By Valentin Katasonov
This article was originally published in 2015 by Strategic Culture Foundation and also reproduced by TML Weekly at that time. We are republishing it today to enlighten readers on the role played by international financiers in World War II and debunk the Anglo-American falsification which blames the Soviet Union for that tragedy so as to exonerate themselves.
The article also clearly examines the origins of the international financial institutions at a time the Trudeau government and provincial governments are once against indebting the country to private interests to unprecedented levels based on the fraudulent claim that this is how to achieve economic recovery. Not only that, the Trudeau government likes to claim that Canada’s adherence to these international financial institutions makes it democratic and provides proof of its multilateralism. The material in this article provides ample information which shows that there are obviously various kinds of multilateralism with various kinds of aims and not all of them serve Canada. This the Trudeau and other governments in Canada do not want discussed.
The war was not unleashed by a frenzied Führer who happened to be ruling Germany at the time. World War II was a project created by the world oligarchy or Anglo-American financiers. Using such instruments as the U.S. Federal Reserve System and the Bank of England they started to prepare for the next global conflict right after World War I. The USSR was the target.
The Dawes and Young Plans; the creation of the Bank for International Settlements; Germany’s suspension of reparations payments it had to pay according to the Paris Peace Treaty and the acquiescence of Russia’s former allies in this decision; large-scale foreign investments in the economy of the Third Reich; the militarization of the German economy and the breaches of the Paris Treaty provisions – these all were important milestones on the way to preparing the war.
There were key figures behind the plot: the Rockefellers, the Morgans, Lord Montagu Norman (the Governor of the Bank of England) and Hjalmar Schacht (President of the Reichsbank and Minister of Economics in Hitler’s government). The strategic plan of the Rockefellers and Morgans was to subjugate Europe economically, saturate Germany with foreign investment and credits and make it deliver a crushing blow against Soviet Russia so that it would return to the world capitalist system as a colony.
Montagu Norman (1871-1950) played an important role of go-between to keep up a dialogue between American financial circles and Germany’s business leaders. Hjalmar Schacht organized the revival of Germany’s defence sector. This operation conducted by the Anglo-American financiers was covered up by politicians such as Franklin Roosevelt, Neville Chamberlain and Winston Churchill. In Germany the plans were carried out by Hitler and Hjalmar Schacht. Some historians say Hjalmar Schacht played a more important role than Hitler, but Schacht simply kept out of the spotlight.
The Dawes Plan was an attempt following World War I for the Triple Entente to compromise and collect war reparations from Germany. The Dawes Plan (as proposed by the Dawes Committee, chaired by Charles G. Dawes) was an attempt in 1924 to solve the reparations problem, which had bedeviled international politics following World War I and the Treaty of Versailles (France was reluctant to accept it got over 50 per cent of reparations). In 1924-1929 Germany received $2.5 billion from the United States and $1.5 billion from Great Britain, according to the Dawes Plan. In today’s currency it is a huge sum, equal to U.S.$1 trillion. Hjalmar Schacht played an active role in the implementation of the Dawes Plan. In 1929 he summed up the results, saying that in five years Germany got more foreign loans than the United States in the 40 years preceding World War I. As a result, by 1929 Germany had become the world’s second largest industrial nation leaving Great Britain behind.
In the 1930s, the process of feeding Germany with investments and credits continued. The Young Plan was a program for settling German reparation debts after World War I, written in 1929 and formally adopted in 1930. It was presented by the committee headed (1929-30) by American industrialist Owen D. Young, founder and former first chairman of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). At the time, Young also served concurrently on the board of trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation, and also had been one of the representatives involved in the previous war reparations restructuring arrangement – the Dawes Plan of 1924. According to the plan, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) was created in 1930 to make Germany pay reparations to the victors. In reality the flow of money went in quite a different direction – from the United States and Great Britain to Germany. The majority of strategically important German companies belonged to American capital or were partly under its control. Some of them belonged to British investors. German oil refining and coal liquefaction sectors of the economy belonged to Standard Oil (the Rockefellers). The major chemical company I.G. Farbenindustrie AG was put under the control of the Morgan Group. Forty per cent of the telephone network and 30 per cent of aircraft manufacturer Focke Wulf shares belonged to American company ITT Corporation. Major industrial concerns Radio and AEG, Siemens and Osram were put under the control of General Electric. ITT and General Electric were part of the Morgan empire. One hundred per cent of Volkswagen shares belonged to the Ford Motor Company. By the time Hitler came to power, U.S. finance capital practically controlled all the strategically important sectors of German industry: oil refining, synthetic fuel production, chemical production, auto production, aviation, electrical engineering, the radio industry, and a large part of the machine manufacturing sector (a total of 278 companies). The leading German banks – Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank, Donat Bank and some others – were also under U.S. control.
