an actuarial standpoint, the possibility that exactly 88 officers would have backed Trump is highly unlikely. The number could be anything, from the standpoint of probability.

That exact number–88–is very, very unlikely.

A significant portion of the program reviews the sources of Trump’s money. In FTR #’s 919 [14] and 920 [15], we noted that the most significant of Trump’s creditors is Deutsche Bank, inextricably linked with the Bormann capital network. The Union Bank of Switzerland is another Bormann-linked bank involved with Trump’s real estate empire. Trump’s Chicago tower was bailed out by a consortium led by George Soros, who got his start in business “Aryanizing” Jewish property during the Holocaust.

A telling observation was made by Soledad O’Brien [16], a former CNN host: ” . . . ‘If you look at Hillary Clinton’s speech where she basically pointed out that what Donald Trump has done — actually quite well — has normalized white supremacy,’ O’Brien explained to CNN host Brian Stelter on Sunday. ‘I think she made a very good argument, almost like a lawyer. Here are ways in which he has actually worked to normalize conversations that many people find hateful. I’ve seen on-air, white supremacists being interviewed because they are Trump delegates,’ she noted. ‘And they do a five minute segment, the first minute or so talking about what they believe as white supremacists. So you have normalized that. . . . The former CNN host argued that the question that journalists should be asking is if Trump is ‘softening the ground for people — who are white supremacists, who are white nationalists, who would self-identify that way — to feel comfortable with their views being brought into the national discourse to the point where they can do a five minute interview happily on national television? And the answer is yes, clearly,’ she said. ‘And there is lots of evidence of that.’ . . .”

The program concludes with one of our periodic readings of a passage from They Thought They Were Free [17], in which a German professor who lived through the rise of Hitler described the subjective experience of what it was like. Read it, listen to it and decide if it reflects what you are experiencing.

Program Highlights Include:

1. In Talking Points Memo, Josh Marshall notes the similarity between Adolf Hitler’s rhetorical style and that of Donald Trump. The contrast between the fulminating partisan addressing his followers and the “statesman” engaging other politicians at major functions caught Marshall’s eye.

“Blood and Race and Trump” by Josh Marshall; Talking Points Memo Editor’s Blog; 9/01/2016. [9]

We’ve now heard Trump’s big immigration policy speech.

Let me start with a general comment on tone. This was as wild and as unbridled a speech as I’ve seen from Trump. Even if you couldn’t understand English, it would be stunning to watch the slashing hand gestures, the red face, the yelling. It’s hard to imagine any presidential candidate in living memory giving such a speech. And again, this is if you didn’t know what the words even meant.

As the speech was unfolding, I said something on Twitter that I’m sure many will find extreme or beyond the pale. But watching this speech, compared to the press conference today in Mexico City, what kept coming to my mind was the contrast between Hitler’s uniformed rally speeches from the hustings and the suited, statesman Hitler we see in the old news reels in Munich and at other iconic moments in the late 1930s. . . . But the demagogic style, the frenzied invocation of familial blood sacrificed to barbaric outsiders – these are not unique to him. When we see this lurid, stab-in-the-back incitement, the wild hyperbole, the febrile railing against outsiders who will make us no longer a country – the similarities are real. More than anything, perhaps the most chilling part of this day is the contrast between the two men – a measured, calm statesman figure we saw this afternoon and this railing, angry demagogue figure who captured the emotional tenor of a Klan rally. As I said, the ability to shift from one persona to the other is a sign of danger in itself. . . .

2a. Trump has, in fact, digested Hitler’s rhetorical style, having acquired and read a book of Hitler’s speeches.

“After the Gold Rush” by Marie Brenner; Vanity Fair; 9/1990. [11]

. . . . Donald Trump appears to take aspects of his German background seriously. John Walter works for the Trump Organization, and when he visits Donald in his office, Ivana told a friend, he clicks his heels and says, “Heil Hitler,” possibly as a family joke.

. . . . Ivana Trump told her lawyer Michael Kennedy that from time to time her husband reads a book of Hitler’s collected speeches, My New Order, which he keeps in a cabinet by his bed. . . . Hitler’s speeches, from his earliest days up through the Phony War of 1939, reveal his extraordinary ability as a master propagandist. . . .

2b. An Alternet piece provides more detail about My New Order and how Trump has incorporated Hitler’s rhetorical style:

“Is Donald Trump Getting His Cues from Hitler? How the GOP Leader Is Following the Führer’s Recipe” by Steven Rosenfeld; Alternet; 12/10/2015. [10]

. . . . Adolf Hitler’s My New Order is not just any book. It came after Hitler’s two-volume Mein Kampf (German for My Struggle), and was published in 1925 and 1926 before the Nazi rise to national power and World War II. It is not just a collection of excerpts from speeches Hitler made between 1918 and 1941; it is profusely indexed and filled with details about the speeches’ impact on the media and political establishment.

The American literary magazine Kirkus Review, founded in 1933, puts it this way: “Paralleling actual quotations from Hitler’s own utterances, he [the editor of the English edition] includes corresponding data showing the effect on the world press, and his own commentary relating the statements to doctrines previously presented in Mein Kampf… Section after section follows pattern-background, speech, press.” . . . . But it appears that one way or another, much of the content in My New Order about how Hitler says propaganda works, and how he structures his speaking style, and how Hitler targets the lowest-common denominator as his intended audience, has seeped into Trump: the way he speaks, argues, rages and responds in public. This goes beyond what has been reported in the New York Times, which analyzed 95,000 words from five months of speeches and concluded that Trump shares a style with the 20th century’s biggest demagogues.

