Beyond Operation Paperclip: How The US Helped The Rise of Nazi Germany

 

The relationship between the American government and the Nazi party is always sugarcoated, but before the United States actually entered the war there were members of the country’s ruling class that were big supporters of the Nazi party, both for business purposes and common interests such as eugenics.

The most prominent American politician to work with the Nazis was actually George W. Bush’s grandfather Prescott Bush. There is no doubt that he was funding and working with the Nazis, because his company’s assets were seized in 1942 by the United States government under the “trading with the enemy” act.

He worked at the head of a financial firm called Brown Brothers Harriman which acted as a US base for the Nazi business interests. Brown Brothers Harriman was one of the biggest international investment firms in the 1930’s and they sent millions of dollars in gold overseas to rebuild the German army and fund the Nazi party. This racket was finally exposed on July 30th of 1942 when the New York Herald Tribune posted an article called “Hitler’s Angel Has three million dollars in US Bank”. This article raised suspicion about the bank being a “secret nest” for Nazi elites and eventually sparked the investigation that took down the operation.

Prescott Bush Campaigning for Senator, Connecticut
1956

Some of America’s largest corporations also contributed to the atrocities committed in Germany during the Second World War. They saw the Nazi party as a rising political force in Europe and they wanted a piece of that business. Many of them also had similar political and social interests as well. Among those corporations, IBM was by far the most heavily involved with Hitler. In 1933, the year that Hitler came to power, IBM invested millions of dollars into Nazi Germany and built a factory in Berlin. Once established in Germany, IBM began building the cataloging machines that Hitler would need to organize his genocide.

This technology was used to process and register which citizens would be sent to ghettos or concentration camps. Without the IBM cataloging devices known as the “Hollerith” machines the Nazis would have still carried out the holocaust, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as organized, widespread or deadly. IBM was not the only company that helped Hitler and his Nazi regime rise to power. Without the help of companies like General Electric, Standard Oil, I.G Farben and Ford Motors the Nazis would have never had the resources or the technology to build a militarized empire from the ashes of the collapsed Weimar Republic.

After the war, the Nazi military power in Germany came to an end, but many key figures in the regime were scouted and recruited by governments and corporations from all over the world. Many of the primary influences, backers, and financiers of the Nazi party also went on to coach new world “leaders” on how to handle their military and foreign policy.

The Americans rounded up dozens of Nazi scientists, economists, and military officers to give them jobs for the U.S government. In many cases, the government had Nazis excused from war crimes so they could begin working for America. These Nazi transfers took place under a classified government project called “operation paperclip”.

Through this project, many top ranking members of the Nazi party became integrated into the American government. One notable example is that of Wernher von Braun, a Nazi rocket scientist who was hired by the US government through operation paperclip, and who later worked with NASA as the chief engineer for the Saturn-V launch rocket that sent the Apollo spacecraft to the moon.

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