Welcome to the fourth installment in my ongoing examination of an organization variously known as "The Family" or "The Fellowship." Established in 1935 by a Lutheran minister named Abraham "Abram" Vereide, the Family became involved in political intrigues since its very inception. It quickly grew into an elite network of hardline Christians and wealthy doners that now spend hundreds of millions (and likely billions) on a host of causes in a given year. Every United States President since Dwight Eisenhower has attended the group's annual National Prayer Breakfast.
With the first installment of this series I considered the religious experience Vereide claimed lay behind the ideology of the Family as well as the group's origins after a "chance" encounter with a "former" military officers of some means the morning after Vereide's alleged experience. Part two addressed the group's early efforts in putting Arthur Langlie in office, first as the mayor of Seattle and later as Washington state's governor. Also addressed there are the possible ties the Family had with the FBI/military industrial security apparatus since the early days and the curious similarities between Vereide and Silver Shirt founder William Dudley Pelley.
The third and most recent installment began to address Vereide's pre-WWII fascist connections. Vereide flirted with Henry Ford for a time and developed ties with Dr. Frank Buchman, the founder of the Moral Re-Armament movement and vocal supporter of Nazi Germany. Buchman was the recipient of ample funding from Ford, who at the time was still employing William J. Cameron, a man some believe was the actual author of The International Jew and a key influence on the transformation of British Israelism into Christian Identity "theology." Also considered was the presence of arch fascist promoter Merwin K. Hart in the Family's inner circle. Hart would go on to be involved with a host of far right groups such as the American Security Council, the Congress for Freedom and the Liberty Lobby in the post-WWII years.
"A magnificent garden in the back grew upon the green ridge of Rock Creek Park, the narrow gorge that separated the property from the sculpted grounds of Dumbarton Oaks. It was there, in 1944 – the same year that Abram and his wife, Mattie, at last risen from her sickbed in Seattle, moved to the Christian Embassy – that Roosevelt and his advisers began planning the United Nations. Abram at first interpreted the United Nations as the result of divine intervention leading the secular world towards international acknowledgment that the truths of the world's religions were best summarized in the personality of Jesus. He turned his weekly congressional prayer meetings into lobbying sessions on the organization-to-be's behalf, and his most conservative prayer disciples – especially the old arch-isolationist Senator Arthur Vandenberg, converted to Cold War internationalism before World War II had even ended – helped quiet American resistance to the endeavor.
"History, not his Christ, would disappoint Abram. After the war ended, after it dawned on him that the UN would not become an international Christian congress, after the atom bombs fell, after the Red Army boiled up to the edge of Western Europe and did not stop so much a simmer, waiting, Abram was certain, for Stalin's command, for Satan's whisper – after he had taken stock of the war's victories and defeats, his anxieties and his enthusiasms grew more warlike than the UN could accommodate. Communism no longer meant the creed of insufficiently submissive worker; now it was as great and grand as Lucifer's kingdom, an evil empire that had launched 'World War III,' Abram decided. 'Most of these communists are in fact rebels and should be treated as rebels,' he said, waving the black flag of no mercy for those who disobey God – a sentiment his followers in developing nations would later make real by murdering hundreds of thousands of leftists. Abrams fundamentalism was polite only within the confines of Washington; projected onto the world, it brought on violence and raised up those most capable of it."
(The Family, Jeff Sharlet, pgs. 156-157)
The presence of Arthur Vandenberg in Vereide's circle during this timeframe is most interesting. Vandenberg is generally credited as one of the chief architects of the UN. He was also keeping some very interesting company during that time.
"... John Foster Dulles wormed his way into Republican politics by befriending Arthur Vandenberg, a staunch isolationist from Michigan. Vandenberg collaborated with Dulles on the foreign policy planks of the Republican platform in 1944. At Vandenberg's insistence, Dulles accompanied him to the San Francisco organizing meeting for the United Nations. Dulles quickly leaked information to the press on the bipartisan agreement, poisoning negotiations."
(The Nazi Hydra in America, Glen Yeadon & John Hawkins, pg. 120)
World War II had barely ended when Vereide began his ambitious program of "saving" the German people.
