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    Dutch Banks and the Nazi`s

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    Dutch banks and the Amsterdam Stock exchange have agreed to pay the Jewish community in the Netherlands about 135 million dollars in compensation for assets dating from the Second World War. The money will go to survivors of the Holocaust or to relatives of those who died. The preliminary deal ends protracted negotiations between the main Jewish organisation in the Netherlands, the CJO, and Dutch financial institutions. In the end, it took major pressure from US-based Jewish groups to force a breakthrough.

    The laborious negotiations between the Jewish community and the banks and the Amsterdam Stock Exchange have put the spotlight on the embarrassing attitude of the Dutch financial establishment during the years of Nazi occupation. The Nazis forced the Jews to give up their financial assets and to deposit them in a special bank, which later became known as the "Robber Bank". The Jewish securities were then traded on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, although Dutch banks trading in those assets could have known of their Jewish origins.

    After the war, most of the stolen property was restored to the Jewish survivors or their surviving relatives, but a number of claims were not settled. Representatives of the Jewish community claimed that some 12 million guilders worth of stolen Jewish property was not returned. They demanded repayment, taking into account interest and rising stock prices. They estimated this to be some 400 million guilders.

    A Mere Gesture

    The Amsterdam Stock Exchange and the banks maintained that the outstanding claims had all been formally settled in 1953, but finally agreed to the exception of the 12 million. They disagreed about what those 12 million would then be worth today. They acknowledged that the wartime behaviour of the bourse and the banks had been less than honourable and offered official apologies. They also offered to make a gesture towards the Jewish community and to pay 8 million guilders.

    This offer was indignantly rejected as an insult by the group negotiating on behalf of the Jewish community. We don't want a gesture, we want the stolen money back, was the group's argument. Arduous negotiations followed. The banks raised the offer to 50 million, but this was also rejected. The impasse could have continued, but for the intervention of the American based World Jewish Congress.

    Pressure from the US

    The WJC threatened to block Dutch financial acquisitions on the US Market and in particular the ING Bank's attempt to buy up major US insurance firms. That threat was taken very seriously, and has played a decisive role in arriving at the current agreement, even if bank representatives had mixed feelings and one banker complained of blackmail by the WJC.

    The tough stand taken by the Central Jewish Council (CJO) negotiators has led to some misgivings inside the Dutch Jewish community. Some Jewish leaders feel that too much stress on the financial aspects distracts attention away from the deep suffering of the Holocaust which, they say, can never be repaired financially. They believe that it's more important that Dutch society comes to terms with its past. Because in spite of the proud history of the Dutch resistance against the Nazis and the famous February 1942 strike against the persecution of the Jews, most Dutch people looked the other way when their Jewish compatriots were deported during the war. The way Jewish assets were handled is only one aspect of this not too glorious past. Part of the current agreement is that the bourse and the banks will also fund an historical study into their wartime behaviour. That may be one of the most important elements of the settlement.

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    Dutch seek gold stolen by Nazis during war

    THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- The Dutch government is renewing efforts to trace more than $877 million in gold plundered by the Nazis during World War II.

    About 75 tons of gold are missing, Finance Ministry spokesman Raymond Salet said Thursday. Gold totaling 145 tons was taken from the government and private citizens by the Nazis; only 70 tons were returned after the war.

    Salet said it will take investigators years to establish exactly how the previous deal was settled and what legal channels are now available to pursue the claim.

    The gold is believed to have been stashed in Swiss bank accounts after German occupiers seized it from the Dutch central bank.

    "The matter was never settled ... the Swiss simply said they had no more gold," Salet added.

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    An independent study into the Swedish central bank, the Riksbank, has shown it acquired gold from Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

    The report said that almost 60 tonnes of gold was bought from Germany, much of which has never been accounted for.

    An official who helped compile the report said there was no indication that the gold came from individual Jews or concentration camp victims, but he said this could not be entirely ruled out.

    The findings were released by a bank-appointed commission after an investigation lasting nearly a year of neutral Sweden's financial dealings with Germany during World War II.

    After the war, Sweden returned 6 metric tonnes of gold to the Netherlands and 7.2 metric tonnes to Belgium. The gold, which Sweden had received from Nazi Germany's Reichsbank, was believed to have been taken from those countries' central banks.

    The newly discovered gold bears the same kind of markings as gold bars of Dutch origin that were smelted gold coins, the investigation said. It also said it turned up 0.6 metric tons of gold of undetermined origin.

    Investigator Harry Flam said research in other countries has shown that gold that the Nazis took from Jews in the Netherlands was melted down and sold to Switzerland.

    "Therefore we cannot exclude that this was Jewish gold that was brought into Sweden," he said.

    The inquiry commission turned its information over to the Swedish government commission looking into the broader question of whether any property belonging to Jewish victims of the Nazis remains in Sweden.

    It was unclear whether that commission would have the power to recommend the restitution of any property.

    "Whether Sweden has a restitution responsibility is a moral question, not a legal one," Flam said, according to the Swedish news agency TT. "I think it should be sent back in some way."

    Sweden acquired a total of 59.7 metric tonnes from Germany during World War II. Sweden conducted extensive trade with the Nazis, primarily in iron ore and ball bearings that were critical parts of Germany's war effort.

    As with other neutral countries such as Switzerland, pressure has been growing on Sweden to provide a full and final accounting of its holdings of property possibly belonging to Nazi victims.

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    To organize and centralize this massive plunder, the Nazis established a highly specialized banking institution with main offices near the Amstel River just around the corner from the elegant Amstel Hotel. To "reassure'' the Jews, they cynically named the depository "The Lippmann-Rosenthal & Co. Bank,'' the same name as that of a midsize, prewar Dutch-Jewish bank of impeccable reputation. In point of fact, the four-story redbrick building at 13 Sarphatistraat - which soon came to be popularly known as "Liro'' - no longer had anything to do with the original bank or its Jewish founders. It had been seized from its Jewish owners in 1940 and given to a Nazi sympathizer as a prize for his loyalties to the Reich. "Had the two fine gentlemen who founded Lippmann-Rosenthal known what their bank came to be used for,'' says Lipchits, "they would still be spinning in their graves.''

    To start the financial ball rolling, the Nazis first ordered all other Dutch banks to immediately transfer "known Jewish accounts'' to the Liro. They followed in August 1941 by issuing Verordnung (Decree) 148/41, which blocked all Jewish-owned bank accounts and instructed all Dutch Jews not only to transfer their accounts and securities from other Dutch banks to the Liro but to deposit all cash holdings and checks of more than 1,000 guilders as well. The massive proceeds thus assembled were then to be turned over to the Vermoogensverwaltungs-und Rentenanstalt (Office of Property Administration and Pensions). It was this central German institute that administered the Liro's loot.

    Jews were subsequently ordered to turn in gold and silver, jewelry, bonds, and insurance policies. Again Lippmann-Rosenthal was the central repository. By this time, the Nazis' Amsterdam bank was staffed with more than eighty Dutch employees, all drawn from respectable Dutch banks and other Netherlands financial institutions.

    At first Jewish depositors were told they'd be allowed to withdraw up to 250 guilders per month per family of their own money from their Liro accounts. But this Nazi magnanimity soon ended. The Liro, says Lipchits, "became a bank where you could deposit but not withdraw.''

    An excerpt from the highly acclaimed new book"Pack of Thieves"

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    For Dutch Jews, the Holocaust had begun in earnest.The coffers at the Liro grew heavier each day. By the end of its first year, some 6,540 depositors had established 7,458 accounts totaling 25 million guilders (about $130 million in today's equivalent). It was far less cash than the Reichsbank had expected. But the shortfall was made up by the forced deposit of stocks and other securities. By the end of 1942, Lippmann-Rosenthal had soaked up Jewish-owned securities nominally valued at 213 million guilders - about $1 billion today.

    Cash, stocks, and bullion constituted only a part of the booty. In the spring of 1942, another decree (VO58/42) ordered Dutch Jews to deliver anything they had of value - jewels, bonds, gold coins, stamp collections, antiques, paintings, etc. The items, they were told by the bank's Dutch staff, would be placed in "storage'' in the safety-deposit vaults of Lippmann-Rosenthal Bank. Deposit stations were set up across Amsterdam as well as in Rotterdam and the Hague. Long lines of obliging Dutch Jews tramped through the streets to stand before the redbrick Liro headquarters, their family treasures clutched in their arms. After Lippmann-Rosenthal's clerks efficiently relieved them of their parcels, they then carefully issued worthless receipts.

    While property and businesses were distributed to a wide variety of people and organizations within the Netherlands and to Germany, most of the tons of gold and silver that the Liro confiscated was sold at preferential prices to the Deutsche Gold- und Silberscheideanstalt (DEGUSSA), a German smelting and precious-metals firm that exists to this day. However, exact records and invoices of the wartime Dutch gold sales were either lost, never kept, or more likely destroyed when it became clear in 1944 that the Nazis and their helpers were losing the war.

    Dutch banks participated in the trading, but it was the German Handelstrust West (a subsidiary of the Dresdener Bank) that did the lion's share of business. Given the large quantities put on the market, most of the looted securities were sold at prices well below their actual value. "It was a buying spree,'' says one Amsterdam stockbroker."The stolen stocks went like fresh herrings on a sunny day.''

    Most Dutch buyers would later claim that they hadn't known that the confiscated stocks had been stolen or extorted from their Jewish co-citizens. But Gerard Aalders, of the Nederlands Instituutvoor Oorlogsdocumentatie (NIOD),the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation,and other experts say that such denials were hardly credible. "It was well known,'' says Aalders, "that any stock offerings from Liro were "tainted.'''

    In the immediate aftermath of the war, many Amsterdam stockbrokers would try to claim that it was one of their colleagues, Otto Rebholz, a German who'd acquired Dutch citizenship in 1932,who was "the worst collaborator among the collaborating stockbrokers.'' But Aalders and other experts believe that the German-born Rebholz was singled out as a scapegoat for the sins of other stockbrokers who, while possibly not operating on the same scale as Rebholz, nonetheless grew wealthy on the sale and transfer of stocks stolen from Jews.

    An excerpt from the highly acclaimed new book"Pack of Thieves"

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    It was the largest organized robbery in history -- the detailed, systematic looting of Europe's Jews by the Nazis and by most of the nations of Europe: Axis, Allied, and neutral. Now for the first time, prizewinning journalist Richard Z. Chesnoff details the full scope of this monumental theft of monies, gold, jewels, art, and property that began in Germany with the rise of Adolf Hitler, continued through the Holocaust and the Third Reich's occupation of Europe, and culminated in a postwar cloaking campaign that stretched from Scandinavia to the Balkans to Iberia. Chesnoff, who was among the first reporters to break the story that Swiss banks were still hoarding the assets of Holocaust victims, traveled to eleven countries to research this heartbreaking, compelling story of human greed. With direct access to hitherto classified files and through exclusive interviews with bankers, government, end Jewish officials, camp survivors, and the families of victims, Chesnoff tells a tragic tale that will make the headlines of tomorrow's newspapers. Revealing new details that many governments and bankers would prefer to remain secret, he describes the detective work used to trace Holocaust assets that continue to be hidden inside the financial systems of such Allied nations as France and the Netherlands. With the deftness that comes with a journalist's deep understanding of events, Chesnoff explains why it has taken more than fifty years for the world to even begin to come to terms with this massive pillage and plunder.

