Facts and Fascism
excerpted from the book
The George Seldes Reader
by Randolph T. Holhut
Barricade Books, 1994, paper
[In 1943, Seldes wrote and self-published
the book Facts and Fascism which is the most detailed and documented
history on how big business subsidized fascism. What follows is
the opening section of that book which tells who backed the regimes
of Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and Hirohito and who worked for fascism
The time will come when people will not believe it was possible
to mobilize 10,800,030 Americans to fight Fascism and not tell
them the truth about the enemy. And yet, this is exactly what
happened in our country in the Global War.
The Office of War Information published
millions of words, thousands of pamphlets, posters and other material,
most of it very valuable and all of it intended to inspire the
people and raise the morale of the soldiers of production and
the soldiers of the field; but it is also a fact that to the date
of this writing the OWl did not publish a single pamphlet, poster,
broadside or paper telling either the civilian population or the
men and women in uniform what Fascism really is, what the forces
are behind the political and military movements generally known
as Fascism, who puts up the money, who make the tremendous profits
which Fascism has paid its backers in Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain
and other nations.
Certainly when it comes to relating foreign
Fascism with native American Fascism there is a conspiracy of
silence in which the OWl, the American press, and all the forces
of reaction in America are united. Outside of a few books, a few
pamphlets, and a few articles in the very small independent weekly
press which reaches only a few thousand readers, not one word
on this subject has been printed, and not one word has been heard
over any of the big commercial radio stations.
Faraway Fascism has been attacked, exposed,
and denounced by the same publications (the Saturday Evening Post
for example) which for years ran articles lauding Mussolini and
his notable backers in all lands; and the Hearst newspapers, which
published from 1934 to Pearl Harbor dozens of signed propaganda
articles by Dr. Goebbels, Goering and other Nazis, now call them
names, but no publication which takes money from certain Big Business
elements (all of which will be named here) will dare name the
native or nearby Fascists. In many instances the publications
themselves are part of our own Fascism.
But we must not be fooled into believing
that American Fascism consists of a few persons, some crackpots,
some mentally perverted, a few criminals such as George W. Christian
and William Pelley, who are in jail at present, or the 33 indicted
for sedition. These are the lunatic fringes of Fascism; they are
also the small fry, the unimportant figureheads, just as Hitler
was before the Big Money in Germany decided to set him up in business.
The real Fascists of America are never
named in the commercial press. It will not even hint at the fact
that there are many powerful elements working against a greater
democracy, against an America without discrimination based on
race, color and creed, an America where never again will one third
of the people be without sufficient food, clothing and shelter,
where never again will there be millions unemployed and many more
millions working for semi-starvation wages while the DuPont, Ford,
Hearst, Mellon and Rockefeller Empires move into the billions
I call these elements Fascist. You may
not like names and labels but technically as well as journalistically
and morally they are correct. You may substitute Tories, or Economic
Royalists, or Vested Interests, or whatever you like for the flag-waving
anti-American Americans whose efforts and objectives parallel
those of the Liga Industriale which bought out
Mussolini in 1920 and the Thyssen-Krupp-Voegeler-Flick
Rhineland industry and banking system which subsidized Hitler
when Nazism was about to collapse. Their main object was to end
the civil liberties of the nation, destroy the labor unions, end
the free press, and make more money at the expense of a slave
nation. Both succeeded. And in America one similar organization
(the National Association of Manufacturers) has already made the
following historical record:
1. Organized big business in a movement
2. Founded the Liberty League to fight
3. Subsidized anti-labor, Fascist and
anti-Semitic organizations (Senator Black's Lobby Investigation).
4. Signed a pact with Nazi agents for
political and economic (cartel) penetration of U. S. (Exposed
in In fact.)
5. Founded a $1 million-a-year propaganda
outfit to corrupt the press, radio, schools and churches.
6. Stopped the passage of food, drug and
other laws aimed to safeguard the consumer.
7. Conspired, with DuPont as leader, in
September 1942, to sabotage the war effort in order to maintain
8. Sabotaged the U. S. defense plan in
1940 by refusing to convert the auto plants and by a sit-down
of capital against plant expansion; sabotaged the oil, aluminum
and rubber expansion programs. (If any of these facts are not
known to you it is because 99 percent of our press, in the pay
of the same elements, suppressed the Tolan, Truman, Bone Committee
reports, Thurman Arnold's reports, the TNEC Monopoly reports and
other Government documents.)