"In 1946, Abram undertook a mission to scour the Allied prisons in Germany for men 'of the predictable type' ready to turn their allegiance from Hitler to Christ, and thus, in Abram's thinking, America. In later years, Abram was say he had gone at the U.S. State Department's request, and while it's true that the State Department did send Abram and provide any support he needed, it was Abram who initiated the trip, writing to Undersecretary of State major John H. Hildring that the men of the Senate and House prayer groups had insisted that Abram carry 'the Idea' to defeated Germany. Abram sailed on the Queen Mary in June, launched a prayer cell of Swiss bankers in Zürich, and flew from Frankfurt to Berlin on the private plane of General Joseph T. McNarney, commander in chief of the U.S. Forces of Occupation, to meet with General Lucius D. Clay, soon to take over from Eisenhower as military governor. Everywhere he met with the 'Christian forces of Germany' – those who saw Germany suffering as penance for its embrace of the tolitarianism of a man rather than that of God. He found them all weeping, he wrote his wife, crying for their Fuhrer, for the thousand-year Reich in the grave at age twelve, for the dead and the missing and the blank-eyed boys who had stumbled home in retreat from the Russians. In the West he wept with them; in East Berlin, he prayed with 'secret cells' of Christians determined to overthrow communism. Even in the West, he believed 'atheistic devotees' of subversion – that is, those with strong anti-Nazi records, concentration camp survivors – had been elevated by an American military government blind to the threat posed by its eastern ally. 'Nominal membership' in the Nazi Party was being held against good Christians with the necessary experience to govern. A coalition of leading German churchmen begged him to intervene, asking only that none the Christians be given authority.
"In Frankfurt Abram, with the churchmen and the pillars of the Third Reich to whom they introduced him, 'the most intelligent, honest and reliable people of Germany,' settled on a plan. They would provide Abram with a list of imprisoned men, 'war criminals' according to the view of a certain un-Christian element among the Allies. Abram's friends in the military government and back home in Washington would certify them as men not only to be released but to be used, according to their ability in the tremendous task of reconstruction. That September, U.S. secretary of state Jimmy Byrnes, under the advice of General Clay, delivered in Stuttgart a world-changing address, 'Restatement of Policy on Germany.' The burden of reparations would be lessened, Germany would be allowed to keep more of its industrial base, and the purge of National Socialism would soon come to an end: 'It never was the intention of the American government to deny the German people the right to manage their own internal affairs as soon as they were able to do so in a democratic way.'
"In Frankfurt, Abram claimed, God personally revealed to Abram a key man to quietly help manage the internal affairs of Germany's elite: Dr. Otto Fricke, an austere German churchman with an uncomfortable past..."
(The Family, Jeff Sharlet, pgs. 157-159)
Clay's time as military governor in Germany has been much debated with some leaning towards a view that he genuinely sought to reform Germany but was hamstrung in these efforts by Operation Paperclip, an intelligence program in which the US recruited from the "talent pool" of the former Third Reich.
"General Lucius Clay was the man ultimately responsible for enforcing the denazification law. He was the military governor of the U.S. zone in Germany and served as commander in chief of EUCOM and head of OMGUS. His views on denazification were far different from those of the intelligence officers involved with Paperclip. He was a hard-liner when it came to America's attempt to 'denazify' the entire German population and make them believers in democracy. 'Our job,' as I see it, 'is to see that only the right type of Germans are permitted to take leadership until democratic processes become a habit,' Clay said.
"Clay strongly believed that all Germans, scientists included, needed denazification. Once he fired a scientific advisor who insisted the German scientists were not Nazis, an attitude that caused extreme friction in OMGUS. Clay complained bitterly to Assistant Secretary of State John Hilldring that the scientific adviser 'blamed Public Safety Branch severely for treating scientists as Nazis, even though the record is clear.' That record included the Dachau experiments conducted by scientists who were tried for murder in the Nuremberg Medical Case.
"Clay was getting criticism from both sides over how OMGUS was handling the denazification of Paperclip recruits. On the one hand, The New York Times charged that Paperclip provided an escape route whereby ardent Nazis evaded the denazification process altogether. American officials in Europe generally absolved Clay of the blame. The critics told The Times that many of Clay's subordinates 'did not know what makes a Nazi or do not care so long as the German has good table manners, speaks good English and is efficient in the job assigned him.'
