Factual error in Bush/Nazi column

Cecil wrote:
but the idea that his German holdings increased in value despite being obliterated by Allied bombs is ridiculous

Actually, the RAF/USAAF rarely bombed targets past the Oder. Too far over hostile airspace; the Russians allowed only a few missions to land in W. Russia, in 1944.

Christopher Duffy in Red Storm Over the Reich mentions that Breslau was ‘one of the few German cities to lay beyond the normal reach of the Allied bombing offensive.’ Breslau was the heart of Upper Silesia, of course.

This relates to the column Was President Bush’s great-grandfather a Nazi?

I read somewhere, I think it was in Trading with the Enemy, that RAF pilots were specifically instructed not to bomb Ford and GM plants in Germany, so much so that refugees hid there knowing they would be safe. It looks like Gravity’s Rainbow and Catch-22 were not fiction after all.

Despite this, GM was paid $30 million by the US government for damage done to their factories in Nazi Germany, which was kind of inconsistent with their claim that they had no control over those factories and the slave labor that was used therein.

Errr… No, it isn’t inconsistent in the least. Do you suppose the Nazis didn’t have their own Trading With the Enemy Act?

You misunderstood. The US division of GM wanted to have it both ways. When they were charged with using slave labor in Nazi Germany, they gave the excuse (which was found to be untrue) that they had no control over those plants. But then they turned around and accepted the money for the damage. If they had no responsibility for the slave labor, they should not have accepted the money. But what do we expect for an evil greedy corporation?

I like you comment about the Nazis having their own Trading with the Enemy Act. But we weren’t the enemy, we were the good guys. How about a Trading with the Good Guys Act?

A) GM owned the plants. When the war was over, their plants had been damaged by Allied bombing.

B) GM did not control the plants. During the war, they were under the control of Germany.

No contradiction.

Sorry, Kennedy, you are wrong. In the corporate world, ownership and control are the same thing. Your reply reeks of the transparent denial of a corporate apologist. You probably don’t support the corporate death penalty either.

You will be happy to know that GM paid $3.3 billion to settle the slave labor claims, which pretty much wiped out that $30 million they obtained dishonestly.

Yeah, and you have no idea how pissed-off the Nazis were about how all those German factories were being used by GM to manufacture jeeps, tanks, etc., to be delivered (straight through the German lines) to the Allies, but, heck, they were only Nazis, not (shudder!) Communists, and the sacred rights of Property must prevail!

Huh? GM and Ford built trucks for the Nazis. Surely you couldn’t be this dimwitted. Read Higham’s book Trading with the Enemy and report back. I repeat, an American corporation built trucks for the Nazis in their German subsidiary, Opel. This is treason, but Irenee Dupont was not hanged for it. Why not?

I’ll wait until the penny drops.


Look, you “titanic intellect” :rolleyes: , the corporation may have owned the factories, but the Germans had a state-controlled economy. Whether or not Ms. DuPont wanted to produce trucks for Germany is irrelavant…the Nazis dictated how all of the factories in the territory they controlled were used. :smack:

Ms. Dupont? Surely all of you are not so ignorant…sigh…Irenee Dupont was a male of the species…is there any intelligent life out there…please read at least one history book before you respond…

American industrialists committed treason, goddammit! Why don’t you care about that?

Rockefeller sent tankers from Venezuela to refuel German U-Boats in the Canary Islands…don’t you get it???

I would suggest that you read more than one. Also, a book on manners might be appropriate. You come across like a angst-raddled 12-year-old that just swallowed a copy of Das Capital. There are a virtual battalion of DuPonts. I am not their biographer. You did not make the gender of the person refered to in your post plain. Therefore, your remarks are a cheap shot at best, smug arrogence at worst.

Who says we don’t? But I’d like some more proof, please.



And please, provide a supporting source…one not derived from you original book.

After all, anybody can write a book. But good scholarship can be verified. Does this book you refer to have a bibliography? Annotated footnotes? A list of original source material? Is the author academically accredited in any way?

You are making an extraordinary claim, & this requires extraordinary proof to verify. Since you are making this claim, you are the one required to back up your claim with proof.

BTW–profanity is not allowed outside the BBQ Pit Forum. This is a well-known rule of the Board. Please adhere to this rule. Thank You.

This isn’t true in any world, except perhaps Bizarro World.

To illustrate the absurdity of this notion, let us suppose that you are sitting at your computer and begin to accuse Cecil of misstating some fact or other. A horde of outraged fans storms your desk, ties you up with a printer cable, and replaces your preview message with a panegyric to Cecil’s infallible wisdom.

Surely it is clear to you that you still own the computer (the perps would be guilty of the additional crime of theft if they walked off with it) but the mob is in control of the computer.

mystic2311, that is just plain wrong. That might apply properly to sole proprietorships and unlimited partnerships. Stock corporations, limited partnerships, and other such corporate constructs are specifically built around the idea of the separation of ownership and control. You’ve got stockholders – who own the corporation – the board of directors (elected by stockholders) who control the corporation – then you’ve got management (hired by the board), who run the corporation. All of the above may have overlapping members.