Trump’s speeches are filled with simplistic racist attacks, first against Mexicans and more recently Muslims. He belittles and insults his competitors for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. He attacks Democrats’ political “correctness” as weak. He mocks women and disabled people. He threatens to obliterate the enemies he names. He doesn’t care about facts or inconsistencies, and plays to his followers’ fears and prejudices.

All of these tactics, from the repetitive style of his speeches, to believing whatever he says is true, to his excessive and unrivaled view in his leadership, are modeled by Hitler in My New Order, according to a psychological profile of the book in the September 2013 issue of the scholarly journal, Psychiatric Quarterly. “The elements of a delusional system are there,” it states. “This is not simply to say that the man is mad and so has plunged the world into chaos; but it is to say that there is overwhelming evidence in 19 years of his speeches that Hitler himself firmly believes many of his most absurd declarations, including some which are contradictory.”

What is really stunning—whether or not he carefully read My New Order—is that Trump is channeling the very tenets about how propaganda works laid out by Hitler in his books. . . .

2d. A recent Trump campaign disclosure appears to be yet another “dog whistle” for Trump’s Nazi followers. Citing 88 high-ranking military officers supporting Trump, the Trump campaign is probably referencing the number as a long-standing numerical code for “Heil Hitler.” In the aftermath of the Allied occupation of Germany, it was forbidden to use the Nazi salute. Instead, “88” was given voice by the Nazi faithful–“H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

It is worth noting that, from an actuarial standpoint, the possibility that exactly 88 officers would have backed Trump is highly unlikely. The number could be anything, from the standpoint of probability.

That exact number–88–is very, very unlikely.

“Trump Announces 88 Top Former Military Officials Backing Him” by David Corn; Mother Jones; 9/6/2016. [13]

. . . .(Last month, a group of 50 GOP national security wonks signed a letter declaring that Trump “would be a dangerous President and would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.”) Now Trump is fighting back. On Monday, he released a list of 88 former generals and admirals who back his presidential bid. . . .

2e. The excuse–not credible–was given that “we were running out of time.”

“Donald Trump Is Endorsed by Nearly 90 Military Figures” by Maggie Haberman; The New York Times.; 9/6/2016. [18]

. . . . Describing the group as “national security professionals for Trump,” Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, a retired Army officer who had been under consideration to be Mr. Trump’s running mate, said it came together organically.

“We had to stop accepting names because we were running out of time,” he said. . . .

3a. We have noted Trump’s real estate dealings in the past, and the opaque nature of his relationships. Organized crime elements are one of the elements for which Trump’s real estate empire apparently “fronts.”

A New York Times investigation revealed that German corporate elements are another major player in the complex Trump real estate dealings. The nature of the relationships is so complex that not even The Times could unravel some of the relationships.

Deutsche Bank and the Union Bank of Switzerland are major Bormann capital network players. The Hinneberg company, as a dominant international shipping concern and a major German corporation is almost certainly a major Bormann capital network player.

“Trump’s Empire: A Maze of Debts and Opaque Ties” by Susanne Craig; The New York Times; 8/21/2016. [19]

. . . .Yet The Times’s examination underscored how much of Mr. Trump’s business remains shrouded in mystery. He has declined to disclose his tax returns or allow an independent valuation of his assets.

Earlier in the campaign, Mr. Trump submitted a 104-page federal financial disclosure form. It said his businesses owed at least $315 million to a relatively small group of lenders and listed ties to more than 500 limited liability companies. Though he answered the questions, the form appears to have been designed for candidates with simpler finances than his, and did not require disclosure of portions of his business activities. . . .

. . . .The Times found three other instances in which Mr. Trump had an ownership interest in a building but did not disclose the debt associated with it. In all three cases, Mr. Trump had passive investments in limited liability companies that had borrowed significant amounts of money.

One of these investments involves an office tower at 1290 Avenue of Americas, near Rockefeller Center. In a typically complex deal, loan documents show that four lenders — German American Capital, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank; UBS Real Estate Securities; Goldman Sachs Mortgage Company; and Bank of China — agreed in November 2012 to lend $950 million to the three companies that own the building. Those companies, obscurely named HWA 1290 III LLC, HWA 1290 IV LLC and HWA 1290 V LLC, are owned by three other companies in which Mr. Trump has stakes. . . . .

. . . .At 40 Wall Street in Manhattan, a limited liability company, or L.L.C., controlled by Mr. Trump holds the ground lease — the lease for the land on which the building stands. In 2015, Mr. Trump borrowed $160 million from Ladder Capital, a small New York firm, using that long-term lease as collateral. On his financial disclosure form that debt is listed as valued at more than $50 million. . . .

. . . .Tracing the ownership of many of Mr. Trump’s buildings can be a complicated task. Sometimes he owns a building and the land underneath it; sometimes, he holds a partial interest or just the commercial portion of a property.

And in some cases, the identities of his business partners are obscured behind limited liability companies — raising the prospect of a president with unknown business ties.

At 40 Wall Street, Mr. Trump does not own even a sliver of the actual land; his long-term ground lease gives him the right to improve and manage the building. The land is owned by two limited liability companies; Mr. Trump pays the two entities a total of $1.6 million a year for the ground lease, according to documents filed with the S.E.C.

The majority owner, 40 Wall Street Holdings Corporation, owns 80 percent of the land; New Scandic Wall Limited Partnership owns the rest, according to public documents. New Scandic Wall Limited Partnership’s chief executive is Joachim Ferdinand von Grumme-Douglas, a businessman based in Europe, according to these documents.