"On the other hand, military officers who recruited scientists for Paperclip in Germany were angry that US enforcement of denazification – stiffer than in the other three zones of Germany – hindered their recruiting efforts. Many Germans refused to sign Paperclip contracts because they were afraid that if they went to America prior to denazification, they risk being categorized as unemployable if they returned to Germany. Furthermore, competition was fierce, since the United States, Great Britain, France, and the USSR were all competing for the same man. The British offered the Germans a variety places they could go, including Canada, Australia, and Pakistan. The French offered higher pay. And, as one American officer noted, the Soviets offered everyone contracts, even Germans whose names were on automatic arrest lists.
"In this atmosphere JIOA officers were trying to solve two types of problem cases under Paperclip. The first group consisted of specialists ... who arrived in the United States before their denazification process even began. JIOA Governing Committee members suggested that General Clay handle these cases by trying the scientists in absentia. The scientists' Fragebogen would be submitted to a court in Germany, while the scientist stayed in America. The JIOA Director Wev was afraid that pro-Communists might interrogate the scientists in court about their work in America if the group was returned to Germany.
"But Clay's decision on the matter went even further than Wev's idea. He decided to forgo trials of any sort for Paperclip recruits. Clay noted the trials in absentia were not permitted even in cases of Nazis located in Germany. Special treatment like that would only draw attention to the project and indicate to the German people that special procedures would be used if American interests were involved. 'It would be much better to permit them to remain in the US as Nazis without bringing them to trial than to establish special procedures not now within the purview of the German law,' Clay concluded.
"Nevertheless, Clay's policy did in fact establish special procedures for the group. As one OMGUS official noted, 'we are, for the first time, removing a group of Germans from normal denazification process.' Paperclip policy already required US agencies to conduct background investigations of the scientists' Nazi past. Clay thought those investigations would exclude ardent Nazis from the group. But as noted earlier, the JIOA 'screeners' had turned those investigations into a farce.
"In the second type of cases, the JIOA officers brazenly flaunted of the law. This group involved scientists whose denazification process begun prior to their US entry. First, JIOA Director Wev asked Clay's personal adviser, Dr. Walter Dorn, to expedite the trials. Dorn was against the scheme because it contravened normal procedures. The Public Safety Branch did not think the request was unusual. Assigning of propriety of trials of individuals has been frequently carried out in the past so that it is almost routine,' Public Safety Branch officer G.F. Corrigan said.
"Perhaps expediting trials in special cases has become routine, as Corrigan said. What was not routine, however, was that once courts judged some of the scientists as ardent Nazis, the Germans quickly left for America while U.S. intelligence officers in Europe intervened in the court decisions."
(Secret Agenda, Linda Hunt, pgs. 96-98)
"Both Clay and Murphy were largely responsible for convincing Truman that a punitive peace was unwise, and they immediately set about sabotaging the denazification program. Once the Kennan Doctrine emerged in 1946, Clay and Murphy both embraced it. Early in 1946, Gen. Clay banned dismantling German industrial plants for reparations. Both Clay and Murphy had a great influence in escalating the emerging Cold War. In 1948, Clay issued a warning to Washington that 'war may come with dramatic suddenness.' His frantic message came from an exaggerated threat assessment from Gehlen, claiming Soviets were mobilizing large numbers of troops in Eastern Europe. Gehlen was a former Nazi officer in charge of intelligence on the Eastern Front, recruited by OSS-CIA."
(The Nazi Hydra in America, Glen Yeadon & John Hawkins, pg. 354)Reinhard Gehlen had developed an extensive intelligence apparatus that was known as the Gehlen Org or simply the Org. Gehlen and his minions would dominate the intelligence of West Germany for decades after the war despite his network being littered with Soviet agents (or perhaps triple agents...). The above-mentioned intelligence that Clay relied upon for his warning concerning the emerging Soviet threat has since proven to be grossly inaccurate and played a key role in escalating the growing confrontation between the US and USSR into the Cold War. Certainly the Family would not have objected to such developments.
"... The cleansing of the American occupation government became an obsession, the subject of his meetings with the American high commissioner John J. McCloy and his weekly prayer meetings with congressman."
(The Family, Jeff Sharlet, pg. 177)While the agenda of General Lucius Clay are somewhat ambiguous, the same cannot be said for the man who replaced him: John J. McCloy. Much has been written concerning McCloy over the years by conspiracy theorists, much of it highly debatable. But few would dispute that McCloy was a major power broker in his day.