    It was the largest organized robbery in history--the detailed, systematic looting of Europe's Jews by the Nazis and most of the nations of Europe: Axis, Allied, and neutral. Now, for the first time, prizewinning journalist Richard Z. Chesnoff details the full scope of this monumental theft of money, gold, jewels, art, and property that began in Germany with the rise of Adolf Hitler, continued through the Holocaust and the Third Reich's occupation of Europe, and culminated in a postwar cloaking campaign that stretched from Scandinavia to the Balkans to Iberia. Chesnoff, who was among the first reporters to break the story that Swiss banks were still hoarding the assets of Holocaust victims, traveled to fourteen countries to research this heartbreaking, compelling story of human greed. With direct access to hitherto classified files and through exclusive interviews with bankers, government and Jewish officials, camp survivors, and the families of victims, Chesnoff tells a tragic tale that will make the headlines of tomorrow's newspapers. Revealing new details that many governments and bankers would prefer to remain secret, he describes the detective work used to trace Holocaust assets that continue to be hidden inside the systems of Allied nations such as France and the Netherlands. With the deftness that comes with a journalist's deep understanding of events, Chesnoff explains why it has taken more than fifty years for the world to even begin to come to terms with the massive pillage and plunder.

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    De Nederlanden van 1845

    De Nederlanden was founded in 1845 as a fire insurance company. It grew rapidly and by 1900 De Nederlanden had 139 agencies all over the world. In 1903, De Nederlanden started selling life insurance. After World War II, the company played a major role in financing the reconstruction of the Netherlands. Various acquisitions helped the company become one of the Netherlands' leading insurers in the sixties.

    To organize and centralize this massive plunder, the Nazis established a highly specialized banking institution with main offices near the Amstel River just around the corner from the elegant Amstel Hotel. To "reassure'' the Jews, they cynically named the depository "The Lippmann-Rosenthal & Co. Bank,'' the same name as that of a midsize, prewar Dutch-Jewish bank of impeccable reputation. In point of fact, the four-story redbrick building at 13 Sarphatistraat - which soon came to be popularly known as "Liro'' - no longer had anything to do with the original bank or its Jewish founders. It had been seized from its Jewish owners in 1940 and given to a Nazi sympathizer as a prize for his loyalties to the Reich. "Had the two fine gentlemen who founded Lippmann-Rosenthal known what their bank came to be used for,'' says Lipchits, "they would still be spinning in their graves.''

    To start the financial ball rolling, the Nazis first ordered all other Dutch banks to immediately transfer "known Jewish accounts'' to the Liro. They followed in August 1941 by issuing Verordnung (Decree) 148/41, which blocked all Jewish-owned bank accounts and instructed all Dutch Jews not only to transfer their accounts and securities from other Dutch banks to the Liro but to deposit all cash holdings and checks of more than 1,000 guilders as well. The massive proceeds thus assembled were then to be turned over to the Vermoogensverwaltungs-und Rentenanstalt (Office of Property Administration and Pensions). It was this central German institute that administered the Liro's loot.

    Jews were subsequently ordered to turn in gold and silver, jewelry, bonds, and insurance policies. Again Lippmann-Rosenthal was the central repository. By this time, the Nazis' Amsterdam bank was staffed with more than eighty Dutch employees, all drawn from respectable Dutch banks and other Netherlands financial institutions.

    At first Jewish depositors were told they'd be allowed to withdraw up to 250 guilders per month per family of their own money from their Liro accounts. But this Nazi magnanimity soon ended. The Liro, says Lipchits, "became a bank where you could deposit but not withdraw.''

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    Nationale-Nederlanden (NN) was formed in1963 by the merger of De Nederlanden van 1845 and the Nationale Life Insurance Bank. The financial strength that resulted from the merger was used to expand foreign operations, mainly in the United States. In 1979, the Life Insurance Company of Georgia was acquired in the US. Through this company the presence in Asia was also expanded in the eighties. In 1984, Nationale-Nederlanden acquired RVS. After the merger with NMBPostbank into ING, Nationale-Nederlanden continued to operate under its own brandname. Nationale-Nederlanden is the largest insurer in the Netherlands.

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    International Netherlands Group (ING) Bank, Amsterdam, Netherlands

    The International Netherlands Group (ING) bank in Amsterdam is an unusual place. The 540,000-square-foot headquarters of the country's second-largest bank, previously known as Nederlandsche Middenstandsbank (NMB), is one of the most remarkable buildings in the world. It is largely daylit, highly energy efficient, and architecturally innovative with such features as curvilinear form, local materials, plants, artwork, and flowing water incorporated into the building in a highly integrated fashion. Many of the organic features and unusual building geometries were drawn from the teachings of Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner, whose ideas would hardly be expected to be found in a commercial office space. The building (really a series of interconnected towers) does not use conventional air conditioning—a feat virtually unheard of for a building of this size—relying primarily on passive cooling with back-up absorption chillers. The building uses less than a tenth the energy of its predecessor and a fifth that of a conventional new office building in Amsterdam. The annual energy savings are approximately $2.9 million (1996 U.S. dollars) from features that added roughly $700,000 to the construction cost of the building—and were paid back in three months.

    But what is perhaps most unusual about this building is the way in which it was created. In 1978, the bank was the fourth-largest bank in the country. According to Dr. Tie Liebe, who managed NMB's real estate subsidiary, the bank was viewed as "stodgy, and too conservative." Because it had outgrown its Amsterdam headquarters, the board of directors took this opportunity to create a new image for their bank. They laid out a strategy to deliver a functional yet cost-effective new headquarters that would be both appealing and environmentally responsive in design and function.

    The board articulated a strong vision for the building: it would be "organic" and would integrate "art, natural materials, sunlight, green plants, energy conservation, low noise, and water." Next, the board assembled a multidisciplinary team to design it. This team included architects, building engineers, landscape architects, energy experts, and artists. The team worked for three years designing the building in a process requiring that each step of the design be understood by every member of the team—so, for example, if the artists didn't understand the natural ventilation system, its operation would be explained. There was frequent input from bank employees throughout this process.

    As the planning proceeded, the board's vision was refined by the planning and design team with the following three criteria: First, the building must be thoroughly functional using the latest technology, including a specially designed security system and options for individual climate control. Second, the building had to be flexible, able to respond to inevitable changes in space needs over time. Third, the building had to be energy efficient, yet not cost "one gilder more" than conventional construction.

    Employee input was used to determine where the new facility would be built. Construction began in 1983, and the building was completed in 1987—within budget. Not only has the bank building been a tremendous success financially, but employee absenteeism has dropped significantly. The bold new image of the bank—resulting from the building—is credited with elevating International Netherlands Group from No. 4 to No. 2 among Dutch banks.

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    The Dutch Connection

    How A Famous American Family Made Its Fortune From The Nazis

    by John Loftus

    For the Bush family, it is a lingering nightmare. For their Nazi clients, the Dutch connection was the mother of all money laundering schemes. From 1945 until 1949, one of the lengthiest and, it now appears, most futile interrogations of a Nazi war crimes suspect began in the American Zone of Occupied Germany. Multibillionaire steel magnate Fritz Thyssen-the man whose steel combine was the cold heart of the Nazi war machine-talked and talked and talked to a joint US-UK interrogation team. For four long years, successive teams of inquisitors tried to break Thyssen's simple claim to possess neither foreign bank accounts nor interests in foreign corporations, no assets that might lead to the missing billions in assets of the Third Reich. The inquisitors failed utterly.

    Why? Because what the wily Thyssen deposed was, in a sense, true. What the Allied investigators never understood was that they were not asking Thyssen the right question. Thyssen did not need any foreign bank accounts because his family secretly owned an entire chain of banks. He did not have to transfer his Nazi assets at the end of World War II, all he had to do was transfer the ownership documents - stocks, bonds, deeds and trusts--from his bank in Berlin through his bank in Holland to his American friends in New York City: Prescott Bush and Herbert Walker. Thyssen's partners in crime were the father and father-in-law of a future President of the United States.

    The allied investigators underestimated Thyssen's reach, his connections, his motives, and his means. The web of financial entities Thyssen helped create in the 1920's remained a mystery for the rest of the twentieth century, an almost perfectly hidden underground sewer pipeline for moving dirty money, money that bankrolled the post-war fortunes not only of the Thyssen industrial empire...but the Bush family as well. It was a secret Fritz Thyssen would take to his grave.

    It was a secret that would lead former US intelligence agent William Gowen, now pushing 80, to the very doorstep of the Dutch royal family. The Gowens are no strangers to controversy or nobility. His father was one of President Roosevelt's diplomatic emissaries to Pope Pius XII, leading a futile attempt to persuade the Vatican to denounce Hitler's treatment of Jews. It was his son, William Gowen, who served in Rome after World War II as a Nazi hunter and investigator with the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps. It was Agent Gowen who first discovered the secret Vatican Ratline for smuggling Nazis in 1949. It was also the same William Gowen who began to uncover the secret Dutch pipeline for smuggling Nazi money in 1999.

    A half-century earlier, Fritz Thyssen was telling the allied investigators that he had no interest in foreign companies, that Hitler had turned on him and seized most of his property. His remaining assets were mostly in the Russian Occupied Zone of Germany (which he knew were a write-off anyway). His distant (and disliked) relatives in neutral nations like Holland were the actual owners of a substantial percentage of the remaining German industrial base. As innocent victims of the Third Reich, they were lobbying the allied occupation governments in Germany, demanding restitution of the property that had been seized from them by the Nazis.

    Under the rules of the Allied occupation of Germany, all property owned by citizens of a neutral nation which had been seized by the Nazis had to be returned to the neutral citizens upon proper presentation of documents showing proof of ownership. Suddenly, all sorts of neutral parties, particularly in Holland, were claiming ownership of various pieces of the Thyssen empire. In his cell, Fritz Thyssen just smiled and waited to be released from prison while members of the Dutch royal family and the Dutch intelligence service reassembled his pre-war holdings for him.

    The British and American interrogators may have gravely underestimated Thyssen but they nonetheless knew they were being lied to. Their suspicions focused on one Dutch Bank in particular, the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, in Rotterdam. This bank did a lot of business with the Thyssens over the years. In 1923, as a favor to him, the Rotterdam bank loaned the money to build the very first Nazi party headquarters in Munich. But somehow the allied investigations kept going nowhere, the intelligence leads all seemed to dry up.