The people behind 40 Wall Street Holdings are harder to identify. For years, Germany’s Hinneberg family, which made its fortune in the shipping industry, controlled the property through a company called 40 Wall Limited Partnership. In late 2014, their interest in the land was transferred to a new company, 40 Wall Street Holdings. The Times was not able to identify the owner or owners of this company, and the Trump Organization declined to comment. . . .

3b. The program presents analysis of the relationship between Union Bank of Switzerland, the Nazi I.G. Farben chemical cartel and the Bormann capital network [20], economic component of a Third Reich gone underground and perpetuated Mafia-like through its connections to decisively powerful economic and political interests [21].

Note that UBS has helped capitalize the Thyssen industrial group with profound historical [22], political [23] and commercial [24] links to the Bush family [25], as well as the Underground Reich [26].

Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stuart Inc.; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; pp. 160-161. [27]

. . . .In 1948 a suit was to be filed by certain minority stockholders of Interhandel against the attorney general of the United States, as successor to the wartime Alien Property Custodian, and the U.S. Treasury, for the return of 89 percent of GAF (the American branch of I.G. Farben), of a value of $100 million plus $1.8 million seized in cash in 1942. Interhandel, through its American attorneys, first filed an administrative claim, which was denied. The suit then went to the District Court for the District of Columbia, then to the Supreme Court, and back to District Court. The Swiss claim was based on the argument that Interhandel was a Swiss corporation, that it was not nor had it ever been an enemy of the United States, and that it owned the shares in question. The American government rebuttal was that Interhandel was the result of a conspiracy between the private bank of H. Sturzenegger, formerly E.Greutert & Cie., and I.G. Farbenindustrie of Germany and others “to conceal, camouflage, and cloak the ownership, control, and combination by I.G. Farben of properties and interests in many countries of the world, including the U.S.”

As the case dragged through the U.S. courts, Schmitz would have Interhandel cosmeticized even more. Charles de Loes, past president of the Swiss Bankers Association, would be elected chairman, and the general manager of each of the Big Three banks would be appointed to the board. They would agree to this because the honor of Swiss banking and its principle of banking secrecy would be at stake. In addition, 25 percent of Interhandel stock would be registered in the name of Union Bank, whose manager, Dr. Alfred Schaefer, was of known integrity. The Swiss believed the association of such a man of high banking repute at Interhandel would impress American government authorities. But the German connection would still be there. Not only Hermann Schmitz, but also the banking connection of Union Bank of Switzerland, Dr. Schaefer’s bank, and Deutsche Bank, which acted in concert on so many deals involving not only I.G. Farben but also big Ruhr industrialists such as Thyssen A.G., the largest steelmaker in Germany. In January 1978 these two lead banks, acting through the UBS-DBCorporation, an American firm of the Union Bank of Switzerland and the Deutsche Bank of Germany, would be the financial advisors for Thyssen A.G. in its $275 million cash takeover of the Budd Company of Troy, Michigan, a leading U.S. manufacturer of auto components, truck trailers, and rail cars. UBSDB Corporation would also say that the West German companies it represented were showing a “very substantial interest in all sorts of American ventures, including mergers and acquisition.” . . .

4a. Donald Trump’s bank of choice: Deutsche Bank! As the article below points out, it’s a long relationship going back to the early 90’s, with at least $2.5 billion lent. Even when the 2008 crash strained Trump’s relationship with Deutsche Bank, the company’s private banking arm continued to back “The Donald.”

“When Donald Trump Needs a Loan, He Chooses Deutsche Bank” by Anupreeta Das; The Wall Street Journal; 3/20/2016. [28]

Despite some clashes, the Republican front-runner has been a regular client of the German lender

One of Donald Trump’s closest allies on Wall Street is a now-struggling German bank.

While many big banks have shunned him, Deutsche Bank AG has been a steadfast financial backer of the Republican presidential candidate’s business interests. Since 1998, the bank has led or participated in loans of at least $2.5 billion to companies affiliated with Mr. Trump, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of public records and people familiar with the matter.

That doesn’t include at least another $1 billion in loan commitments that Deutsche Bank made to Trump-affiliated entities.

The long-standing connection makes Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank, which has a large U.S. operation and has been grappling with reputational problems [29] and an almost 50% stock-price decline, the financial institution with probably the strongest ties to the controversial New York businessman.

But the relations at times have been rocky. Deutsche Bank’s giant investment-banking unit stopped working with Mr. Trump after an acrimonious legal spat, even as another arm of the company continued to loan him money.

Other Wall Street banks, after doing extensive business with Mr. Trump in the 1980s and 1990s, pulled back in part due to frustration with his business practices but also because he moved away from real-estate projects that required financing, according to bank officials. Citigroup Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley are among the banks that don’t currently work with him.

At Goldman Sachs Group Inc., bankers “know better than to pitch” a Trump-related deal, said a former Goldman executive. Goldman officials say there is little overlap between its core investment-banking group and Mr. Trump’s businesses.

Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Mr. Trump dates to the 1990s. The bank, eager to expand in the U.S. via commercial-real-estate lending, set out to woo big New York developers such as Mr. Trump and Harry Macklowe.

One of the bank’s first loans to Mr. Trump, in 1998, was $125 million to renovate the office building at 40 Wall Street. More deals soon followed, with the bank agreeing over the next few years to loan or help underwrite bonds worth a total of more than $1.3 billion for Trump entities.

By 2005, Deutsche Bank had emerged as one of Mr. Trump’s leading bankers. That year, the German bank and others lent a Trump entity $640 million to build the 92-story Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago. Deutsche Bank officials badly wanted the deal because it came with a $12.5 million fee attached, said a person familiar with the matter.