"Many of the men Roosevelt appointed to head the executive-branch bureaucracies shared his internationalist outlook and were themselves important members of the 'eastern establishment.' The best example is John McCloy, who served as assistant secretary of war from 1941 to 1945. Once the war ended, he was the US high commissioner to Germany and held this position until 1952. He then served as chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank from 1953 to 1960, and as chairman of the Ford Foundation from 1958 to 1965. He was also a trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1946 to 1949, and then again from 1953 to 1958, before he took up the position at Ford. From 1954 to 1970, he was chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, to be succeeded by David Rockefeller, who would work closely with him at Chase Bank. McCloy, in fact, had a long association with the Rockefeller family, going back to his early Harvard days, when he taught the young Rockefeller brothers how to sail. He was also a member of the Draper Committee, formed in 1958 by Eisenhower. He dedicated his life to liberal internationalism and to profits."
(The War State, Michael Swanson, pgs. 51-52)
"Given the similarity in our interest, I was disappointed that Jack and I never developed a close personal relationship. That may have been the result of the great differences in our early lives and a peculiar episode in Jack's that seems to have scarred him for life.
"Jack was born, as he often recalled, on 'the wrong side of the tracks' in Philadelphia. His father died when he was quite young, and it was only by dint of hard work and exceptional ability that he made his way through Amherst College and Harvard Law School, and on to a distinguished career.
"Despite his own great achievements, Jack seemed wary, perhaps even resentful, of what I appeared to represent in financial and social terms. Frequently at gatherings I attended, Jack related the story of his first contact with my family...
"Jack must have told the story in my presence a hundred times, the last time in 1985 when I succeeded him as chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. The story always made me feel uncomfortable.
"Jack's inability to resist retelling this anecdote demonstrated ambivalence towards me and my family, maybe even latent hostility. His feeling was probably deepened by a comment Nelson was said to have made to him at the time he became chairman of Chase. Nelson reportedly told them the 'family had used its influence' to make him chairman and that one of his jobs was to ensure that 'David would succeed him when he retired.' It seems quite possible that Nelson made the comment or one quite similar to it. He could be quite high-handed and no doubt thought he was doing me a favor. But if Nelson did make a statement of this kind, it certainly was not the result of a family decision or a request from me. It would have been highly inappropriate for anyone in the family to make such a demand. Unfortunately, if the story was true, it may have permanently altered Jack's attitude towards me.
"In any event, Jack's ambivalence may have been a factor in his refusal to play a more decisive role with the directors of the bank in selecting his successor in 1959. His indecisiveness, whether its cause, would have profound consequences for me personally and for the bank. Quite possibly Jack could never look at me without remembering the long, dusty walk up the hill in Seal Harbor and the big wooden door being close quietly but firmly in his face."
(Memoirs, David Rockefeller, pgs. 154-155)
|the Rockefeller estate at Seal Harbor|
Few, however, would dispute that McCloy played a key role in the release of numerous high ranking Nazi war criminals.
"Following the outbreak of the Korean War, U.S. High Commissioner for Germany John McCloy moved rapidly to resolve the U.S.-West German dispute over the Landsberg prisoners. He handpicked a legal review commission to advise him on clemency for the inmates, and the group then spent the next six months poring over the various appeals and request for mercy filed on behalf of the convicts. McCloy's commission refrained from any contact with the US Nuremberg prosecutors, however, and declined to review documentary evidence of specific acts of Nazi criminality that had been brought to light during the prisoner's trials.
"McCloy announced the recommendations of this task force in January 1951, only a few days after Seoul had fallen to Communist forces. He began by acknowledging the 'enormity of the crimes' committed by the prisoners at Landsberg and called for stern measures against them. But he then went on to argue that in some cases there was a 'legitimate basis for clemency,' as he put it, for example, when the Landsberg prisoner's sentence 'was out of line with sentences for crimes of similar gravity in other cases' or when the convict had had 'relatively subordinate authority' during the war, or when other mitigating factors were present.