On January 30, 1933 Hitler was named the Chancellor of Germany. Before that his candidacy had been thoroughly studied by American bankers. Hjalmar Schacht went to the United States in the autumn of 1930 to discuss the nomination with American colleagues. Hitler’s appointment was finally approved at a secret meeting of financiers in the United States. Hjalmar Schacht spent all of 1932 trying to convince the German bankers that Hitler was the right person for the position. He achieved the goal. In mid-November 1932, 17 of Germany’s biggest bankers and industrialists sent a letter to President Hindenburg expressing their demand to make Hitler the Chancellor of Germany. The last working meeting of the German financiers before the election was held on January 4, 1933 in Kölnat, the home of banker Kurt von Schröder. After that the National Socialist Party came to power. As a result, Germany’s financial and economic ties with the Anglo-Americans were elevated to a higher level.
Hitler immediately made an announcement that he refused to pay the post-war reparations. It put into doubt the ability of England and France to pay off World War I debts to the United States. Washington did not object to Hitler’s announcement. In May 1933 Hjalmar Schacht paid another visit to the United States. There he met with President Franklin Roosevelt and big bankers to reach a $1 billion credit deal. In June the same year Hjalmar Schacht visited London to hold talks with Montagu Norman. It all went down smoothly. The British agreed to grant a $2 billion loan. The British offered no objections related to Germany’s decision to suspend debt payments.
Some historians say that the American and British bankers were accommodating because by 1932 the Soviet Union had fulfilled its five-year economic development plan to achieve new heights as an industrial power. A few thousand enterprises had been built, especially in the field of heavy industry. The USSR’s dependence on imported mechanical engineering expertise was greatly reduced. The chances of strangling the Soviet Union economically were practically reduced to zero. They decided to rely on war and launched the runaway militarization of Germany.
It was easy for Germany to get American credits. By and large, Hitler came to power in his country at the same time as Franklin Roosevelt took office in the United States. The very same bankers who supported Hitler in 1931 supported Roosevelt in the presidential election. The newly elected President could not but endorse large credits to Germany. By the way, many noticed that there was a big similarity between Roosevelt’s “New Deal Policy” and the economic policy of the German Third Reich. No wonder. The very same people worked out both policies and consulted with both governments at the time. They mainly represented U.S. financial circles.
Roosevelt’s New Deal soon started to stumble. In 1937 America plunged into the quagmire of economic crisis. In 1939 the U.S. economy operated at 33 per cent of its industrial capacity (it was 19 per cent at the worst of the 1929-1933 crisis).
Rexford G. Tugwell, an economist who became part of Franklin Roosevelt’s first “Brain Trust,” a group of Columbia University academics who helped develop policy recommendations leading up to Roosevelt’s New Deal, wrote that in 1939 the government failed to achieve any success. There was an open sea until the day Hitler invaded Poland. Only the mighty wind of war could dissipate the fog. Any other measures Roosevelt could take were doomed to failure. Only a world war could save U.S. capitalism. In 1939 the financiers used all the leverage at their disposal to put pressure on Hitler to make him unleash a big war in the east.
The BIS played an important role during World War II. It was created as an outpost of American interests in Europe and a link between Anglo-American and German businesses, a kind of offshore zone for cosmopolitan capital, providing shelter from political processes, wars, sanctions and other things. The BIS was created as a public commercial entity, its immunity from government interference and such things as taxation was guaranteed by an international agreement signed in the Hague in 1930.
The bankers of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York were close to the Morgans, and the Governor of the Bank of England Montagu Norman, as well as the German financiers: Hjalmar Schacht (President of the Reichsbank and Minister of Economics in the Hitler government), Walther Funk (who later replaced Hjalmar Schacht as President of the Reichsbank) and Emil Puhl. All of them played an important role in the efforts to establish the BIS. The central banks of Great Britain, France, Italy, Germany, and Belgium and some private banks were among the founders of the BIS. The Federal Bank of New York did its best to establish the BIS, but it was not listed as a founder. The U.S. was represented by the private First National Bank of New York, J.P. Morgan and Company, and the First National Bank of Chicago – all parts of the Morgan empire. Japan was also represented by private banks. In 1931-1932, 19 European central banks joined the BIS. Gates W. McGarrah, a banker of Rockefeller’s clan, was the first BIS chairman of the board. He was replaced by Leon Fraser, who represented the Morgans. U.S. citizen Thomas Huntington McKittrick was President of the BIS during the war years.