Mr. Trump charmed the bankers, flying them on his private Boeing 727 jet, according to people who traveled with him.

But when the housing bubble burst, the relationship frayed.

In 2008, Mr. Trump failed to pay $334 million he owed on the Chicago loan because of lackluster sales of the building’s units. He then sued Deutsche Bank. His argument was that the economic crisis constituted a “force majeure”—an unforeseen event such as war or natural disaster—that should excuse the repayment until conditions improved.

His lawyers were inspired to invoke the clause after hearing former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan describe the crisis as a “once-in-a-century credit tsunami,” according to a person who worked on the case for Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump also attacked Deutsche Bank’s lending practices and said that as a big bank, it was partially responsible for causing the financial crisis. He sought $3 billion in damages.

Deutsche Bank in turn sued Mr. Trump, saying it was owed $40 million that the businessman had personally guaranteed in case his company was unable to repay the loan.

Deutsche Bank argued that Mr. Trump had a cavalier history toward banks, quoting from his 2007 book, “Think Big And Kick Ass In Business And Life.”

“I figured it was the bank’s problem, not mine,” Mr. Trump wrote, according to the lawsuit. “What the hell did I care? I actually told one bank, ‘I told you you shouldn’t have loaned me that money. I told you that goddamn deal was no good.’”

The court rejected Mr. Trump’s arguments but the suit forced Deutsche Bank to the negotiating table. The two sides agreed to settle their suits out of court in 2009. The following year, they extended the original loan by five years. It was paid off in 2012—with the help of a loan from the German firm’s private bank.

While Deutsche Bank didn’t lose money on the deal, the fracas soured its investment bankers on working with Mr. Trump. “He was persona non grata after that,” said a banker who worked on the deal.

But not everyone within Deutsche Bank wanted to sever the relationship. The company’s private-banking arm, which caters to ultrarich families and individuals, picked up the slack, lending well over $300 million to Trump entities in the following years. . . .

4b. The fact that Donald Trump recently borrowed a large sum a money to one of the financial world’s biggest serial regulatory violators should become an issue in the 2016.

“Trump Has a Conflict-of-Interest Problem No Other White House Candidate Ever Had” by Russ Choma and David Corn; Mother Jones; 6/01/2016. [30]

He owes at least $100 million to a foreign bank that’s battled with US regulators.

In his most recent financial disclosure statement [31], Donald Trump notes he has billions of dollars in assets. But the presumptive GOP nominee also has a tremendous load of debt that includes five loans each over $50 million. (The disclosure form, which presidential candidates must submit, does not compel candidates to reveal the specific amount of any loans that exceed $50 million, and Trump has chosen not to provide details.) Two of those megaloans are held by Deutsche Bank, which is based in Germany but has US subsidiaries. And this prompts a question that no other major American presidential candidate has had to face: What are the implications of the chief executive of the US government being in hock for $100 million (or more) to a foreign entity that has tried to evade laws aimed at curtailing risky financial shenanigans, that was recently caught manipulating markets around the world, and that attempts to influence the US government?

4c. George Soros led a group of three hedge funds that lended Trump $160 million in high-interest loans which was on top of the $650 million from Deutsche Bank. And we already know what happened to those Deutsche Bank loans (it was paid off with a new loan from Deutsche Bank’s private bank [32]).

But what about that $160 million high-interest mezzanine loan Soros helped finance? Well, it’s not easy to find much information on that, but it turns out someone created a blog, aptly named trumpsoroschicago.wordpress.com [33], with just a single post dedicated solely to elucidating what happened from public sources. And it sure looks like that high-interest loan was also forgiven in 2012 and there’s no indication it was forgiven by issuing a new loan, but instead just forgiven. [34] In past discussion and analysis, we noted that Soros got his start in business “Aryanizing” [35] Jewish property in Hungary during the Holocaust. This may well have been a springboard to operating as what we have termed “a Bormann Jew.”

If Trump was indeed unable to pay back both his Deutsche Bank and mezzanine loans, that sounds circumstantially odd. It would be an odd time for massive loan forgiveness when the high-end Chicago skyscraper market was looking pretty good in 2012 [36]. The condo units on the Trump Tower were basically sold out by 2014, so business was clearly pretty good [37] in the wake of that round of loan forgiveness.

All in all, it’s a very strange business story.

“Did George Soros Free Donald Trump of a $312 Million Debt?” by sorostrumpchicago; Trumpsoroschicago.wordpress.com; 3/19;2016. [34]

* In 2005 Trump started construction on his skyscraper the Trump International Hotel and Tower (Chicago) [38]
* To build the tower, Trump received a loan from Deutsche Bank for $650 million
* Trump also received a $160 million mezzanine loan* from a group of private investors including George Soros, Fortress Investment Group and Blackacre Capital (The loan was estimated by the Wall Street Journal of having a total value as high as $360 million with accrued interest)
* By October 2008 Trump had sold nearly $600 million in condo and condo-hotel units, more than half of the total value of all the units in his tower
* After seven years (2005-2012) Trump was on his way to paying off his main construction loan to Deutsche Bank
* For reasons unexplained to the public, the majority of Trump’s mezzanine loan was quietly forgiven by the loan’s original lenders
* No media outlet covering the deal has put together the pieces and told the public that George Soros let Donald Trump off the hook for what has been valued between $82 and $312 million in debt
* Why would Soros give what amounts to a massive debt relief to Trump during a financially successful period in Trump’s life? Are these men friends, enemies or business partners?