"McCloy ruled that five of the criminals, including Einsatzgruppen commander Otto Ohlendorf and concentration camp chieftain Oswald Pohl, had to hang. He then subsequently reduced the prison sentences of seventy-nine other major Nazi war criminals, most of whom were set free within a few months of the court's ruling. The beneficiaries of this act included, for example, all the convicted concentration camp doctors; all the top judges who had administered the Nazis' 'special courts' and similar machinery of repression; fourteen of fifteen convicted criminals from the first Einsatzgruppen and concentration camp administration trial, seven of whom were released immediately; sixteen of twenty defendants and the second Einsatzgruppen mass murder case; and all of the convicted criminals in the Krupp corporation slave labor case, each of whom was released immediately.
"Equally important, McCloy's clemency decisions for the Landsberg inmates set in motion a much broader process that eventually freed hundreds of other convicted Nazi criminals over the next five years. Convicted I. G. Farben executive Fritz Ter Meer put the matter succinctly upon his release from Landsberg a few days after McCloy's clemency. 'Now that they have Korea on their hands, he quipped, 'the Americans are a lot more friendly. '"
(Blowback, Christopher Simpson, pgs. 191-192)
"According to 1973 Thyssen corporate documents, Chase Bank secretly owns nearly a third of the Thyssen-Krupp Corporation, the wealthiest conglomerate in Europe. Both Thyssen and Krupp were convicted Nazi war criminals who are quietly released by John McCloy, the American High Commissioner Germany (HICOG). McCloy then became head of the Chase Bank. When I asked McCloy why he pardoned so many convicted Nazi war criminals, he claimed that he was pressured by the Vatican. McCloy, it should be recalled, also wrote the infamous wartime memo forbidding the bombing of Auschwitz."
(America's Nazi Secret, John Loftus, pg. 4 n5)So much for McCloy. Besides the military governors of Germany, Vereide and the Family also had ample support in Congress for their endeavors in post-WWII Germany.
"'Humility begets power', Congressman Clyde Doyle of California preached to the prayer meeting convened by Abram to consider the problem of 'reconciliation' as V-Day approached. Let's take the gentleman from California at his word. Let us suppose that the politicians Abram gathered to dedicate themselves to the suffering of the German people – men such as Senator Alexander Wiley, the Wisconsin Republican who declared even Kennan's muscular manifesto 'panty-waist diplomacy'; Senator Homer Capehart, the Indianan who became the most vocal defender of former fascist 'rights' after the war; Representative Walter Judd, the ex-missionary from Minnesota; and Representative O.K . Armstrong, a jolly Missourian who thrilled to the sound of Bavarian oompah bands – were true believers, humble and powerful and eager to be of service for their suffering brethren.
"Consider Capehart, a Hoosier who'd invented the mass-production jukebox. 'The embodiment of Senator Snort with his vast paunch and triple chin, large cigar fixed permanently in his round face, Senator Homer Earl Kapor was a cartoonist's dream,' the South Bend Tribune would later eulogize him. Capehart was no Nazi; he was a Christian, a spiritual warrior, a red hunter, a vice president of Abram's organization, and a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations. Like Abram, Capehart only wanted to soothe the heartache of the most broken. 'The first issue' of the postwar situation, Capehart declared in a 1946 broadside against an unspecified 'vicious clique' within the Truman administration, 'has been and continues to be purely humanitarian.' Capehart spoke of the 'tragedy in Germany' – the rubble of Berlin, the empty stomachs of Hamburg – which such pathos that one might be forgiven for mistaking which side he had been on. Subsequent generations of neo-Nazis have done just that, endlessly recycling his speeches. 'Those who have been responsible for this deliberate destruction of the German state' – he meant not the policies of the Reich itself but Morgenthau's short-lived plan to 'pastoralize' the fatherland into a second infancy – 'and the criminal mass starvation of the German people have been so zealous in their hatred that all other interests and concerns have been subordinated to this one obsession of revenge.'
"To Frankfurt and Berlin, Senator Snort and Abram and the Fellowship of the Senate dining room sent new suits, so the Germans could dust themselves off and emerge from the rubble clothed like gentlemen, and overcoats to protect them from the chill of the nation that burned what was left of its furniture to stay warm..."