    If the investigators realized that the US intelligence chief in postwar Germany, Allen Dulles, was also the Rotterdam bank's lawyer, they might have asked some very interesting questions. They did not know that Thyssen was Dulles' client as well. Nor did they ever realize that it was Allen Dulles's other client, Baron Kurt Von Schroeder who was the Nazi trustee for the Thyssen companies which now claimed to be owned by the Dutch. The Rotterdam Bank was at the heart of Dulles' cloaking scheme, and he guarded its secrets jealously.

    Several decades after the war, investigative reporter Paul Manning, Edward R. Murrow's colleague, stumbled across the Thyssen interrogations in the US National Archives. Manning intended to write a book about Nazi money laundering. Manning's manuscript was a dagger at Allen Dulles' throat: his book specifically mentioned the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart by name, albeit in passing. Dulles volunteered to help the unsuspecting Manning with his manuscript, and sent him on a wild goose chase, searching for Martin Bormann in South America.

    Without knowing that he had been deliberately sidetracked, Manning wrote a forward to his book personally thanking Allen Dulles for his "assurance that I was "on the right track, and should keep going.'"Dulles sent Manning and his manuscript off into the swamps of obscurity. The same "search for Martin Bormann"scam was also used to successfully discredit Ladislas Farago, another American journalist probing too far into the laundering of Nazi money. American investigators had to be sent anywhere but Holland.

    And so the Dutch connection remained unexplored until 1994 when I published the book "The Secret War Against the Jews."As a matter of historical curiosity, I mentioned that Fritz Thyssen (and indirectly, the Nazi Party) had obtained their early financing from Brown Brothers Harriman, and its affiliate, the Union Banking Corporation. Union Bank, in turn, was the Bush family's holding company for a number of other entities, including the "Holland American Trading Company."

    It was a matter of public record that the Bush holdings were seized by the US government after the Nazis overran Holland. In 1951, the Bush's reclaimed Union Bank from the US Alien Property Custodian, along with their "neutral" Dutch assets. I did not realize it, but I had stumbled across a very large piece of the missing Dutch connection. Bush's ownership of the Holland-American investment company was the missing link to Manning's earlier research in the Thyssen investigative files. In 1981, Manning had written:

    "Thyssen's first step in a long dance of tax and currency frauds began [in the late 1930's] when he disposed of his shares in the Dutch Hollandische-Amerikanische Investment Corporation to be credited to the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, N.V., Rotterdam, the bank founded in 1916 by August Thyssen Senior."

    In this one obscure paragraph, in a little known book, Manning had unwittingly documented two intriguing points: 1) The Bush's Union Bank had apparently bought the same corporate stock that the Thyssens were selling as part of their Nazi money laundering, and 2) the Rotterdam Bank, far from being a neutral Dutch institution, was founded by Fritz Thyssen's father. In hindsight, Manning and I had uncovered different ends of the Dutch connection.

    After reading the excerpt in my book about the Bush's ownership of the Holland-American trading Company, retired US intelligence agent William Gowen began to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Mr. Gowen knew every c orner of Europe from his days as a diplomat's son, an American intelligence agent, and a newspaperman. William Gowen deserves sole credit for uncovering the mystery of how the Nazi industrialists hid their money from the Allies at the end of World War II.

    In 1999, Mr. Gowen traveled to Europe, at his own expense, to meet a former member of Dutch intelligence who had detailed inside information about the Rotterdam bank. The scrupulous Gowen took a written statement and then had his source read and correct it for error. Here, in summary form, is how the Nazis hid their money in America.

    After World War I, August Thyssen had been badly burned by the loss of assets under the harsh terms of the Versailles treaty. He was determined that it would never happen again. One of his sons would join the Nazis; the other would be neutral. No matter who won the next war, the Thyssen family would survive with their industrial empire intact. Fritz Thyssen joined the Nazis in 1923; his younger brother married into Hungarian nobility and changed his name to Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza. The Baron later claimed Hungarian as well as Dutch citizenship. In public, he pretended to detest his Nazi brother, but in private they met at secret board meetings in Germany to coordinate their operations. If one brother were threatened with loss of property, he would transfer his holdings to the other.

    To aid his sons in their shell game, August Thyssen had established three different banks during the 1920's -- The August Thyssen Bank in Berlin, the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart in Rotterdam, and the Union Banking Corporation in New York City. To protect their corporate holdings, all the brothers had to do was move the corporate paperwork from one bank to the other. This they did with some regularity. When Fritz Thyssen "sold" the Holland-American Trading Company for a tax loss, the Union Banking Corporation in New York bought the stock. Similarly, the Bush family invested the disguised Nazi profits in American steel and manufacturing corporations that became part of the secret Thyssen empire.

    When the Nazis invaded Holland in May 1940, they investigated the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart in Rotterdam. Fritz Thyssen was suspected by Hitler's auditors of being a tax fraud and of illegally transferring his wealth outside the Third Reich. The Nazi auditors were right: Thyssen felt that Hitler's economic policies would dilute his wealth through ruinous war inflation. He had been smuggling his war profits out through Holland. But the Rotterdam vaults were empty of clues to where the money had gone. The Nazis did not know that all of the documents evidencing secret Thyssen ownership had been quietly shipped back to the August Thyssen Bank in Berlin, under the friendly supervision of Baron Kurt Von Schroeder. Thyssen spent the rest of the war under VIP house arrest. He had fooled Hitler, hidden his immense profits, and now it was time to fool the Americans with same shell game.

    As soon as Berlin fell to the allies, it was time to ship the documents back to Rotterdam so that the "neutral" bank could claim ownership under the friendly supervision of Allen Dulles, who, as the OSS intelligence chief in 1945 Berlin, was well placed to handle any troublesome investigations. Unfortunately, the August Thyssen Bank had been bombed during the war, and the documents were buried in the underground vaults beneath the rubble. Worse, the vaults lay in the Soviet Zone of Berlin.

    According to Gowen's source, Prince Bernhard commanded a unit of Dutch intelligence, which dug up the incriminating corporate papers in 1945 and brought them back to the "neutral" bank in Rotterdam. The pretext was that the Nazis had stolen the crown jewels of his wife, Princess Juliana, and the Russians gave the Dutch permission to dig up the vault and retrieve them. Operation Juliana was a Dutch fraud on the Allies who searched high and low for the missing pieces of the Thyssen fortune.

    In 1945, the former Dutch manager of the Rotterdam bank resumed control only to discover that he was sitting on a huge pile of hidden Nazi assets. In 1947, the manager threatened to inform Dutch authorities, and was immediately fired by the Thyssens. The somewhat naive bank manager then fled to New York City where he intended to talk to Union Bank director Prescott Bush. As Gowen's Dutch source recalled, the manager intended "to reveal [to Prescott Bush] the truth about Baron Heinrich and the Rotterdam Bank, [in order that] some or all of the Thyssen interests in the Thyssen Group might be seized and confiscated as German enemy property. "The manager's body was found in New York two weeks later.

    Similarly, in 1996 a Dutch journalist Eddy Roever went to London to interview the Baron, who was neighbors with Margaret Thatcher. Roever's body was discovered two days later. Perhaps, Gowen remarked dryly, it was only a coincidence that both healthy men had died of heart attacks immediately after trying to uncover the truth about the Thyssens.

    Neither Gowen nor his Dutch source knew about the corroborating evidence in the Alien Property Custodian archives or in the OMGUS archives. Together, the two separate sets of US files overlap each other and directly corroborate Gowen's source. The first set of archives confirms absolutely that the Union Banking Corporation in New York was owned by the Rotterdam Bank. The second set (quoted by Manning) confirms that the Rotterdam Bank in turn was owned by the Thyssens.

    It is not surprising that these two American agencies never shared their Thyssen files. As the noted historian Burton Hersh documented:

    "The Alien Property Custodian, Leo Crowley, was on the payroll of the New York J. Henry Schroeder Bank where Foster and Allen Dulles both sat as board members. Foster arranged an appointment for himself as special legal counsel for the Alien Property Custodian while simultaneously representing [German] interests against the custodian."

    No wonder Allen Dulles had sent Paul Manning on a wild goose chase to South America. He was very close to uncovering the fact that the Bush's bank in New York City was secretly owned by the Nazis, before during and after WWII. Once Thyssen ownership of the Union Banking Corporation is proven, it makes out a prima facie case of treason against the Dulles and Bush families for giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war.


    The first key fact to be proven in any criminal case is that the Thyssen family secretly owned the Bush's Bank. Apart from Gowen's source, and the twin American files, a third set of corroboration comes from the Thyssen family themselves. In 1979, the present Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza (Fritz Thyssen's nephew) prepared a written family history to be shared with his top management. A copy of this thirty-page tome entitled "The History of the Thyssen Family and Their Activities"was provided by Gowen's source. It contains the following Thyssen admissions:

    "Thus, at the beginning of World War II the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart had become the holding of my father's companies - a Dutch firm whose only shareholder was a Hungarian citizen..Prior to 1929, it held the shares of .the August Thyssen Bank, and also American subsidiaries and the Union Banking Corporation, New York.The shares of all the affiliates were [in 1945] with the August Thyssen Bank in the East Sector of Berlin, from where I was able to have them transferred into the West at the last moment"

    "After the war the Dutch government ordered an investigation into the status of the holding company and, pending the result, appointed a Dutch former general manager of my father who turned against our family.. In that same year, 1947, I returned to Germany for the first time after the war, disguised as a Dutch driver in military uniform, to establish contact with our German directors"

    "The situation of the Group gradually began to be resolved but it was not until 1955 that the German companies were freed from Allied control and subsequently disentangled. Fortunately, the companies in the group suffered little from dismantling. At last we were in a position to concentrate on purely economic problems -- the reconstruction and extension of the companies and the expansion of the organization."

    "The banking department of the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, which also functioned as the Group's holding company, merged in 1970 with Nederlandse Credietbank N.V. which increased its capital. The Group received 25 percent.The Chase Manhattan Bank holds 31%. The name Thyssen-Bornemisza Group was selected for the new holding company."

    Thus the twin US Archives, Gowen's Dutch source, and the Thyssen family history all independently confirm that President Bush's father and grandfather served on the board of a bank that was secretly owned by the leading Nazi industrialists. The Bush connection to these American institutions is a matter of public record. What no one knew, until Gowen's brilliant research opened the door, was that the Thyssens were the secret employers of the Bush family.

    But what did the Bush family know about their Nazi connection and when did they know it? As senior managers of Brown Brothers Harriman, they had to have known that their American clients, such as the Rockefellers, were investing heavily in German corporations, including Thyssen's giant Vereinigte Stahlwerke. As noted historian Christopher Simpson repeatedly documents, it is a matter of public record that Brown Brother's investments in Nazi Germany took place under the Bush family stewardship.