9. Delayed the winning of the war through
the acts of Dollar-a-year men looking out for present profits
and future monopoly rather than for the quick defeat of Fascism.
(Documented in the labor press for two years; and again at the
1942 CIO Convention.)
Naturally enough the President of the
United States and other high officials cannot name the men, organizations,
pressure lobbyists, and national associations which have made
this and similar records; they can only refer to "noisy traitors,"
quislings, defeatists, the "Cliveden Set" or to the
Tories and Economic Royalists. And you may be certain that our
press will never name the defeatists because the same elements
which made the above nine-point record are the main advertisers
and biggest subsidizers of the newspapers and magazines. In many
instances even the general charges by the President himself have
been suppressed. In Germany, in Italy until the seizure of government
by the Fascists, the majority of newspapers were brave enough
to be anti-Fascist, whereas in America strangely enough a large
part of the press (Hearst, Scripps-Howard, McCormickPatterson)
has for years been pro-Fascist and almost all big papers live
on the money of the biggest Tory and reactionary corporations
and reflect their viewpoint now.
It seems to this writer that the most
important thing in the world today next to destroying Fascism
on the field of battle, is to fight Fascism which has not yet
taken up the gun.
This other Fascism will become more active-and
drape itself in the national flag everywhere-when military Fascism
has been defeated. So far as America is concerned, its first notable
Fascist leader, Huey Long, a very smart demagogue, once said,
"Sure we'll have Fascism here, but it will come as an anti-Fascist
To know what Fascism really is and why
we must fight it and destroy it here in America, we must first
of all know what it is we are fighting, what the Fascist regimes
really are and do, who puts up the money and backs Fascism in
every country (including the United States at this very moment),
and who owns the nations under such regimes, and why the natives
of all Fascist countries must be driven into harder work, less
money, reduced standard of living, poverty and desperation so
that the men and corporations who found, subsidize and own Fascism
can grow unbelievably rich.
This is what has happened in Germany,
Italy, Japan and other countries; it is true to a great extent
in Spain, Finland, Hungary, Romania, the Polish so-called Republic,
and although not one standard newspaper or magazine has ever breathed
a word about it, the same Fascist movement - the march of the
men of wealth and power, not the crackpot doings of the two or
three dozen who have been indicted for sedition-is taking place
Hitler's entire history is one of spending big money to build
u party, big money to get millions of votes, and when his backers'
money failed to put him in office, he made the conclusive deal
with them, finally selling out the great majority who voted for
him in the belief he would keep his 26 promises, most of them
directed against Big Business, the Junkers and the other enemies
of the people.
Hitler's fascist party was never a majority
party. In many countries where several political parties exist-and
even in the United States at those times when three major parties
are in the field-the chancellor or president elected to office
represents only a minority of the electorate. Nevertheless, it
is true that Hitler did succeed in fairly honest times before
he was able to use bloodshed and terrorism for his 'la" elections,
in making his the largest of a score of parties.
Why was he able to do this?
There are of course many reasons, notably
the disillusion of the nation, national egotism, the natural desire
to be a great nation, the psychological moment for a dictator
of any party, right or left, economic breakdown, the need of a
change, and so forth. But important, if not most important, was
the platform of the Nazi party which promised the people what
they were hungering for.
It must not be forgotten that the word
Nazi stands for national socialist German workers party, and that
Hitler, while secretly in the pay of the industrialists who wanted
the unions disbanded and labor turned into serfdom, was openly
boasting that his was a socialist party-socialism without Karl
Marx- and a nationalist-socialist party whatever that may mean.
But it did mean a great deal to millions. The followers of Marxian
socialism in Germany, split into several parties, would if united
constitute the greatest force in the nation, and socialism and
labor were almost synonymous in Germany. Hitler knew this. He
capitalized on it. He stole the word.
'Hitler was able to get 13 million followers
before 1933 by a pseudosocialistic reform program and by great
promises of aid to the common people. In the 26 points of the
Nazi platform, adopted in 1920 and never repudiated, Hitler promised
the miserable people of Germany:
1. The abolition of all unearned incomes.
2. The end of interest slavery. This was
aimed against all bankers, not only Jewish bankers.
3. Nationalization of all joint-stock
companies. This meant the end of all private industry, not only
the monopolies but all big business.