We have come across information related to a long and bizarre financial deal between Donald J. Trump, George Soros, Fortress Investment Group and Blackacre Capital, a deal discovered by following a specific on-going money trail and likely partnership between these entities.

In 2005, when Trump began financing the construction of the tallest residential tower on the North American continent the Trump International Hotel and Tower (Chicago) [38], he needed more than just the basic loan he had received from Deutsche Bank. Trump needed what is called a “mezzanine loan”, a loan which is far more expensive than a regular bank loan. This kind of loan needs to be paid off more quickly to avoid high interest payments. It also needs to be paid back in full to keep the lender from taking ownership of the underlying asset.

“Mezzanine financing is basically debt capital that gives the lender the rights to convert to an ownership or equity interest in the company if the loan is not paid back in time and in full…

…Since mezzanine financing is usually provided to the borrower very quickly with little due diligence on the part of the lender and little or no collateral on the part of the borrower, this type of financing is aggressively priced with the lender seeking a return in the 20-30% range.” 1 [39]

Soros along with Fortress and Blackacre came to Trump with just such a loan at a costly $160 million principal*. The Wall Street Journal had valued the loan at as much as $360 million, depending on the length of time it accrued interest.

“Donald Trump has lined up three New York hedge funds, including money from billionaire George Soros, to invest $160 million in his Chicago skyscraper, a key piece in perhaps the largest construction financing in the city’s history, according to real estate sources and public documents… The massive financing, which sources say also will include a $650 million construction loan from Deutsche Bank…” 2 [40]

“Big names back Trump tower” Chicago Tribune – October 28, 2004 [40]

“A loan document says Mr. Trump could have to pay Fortress as much as $360 million, depending on how long the loan accrues interest. Combined with the Deutsche Bank senior loan, he would owe more than $1 billion in total.” 3 [41]

“In Chicago, Trump Hits Headwinds” The Wall Street Journal – October 29, 2008 [41]

By October 2008, the tower was almost complete and Trump had sold nearly $600 million in condo and condo-hotel units, more than half of the total value of all units in the tower.

“So far, Mr. Trump has lined up buyers for a bit less than $600 million of condo units and condo-hotel units in a residential market that has virtually seized up… He has closed around $200 million in sales so far, with roughly $380 million still in contract.”3 [41]

“In Chicago, Trump Hits Headwinds” The Wall Street Journal – October 29, 2008 [41]

In 2012, Trump continued to owe money to his lenders but sales of his condominiums had picked up and his tower had a 69% occupancy rate. As Crain’s Chicago put it: “The region’s housing and condo market is still mired in a historic slump. But when it comes to buying and selling in Chicago’s high-end condo market, life is surprisingly good… Condominium owners at the $850 million Trump International Hotel & Tower and other newer top-end buildings have, more often than not, experienced value appreciation when they sold in recent years.”4 [36]

While Trump was not yet making a profit on his tower, his sales and value appreciations were such that his building was generating significant revenue, more than enough revenue to pay back to his lenders large portions of his loans. As former New York real estate developer David Rose writes in his article “How to pay off a Skyscraper”:

“After a number of years have passed, several things are likely to have happened: 1) the mortgage has been significantly paid down; 2) the value of the underlying building has increased; and 3) the owner has waited for a time in the economic cycle where mortgage rates are low. At that point [they] will ‘refinance’ the original mortgage, and put the balance to work somewhere else where it can make even more money.”5 [42]

“How Long Does It Take To Pay Off a Skyscraper?” Slate – July 12, 2012 [42]

(Fortunately for Trump, favorable financial conditions existed in 2012. 6 [43]By all accounts, including his own, Trump was ready and able to pay off the loans for his Chicago tower. 7 [44])

Yet Trump did not have to worry about paying back the majority of his mezzanine loan. A special group of lenders came in and erased a significant portion of this obligation.

That group was the original mezzanine loan lenders: Soros, Fortress and Blackacre; all of whom decided to forgive Trump’s future interest payments on the loan, selling it to him at the massively reduced price of $48 million. To put that in starker terms, Soros and the others effectively gave Trump possibly hundreds of millions of dollars in debt forgiveness, while cutting down the principal of his loan by $82 million**. Basically, Soros and the others forgave Trump as much as $312 million for no apparent reason.

“Donald Trump has paid $48 million to buy out junior creditors on his 92-story Chicago condominium and hotel project… The New York developer says he bought the debt, which had a face value of $130 million, back from a group of creditors led by Fortress Investment Group.” 8 [45]

“Trump buys out tower creditors” Crain’s Chicago Business– March 28, 2012 [45]

In a further twist to the story, in the same article from Chicago Business revealed: “After buying out the junior debt [the mezzanine loan], Mr. Trump says he now owes about $120 million on the building that comes due in 1½ years.”8 [45]

The aforementioned shows us that in 2012 Trump had already paid off most of the Deutsche Bank loan before Soros, etc. came in and wiped out most of his mezzainine debt. This raises the question, why wasn’t Trump expected by Soros, Fortress and Blackacre to pay back their riskier, high-interest mezzanine loan? Also, how was Trump able to pay down his Deutsche Bank loan – demonstrating the means to pay off all his loans – yet still have Soros and the others give him somewhere between $82 million and $312 million in debt forgiveness?

Additionally to that, why have we heard almost nothing about this gigantic giveaway to Trump? And why were Soros and Blackacre, two of the three main investors in the mezzanine loan, scrubbed from media’s coverage of the final debt forgiveness deal? What backroom agreements were made concerning this mezzanine loan?

