In an interview with Muslim Press, Mike Ferner discusses the relationship between Wall Street and Hitler.

Here’s the full text of the interview:

MP: How did American policies change when Allen Dulles was the director of the CIA? What did he make of CIA?

Mike Ferner: From what I understand of the CIA's history, Dulles didn't head the agency in a new direction, but took it further in the direction it was already going.

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the World War II predecessor to the CIA, was behaving in ways that would set a pattern for the CIA. It engaged in activities that some would call treason -- the contacts Dulles and others had with Nazis in time of war -- but these were written off as necessary actions to promote spying.  And Dulles showed that he would disobey orders from the President when he didn't agree with them. This latter practice evolved from insubordination on Dulles' part to an agency-wide SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) of "rogue operations," those operations not authorized by law or presidential directives.

MP: How did thousands of Nazis – some of whom had committed serious war crimes –were free to live their lives in the United States?

Mike Ferner: Estimates I've seen range from 500 to 1,500, so "hundreds" would be more accurate.

Whatever the number, most were scientists who had worked in Hitler's war industries. Most notable was Wernher von Braun, who led the team that developed the V-1 and V-2 rockets the Nazis used to bomb England. Slave labor was used in much of this work and it is estimated that more people died in the production of the missiles than from their use as weapons.

MP: How did the United States treat the Jews after World War II?

Mike Ferner: This is part of a long and complicated history that I can't claim to know enough about to comment, only to say that the United States developed a decidedly pro-Israel policy after 1948 when it was founded in what had been Palestine.

MP: How did Wall Street pave the way for the rise of Hitler and WWII?

Mike Ferner: An argument can be made that neither the Nazi Party’s rise to power nor even WWII itself could have happened without the backing of U.S. industry and finance. Cash contributions through the 1920’s and ’30’s helped elevate Hitler’s brownshirts from mere street thugs to a political party and financed “off budget” ops for the SS. Before and after the U.S. entered the war, military equipment and critical technology transfers flowed from U.S. corporations and subsidiaries to the Reich.

The Bank for International Settlements, still operating today, was created to administer Germany’s WWI reparations.  Run by Thomas McKittrick, a Wall Street banker and friend of the Dulles brothers, it was “effectively controlled by Hitler’s regime” by 1940 and had laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in looted gold – from coins to teeth fillings.  Five BIS directors were charged at Nuremburg with war crimes.

Between 1924 and 1931, Germany paid 36 billion marks to the Allies, 33 billion of which was borrowed from investors who bought German bonds issued by Wall Street firms, paid to England and France as reparations and then sent to the U.S. as loan repayments. The bondholders received interest payments and according to Sutton, “The international bankers sat in heaven, under a rain of fees and commissions” made by lending other people’s money to Germany.

An open secret through the 20’s was Henry Ford’s financial support for Hitler. A December 20, 1922 NY Times story claimed links between new uniforms and sidearms for 1,000 young men in Hitler’s “Storming Battalion” and Ford’s portrait and books the Fuehrer prominently displayed in his well-staffed Munich office. Sutton also claimed Ford’s money helped fund Hitler’s failed 1923 Beer Hall Putsch that gave the fledgling dictator time in jail to write “Mein Kampf,” incorporating whole sections of Ford’s “The International Jew.”

Payments from German subsidiaries of U.S. corporations, such as General Electric Corp. (with interlocking boards of directors) directly to accounts set up for use by the Nazi party as it was getting organized were of strategic importance. This money was critical not only because the amounts were significant, but because any new movement at that stage of development has a hard time attracting serious money for staff and supplies. 

Those contributions are not nearly so well known as some of the other U.S-Nazi connections for equipment and technology (Ford Motor Corp., Standard Oil Corp.), but were essential to develop the Nazi political apparatus. The thousands of "brownshirts" -- thugs who beat and intimidated political opponents -- Hitler could put in the streets of German cities cost a lot of money to hire and equip; election campaigns are always expensive. These are just a few examples of what that money most assuredly bought.

MP: How do you see today’s Wall Streets? Does it still have great influence over US policies?

Mike Ferner: "Wall Street," the common name for the financial industry in the U.S. has great influence over U.S. policy. In the context of wartimes, these companies finance the war by lending money to the U.S. government for war production and also lend money to combatant nations, sometimes on both sides.

 

Mike Ferner is a former Toledo, Ohio city council member, Vietnam era veteran, author, peace activist and former president of Veterans For Peace. In March 2006 Ferner, along with fellow activists Pete Perry, Malachy Kilbride, and David Barrows, interrupted the US House Appropriations Committee that was in the process of voting on $67,000,000,000 in military funding for the US war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2006 he published "Inside the Red Zone: A Veteran For Peace Reports from Iraq," recounting his trips to Iraq, just prior to the U.S. invasion and a year later.