Here is some of the info about Standard Oil’s treason:

Standard Oil also taught the Nazi German chemical company I.G. Farben how to make tetraethyl lead and add it to gasoline to make leaded gasoline. That information was priceless, since leaded gas was essential for modern mechanized warfare. One I.G. Farben memo noted Standard Oil’s help in procuring $20 million worth of aviation fuel. "The fact that we actually succeeded by means of the most difficult of negotiations in buying the quantity we needed… and transporting it to
Germany, was made possible only through the aid of the Standard Oil Company (emphases added)."According to a l992 article in the Village Voice, Brown Brothers Harriman was the Wall
Street investment firm that arranged for a loan of tetraethyl lead to the Nazi Luftwaffe in l938. A senior managing partner of the firm was George Bush’s father, Prescott Bush. (It’s A
Conspiracy l25-7).< p In a reference adding to this information, Bowen tells us thatStandard Oil remained in partnership with Farben in the matter of tetraethyl lead, an additive used in aviation gasoline. Goering’s air force couldn’t fly without it… The result was that Hitler’s air force was rendered capable of bombing London. And by supplying Japan with tetraethyl, Teagle helped make it possible for the Japanese to wage WorldWar2.(Bowen2-11) In regard to William Stamps Farrish, a name which was to be closely associated with the Bush family for three
entire generations preceding, during and after World War II, Higham had this to say:

“William Stamps Farrish… was mesmerized by Germany… [H]e staffed the Standard Oil tankers with Nazi crews. When war broke out in Europe, he ran into trouble with British
Intelligence, which boarded some of his vessels outside U.S territorial waters on the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards and seized Nazi agents who were passengers…When the British began
interrogating Nazi crews on the Hitler-Standard connection, Farrish fired the Germans and changed the registry of the entire fleet to Panamanian to avoid British search and seizure. His
vessels carried oil to Tenerife in the Canary Islands, where they refueled and siphoned oil to German tankers for shipment to Hamburg. They also fueled U-boats even after the American
government… was fighting an undeclared war in the Atlantic…Standard tankers supplied the submarines which… sank American ships…” (Higham, Trading 35-6).

“At last [Ickes] found an ally who had the courage to confront [Standard Oil] in Washington: Thurman Arnold…Standard underwent a process of law in the criminal courts of Newark,
New Jersey. This was a technicality to satisfy public opinion (at first). The charges of criminal conspiracy with the enemy were dropped in return for Standard releasing its patents and
paying the modest fines (of $l0,000-20,000)…On March 26, l941, Arnold appeared before the Truman Committee (in Congress) …in order to lay in front of the committee his specific charges against the oil company…He showed how Farrish had flagrantly disregarded Lend-Lease and good neighbor policies in his connivance with Hitler. He zeroed in on the subject of synthetic rubber, pointing out that it had been denied to the U.S. Navy, and that Farrish…had deliberately sidetracked a Navy representative from seeing the process. He charged that cables showed Standard’s arrangements with Japan that were to continue throughout any conflict or break in trade. Leaving the Senate chamber on March 28, l941, surrounded by lots of reporters and photographers, Truman was asked, ‘Is this treason?’ He replied in the affirmative.” (Higham, Trading 42-53).


We weren’t at war with Germany until after Pearl Harbor- Dec 7th, 1941.

So, it wasn’t treason. Under American law, we have to be at war for it to be treason.

Anything after December of '41?

Plenty. Here is a good online summary:


Here is a brief snippet related to Standard Oil, showing that their treason continued after the US and Germany were declared enemies:

"July 13, 1944, Ralph W. Gallagher, attorney for Standard Oil, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government’s seizure of the contested patents. “On November 7, 1945, Judge Charles E. Wyzanski gave his verdict,” according to Higham. “He decided that the government had been entitled to seize the patents. Gallagher appealed. On September 22, 1947, Judge Charles Clark
delivered the final word on the subject. He said, ‘Standard Oil can be considered an enemy national in view of its relationships with I.G. Farben after the United States and Germany had become active enemies.’ The appeal was denied.” (15)

Bolding mine.
Minor correction. They couldn’t continue their treason after a declaration of war. They may have been guilty of treason only after war was declared.

You need to understand the problem with sourcing these claims. Charles Higham’s books are an excellent example. Higham is best known for his film biographies. While researching a biography of Errol Flynn, he came across what he considered to be evidence that Flynn had been a Nazi spy, among other things. The book sold well. Higham was moved to write two subsequent books, Trading with the Enemy (1983) and American Swastika (1985), which have to do with American dealings with the Nazis before and during World War II. Higham’s view is that there was widespread treason involving some of the most prominent names in American life. One would expect abundant footnoting for such spectacular claims. Nothing of the kind is provided. Entire chapters are kissed off with a few vague references to unspecified files in the U.S. national archives. The archives comprise thousands of cubic feet of material; it is impossible on the basis of the cites given to verify the accuracy of any but a few of the claims Higham makes. His books are not to be relied upon in forming a judgment regarding American complicity with the Nazis. This is not to say all such claims are false, but rather that they have not been proven to any reasonable standard.