    When war broke out was Prescott Bush stricken with a case of Waldheimers disease, a sudden amnesia about his Nazi past? Or did he really believe that our friendly Dutch allies owned the Union Banking Corporation and its parent bank in Rotterdam? It should be recalled that in January 1937, he hired Allen Dulles to "cloak" his accounts. But cloak from whom? Did he expect that happy little Holland was going to declare war on America? The cloaking operation only makes sense in anticipation of a possible war with Nazi Germany. If Union Bank was not the conduit for laundering the Rockefeller's Nazi investments back to America, then how could the Rockefeller-controlled Chase Manhattan Bank end up owning 31% of the Thyssen group after the war?

    It should be noted that the Thyssen group (TBG) is now the largest industrial conglomerate in Germany, and with a net worth of more than $50 billion dollars, one of the wealthiest corporations in the world. TBG is so rich it even bought out the Krupp family, famous arms makers for Hitler, leaving the Thyssens as the undisputed champion survivors of the Third Reich. Where did the Thyssens get the start-up money to rebuild their empire with such speed after World War II?

    The enormous sums of money deposited into the Union Bank prior to 1942 is the best evidence that Prescott Bush knowingly served as a money launderer for the Nazis. Remember that Union Banks' books and accounts were frozen by the U.S. Alien Property Custodian in 1942 and not released back to the Bush family until 1951. At that time, Union Bank shares representing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of industrial stocks and bonds were unblocked for distribution. Did the Bush family really believe that such enormous sums came from Dutch enterprises? One could sell tulip bulbs and wooden shoes for centuries and not achieve those sums. A fortune this size could only have come from the Thyssen profits made from rearming the Third Reich, and then hidden, first from the Nazi tax auditors, and then from the Allies.

    The Bushes knew perfectly well that Brown Brothers was the American money channel into Nazi Germany, and that Union Bank was the secret pipeline to bring the Nazi money back to America from Holland. The Bushes had to have known how the secret money circuit worked because they were on the board of directors in both directions: Brown Brothers out, Union Bank in.

    Moreover, the size of their compensation is commensurate with their risk as Nazi money launderers. In 1951, Prescott Bush and his father in law each received one share of Union Bank stock, worth $750,000 each. One and a half million dollars was a lot of money in 1951. But then, from the Thyssen point of view, buying the Bushes was the best bargain of the war.

    The bottom line is harsh: It is bad enough that the Bush family helped raise the money for Thyssen to give Hitler his start in the 1920's, but giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war is treason. The Bush's bank helped the Thyssens make the Nazi steel that killed allied soldiers. As bad as financing the Nazi war machine may seem, aiding and abetting the Holocaust was worse. Thyssen's coal mines used Jewish slaves as if they were disposable chemicals. There are six million skeletons in the Thyssen family closet, and a myriad of criminal and historical questions to be answered about the Bush family's complicity.

    Note: This article's author, John Loftus, is a former U.S. Department of Justice Nazi War Crimes prosecutor, the President of the Florida Holocaust Museum and the highly respected author of numerous books on the CIA-Nazi connection including The Belarus Secret and The Secret War Against the Jews, both of which have extensive material on the Bush-Rockefeller-Nazi connection.

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    The Dutch, the Germans and the Jews

    The Dutch, the Germans and the Jews.

    Jan Herman Brinks

    Abridged version of this article in: History Today, Vol 49 (6), June 1999, pp 17-23

    Careful readers of the compelling diary of Anne Frank might notice that her hiding place was betrayed to the Nazis by Dutch neighbours, without drawing wider conclusions about the behaviour of Dutch people during the occupation by the Third Reich.

    In light of the latest revelations of Dutch complicity in the acquisition of Jewish money, artworks and other treasure by the Nazis, it is worth noting that contemporary Dutch historians are engaged in a wholesale revision of the relationship between The Netherlands and the Hitler regime.

    This introspection had indeed been overdue for a long time. Contrary to popular belief, a far from harmless rapprochement between the Dutch and Nazi Germany had already taken place during the interwar period. At the root of this were both economic and ideological motives, i.e a virulent anti-communism that had penetrated deeply into the Dutch elites. In 1917 the Bolsheviks had annulled all foreign debts. However, it was not the Dutch authorities or banks that had to suffer but almost exclusively private individuals who had invested heavily in the empire of the Czar. The for those days astronomical amount of 1 billion guilders was at stake which was more than the total sum of annual Dutch expenditure.(1)

    This anti-communism was not free from anti-Semitic undertones. The minister of the Netherlands in Russia, Oudendijk, for example, argued in a report in 1918: 'I consider that the immediate suppression of Bolshevism is the greatest issue now before the world, not even excluding the war (First World War, JHB) which is still raging, and unless as above stated Bolshevism is nipped in the bud immediately it is bound to spread in one form or another over Europe and the whole world as it is organised and worked by Jews who have no nationality, and whose one object is to destroy for their own ends the existing order of things. The only manner in which this danger could be averted would be collective action on the part of all powers'.(2)

    The anger among the Dutch elites about financial losses and fear of the Bolsheviks may have contributed to the fact that the Dutch bourgeoisie was initially susceptible to Hitler's anti-Bolshevism, condoning his anti-Semitism for a long time.

    After 1935, close Dutch-German collaboration was apparent with regard to the arrest of "marxist and Jewish elements"(3). The immediate cause of this collaboration was the Dutch government's fear of a stream of refugees from the German Saar, that had advocated, on 13 January 1935, the Anschlu? with the German Reich. Many left-wing and Jewish Germans who had taken refuge there after Hitler came to power in 1933 now decided to flee.

    On 16 January 1935, three days after the ballot in the Saar, the attorney-general of Amsterdam, A. Baron van Harinxma thoe Slooten, argued, at the instigation of the Gestapo, in a confidential letter to the minister of Justice, J.R.H. van Schaik: "In my opinion the establishment of concentration camps where all undesirable communist elements could be sheltered who, in spite of the actions already taken by Your Excellency, will yet enter the Netherlands from the Saar and who are highly dangerous, not only with regard to internal peace but also because of less pleasant complications abroad, seems inescapably necessary"(4). In March of 1935 the Fortress Honswijk south of Utrecht was fitted up for this purpose.

    Among the Dutch authorities, especially among the senior staff of police, there were quite a few who already during the interwar years offered their services to the Nazis. They saw Hitler et al. as the most reliable defence against the "Red peril". The police commissioner of Amsterdam, Broekhoff, for example, personally reported in 1935 to the Gestapo in Berlin that the Dutch Minister of Defence would co-operate in the mutual fight against "kommunistische und marxistische Umtriebe" (communist and marxist machinations). Under the pen-name of "David" Broekhoff took care of the exchange of information through which 250 German "illegals" who had fled to the Netherlands immediately after the occupation in May 1940 were arrested by the Sicherheitspolizei(5). Rotterdam's then chief commissioner of police, Mr. L. Einthoven, too, figured, together with 17 other Dutch police officers considered to be "deutschfreundlich" (pro-German) in a list of names of the Gestapo.(6)

    This pro-German atmosphere also affected the Dutch media. According to the Dutch historian Pieter Geyl, who also worked as a journalist for the Nieuwe Rotterdamse Courant, this very influential newspaper sacked its Jewish foreign editor and acting editor-in-chief, Marcus van Blankenstein, as early as 1936 because he took too critical and close a look at the developments in Germany(7). In the opinion of the staff, whose interests were bound up with Rotterdam's port barons, it was better to avoid harming the interests of the state and the economy. So that was why incurring Germany's displeasure had to be avoided.(8)

    During the marriage of the future queen, princes Juliana, with the German-born Bernhard zur Lippe-Biesterfeld in January 1937, it became clear how closely associated the Dutch elites were with Nazi Germany. Prince Bernhard, who, together with his brother had become a member of the Reiter-SS, was surrounded by friends who were active National Socialists. During a gala night which took place two days before the wedding in the Building of the Arts and Sciences in The Hague the 'Horst Wessel Lied', virtual hymn of the SA, was performed. Some of the invited guests, among whom was queen Wilhelmina's uncle, duke Adolf von Mecklenburg, who was standing next to the bride, paid their respects with the Nazi salute.(9)

    The pro-German attitude of the Dutch authorities and elites was also confirmed by the German diplomat Wolfgang zu Putlitz, who, in 1938, after his return from London, where he had been for four years, was assigned to the post of Counseller in The Hague.

    In his autobiography he mentions English politicians who were sympathetic to the Nazi cause, but, as shown by his observations, the situation in the Netherlands was particularly grave: 'In England I had never come across officials in leading agencies who expressed their sympathy for the new Germanism as enthusiastically as in the Netherlands...The National Socialists of Mr. Mussert (leader of the Dutch Nazis; JHB) had supporters in almost all ministries and even among the royal household... There were Chiefs of Police who, summarily, at one signal from Butting (attach? at the German embassy, JHB), deported German emigrants at any time of day or night, and handed them over to the Gestapo...I have never heard that the Dutch government asked for a single document concerning such arbitrary acts, which were known to us by the dozen.' According to zu Putlitz the Dutch government 'even willingly gave its approval, when, later on, these Dutch involved, who had shown a flagrant disregard for the law, were, at the suggestion of Butting or Schulze-Bernett (specialist in intelligence, JHB), solemnly awarded the order of the German eagle second or third class, which had been created by Hitler.'(10)

    Again after the Kristallnacht from 9 to 10 November 1938 it became obvious how apprehensive the Dutch authorities were of "complications abroad". Now, for the first time in the history of the Netherlands the government decided that the Dutch state would not take care of fugitives. Instead the Dutch Jews themselves had to take pity on several thousand Jewish fugitives from Germany. This was a radical break with the past, for during the First World War one million Belgians who fled the acts of war in their own country found shelter in the Netherlands, which was a neutral country. At that time the Dutch government took pity on them. But now, even if the Dutch Jews wanted to help Jewish fugitives from Germany, they were often not permitted to do so.

    On the eve of the Second World War, only 7,000 fugitives were allowed to enter the country. Most fugitives, among whom were complete families, were considered to be "undesirable aliens" and were simply sent back to Germany at the frontier, or upon arrival at Schiphol airport from where they were about to leave for England or America.