(The Family, Jeff Sharlet, pgs. 168-169)
"... Men such as Hermann J. Abs, 'Hitler's banker' and a vice president of Abram's International Christian Leadership (ICL), German division; Gustav Schmelz, a manufacture of chemical weapons; Paul Rohrbach, the hypernationalist ideologue whose conflation of Germany with Christianity, and most of Europe with Germany, had inspired the Nazis to understand their war-hunger as divine; and General Hans Speidel, who had accepted the surrender of Paris on behalf of the Fuhrer in 1940, insisted that he had never believed Hitler, had been forced into his arms by the Red Menace, and regretted the unfortunate alliance was such a vulgar fool , a disgrace to God's true plan for Germany. They had done nothing wrong; they, too, if one gave it some thought, were victims.
"Perhaps some of them were. This is one of the many clever strategies of fascism: persecution belongs to the powerful, according to its rules, both to dole out and to claim as the honor due martyrs. Abram did not ask questions; he simply took out his washcloth and got busy with the blood of the lamb. He scrubbed his 'new men' clean. Did it work? Abs, 'Hitler's banker', became 'Adenauer's banker,' a key figure in the West German government's financial resurrection. Schmelz kept his factory. Rohrbach wrote on, authoring tributes Abram's International Christian Leadership in the Frankfurter Allgemeine.
"And Speidel? He was a special case, a coconspirator with Rommel in the attempted assassination of Hitler, the 'July Plot' of 1944. There were something almost American about him; like Buchman, like Barton, he considered Hitler's racial policies a distraction from his really good ideas. For this ambivalence, the Allies rewarded him: he served as commander in chief of NATO ground forces from 1957 to 1963, when Charles de Gaulle, unpersuaded of his reconstruction, insisted on his ouster.
"Such men are only a few of those whom Abram helped, and by no means the worst.... there were 'little Nazis' Abram championed for U.S. intelligence positions, and there were big ones: Baron Konstantin von Neurath, Hitler's first foreign minister, General Oswald Pohl, the last SS commander of the concentration camps, among them. For those beyond hope of blank-slate reinvention, Abram and his web of Christian cells pled medical mercy (von Neurath, sentenced to fifteen years for crimes against humanity, was released early in 1953; Abram took up his case upon learning from von Neurath's daughter that her father, classified as a 'Major War Criminal,' was receiving less than exemplary dental care in prison) or expediency (it was unjust, they fell, the Pohl, who while imprisoned by the Allies wrote a memoir called Credo: My Way to God --a Christ-besotted path that did not include acknowledging his role in mass murder – should be left wondering when he would be hanged).
"When occupation forces charged Abs with war crimes, he offered a novel defense. He did not deny what he had done for Hitler; he simply declared that he done it for money, fascism be damned. He would gladly do as much for the Allies. And so he dig, a task of which he so excelled that he would come to be known as the wizard of the 'German Miracle.' His past was forgotten – a phrase that must be written in passive voice in order to suggest the gentle elision of history in the postwar years, undertaken by those eager to see a conservative German state rise from the ashes, a sober son of Hitler's fatherland that would inherit the old man's hatred for one radicalism but not his love of another.
"When, in 1982, the Simon Wiesenthal Center delivered to the public a massive case detailing Abs's crimes – among them the looting of the Third Reich's riches on behalf of Nazis fleeing to South America – Abs, not long retired from his spot at the helm of the Deutsche Bank, must have felt a sense of annoyed déjà vu. Would the world condemn his financial machinations for the glory of the Reich? Then it must also reject those on behalf of capitalism's easternmost bulwark in Europe, America's most crucial ally in the Cold War, the Federal Republic of Germany: a nation in which the past became the crass obsession of 'materialists,' those who prefer brute 'memory' to more modern, more spiritual affairs."
(The Family, Jeff Sharlet, pgs. 165-168)
"McCloy was advised that the Peck Commission: David Peck, a judge in the New York Appellate Division; Fredrick Moran, chairman of the New York Board of Parole; and Brig. Gen. Conrad Snow. The Peck Commission was only authorized to reduce sentences, not to challenge the legal decision of guilt. While the Simpson Commission was limited to reviewing the trials held at Dachau, the Peck Commission was limited to the trials at Nuremberg.
"It was not until McCloy's appointment as High Commissioner that he opened the doors of Landsberg Prison. McCloy insisted until his death that releasing the war criminals was not politically motivated, but nothing could be further from the truth.