4. Participation of the workers in the
profits of all corporations-the mill, mine, factory, industrial
worker was to become a part owner of industry.
5. Establishment of a sound middle class.
Nazism, like Italian Fascism, made a great appeal to the big middle
class, the small business man, the millions caught between the
millstones of Big Business and labor. The big department stores,
for example, were to be smashed. This promise delighted every
small shopkeeper in Germany. George Bernard Shaw once said that
Britain was a nation of shopkeepers. This was just as true for
Germany-and German shopkeepers were more alive politically. They
were for Hitler's Nazism to a man-and they supplied a large number
of his murderous S.S. and S.A. troops.
6. Death penalty for usurers and profiteers.
7. Distinction between "raffendes"
and "schaffendes" capital - between predatory and
creative capital. This was the Gregor Strasser thesis: that there
were two kinds of money, usury and profiteering money on one hand,
and creative money on the other, and that the former had to be
eliminated. Naturally all money-owners who invested in the Nazi
Party were listed as creative capitalists, whereas the Jews (some
of whom incidentally invested in Hitler) and all who opposed Hitler
were listed as exploiters.
The vast middle class, always caught between
the aspirations of the still more vast working class and the cruel
greed of the small but most powerful ruling class, has throughout
history made the mistake of allying itself with the latter. In
America we have the same thing: all the real fascist movements
are subsidized by Big Money, but powerful organizations, such
as the National Small Business Men's Association, follow the program
of the NAM in the hope they will benefit financially when the
Ruling Families benefit.
In all instances, however, history shows
us that when the latter take over a country with a fascist army
they may give the middle class privileges, benefits, a chance
to earn larger profits for a while, but in the end monopoly triumphs,
and the Big Money drives the Little Money into bankruptcy.
This is one of the many important facts
which Albert Norden presented in his most impressive pamphlet,
"The Thugs of Europe," a documentary exposé of
the profits in Nazism taken entirely from Nazi sources. My thanks
are due to Mr. Norden-a German writer who escaped to America and
who went to work in a war plant recently-for permission to quote
some of the evidence. Norden takes up the matter of Nazism and
its promises to the middle class:
"If the Third Reich were for the
common man, the middle class would not have been sacrificed to
the Moloch of Big Business. If the Third Reich were for the common
man, the banks and industries and resources of the sub-soil would
belong to the people and not be the private affair of a few score
old and newly rich .... As it is now, it is the rich man's Reich.
That is why there is such a widespread underground anti-Nazi movement
among the German people.
"This war is being waged by the Third
Reich, the heart of the Axis, as a 'struggle of German Socialism
against the plutocracies.' Goebbels has duped millions of young
Germans with this slogan. Not only that: Nazi propaganda outside
Germany and particularly in North and South America has succeeded
in recruiting trusted followers with this slogan ....
"The Nazi theory of a struggle of
the Have-nots against the so-called 'sated' nations is as true
as the myth that Goebbels is an Aryan and Goering a Socialist.
The following facts, taken from official German statistics, prove
that in the Third Reich there is a boundless dictatorship of the
plutocrats; that a small group of magnates in the banking, industrial
and chemical world have taken hold of the entire economic apparatus
at the expense of the broad sections of medium and small manufacturers,
artisans, storekeepers and workers, and are making unprecedented
.... The department store of the Jewish owner Tietz was handed
over to a consortium consisting of the three largest banks, the
Deutsche Bank, the Dresdener Bank and the Commerz-und Privatbank
.... The large department store Karstadt... of its eight directors
four are big bankers, one a large exporter and a sixth an influential
figure in the Deutsche Bank ....
"The more Jews were dragged off and
murdered in concentration camps, the richer Germany's magnates
became. They let the S.S. and S.A. mobs riot and trample all human
laws under their hobnail boots-meanwhile the Dresdener Bank acquired
the Berlin bank of Bleichroeder (Jewish bank, patronized by the
former Kaiser) and Arnhold Bros. (Jewish bank, one of the best
banks in Germany, patronized by U. S. Embassy and newspapers);
the Deutsche Bank seized the Mendelssohn Bank. In the Berliner
Handelsgesellschaft, an important private bank, Herbert Goering,
a relative of Marshal Hermann Goering, replaced the Jewish partner
Fuerstenberg. The Warburg Bank in Hamburg was taken over by the
Deutsche Bank and the Dresdener Bank in conjunction with the Montan
Combine of Haniel and the Siemens Trust. The latter also took
out of Jewish hands the Cassierer Cable Works .... The armaments
kings of the Ruhr did not shrink from profiting from the pogroms.