    On 15 November 1938 Dutch prime minister Dr. H. Colijn explained this policy before the parliament: "... what I will say now comes from the bottom of my heart ... There is another reason why we cannot admit tens and tens of thousands to the Netherlands. I say this in the interest of our Dutch Jews themselves. These days not a single people is free from anti-Semitism; traces of this can also be found in our country and if we were to admit here an unlimited stream of fugitives from abroad, the necessary consequence of this would be that the feeling in our own country with regard to the Jews would swing in an unfavourable way."(11)

    "The government", Colijn added, "quite seriously has to bear in mind the consequences, all the consequences, including the consequence that were we to say at the moment: we will admit 50,000 people and were it to turn out that the others [countries; JHB] keep their doors locked, we would be at a loss what to do about those 50,000 people, and this for ever. One should not think that all this is a pleasant position for the government..., but we also have as our vocation to serve the interests of our own people - not the interests in a lower sense, but also in a higher sense of the word and we hope to be faithful to this".(12)

    Aid from private persons like Gertrude Wijsmuller-Meijer who during the war helped hundreds of Jewish children escape from Germany, was flatly condemned by the Dutch authorities. A press release from the Dutch government exactly a week after the Reichskristallnacht ended with the words: "The behaviour of Dutch who transfer Jewish children by car or by train to the Netherlands has to be disapproved of. Such a disorderly arrival of fugitives naturally cannot be tolerated. Only an orderly flow is permissible and that to a very limited extent".(13)

    Initial plans to establish a camp for German fugitives in the Elspeterveld in the municipality of Ermelo met with objections from among others Queen Wilhelmina, who considered the distance of twelve kilometres that would seperate her country-residence Het Loo from German asylum seekers not to be far enough. In 1939 after her authoritative utterance the plan was abandoned and camp Westerbork near the German border was established, which in May 1940 gave shelter to 750 Jewish fugitives from Germany.

    However, Dutch appeasement policy was of no use. On the night of 9/10 May 1940, German troops invaded the country. This was followed by the bombardment of the trade capital, Rotterdam, a five-year occupation, the murder of approximately three quarters of the Dutch Jews, the execution of numerous hostages, and an enormous trauma.

    Among the ruling classes, however, quite a few quickly adapted to the circumstances. Immediately after the German occupation, Colijn, for example, who had headed four 'crisis governments' and was to become an icon for Dutch political calvinism, published his book 'On the borderline of two worlds', in which he criticised democracy and recommended acceptance of German domination: 'Europe and Germany; Germany and Europe, this will be a relationship to be reckoned with from now until any humanly foreseeable future. One must forget any preference one may have for one thing or another: normally one's influence on the course of things is next to nothing, but in this particular case, it is literally nothing.'(14)

    According to the well-known Dutch historian, Louis de Jong, the Netherlands also maintained their tradition of trade during the occupation. He says they possibly preserved this national feature too thoroughly. Dutch trade and industry probably lost touch with the goal of winning the war against the Germans, de Jong argues, because, until the end of 1943, the Dutch fulfilled 84.4 percent of German orders - more even than the French, who achieved 70 percent. According to de Jong, this punctilious discharge of business duties was certainly not absolutely necessary.(15)

    It is a remarkable fact that for most Dutch this collaboration remained without consequences after the war. Already at the end of 1944 Queen Wilhelmina's son in law and husband of the future Queen Juliana, Prince Bernhard, held the opinion that a procedure for cleaning up trade and industry was unnecessary. According to the prince the economy would know who had behaved "unpatriotically" and it would be able to clean up its own ranks.(16) Of 32,232 cases of reported economic collaboration, 61 percent were determinedly put aside. The Public Prosecutor only retained discussion on 5,957 cases (18 percent), of which only 500 to 700 were brought before a special court of justice or a tribunal.(17)

    Pressure was exerted up to government level to shield suspected industrialists from punishment. From beginning to end, economic and political interests thoroughly influenced the administration of justice. The Minister for Foreign Affairs, D.U. Stikker, for example, who was a member of the Central Council for cleaning up trade and industry, staved off the imminent punishment of his friend M.H. Damme who was director of the Werkspoor company, which in those days was Holland's biggest machine factory(18). It was van Damme who in 1936 had introduced Prince Bernhard into influential circles of trade and commerce and since then he and the prince had been close friends. Rotterdam's former chief commissioner of police, Mr. L. Einthoven, who had already collaborated with the Nazis before and during the war, was to become head of the Bureau of National Security, the Bureau Nationale Veiligheid which was the precursor of the secret service, the Binnenlandse Veiligheidsdienst. He also played an important role in cleaning up procedures which may explain why many collaborators got off scot-free.(19)

    Immediately after the war, when the country was liberated, the relationship of the Dutch with the Germans reached an all-time low. Anti-German resentment and orgies of hate against real and alleged collaborators - and their children - rose from the ashes. This, by the way, did not prevent the Dutch economy from intensifying trade relations with Germany at the earliest opportunity.

    Nevertheless, many Dutch now regarded themselves as the epitome of virtue and innocence, while every German was considered a villain. The allies consciously tried to make use of this feeling. The American anthropologist Ruth Benedict was requested by the Office of War Information in Washington to write a memorandum about the Dutch. On the basis of this paper a pamphlet had to be composed by which American soldiers could aquire a basic knowledge of the Netherlands to avoid friction with the population.

    In her Note on Dutch Behavior Benedict points out that "Dutch self-confidence typically expresses itself, especially among the Calvinist majority, in [the] extreme conviction of having Right on its side". With regard to "American's ignorance of Dutch history and glory" she remarks: "Except in what corresponds to our last years of high school Dutch schools teach practically no history besides that of Holland. Most Dutchmen therefore will be shocked at American ignorance. They should be told that Americans have lived across an ocean in a figurative as well as in a literal sense...The sense of superiority which Dutch readers will get from this should be a valuable asset, for the Dutch, in contrast to many typical Germans, act with marked consideration and kindness when they feel themselves superior".(20)

    This dialectic of moral superiority, however, was rather flimsy. Anne Frank, for example, was styled as a moral standard bearer of the nation, and in the myth of resistance against the Germans she was illuminated in fairy lights. However, it unfortunately is a fact that this Jewish girl from Frankfurt am Main, not only went into hiding in the Dutch capital but was also betrayed by the Dutch.

    The facts that most Jewish Dutch, in spite of a sympathy strike in February 1941, received only scant support from the non-Jewish population and that many Jews were also betrayed by the Dutch were played down or hushed up.(21) When Simon Wiesenthal explained on Dutch television that the Dutch really could not have done more for the Jews than they actually did (for only few Dutch houses had cellars in which to hide Jews), many people must have heaved a sigh of relief. However, it remains a fact that tens of thousands of non-Jewish Dutchmen were certainly able to avoid forced labour in Germany by going underground in the Netherlands.

    It is also difficult to maintain that the fate of the Jews that were deported was completely unknown to the Dutch population. Even a little girl like Anne Frank, who lived in hiding, had learned from her non-Jewish helper, Miep Gies, about their ultimate fate and the child believed it. In a diary note of 9 October 1942 she writes: "If even in Holland it is this bad, how will they live in the far and barbarian regions where they are being sent? We assume that most of them will be killed. The English radio speaks of gassing. Maybe that is after all the quickest method of dying."(22)

    After Queen Wilhelmina and the cabinet fled the country, the Dutch civil service participated actively in the preparations for the elimination of Dutch Jews. Several permanent secretaries gave their fiat to the so-called "declarations of Aryan origin". It was Dutch policemen who arrested the Jews. And it was Dutch field security officers who guarded them in the Westerbork transit camp, from which they were deported to their death by Dutch railroad personnel.

    Many Dutch policemen turned out to be loyal henchmen of the German occupiers. On 24 September 1942 the Generalkommissar f?r das Sicherheitswesen (Commissioner General of the Security Forces) in the Netherlands and H?here SS- und Polizeif?hrer (Higher Chief of the SS and Police) Hans A. Rauter, informed his superior Heinrich Himmler in a secret letter with regard to the Judenabschiebung, i.e. the expulsion of the Jews, in the Netherlands: "The new Hundertschaften (i.e. hundreds) of the Dutch police do an excellent job in the Judenfrage and arrest the Jews by the hundreds day and night. In doing so the only risk that occurs is the fact that in places some policemen step out of line and enrich themselves out of Jewish property". Himmler's commentary which was written at the top of this "interim report concerning the expulsion of the Jews" was a short and snappy "very good".(23)

    The role of the Dutch railway too is a controversial one. In 1944 at the instance of the allies a railway strike took place in the Netherlands. On 17 September 1945 the first anniversary of this strike was commemorated. During a grand commemoration in The Hague the Minister of Transport and Energy, Ir. T.S.G.J.M. van Schaik, argued in front of the assembled railway personnel: "I understand the struggle you have waged in your hearts when your trains carried off the stolen riches of the Netherlands, when our boys were moved across the border by your trains, or, even worse, to the concentration camps. You did your duty, knowing that in that stage of the war your refusal would have had consequences even far worse for the Dutch people than what has happened now. Your work served the welfare of the Dutch people but was to the advantage of the enemy at the same time."(24)

    This "advantage of the enemy" also implied that the Jewish Dutch were deported with the help of the Dutch railways. However, according to the government and the railways an earlier strike which might have impeded the deportations was out of the question: "Going out on strike", thus van Schaik, "was a matter of balancing advantages and disadvantages, of choosing the lesser of two evils. For the time being the advantage of continuing to run was greater than the disadvantage; the evil attached to the continuation of the company was less than its suspension".(25)

    In other words, during the war the economic interests could not be risked even when the "lesser evil" implied that the Jewish Dutch were sent to their deaths. However, on orders from the allies this strike was quite possible. All the more so since a strike in September 1944 had only minimal consequences for the Dutch economy: "The economy of the Netherlands", said van Schaik, "was that (emphasis in original; JHB) paralysed at the time, that your company was hardly necessary for its maintainance".(26)

    The words of Van Schaik, who did not mention the fate of the Jews at all, were not criticised in the Netherlands but they may shed light on Adolf Eichmann's satisfaction, who allegedly argued that the transports in the Netherlands greased the wheels so perfectly that it was a treat for the eye.

    Immediately after the war there was no feeling of guilt among the Dutch authorities or most citizens towards the Dutch Jews. The surviving Jews were not taken care of by the authorities, but got help from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. After the war the Dutch government considered the surviving Jewish Dutch to be "Dutchmen like all Dutchmen". For the authorities Jewishness had no special meaning. This fallacy even led to excesses. In two prisoner camps in Valkenburg and Sittard 170 German Jews were detained amidst captured SS and collaborators. Before the war these German Jews had been granted asylum in the Netherlands. During the war they were deported to Bergen-Belsen and after their liberation they finally arrived in the Netherlands where they were detained as "Germans".(27)

    In the first twenty years after the war the Dutch people had hardly any thought for the fate of Jewish fellow-countrymen. The attention was entirely fixed on the resistance against the Germans and the occupation in general. This was the time in which the myth of the Netherlands as a "country of resistance" developed; a myth that was willingly received abroad. There was more attention for the non-Jewish Dutch resistance fighters who had been detained in the concentration camps than for the Jews who had been killed there. In this respect there was little difference with the situation in the German Democratic Republic.(28)

    Many examples can be cited of the callous attitude which Jewish survivors encountered in the Netherlands until well into the sixties. To take one example: During the war Jewish Dutch were forced to surrender their money, stock-holding, jewellery and works of art to the bank Lippmann Rosenthal & Co for which they received a receipt. The Jewish possessions however were bartered away by this LIRO-bank against rated values that were much too low. After the war some of these goods could not be claimed by their owners or their descendants. In 1968/69 civil servants from the Amsterdam branch office of the Ministry of Finance decided to sell among themselves for a symbolic amount what was left of the booty - valuables like earrings, watches, gold fountain pens and silver cutlery. There was so much interest among the officials of the Ministry that they decided to draw lots.(29) Nobody ever had the idea of informing the Jewish community.