And indeed, not only was this deal made in a cloaked manner, it may have been the most generous amount of debt forgiveness ever given on a mezzanine loan to a borrower who was in good financial health and who had a steadily appreciating asset, as was Trump and his Chicago tower.

Footnotes:

*Two articles quote the total for the mezzanine loan at $130 million, however due to the limited coverage of the deal we do not know at this time which is the true figure. 6 [45]7 [46]

**If we were to rely on the original figure of the $160 million principal, this would be $112 million giveaway on the loan’s principle to Trump

Sources:

1. “Mezzanine Financing” Investopedia:http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/mezzaninefinancing.asp [39]
2. “Big names back Trump tower” Chicago Tribune – October 28, 2004:http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2004-10-28/news/0410280265_1_donald-trump-soros-fund-management-blackacre-institutional-capital-management [40]
3. “In Chicago, Trump Hits Headwinds” The Wall Street Journal – October 29, 2008:http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB122523704293478077 [41]
4. “Trumped up: Trophy towers’ condos rise above housing slump” Crain’s Chicago Business – April 14, 2012:http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120414/ISSUE01/304149974/trumped-up-trophy-towers-condos-rise-above-housing-slump [36]
5. “How Long Does It Take To Pay Off a Skyscraper?” Slate – July 12, 2012:http://www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2012/07/12/how_long_does_it_take_to_pay_off_a_skyscraper_.html [42]
6. “Mortgage rates sink to new record low” CNN Money – June 7, 2012:http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/07/real_estate/mortgage-rates/ [43]
7. “The 400 Richest Americans – #134 Donald Trump” Forbes – Sept. 17, 2008:http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml [44]
8. “Trump buys out tower creditors” Crain’s Chicago Business – March 28, 2012:http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20120328/CRED03/120329769/trump-buys-out-tower-creditors [45]
9. “Trump sues lenders for more time to pay off loan on Tower” Chicago Real Estate Daily – November 07, 2008:http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20081107/CRED03/200031749/trump-sues-lenders-for-more-time-to-pay-off-loan-on-tower [46]

4d. We review the profound relationship of the Bormann capital network and Deutsche Bank:

Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile; Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 [HC]; Lyle Stuart Inc.; ISBN 0-8184-0309-8; pp. 139, 205. [47]

. . . . When Bormann gave the order for his representatives to resume purchases of American corporate stocks, it was usually done through the neutral countries of Switzerland and Argentina. From foreign exchange funds on deposit in Swiss banks and in Deutsche Sudamerikanishe Bank, the Buenos Aires branch of Deutsche Bank, large demand deposits were placed in the principal money-center banks of New York City; National City (now Citibank), Chase (now Chase Manhattan N.A.), Manufacturers and Hanover (now manufacturers Hanover Trust), Morgan Guaranty, and Irving Trust. Such deposits are interest-free and the banks can invest this money as they wish, thus turning tidy profits for themselves. In return, they provide reasonable services such as the purchase of stocks and transfer or payment of money on demand by customers of Deutsche bank such as representatives of the Bormann business organizations and and Martin Bormann himself, who has demand accounts in three New York City banks. They continue to do so. The German investment in American corporations from these sources exceeded $5 billion and made the Bormann economic structure a web of power and influence. The two German-owned banks of Spain, Banco Aleman Transatlantico (now named Banco Comercial Transatlantico), and Banco Germanico de la America del Sur, S.A., a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank served to channel German money from Spain to South America, where further investments were made. . . .

. . . . The [FBI] file revealed that he had been banking under his own name from his office in Germany in Deutsche Bank of Buenos Aires since 1941; that he held one joint account with the Argentinian dictator Juan Peron, and on August 4, 5 and 14, 1967, had written checks on demand accounts in first National City Bank (Overseas Division) of New York, The Chase Manhattan Bank, and Manufacturers Hanover Trust Co., all cleared through Deutsche Bank of Buenos Aires. . . .

5. In connection both with Trump’s real estate holdings and John P. Schmitz’s corporate work [48], we review the control of German industry and finance by the Bormann network.

Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile by Paul Manning; Copyright 1981 by Paul Manning; Lyle Stuart Inc. [HC]; ISBN 0-8184-0309-B; pp. 284-285. [20]

. . . Atop an organizational pyramid that dominates the industry of West Germany through banks, voting rights enjoyed by majority shareholders in significant cartels, and the professional input of a relatively young leadership group of lawyers, investment specialists, bankers, and industrialists, he [Bormann] is satisfied that he achieved his aim of helping the Fatherland back on its feet. To ensure continuity of purpose and direction, a close watch is maintained on the profit statements and management reports of corporations under its control elsewhere. This leadership group of twenty, which is in fact a board of directors, is chaired by Bormann, but power has shifted to the younger men who will carry on the initiative that grew from that historic meeting in Strasbourg on August 10, 1944. Old Heinrich Mueller, chief of security for the NSDAP in South America, is the most feared of all, having the power of life and death over those deemed not to be acting in the best interests of the organization. Some still envision a Fourth Reich. . . What will not pass is the economic influences of the Bormann organization, whose commercial directives are obeyed almost without question by the highest echelons of West German finance and industry. ‘All orders come from the shareholders in South America,’ I have been told by a spokesman for Martin Bormann. . . . 

theythoughttheywerefree [49]

6. In FTR #s 918 [50] and 919 [14], we detailed our view that Trump’s benign statements about Russia, Ukraine and Putin are of the same nature as the 1949 “Open Letter to Stalin” published in the Buerger Zeitung. They are intended to precipitate a “bidding war” between the West and Russia, to the eventual betterment of Germany.