"The industrialists' trial, once considered of equal importance to the main Nuremberg Trial, ended because the Soviets blockaded Berlin. Even as the convicted directors of Krupp and IG Farben were being taken to Landsberg, they knew there was little prospect of serving their sentences. Germans and the fascists in America believed that they were just the innocent victims of left-wing fanatics. The Nazis' allies in the United States were successful in smearing the trial as such. In Landsberg, the prisoners settled into a comfortable routine. McCloy controlled his empire through weekly visits from his lawyers and business associates. He chose Herman Abs as his financial advisor. Abs, already 'rehabilitated' by Gen Clay, headed the Reconstruction Loan Corp.
"When McCloy arrived as High Commissioner, there already was a concerted drive to rebuild German industry as a bulwark against the Soviets. Abs informed McCloy that the key to Germany's recovery and cooperation was the release of the industrialists from Landsberg. McCloy also was told the same by Karl Blessing, a war criminal whom Allen Dulles saved. In fact, McCloy could have been told that by any German citizen."
(The Nazi Hydra in America, Glen Yeadon & John Hawkins, pgs. 368-369)
"While the development of a global branch network was critical to Chase's emergence as a multinational bank, so, too, was our ability to expand into other international financial areas, particularly investment banking. Lacking the needed expertise ourselves, we decided to form a consortium with some of our oldest European and British banking friends to provide international bond underwriting and loan syndication.
"We approached three banks in the Rothschild group. Since both Evelyn de Rothschild, chairman of L.M. Rothschild, and Leon Lambert, chairman of Banque Lambert (a Rothschild through his mother), were personal friends, I had positive initial conversations with them.
"At the same time we met with Hermann Abs, chairman of the Deutsche Bank in West Germany; Alfred Schaefer, chairman of the Union Bank of Switzerland; and Marcus Wallenberg of Sweden, whose family controlled the Stockholm Enskilda Bank. Of these three, only Wallenberg expressed interest and agreed to proceed. Abs and Schaefer, the two most powerful and influential European bankers of their day, were decidedly negative to the proposal. Despite that, we thought the combination of Chase, the Rothschild-related merchant banks, and the prestigious Enskilda Bank gave us substantial strength and was worth doing. After extensive negotiations with the leaders of the other institutions, I thought we had hammered out a firm deal. A press release was ready for distribution following a luncheon at Chase in the fall of 1966 at which the new bank was to be launched.
"Late in the morning of the appointed day, only hours before the announcement, Marcus Wallenberg, Jr., came to see me at my office at Chase Plaza. He was obviously distraught. As he stammered out his story, I learned why. Earlier that morning Marcus had paid a courtesy call on J.P. Morgan and Company, Enskilda's principal U.S. correspondent bank. Senior Morgan executives told him the proposed consortium bank was unacceptable to them and implied they would retaliate if Enskilda proceeded with the venture. Marcus had then called his father in Stockholm and received instructions to withdraw from the consortium. Despite my efforts to change his mind, young Marcus said he was sorry but his father's decision was final.
"When young Wallenberg announced Enskilda's withdrawal at the lugubrious luncheon, the aristocratic Evelyn de Rothschild responded by saying that without the Swedish bank, L.M. Rothschild was not prepared to sign the final papers, either. Although I suggested we delay a decision to see if we can find another European commercial banking partner, it was painfully clear that our plan for a Chase-led consortium had fallen apart. I heard later that both Abs and Schaefer had put pressure on Wallenberg and the Rothschild group to withdraw from the venture. The Europeans were simply not going to allow a large and aggressive US commercial bank into their territory without a fight. My desire to create an investment banking vehicle for Chase would have to wait."
(Memoirs, David Rockefeller, pgs. 206-208)
So, what of Operation Paperclip? Did the Family play some type of role in it? At this point it is well known that the Vatican was deeply involved in this project. As noted above, John J. McCloy allegedly claimed his pardoning of numerous Nazis was the result of pressure brought to bear by the Vatican. But at the same time the Holy See was breathing down McCloy's neck, the High Commissioner was also meeting with Vereide. Was the Family working in conjunction with the Vatican? Unfortunately, this question has not yet been seriously explored by researchers with more resources than your humble author.
And it is here that I shall wrap things up for now. In the next installment we shall begin to consider some of the Family's postwar efforts, in which the years the group spent accumulating power began to pay off. Stay tuned.