    There are suspicions that many valuables that were stolen from the Jewish Dutch remained in the Netherlands. This amounts to tens of thousands of houses, estates, works of art and stocks and shares belonging to war victims like Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and Jehovah's Witnesses. Often these possessions fell into the hands of Dutch who during the war had connections with the Nazis and of collaborators.

    The restitution of art collections too, including paintings, did not always work out according to the regulations. After the war paintings that were stolen for the greater part from the Netherlands were stored at a collection of the Stichting Nederlands Kunstbezit (Council of Dutch Art Collection) which was responsible for tracing the owners or their descendants and returning their property. However, this was only done in a few hundred cases. At the moment this collection still contains 3,500 paintings. From the correspondence of the SNK it appears that this organisation, immediately after the war, tried to change the laws involved in such a way, that the works of art "naturally can be taken over by the state...in cases eligible for that purpose".(30)

    An example of this dubious policy is the case of Jewish art-dealer Jacques Goudstikker, who, in 1940, in the course of his flight from Amsterdam to England, was killed in an accident. During the occupation Goudstikker's paintings were to a large extent 'purchased' by G?ring at bargain prices. After the war the Dutch state recovered 300 works of art from the Goudstikker collection, half of which were sold and the other half presented to Dutch museums. The heirs did not get anything.

    Under pressure from the Dutch authorities Goudstikker's widow agreed in 1952 that her tax arrears should be cancelled in return for her giving up her husband's possessions. When, in 1997, this case became known in the United States, it gave rise to bad publicity for the Dutch. Subsequently the Dutch Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs engaged the PR-agency Hill & Knowlton to make sure that the issue of looted art in the Netherlands would in future, according to a spokesman of the ministry, 'be presented in the American media in an appropriate way'. However, it is almost certain that Hill & Knowlton, which maintains good relations with TV-stations, local and national newspapers, industrialists and politicians, managed to prevent CNN from broadcasting a report on the Goudstikker case.(31)

    Until recently Dutch historians were expected not to stain the myth that the Netherlands were a "country of resistance" against the Germans. When, in an interview in 1993, Dutch historian Graa Boomsma compared the employment of military forces in the Dutch colony Indonesia after the Second World War with the conduct of the SS, this was enough as Boomsma noted, to have him up for slander. Remarkable, indeed, considering the fact that there is circumstantial evidence that many Dutch who served in the German SS were sent after the war for their "rehabilitation" to Indonesia to maintain colonial order.(32)

    After the judges had cleared Boomsma, the public prosecutor's office filed an appeal, which was quite unusual. In May 1994 even the international association of poets and writers, PEN, expressed its anxiety about the planned action against Boomsma in a letter to the Dutch Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin.(33) At the beginning of 1995 the suit was again dismissed, but this official action was a clear signal to Dutch historians as far as the assessment of the colonial past and the role of the Dutch in the Second World War is concerned.

    In the meantime such taboos belong to the past. The image of the Dutch who resisted the Germans on a massive scale and suffered because of the fate of their Jewish fellow countrymen is being rapidly refuted by the overwhelming evidence. However, much of this evidence is not really new and it looks as if the current, more differentiated view of the Netherlands and their relationship with Nazi Germany also serves contemporary Dutch-German interests.

    The Dutch government is anxious not to disturb relationships with its neighbouring country, not least because of the economic dependency of the Netherlands upon unified Germany. Attempts are therefore being made to improve the image of Germany in the Netherlands and to establish a cordial relationship. These efforts, which are strongly supported by the royal family, are very vigorously pursued. At the beginning of 1995, Dutch newspapers even reported that the government of Social Democratic prime minister Wim Kok was trying to get hold of half a million guilders to finance a publicity campaign aimed at the development of a "feeling" expressing "togetherness-with-the-Germans."(34) Many Dutch historians, journalists and politicians nowadays support this political line by drawing attention to Dutch complicity in Nazi crimes, while focusing at the same time on Germany's post-war democracy. Whether this will breed solidarity between neighbours in "Unified Europe" is doubtful.(35) The Jewish Dutch, however, may find, that such a "feeling" adds insult to injury.


    Benedict, R. F., A Note on Dutch behavior. A complete edition of this text in: Ginkel, Rob van, Notities over Nederlanders, Antropologische Reflecties ("Notes about Dutchmen. Anthropological reflections"). Amsterdam/Meppel, 1997, p. 225 - 234. here: p. 226 and 232.

    Brinks, J.H., 'About Mammon and Morals. Some Remarks on the Ambivalent Relationship of the Dutch with the Germans', The Mediterranean Quarterly, vol 8, nr 4, Fall 1997, pp123-130.

    Colijn, H., Saevis Tranquillus in Undis. Toelichting op het Antirevolutionair Beginselprogram, Tweede druk, waarin opgenomen 'Op de grens van Twee Werelden', Amsterdam, 1940, p. 581-615; here p. 609. (Saevis Tranquillus in Undis. Elucidation of the Anti-Revolutionary Manifesto, second edition, which contains >On the Borderline of Two Worlds<', Amsterdam, 1940).

    Jong de, L., Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog, (The Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Second World War), part 2 The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1969, p. 153; and part 7, (May' 43 - June '44, first half) 1976, p. 120-30: here especially p. 130.

    Meihuizen, J.P., Farce. De Bestraffing van Economische Collaboratie 1944-1951 ("Farce. The Punishment of Economic Collaboration 1944-1951"), Amsterdam, 1998.

    Presser, J., The Destruction of the Dutch Jews, New York, Dutton, 1969.

    Vree van, F., De Nederlandse Pers en Duitsland 1930-1939. Een Studie over de Vorming van de Publieke Opinie (The Dutch Press and Germany 1930-1939. A Study of the Formation of Public Opinion) Historische Uitgeverij Groningen, 1989.

    Zee, van der, N., Om erger te voorkomen. De Voorbereiding en Uitvoering van de Vernietiging van het Nederlandse Jodendom tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog ("To prevent worse. The Preparation and Execution of the Destruction of Dutch Jewry during the Second World War"), Amsterdam, 1997.

    Jan Herman Brinks is a Research Fellow at Birkbeck College, University of London. His book Children of a New Fatherland: Germany's Post-War Right Wing Politics will be published in 1999 by I.B. Tauris with a foreword by David Binder of the New York Times.


    1. Cp. Zee, van der, Nanda, Om erger te voorkomen. De voorbereiding en uitvoering van de vernietiging van het Nederlandse jodendom tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog ("To prevent worse. The preparation and execution of the destruction of Dutch Jewry during the Second World War"), Amsterdam, 1997, p. 40.

    2. Withdrawal of Missions and Consuls. Subenclosure. Report of the Netherlands Minister relating to conditions in Petrograd, in: Publications of the Department of State, Papers relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States. 1918. Russia. (In three Volumes); here Vol. 1, United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1931, p. 675-679; here. p. 678 and 679.

    3. In 1997 Dutch historian Ger van Roon stumbled in a new Bundesarchiv in Berlin upon files with official notices about trips of Dutch officials to the Gestapo at the Prinz Albrechtstrasse and the Kriminalpolizei at the Alexanderplatz. Cp: Goudriaan, Huib, Politietop al vroeg contact met Gestapo ("Police top already early in contact with Gestapo"), Trouw, 18 december, 1997; also: Goudriaan, Huib, Latere BVD-chef Einthoven op namenlijst Gestapo ("Future chief of BVD [National Security Service] Einthoven on list of names of Gestapo"), Trouw, 18 December, 1997.

    4. Quoted in: Goudriaan, Huib, Politietop al vroeg contact met Gestapo ("Police top already early in contact with Gestapo"), Trouw, 18 december, 1997. The advice to shelter fugitives in concentration camps was less surprising than it may seem at first sight. In those days the Netherlands themselves kept two concentration camps: at Upper-Digul and Tanah Merah in New Guinea. Indonesian dissidents, among whom was the later prime minister Hatta, were kept there for years often without trial. Many of them died prematurely as a result of hardships.

    5. Ibidem.

    6. Goudriaan, Huib, Latere BCD-chef Einthoven op namenlijst Gestapo ("Future chief of BVD [National Security Service] Einthoven on list of names of Gestapo"), Trouw, 18-12-1997.

    7. Pieter Geyl explains that van Blankenstein was sacked because "a Jew as foreign correspondent, that was considered dangerous in Rotterdam". See Pieter Geyl, Pennestrijd, Groningen: Wolters, 1971, 340.

    8. In 1935, the Germans had announced an advertisement boycott. The German envoy in The Hague, the consul in Rotterdam, and the press officer of the Foreign Ministry informed the director of the newspaper that it had been especially the articles of van Blankenstein that caused this measure.

    Frank van Vree, De Nederlandse Pers en Duitsland 1930-1939. Een studie over de vorming van de publieke opinie (The Dutch press and Germany 1930-1939. A study of the formation of public opinion) Historische Uitgeverij Groningen: 1989, p. 131. The renowned Dutch journalist Menno ter Braak, too, became a victim of the zeitgeist. On the eve of the Second World War, he was caught up in a remarkable accusation. Because of his critical comments about Hitler in a preface to Hermann Rauschning's Hitler speaks, he was charged with "slander of a friendly head of state," as Lord Chancellor Pieter Sjoerd Gerbrandy said on the first of May 1940. Cp. Louis De Jong, Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog, (The Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Second World War), part 2 The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1969, 153.

    9. Kroon, John, 'Vijftig jaar huwelijksleven in een glazen huis' (Fifty years of marriage in a glass house), NRC-Handelsblad, 3 January, 1987; also: Laan, Geert-Jan; Robijns, Rien, 'Het geheim van Soestdijk. Prins Bernhard gaat in zaken' (The secret of Soestdijk. Prince Bernhard goes into business), Het Vrije Volk, 17 December, 1977.

    10.Putlitz zu, Wolfgang, In Rok tussen de Bruinhemden. Herinneringen van een Duits diplomaat (In Evening Dress among the Brownshirts. Memories of a German Diplomat), The Hague, 1964, p. 210.

    11. Redevoering van Minister President Dr. Colijn op 15 november 1938 in de Tweede Kamer, 13e vergadering, 15 November 1938, Algemeene beraadslagingen over de Rijksbegroting voor het dienstjaar 1939, Handelingen der Staten-Generaal 1938-1939 - Tweede Kamer, p. 262. ("Address of prime minister Dr. Colijn on 15. November 1938 in the Lower House, 13th meeting, 15 November 1938, General deliberations about the national budget for the official year 1939, Proceedings of the Dutch Lower House of the States-General 1938-1939, p. 262.")