We may very well see, ultimately, a non-NATO, non-nuclear, “European War Union” [51] replace NATO, along with a Russia-inclusive trade union stretching “from Liston to Vladivostok.” [52]  The “European War Union” [51] would be sold to Russia as a less threatening entity than the U.S.-led NATO.

We present a text excerpt illustrating how long this German-sponsored “East vs. West” bidding war conducted for the benefit of Germany has been going on.

In the closing stages of World War II, Walter Schellenberg, in charge of foreign intelligence for the SD (the SS intelligence service) played the “Ostpolitik” card to Allen Dulles, who, in turn, played it to the State Department. This was a successful gambit, and helped lay the groundwork for the resurgence of the Underground Reich and the return to power of Nazis in the “new” [53] Germany.

The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA by Burton Hersh; Charles Scribner’s & Sons [HC]; Copyright 1992 by Burton Hersh; ISBN 0-684-19348-5; pp. 121-123. [54]

It now became priority number one that as much of Western Europe as possible fall to the capitalist West, and as intact as possible. To this end, [Walter] Schellenberg seems to ave concocted an extremely subtle disinformation campaign, designed largely to convince one man. On February 4, 1945, Allen Dulles wired the State Department that “Colonel MASSON head of Swiss SI who, as previously reported has had close contact with his German opposite number SCHELLENBERG advised that envoy from Schellenberg was here and hinted he wanted to see me. Envoy apparently tried to create impression that stiff resistance on West Front and maintenance Italian Front as contrasted with rapid withdrawal East Frontwas part of plan to open all of Germany to Russia but that possibly if Anglo-Saxons disposed to modify unconditional surrender contact with Western Powers might be useful. Envoy also hinted at some understanding between Germany and Russia to open door to latter.

“Believing that this might be trap to cause trouble between Russians and ourselves particularly at this junction I expressed NO interest in seeing envoy.”

By the time he reached the Allied Command in Paris a week later, Dulles had apparently reconsidered. In an extended report dated February 11 from Robert Murphy to European Affairs Division Chief Matthews at State, Murphy alludes to the SS approach and summarizes Dulles’s estimate: “Allen said that all indications currently received from Germany indicate a definite trend toward the idea that Germany’s only salvation lies to the East. The conviction seems to be growing that while the Russians may be hard and brutal, even cruel, and that they will punish the principal National Socialist offenders, they still offer an affirmative economic and industrial future which will protect the Germans against starvation and poverty. They believe that the Russians will be dependent on German industrial products which means that German plants will continue to work at full capacity and that the unemployment problem will thus be solved.

“on the other hand, looking at the West, the Anglo-Americans offer nothing of an affirmative nature and the principal publicity is to the effect that the American intention is to reduce Germany to an agricultural basis with no provision for the millions employed in industry.” To overcome the much-publicized Morgenthau plan proposals, “Dulles urged very vigorously that something of an affirmative nature be communicated in one form or another to the German people and also that some explanation of what we have in mind under the policy of unconditional surrender be given. He expressed the conviction that chaos will reign in Germany after the collapse.” Since the day he arrived in Bern, Allen had been insisting that only the fear of Communism inhibited the German resistance. Dulles now pushed for the exploitation of captured German officers to sway the population in the Reich, since “Russian military successes in the East are due not alone to military prowess but to treachery behind the lines, a good part of which has been inspired by the German generals now in Russian hands.” . . . .

. . . . By insinuating that Germany might prefer the Bolsheviks, the SD intellectuals were angling unceasingly for negotiating leverage. . . .

7. Former CNN host Soledad O’Brien attacked the cable news business has behaved irresponsibly in this election and presented a “Serpent’s Walk”-style platform for Nazi/white supremacist views: ” . . . ‘If you look at Hillary Clinton’s speech where she basically pointed out that what Donald Trump has done — actually quite well — has normalized white supremacy,’ O’Brien explained to CNN host Brian Stelter on Sunday. ‘I think she made a very good argument, almost like a lawyer. Here are ways in which he has actually worked to normalize conversations that many people find hateful. I’ve seen on-air, white supremacists being interviewed because they are Trump delegates,’ she noted. ‘And they do a five minute segment, the first minute or so talking about what they believe as white supremacists. So you have normalized that. . . . The former CNN host argued that the question that journalists should be asking is if Trump is ‘softening the ground for people — who are white supremacists, who are white nationalists, who would self-identify that way — to feel comfortable with their views being brought into the national discourse to the point where they can do a five minute interview happily on national television? And the answer is yes, clearly,’ she said. ‘And there is lots of evidence of that.’ . . .”

“Soledad O’Brien Eviscerates CNN: ‘You Have Normalized’ White Supremacy with Shoddy Trump Reporting” by David Edwards; Raw Story; 9/04/2016. [16]

Former CNN host Soledad O’Brien blasted the cable news business over the weekend for profiting off the hate speech that has fueled Donald Trump’s political rise.

According to O’Brien, the media had gone through “contortions to make things seem equal all the time” when comparing Trump to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“If you look at Hillary Clinton’s speech where she basically pointed out that what Donald Trump has done — actually quite well — has normalized white supremacy,” O’Brien explained to CNN host Brian Stelter on Sunday. “I think she made a very good argument, almost like a lawyer. Here are ways in which he has actually worked to normalize conversations that many people find hateful.”

“I’ve seen on-air, white supremacists being interviewed because they are Trump delegates,” she noted. “And they do a five minute segment, the first minute or so talking about what they believe as white supremacists. So you have normalized that.”