As a result of Hitler's persecution of the Jews, the Mannesmann
concern received the metal company of Wol, Netter &Jacobi,
and the Hahnschen Works; while the big industrialist Friedrich
Flick (one of the dozen men who put up most of the money to establish
Nazism), today one of the 20 richest men in the Third Reich, seized
the metal company of Rawak and Gruenfeld. This list could be expanded
at will. It illustrates the prosperous business which the solidly
established German trusts acquired as a result of the infamous
crimes against the Jews. Together with the top Nazi leaders these
German financial magnates were the main beneficiaries of the sadistic
persecution of the Jews ...
The first modern fascist regime is the Italian. (Fascism itself
is as old as history, and although Mussolini is a colossal liar,
he told the truth for once when he defined Fascism as Reaction.)
Who put up the money for Mussolini?
Why did they invest in Fascism?
How were they repaid, and who footed the
The original Fascist Party of Italy, likewise
the Nazi Party which was formed almost at the same time, was subsidized
by a handful of the richest industrialists and landowners who
wanted to preserve their wealth and power and prevent the majority
of people from living a better life. (The American Legion was
organized for the same reason: to preserve the privileges of the
few and fool the millions who believed better things would come
Mussolini was subsidized by the Italian equivalent of our NAM
and similar Big Money outfits shortly after the seizure of the
factories in 1920.
In March 1919, fascist agitators caused
the workers to seize the Franchi-Gregorini plant. Mussolini called
this a "creative strike," because the workers intended
to run the plant for their own benefit. One of Mussolini's colleagues
wrote: "At Dalmine he was the Lenin of Italy." At this
time Mussolini was trying to get back into the labor movement.
When the factories of Milan and Turin
were occupied by the workers Mussolini held a conference with
Bruno Buozzi, who then held a place equivalent to that of Sam
Gompers in our American Federation of Labor. He proposed using
the factory occupation as the beginning of a military movement
to seize Rome and establish a dictatorship of the proletariat.
Buozzi indignantly kicked Mussolini out-labor believed in the
democratic political processes, and the main proof was that not
an act of violence marked the factory seizures, although the press
of the world for a month ran daily lies of bloodshed and terrorism.
Within a few days Mussolini had sold the
same idea to the owners of the occupied factories-only this time
the same Blackshirts were to be used to create a dictatorship
of Big Business, rather than of workers. Signor Agnelli, head
of Fiat, admitted to Buozzi that Mussolini actually had dealt
with Olivetti, of the Confederazione dell'Industria, while dealing
with Buozzi. (This document in Chapter VIII of Sawdust Caesar.)
Olivetti and company put up the money.
Mussolini took Rome. And in payment to the subsidizers his first
important act was the abolition of all labor unions-the equivalent
of our AFL, CIO and Railroad Brotherhoods.
From the day he became dictator Mussolini
began paying back the men who paid him in 1920. He abolished the
tax on inheritance, for example, because it was supposed to end
big fortunes, and that of course meant loss of money for the rich,
who had in a body gone over to Fascism after 1922. But Mussolini
did not have the courage to abolish the political democratic system
all at once, and he had many opposition parties which criticized
and attacked him. His chief opponent was the Socialist deputy
The reason Matteotti had to die was because
he committed the one unforgivable crime in a Fascist nation: he
exposed the profits in Fascism.
There is no program, no policy, no ideology
and certainly no philosophy back of Fascism, as there is back
of almost every other form of government. It is nothing but a
spoils system. We too in America have a spoils system, which is
talked about every four years when a President is elected, and
sometimes when a governor is elected, but this refers largely
to a few jobs, a little graft, a considerable payoff for the boys
in the back room of politics. It is also true that we in America
have ruling families, men and corporations who put up most of
the money for elections, and do not do so because one candidate
has baby blue eyes and the other is beetle-browed. It is done
for money, and the investors in politics are repaid. But Fascism
is a system whereby a handful of ruling families get the entire
The landowners (and the industrial owners) were Mussolini's chief
backers. No one knew of the subsidies he had received from the
great estates. Immediately on becoming dictator Mussolini granted
his first important interview to the press of the world. He said:
"I love the working classes. The
supremest ambition and the dearest hope of my life has been, and
is still, to see them better treated and enjoying conditions of
life worthy of the citizens of a great nation .... I do not believe
in the class war, but in cooperation between classes. The Fascist
government will devote all its efforts to the creation of an agrarian
democracy based on the principle of small ownership. The great
estates must be handed over to peasant communities; the great
capitalists of agriculture must submit to a process of harmonization
of their rights with those of the peasants."