    12. Ibidem, p. 269.

    13. Quoted in: Zee, van der, Nanda, Om erger te voorkomen ("To prevent worse"), p. 37.

    14. Colijn, H., Saevis Tranquillus in Undis. Toelichting op het antirevolutionair Beginselprogram, Tweede druk, waarin opgenomen 'Op de grens van Twee Werelden', Amsterdam, 1940, p. 581-615; here p. 609. ('Elucidation of the anti-revolutionary manifesto, which contains >On the borderline of Two Worlds<').

    15. Jong, de, Louis, Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog, ("The Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Second World War"), part 7, (May' 43 - June '44, first half), The Hague, 1976, p. 120-30: here especially p. 130.

    16. Meihuizen, J.P., Farce. De bestraffing van economische collaboratie 1944-1951 ("Farce. The punishment of economic collaboration 1944-1951"), Amsterdam, 1998, p. 5, 6.

    17. Ibidem, p. 38, 39.

    18. Ibidem, p. 21, 22.

    19. Brink, van den, Rinke, Hitlers Orders. Nederlandse ambtenaren waren al fout v??r de oorlog ("Hitlers Orders. Dutch officials acted already wrongly before the war"), Vrij Nederland, 10 January, 1998, p. 14-16; here p. 14.

    20. Benedict, Ruth Fulton, A Note on Dutch behavior. A complete edition of this text in: Ginkel, Rob van, Notities over Nederlanders, Antropologische Reflecties ("Notes about Dutchmen. Anthropological reflections"). Amsterdam/Meppel, 1997, p. 225 - 234. here: p. 226 and 232.

    21. Probably one of the best presentations of the persecution of the Jewish Dutch in Holland during the Second World War can be found in Jacob Presser, The Destruction of the Dutch Jews, New York, Dutton, 1969.

    22. Frank, Anne, Het Achterhuis. Dagboekbrieven 12 juni 1942- augustus 1944, Amsterdam, Contact, 1947, p. 39; quoted in: Zee, van der, Nanda, Om erger te voorkomen ("To avoid worse"), p. 127.

    23. Facsimile reproduction of this letter in: Presser, J. Ondergang. De vervolging en verdelging van het Nederlandse Jodendom (1940-1945) ("Destruction. The persecution and extermination of Dutch Jewry 1940-1945"), Part I, The Hague, 1985, p. 280 ff.

    24. Rede van de minister van Verkeer en Energie, Ir. T.S.G.J.M. van Schaik tijdens de herdenkingsbijeenkomst van de spoorwegstaking op 17 September 1944 in het gebouw van de groenten- en vruchtenveiling in Den Haag op 17 September 1945. Plechtige Herdenking van de Spoorwegstaking op 17 September 1945, Rotterdam, 1946, p. 21-27; here: p. 24 ("Address of minister of Transport and Energy, Ir. T.S.G.J.M. van Schaik during the commemoration of the railway strike on 17 September 1944 in the building of the vegetable and fruit auction hall in The Hague on 17 September 1945. Solemn commemoration of the railway strike on 17 September 1945, Rotterdam, 1946, p. 21-27; here: p. 24".)

    25. Ibidem.

    26. Ibidem, p. 25.

    27. Peeters, Frans, Eenzaam, Berooid, ontheemd - en toch als iedereen ("Lonely, destitute, homeless – and yet like everybody else"). Het Parool, PS, 13 December 1997; cp.: Haveman, Ben, Thuis na de Holocaust ("At home after the Holocaust"), De Volkskrant, Vervolg, 20 December, 1997.

    28. Cp. Brinks, J.,H., Political Anti-Fascism in the German Democratic Republic, Journal of Contemporary History, vol 32, nr 2, April 1997, pp 207-217.

    29. Houwink ten Cate, Johannes, Niet historici, maar politici moeten Liro-zaak afwikkelen ("Not historians but politicians must settle Liro-affair"), De Volkskrant, 20 December, 1997, also: Joods eigendom onderhands geveild ("Jewish property auctioned privately"), NRC-Handelsblad, 10 December, 1997; Nazi-buit bij ambtenaren ("Nazi booty with civil servants"), Algemeen Dagblad, 10 December 1997.

    30. Hollander, den, Pieter, Staat aasde op roofkunst ("State had its eye on stolen art"), Algemeen Dagblad, 12 December, 1997; also: Heyting, Lien, De kous is nog niet af. Verdwenen kunst, verdwenen eigenaren en talloze claims van regeringen en particulieren ("There's still no end to the matter. Disappeared art, disappeared owners and countless claims of governments and private persons"), NRC Handelsblad, Cultureel supplement, 28 November, 1997.

    31. Weidemann, Siggi, 'Ein sch?biger Vergleich'. Klage zur?ckgewiesen: Die Niederlande tricksen Beutekunst-Erben aus (A shabby exchange. Case dismissed: The Netherlands outwit the heirs to looted art), S?ddeutsche Zeitung, 16 March, 1999.

    32. Martin van Amerongen, "Contrapunt. Reclassering anno 1949" (Counterpoint. Rehabilitation in the year 1949), De Groene Amsterdammer, 15 September, 1993. See also Chris van Esterik, Het litteken van een scheermes: SS'ers in Nederlands-Indi? tijdens de politi?le acties ("The scar of a razor: Members of the SS during police actions in the Netherlands East Indies"), NRC-Handelsblad, 24 November 1984. In 1997, many former Dutch members of the SS put in an application for a pension from Germany, when it was made public that Germany, until now, has paid war pensions to former members of the SS and war criminals all over the world. See, for example, Keine Opferrente mehr f?r Adolf Hitler ("No victim pension for Adolf Hitler anymore"), S?ddeutsche Zeitung, 28 February, 1997.

    33. Brief aan minister Hirsch Ballin: PEN protesteert tegen vervolging auteur Boomsma. (Letter to minister Hirsch Ballin: PEN protests against proceedings against author Boomsma) NRC- Handelsblad, 24 May 1994; also: Index on Censorship, London: Writers and Scholars International, 3/94: 179, 4-5/94: 245, 2/95: 181.

    34. Ewoud Nysingh, Half miljoen gezocht voor 'wij-gevoel' Duitsland en Nederland ("Wanted: Half a million guilders for Dutch "Feeling" Expressing "togetherness-with-Germans"). De Volkskrant, January 26., 1995.

    35. The last official investigation into this matter of November 1997 shows that in spite of, but probably because of all official efforts to improve the image of Germany in the Netherlands, Dutch youngsters, just like in 1993 and 1995, consider Germany to be the least sympathetic country of all member states of the European Union. In: Dekker, H., Aspeslagh, R., Winkel, B., Burenverdriet. Attituden ten aanzien van de lidstaten van de Europese Unie ("Neighbourly sorrows. Attitudes towards member states of the European Union"), Netherlands institute of international relations Clingendael, The Hague, 1997. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs that subsidises this (serial) investigation subsequently explained that Clingendael may continue its research, but is not allowed to publish the results any more. Vaessen, A., Duitsers boos over studies ("Germans angry at studies"), Algemeen Dagblad, 5 March 1998. According to Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hans van Mierlo, history teaching is to blame for Germany's negative image as it "ends with the year 1945". (Weideman, S., "Verh?ltnis so gut wie nie zuvor" (Relationship as well as never before), S?ddeutsche Zeitung, 21/22 March, 1998.

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    Nazi Looting: The Plunder of Dutch Jewry During the Second World War

    Gerard Aalders, Arno Pomerans (Translator)

    This book is translated by Arnold Pomerans with Erica Pomerans. The Nazi looting machine was notoriously efficient during the Second World War. In the Netherlands, 8.5 million citizens suffered losses estimated at 3.6 billion guilders. Approximately one-third of these losses were borne by Jews, who comprised only 1.6 per cent of the total population. In today's terms, the German occupiers stripped the Jewish population of assets worth $7 billion. "Nazi Looting" offers a comprehensive history of the Dutch experience and demonstrates how reputable indigenous institutions acted as willing collaborators. Beginning with a survey of international law and various definitions of 'looting', the author shows how the Germans systematically robbed Dutch Jewry through a variety of means that gave the outward appearance of honest trading. Forced to sell under duress and at unreasonably low prices, few dared refuse the German on the doorstep when threatened with prison or incarceration in a camp. The plundering was total and systematic. In May 1940, a team of highly trained art historians, linguists, musicologists and literary experts arrived immediately behind the victorious German troops to catalogue the vast collections for Hitler. From 1941, Jews were compelled to deposit all their money into a bank called Lippmann, Rosenthal Co. The name of the bank itself was a cynical ploy since it was taken from a respected, Jewish-owned Amsterdam bank and presented as a new branch. This bank, however, simply channelled money into the Third Reich with the help of the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, insurance brokers and other well-established Dutch banks. Once the Jews were deported, their houses were emptied and the contents used to re-furnish bombed out areas of the Reich. In common with many other formerly Nazi-occupied countries in Europe, the Netherlands has been unable to retrieve many of its pre-war assets. More than fifty years after the wars end, 20 per cent of its most important pre-war museum exhibits and approximately 80 per cent of the less important works remain untraced. Painstakingly researched, "Nazi Looting" exposes a chillingly calculating and brutally destructive process that reverberates to this day.

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    Arthur Seyss-Inquart (1892-1946)

    Reich Governor of Austria (Ostmark) and then Reich Commissioner of the German occupied Netherlands from 140-45. Arthur Seyess-Inquart was born in Stannern, near Iglau, in Moravia, on 22 July 1892, the son of a secondary school trencher, During World War I he served in the Tyrolean Kaiserjager1 and was seriously wounded. After 1918 he returned to Vienna, where he became a barrister after studying law at the University and was an enthusiastic advocate of Anschluss(Austria union with Germany). In 1031 the intelligent, pleasant mannered, ambitious your lawyer secretly joined the Austrian Nazi Party and in May 1937 he was appointed an Austrian State Councilor. During the next year, Seyss-Inquart was Hitler's Trojan Horse in Austria, the pro-Nazi quisling whom he used to pressure the Chancellor Schuschnigg and to undermine Austrian independence,. Under German pressure, Seyss-Inquart was appointed Austrian Minister of the Interior on 16 Feburary 1938, with absolute control over the police and internal security. On 2 March 1938 Schuschnigg was forced to resign and through President Miklas at first refused to accept Seyss-Inquart as his Chancellor, he was forced to capitulate. The next day German troops entered Austria and Seyss-Inquart as the new Chancellor also took over Presidential powers forcing a law through Parliament whereby Austria ceased to exist as an independent State and became a province of the German Reich. Promoted to SS Lieutenant General on 15 March 1938 for his services towards the Anschluss, Seyss-Inquart remained Reich Governor of the Ostmark (Austria) until 30 April 1939.