“And then Donald Trump will say, ‘Hillary Clinton, she’s a bigot.’ And it’s covered, the journalist part comes in, ‘They trade barbs. He said she’s a bigot and she points out that he might be appealing to racists.’ It only becomes ‘he said, she said.’ When in actuality, the fact that Donald Trump said she’s a bigot without the long laundry list of evidence, which if you looked at Hillary Clinton’s speech, she actually did have a lot of really good factual evidence that we would all agree that are things that have happened and do exist. They are treated as if they are equal.”

O’Brien insisted “that’s where journalists are failing: the contortions to try to make it seem fair.”

The former CNN host argued that the question that journalists should be asking is if Trump is “softening the ground for people — who are white supremacists, who are white nationalists, who would self-identify that way — to feel comfortable with their views being brought into the national discourse to the point where they can do a five minute interview happily on national television?”

“And the answer is yes, clearly,” she said. “And there is lots of evidence of that.”

O’Brien observed that cable news outlets were effectively being rewarded for bad behavior.

“So hateful speech brings a really interested, angry audience,” she noted. “This is genius! We should do this more often. What shall we do when this election is over? We’re going to have to think about ways to really rile people up, make them angry and divide them.”

“Because that is something that cable news, frankly, and everybody can cover really well,” O’Brien lamented. “So, I find it very frustrating. I believe he was over-covered at the beginning.”

“Now, it is ‘he said, she said’ all the time. We have lost context. We actually don’t even cover the details of something. We just cover the back and forth of it. It’s funny to watch if it weren’t our own country and our own government actually operating.”

8. The program concludes with a German university professor’s account [55] of what it was like to live during the rise of Hitler. Note the similarity to aspects of the contemporary political landscape. Consider Donald Trump and Hitler.

They Thought they Were Free: The Germans 1933-1945; by Milton Mayer; copyright 1955 [SC]; University of Chicago Press; ISBN 0-226-51190-1; pp. 166-172. [17]

“‘What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise, to receiving decisions deliberated in secret, to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand because of national security, so dangerous that even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him may have incidentally reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it. Their trust in him made it easier to reassure others who might have worried about it. This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real crises and reforms too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of the Government growing remoter and remoter.

“The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was, above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway. I do not speak of your ‘little men,’ your baker and so on; I speak of my colleagues and myself, learned men, mind you. Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about—we were decent people—and kept us so busy with continuous changes and ‘crises’ and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the ‘national enemies,’ without and within, that we had no time to think about these things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?”

“‘To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.’”

“‘How is this to be avoided, among ordinary men, even highly educated extraordinary men? Frankly, I do not know. I do not see, even now. Many, many times since it all happened I have pondered that pair of great maxims, Principiis obsta and Finem respice—‘Resist the beginnings’ and ‘Consider the end.’ But one must foresee the end in order to resist, or even see, the beginnings. One must foresee the end clearly and certainly and how is this to be done, by ordinary men or even by extraordinary men? Things might have changed here before they went as far as they did; they didn’t, but they might have. And everyone counts on that might.’”

“‘Your Little Men, your Nazi friends, were not against National Socialism in principle. Men like me, who were, are the greater offenders, not because we knew better (that would be too much to say) but because we sensed better. Pastor Niemoller spoke for the thousands and thousands of men like me when he spoke too modestly of himself) and said that when the Nazis attacked the communists he was a little uneasy but, after all he was not a communist, and so he did nothing and then the schools, the press, the Jews, and so on, and he was always uneasier but still he did nothing. And then they attacked the Church, and he was a Churchman, and he did something, but then it was too late.’ ‘Yes’ I said”

“You see,” my colleague went on, “one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me this is true. Each act, each shocking occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for that one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow. You don’t want to act, or even talk, alone; you don’t want to ‘go out of your way to make trouble.’ Why not?–Well, you are not in the habit of doing it. And it is not just fear, fear of standing alone, that restrains you; it is also genuine uncertainty.”

“Uncertainty is a very important factor, and, instead of decreasing as time goes on, it grows. Outside, in the streets, in the general community, ‘everyone’ is happy. One hears no protest, and certainly sees none. You know, in France or Italy there would be slogans against the government painted on walls and fences. In Germany, outside the great cities perhaps, there is not even this. In the university community, in you own community, you speak privately to your colleagues, some of whom certainly feel as you do; but what do they say? They say, ‘It’s not so bad’ or ‘You’re seeing things’ or you’re an alarmist.”

“And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end and how do you know or even surmise the end? On the one hand your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other, your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic. You are left with your close friends, who are, naturally people who have always thought as you have.”

“But your friends are fewer now. Some have drifted off somewhere or submerged themselves in their work. You no longer see as many as you did at meetings or gatherings. Informal groups become smaller; attendance drops off in little organizations, and the organizations themselves wither. Now, in small gatherings of your oldest friends you feel that you are talking to yourselves, that you are isolated from the reality of things. This weakens your confidence still further and serves as a further deterrent to—to what? It is clearer all the time that, if you are going to do anything, you must make an occasion to do it, and then you are obviously a troublemaker. So you wait, and you wait.” “But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you never comes. That’s the difficulty. If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in’43 had come immediately after the ‘German firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at step C. And so on to D.”

“And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jew swine’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation your people –is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed, because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility, even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.”

“You have gone almost all the way yourself. Life is a continuing process, a flow, not a succession of acts and events at all. It has flowed to a new level, carrying you with it, without any effort on your part. On this new level you live, you have been living, more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles. You have accepted things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined.

“Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven’t done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we do nothing).”