This interview was printed in America
on 15 November 1922 but on 11 January 1923 less than two months
later, Mussolini issued a decree law which dispossessed all the
small peasants who since the war had settled on the seized lands
of the "latifundia" of the great landowners. Needless
to say, there has been no agrarian reform, no division of estates
into small holdings, no "harmonization" of "the
great capitalists of agriculture." The landowners were paid
of with a return of all land which had been given the landless
and by the employment of the Blackshirt Militia which prevented
any further attempts to divide the land.
In its July 1934, issue, a song of praise for Fascism, Fortune
magazine (owned by Henry Luce, a Morgan partner, and other powerful
and wealthy Americans) told of the great corporations and how
they progressed under Mussolini.
"The significant facts to hang on
to," concluded Fortune, "are these: if you were an early
Fascist, or contributed generously to the March on Rome, you are
likely to enjoy the business benefits that accrue to a high position
within the Fascist Party."
Fascism in Spain was bought and paid for by numerous elements
who would profit by the destruction of the democratic Republican
Loyalist government. There were generals who wanted glory and
others who wanted the easy graft money some of their predecessors
had made. There was the established Church, and more especially
the powerful Society of Jesus, which had suffered loss of property
when King Alfonso was thrown out. There was the aristocracy, and
there were other elements as there are in all fascist regimes,
but more important than all these forces combined was the force
Of course the people of Spain-the vast majority, the farmers and
workers-wanted land and a decent living. Franco therefore did
the usual fascist thing: he made big promises.
In the Twenty-Six Points of the Phalanx,
the ruling Fascist Party of today-all other parties have been
abolished and Spain is totalitarian-the nation was to be turned
into "one gigantic syndicate of producers," so that
there would be plenty for all, instead of superabundance for only
the rich, as had been the case under both monarchy and fascist
dictatorship; the banks were to be nationalized, land was to be
irrigated, and those large estates which were found to be neglected
were to be broken up.
What does the balance sheet today show
of the Franco "experiment" of 100 parcels of land, the
distribution of a glorious total of 17,000 acres in 1938 and the
promise that at least neglected estates would be broken up? The
writer-journalist Thomas J. Hamilton presents the latest and final
"The landed aristocrats of Spain
... had little real cause for complaint against the Franco regime
which addressed itself to the work of undoing any damage to their
interests that they had suffered from the Republic. This was not
large. The grandees had been frightened by talk of breaking up
the great estates, but they had managed to sabotage the Republic's
first Agrarian Reform Law and the second was just getting into
operation when the Civil War began. Only a few hundred thousand
acres had actually been taken over, either in accordance with
law or as a result of the movement among the peasants in the spring
of 1936 to seize the land without waiting for the slow operations
of the government.
"The test of any Spanish regime was
its attitude toward this fundamental question, and it may be supposed
that some of the grandees had anxious moments when Franco adopted
the Phalanx program with its demand for land reform. Carlists
and moderate royalists together, however, proved more than strong
enough to prevent the regime from harming the interests of the
landowners. All land which had been occupied by the peasants,
legally or otherwise, was returned to the owners, and soon there
was no longer even any mention of breaking up the great estates
"In general, the old nobility, fighting
very much the same type of fight that it had under the Republic,
managed to keep the Phalanx from hitting its pocketbook."
Mussolini's prediction, made years before
World War II broke out in September 1939, that the entire world
was lining up in two camps, Fascism and Democracy, and that it
was "Either We or They," showed itself a matter of fact
in the so-called civil war in Spain. It was actually a rebellion
of the military leadership-which committed wholesale treason by
betraying the government to which it had taken an oath of allegiance
- armed and paid for by the vested interests. The "We"
consisted of Fascists from all parts of the world, hundreds of
thousands of soldiers from Germany, Italy and Portugal, all fascist
lands, whereas the "They" of Democracy consisted of
some 30,000 men of the International Brigade, not one a conscript
soldier as were all on Franco's side, but every man a volunteer,
a man of intelligence, a first fighter against Fascism. (Of the
foreigners on the Loyalist side about 700 were Russians, mostly
aviators and technicians, and not one infantry soldier. The press
of America, Britain and other countries as usual lied about Russian
aid and perpetuated the myth that the Loyalists were Communists.)