    After the setting up of the General government of Poland on 12 OCtober 1939, Seyss-Inquart was appointed deputy to the Nazi Governor, Hans Frank. From May 1940 to May 1945 he was Reich Commissioner in the occupied Netherlands where he was responsible for recruiting labor for deportation to Germany and for the rounding up of Dutch Jews. Under his rule the Dutch economy was made completely subservient to the German Reich and living standards declined. Extremely valuable works of art were confiscated and in 1943 textiles and consumer goods were seized for the German population. Five million Dutchmen ere sent as workers to the Reich and 117,000 out of 140,000 Dutch Jews were deported to their deaths in Poland. Those Dutch Jews in mixed marriages were given the alternative of deportation to Poland or sterilization, according to regulations approved by Seyss-Inquart on 28 June 1943. Summary justice was also meted out to Resistance elements and collective fines imposed on all Dutch cities where they were suspected to exist. Proposed as Foreign Minister by Hitler during the ;sat days of his life in the Fuehrerbunker, Seyss-Inquart was arrested in May 1945 by Canadian troops and tried in Nuremberg. He was found guilty of war crimes, including direct responsibility for deportations and the shooting of hostages, and was executed in Nuremberg prison on 16 October 1946


    SEYSS-INQUART, Dr. jur. Arthur (1892-1946) Reichsminister/Reichskommissar/SS-Obergruppenfuhrer/M.d.R./Oberleutnant d.R. a.D.:

    Born: 22. Jul. 1892 in Stannern near Iglau, Moravia.

    Hanged: 16. Oct. 1946 in Nuremberg Prison.

    NSDAP-Nr.: 6 270 392

    SS-Nr.: 292 771

    SS Promotions:

    SS-OGruf.: 20. Apr. 1941; SS-Gruf.:.


    Reichskommissar fur die besetzten Niederlandischen Gebiete: May 1940-May 1945.

    Stellvertreter Generalgouverneur (Deputy General Governor, in Krakow): Oct. 1939-May 1940.

    Decorations & Awards:

    KVK I/II ohne Schwerter; Verwundetenabzeichen, 1918 in Schwarz; Ehrenkreuz fur Frontkampfer; Landesorden; Goldenes Parteiabzeichen; Medaille zur Erinnerung an des 13. Marz 193; Ehrendegen des RF SS/Totenkopfring der SS.

    Courtesy of ABR


    Nuremberg Trials

    Judgment on Arthur Seyss-Inquart

    Seyss-Inquart is indicted under all Four Counts. Seyss- Inquart, an Austrian attorney, was appointed State Councillor in Austria in May, 1937, as a result of German pressure. He had been associated with the Austrian Nazi Party since 1931, but had often had difficulties with that Party and did not actually join the Nazi Party until 13th March, 1938. He was appointed Austrian Minister of Security and Interior with control over the police, pursuant to one of the conditions which Hitler had imposed on Schuschnigg in the Berchtesgaden Conference of 12th February, 1938.

    Activities in Austria

    Seyss-Inquart participated in the last stages of the Nazi intrigue which preceded the German occupation of Austria, and was made Chancellor of Austria as a result of German threats of invasion.

    On 12th March, 1938 Seyss-Inquart met Hitler at Linz and made a speech welcoming the German forces and advocating the reunion of Germany and Austria. On 13 March he obtained the passage of a law providing that Austria should become a province of Germany and succeeded Miklas as President of Austria when Miklas resigned rather than sign the law. Seyss- Inquart's title was changed to Reich Governor of Austria on 15th March, 1938, and on the same day he was given the title of a general in the SS. He was made a Reich Minister without Portfolio on 1st May, 1939.

    On 11th March, 1939 he visited the Slovakian Cabinet in Bratislava and induced them to declare their independence in a way which fitted in closely with Hitler's offensive against the independence of Czechoslovakia.

    As Reich Governor of Austria, Seyss-Inquart instituted a program of confiscating Jewish property. Under his regime Jews were forced to emigrate, were sent to concentration camps, and were subject to pogroms. At the end of his regime he cooperated with the Security Police and SD in the deportation of Jews from Austria to the East. While he was Governor of Austria, political opponents of the Nazis were sent to concentration camps by the Gestapo, mistreated, and often killed.

    Criminal Activities in Poland and the Netherlands

    In September, 1939 Seyss-Inquart was appointed Chief of Civil Administration of South Poland. On 12th October, 1939 Seyss-Inquart was made Deputy Governor General of the General Government of Poland under Frank. On 18th May, 1940, Seyss-Inquart was appointed Reich Commissioner for Occupied Netherlands. In these positions he assumed responsibility for governing territory which had been occupied by aggressive wars and the administration of which was of vital importance in the aggressive war being waged by Germany.

    As Deputy Governor General of the General Government of Poland, Seyss-Inquart was a supporter of the harsh occupation policies which were put in effect. In November, 1939, while on an inspection tour through the General Government, Seyss-Inquart stated that Poland was to be so administered as to exploit its economic resources for the benefit of Germany. Seyss-Inquart also advocated the persecution of Jews and was informed of the beginning of the AB action which involved the murder of many Polish intellectuals.

    As Reich Commissioner for the Occupied Netherlands, Seyss- Inquart was ruthless in applying terrorism to suppress all opposition to the German occupation, a program which he described as "annihilating" his opponents. In collaboration with the local Higher SS and Police Leaders he was involved in the shooting of hostages for offenses against the occupation authorities and sending to concentration camps all suspected opponents of occupation policies including priests and educators. Many of the Dutch police were forced to participate in these programs by threats of reprisal against their families. Dutch courts were also forced to participate in this program, but when they indicated their reluctance to give sentences of imprisonment because so many prisoners were in fact killed, a greater emphasis was placed on the use of summary police courts.

    Seyss-Inquart carried out the economic administration of the Netherlands without regard for rules of the Hague Convention. which he described as obsolete. Instead, a policy was adopted for the maximum utilization of economic potential of the Netherlands, and executed with small regard for its effect on the inhabitants. There was widespread pillage of public and private property which was given color of legality by Seyss-Inquart's regulations, and assisted by manipulations of the financial institutions of the Netherlands under his control.

    As Reich Commissioner for the Netherlands, Seyss-Inquart immediately began sending forced laborers to Germany. Until 1942 labor service in Germany was theoretically voluntary, but was actually coerced by strong economic and governmental pressure. In 1942 Seyss-Inquart formally decreed compulsory labor service, and utilized the services of the Security Police and SD to prevent evasion of his order. During the occupation over 500,000 people were sent from the Netherlands to the Reich as laborers and only a very small proportion were actually volunteers.

    One of Seyss-Inquart's first steps as Reich Commissioner of the Netherlands was to put into effect a series of laws imposing economic discriminations against the Jews. This was followed by decrees requiring their registration, decrees compelling them to reside in ghettos and to wear the Star of David, sporadic arrests and detention in concentration camps, and finally, at the suggestion of Heydrich, the mass deportation of almost 120,000 of Holland's 140,000 Jews to Auschwitz and the "final solution". Seyss-Inquart admits knowing that they were going to Auschwitz, but claims that he heard from people who had been to Auschwitz that the Jews were comparatively well off there, and that he thought that they were being held there for resettlement after the war. In light of the evidence and on account of his official position it is impossible to believe this claim.

    Seyss-Inquart contends that he was not responsible for many of the crimes committed in the occupation of the Netherlands because they were either ordered from the Reich, committed by the Army over which he had no control, or by the German Higher SS and Police Leader, who, he claims, reported directly to Himmler. It is true that some of the excesses were the responsibility of the Army and that the Higher SS and Police Leader, although he was at the disposal of Seyss- Inquart, could always report directly to Himmler. It is also true that in certain cases Seyss-Inquart opposed the extreme measures used by these other agencies, as when he was largely successful in preventing the Army from carrying out a scorched earth policy, and urged the Higher SS and Police Leaders to reduce the number of hostages to be shot. But the fact remains that Seyss-Inquart was a knowing and voluntary participant in war crimes and Crimes against humanity which were committed in the occupation of the Netherlands.


    The Tribunal finds that Seyss-Inquart is guilty under Counts Two, Three, and Four. Seyss-Inquart is not guilty on Count One.


    Defendant Arthur Seyss-Inquart, on the counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the International Military Tribunal sentences you to death by hanging.

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    • 1 year later...

    Found this whilst surfing the net thought it might be of interest......

    <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml...19/nbarc119.xml" target="_blank">http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml...19/nbarc119.xml</a>

    Barclays plans to ditch 'Nazi' eagle logo

    By Harry Wallop, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

    Last Updated: 2:17am BST 21/06/2007

    Barclays, the High Street bank, is planning to drop its 317-year-old eagle logo because of concerns that it has Nazi overtones ? a move designed to appease the Dutch bank ABN Amro with which it is planning to merge.

    The Barclays logo has been modified many times in the past

    Bank insiders confirmed today that it was a "logical move" to drop its iconic logo if the deal with ABN Amro goes ahead, agreeing with comments that it had "unfortunate connotations".

    Branding experts said they thought the move was sensible, considering how much more potent the eagle symbol is on the Continent.

    Stuart Whitwell, joint managing director of Intangible Business, a brand consultancy said: "I think it is a great shame, especially considering they have had it for 317 years. But you can sense there would be problems in parts of Europe."

    If the merger goes ahead Barclays has promised to move its corporate headquarters to Amsterdam, a city that was occupied during the Second World War. The Anne Frank Museum is one of countless daily reminders in the city of its uncomfortable past.

    advertisementThe Nazis used the historic Germanic eagle as part of its iconography and it remains part of the federal coat of arms to this day.

    The eagle logo used by Barclays, however, predates the Nazi era by 230 years, dating back to 1690 when its predecessor bank set up in Lombard Street ? the historic home of banking in the City of London.

    The image has been modified many times in the past. The black Teutonic-style eagle emblazoned on a shield was redrawn blue with less fierce talons in 1981.

    Seventeen years later, the shield was dropped as part of a re-branding by leading consultancy Interbrand. In 2004 the logo was softened further, with the three crowns being consigned to the bin, and the bird shorn of all of its claws.

    If the bank merger goes ahead ? a deal worth ?96 billion ? the merged entity will be called Barclays, but the British directors have agreed to appease its Dutch counterparts by moving its headquarters and dropping its logo.

    It is likely to adopt a version of the simple green and yellow shield currently used by the Dutch bank. If the deal collapses Barclays insiders said that they would "absolutely" hang on to the eagle logo.

    It would not be the first time that a British bank had lost its logo as part of a international merger. Midland bank's blue griffin was replaced in 1997 by HSBC's red and white hexagon, five years after the Hong Kong giant took over the British High Street bank.

    Santander, the Spanish banking group, ditched Abbey's logo of a couple sheltering under an umbrella after they took over the bank in 2005.

    It was replaced with the Spanish company's insignia of a red flame.

    Mr Whitwell said: "I am sure that people will accept it eventually. It is all part of globalisation. It's a shame, but it makes sense if all the banks share the same logo. And let's face it ? most banks aren't very well like by their customers anyway. Will anyone really miss the eagle?"

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