A lot has already been written about the BIS’ activities serving the interests of the Third Reich. The bank was involved in deals with different countries, including those Germany was at war with. Ever since Pearl Harbour, the BIS has been a correspondent bank for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Despite the bank being under Nazi control during the war years, the American McKittrick was the bank’s President. Soldiers were dying on the battlefields while the BIS leadership held meetings in Basel with the bankers of Germany, Japan, Italy, Belgium, Great Britain and the United States. There, in the Swiss offshore zone, all was peaceful; the representatives of the belligerents quietly worked in the atmosphere of mutual understanding.
Switzerland became the place where gold seized by Germany in different corners of Europe was transported to for storage. In March 1938 when Hitler captured Vienna, part of Austria’s gold was transferred to the BIS vaults. The same thing happened with the gold from the Czech National Bank (U.S.$48 million). As the war started, gold poured into the BIS. Germany obtained it from concentration camps and by plundering the occupied countries (including civilian property: jewels, gold crowns, cigarette cases, utensils). It was called the Nazi Gold. The metal was processed into ingots to be stored in the BIS, Switzerland or outside of Europe. Charles Higham in his book Trading With The Enemy: An Exposé of The Nazi-American Money Plot, 1933-1949 wrote that during the war, the Nazis transferred $378 million into BIS accounts.
A few words about the Czech gold, about which details surfaced after the Bank of England’s archives were declassified in 2012. In March 1939, Germany captured Prague. The Nazis demanded U.S.$48 million from Czechoslovakia’s national gold reserves. They were told that the sum had already been transferred to the BIS. It later became known that the gold was transferred from Basel to the Bank of England. At the command from Berlin, the gold was transferred to the Reichsbank’s BIS account. Then the Bank of England was involved in transactions done on the orders of the Reichsbank given to the BIS. The commands were retransmitted to London. There was collusion between Germany’s Reichsbank, the BIS and the Bank of England. In 1939 a scandal broke out in Great Britain because the Bank of England executed the transfer of Czech gold on the commands from Berlin and Basel, not the Czech government. For instance, in June 1939, three months before the war between Great Britain and Germany started, the Bank of England helped the Germans stuff their accounts with 440,000 pounds sterling worth of gold and transfer some gold to New York (Germany was sure that in the case of a German intervention in Poland, the United States would not declare war).
The illegal transactions with Czech gold were implemented with tacit approval of the government of Great Britain which was aware of what was going on. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir John Simon and other top officials did their best to hide the truth, including telling outright lies (that the gold had been returned to its lawful owners or had never been transferred to the Reichsbank). Recently declassified materials from the Bank of England reveal the truth that the government officials lied to provide cover for themselves and the activities of the Bank of England and the BIS. It was easy to coordinate the joint criminal activities because Montagu Norman, the head of the Bank of England, served as the chairman of the board of the BIS. He never made a secret of his sympathy for the fascists.
The Bretton Woods Conference, formally known as the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference, was a gathering of 730 delegates from all 44 allied nations at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, to regulate the international monetary and financial order after the conclusion of World War II. The conference was held from July 1 to 22, 1944. Suddenly the issue of the BIS hit the agenda. It was reported that the bank had collaborated with fascist Germany. Leaving many details aside, it was with great difficulty that the delegates reached an agreement to close the BIS (some U.S. delegates opposed the motion). The decision of the international conference has never been enacted. All the discreditable information related to the BIS’ wartime activities was classified. Today it helps to falsify the history of World War II.
Finally, a few words about Hjalmar Schacht (1877-1970). He was a key figure controlling the economic machine of the Third Reich, an extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador representing Anglo-American capital in Germany. In 1945, Schacht was tried at Nuremberg and was acquitted on October 1, 1946. He got away with murder. […] For some unexplained reasons he was not on the 1945 leading wartime criminals list. Moreover, Schacht returned to his profession as if nothing had happened and founded Schacht GmbH in Düsseldorf. This detail may go unnoticed, though it serves as further testimony to the fact that Anglo-American financiers and their plenipotentiary representatives in Germany prepared and, to some extent, influenced the outcome of World War II. The financiers want to rewrite the history of the war and change its results.
1.P. Tugwell, The Democratic Roosevelt, A Biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt, New York, 1957, p. 477.
(Strategic Culture Foundation, May 4-5, 2015. Edited for style and grammar by TML Weekly.)