On Franco's march to Madrid he took not
only the labor union leaders but a large percentage of the industrial
workers of each town he captured, lined them up, and shot them
down with machine guns. In Madrid the Fifth Column of Fascism
killed as many of the working class as Lit could.
The Fifth Column, hidden Fascists, were the people who had subsidized
Franco. To them every working man was an anti-Fascist and therefore
marked for death. And since the Loyalists in wartime did not wear
white shirts, or white collars, or fine suits of clothes, or felt
hats, or even neckties, the Fascists of the Fifth Column, fighting
their guerrilla war in the streets of Madrid on 8 November 1936
spared every well-dressed wealthy-looking man as a possible ally,
and murdered the men of the working class. Men in overalls were
always shot by the Fascists.
The final lesson from Spain, however,
should not be lost by the thousands of American business men,
big and little, who from 1922 on have been saying kind things
about Mussolini and others who made trains run on time and seemed
to insure bigger profits by outlawing unions, and the rights of
the working people.
In Germany a million business men were
ruined by Hitler, and only the upper thousand, the wealthiest
and most powerful, profited by Nazi rule. As in Italy, so in Germany,
the fascist regime had to rob not only the poor and reimpose serfdom
on millions, but it also had to rob its own supporters to maintain
a new bureaucracy, and a new army on whose bayonets the bureaucracy
tried to build a permanent government. Fascism has to exploit
either a foreign people or its own people; it has to have money,
and if it must pay off the top subsidizers this means it has to
destroy its millions of smaller helpers.
Hitler and Mussolini robbed and impoverished
their own party members in order to feed the super-monopolists.
In Spain the situation is similar. Hamilton writes:
"Spain was traditionally the land
of special privilege. Franco's success in restoring these privileges
therefore produced a singularly vicious combination: the rich
stayed rich, if they did not get richer, and the poor were even
hungrier than they had been in the worst days of the civil war
.... Suffering was increased immeasurably by the restoration of
the old privileges; despite the steadily increasing misery of
the poor, the wealthy managed to obtain virtually everything they
needed. And a new class of parvenus, who had made their money
by the special 'favours' obtained from the government officials
in charge of operating the faltering economic machine, spent their
profits with an abandon which was one failing that could not be
charged against the old families."
The Franco regime had, in fact, loaded
still more privileged classes upon a suffering country....
The Nazi Cartel Plot in America
[In his speech at Burgos on 19
April 1939 Franco announced a Nationalist Syndicalist state which
would restore the status quo ante 1931-the time the Republic was
overthrown. The New York Times headline was: "Franco Reassures
Owners of Capital."]
Only the little seditionists and traitors have been rounded up
by the FBI. The real Nazi Fifth Column in America remains immune.
And yet there is evidence that those in both countries who place
profits above patriotism - and Fascism is based entirely upon
profits although all its propaganda speaks of patriotism - have
conspired to make America part of the Nazi Big Business system.
Thurman Arnold, as assistant district
attorney of the United States, his assistant, Norman Littell,
and several Congressional investigations, have produced incontrovertible
evidence that some of our biggest monopolies entered into secret
agreements with the Nazi cartels and divided the world among them.
Most notorious of all was Alcoa, the Mellon-Davis-Duke monopoly
which is largely responsible for the fact America did not have
the aluminum with which to build airplanes before and after Pearl
Harbor, while Germany had an unlimited supply. Of the Aluminum
Corporation sabotage and that of other leading companies the press
said very little.
Our press, which had nothing but praise for Mussolini for almost
a generation, and which has always protected Fascism, Nazism and
reaction in general by Redbaiting every person and movement which
is anti-Fascist, anti-Nazi and anti-reactionary later made a grand
noise over the traitors, seditionists and propagandists such as
Father Charles Coughlin, Fritz Kuhn and William Pelley, who were
the outstanding loudmouths at the time of Pearl Harbor. These
small-fry fascisti and the Rev. Gerald Winrod and numerous others
spread the same lies which they received from Hitler's World-Service
(Welt-Dienst) of Erfurt; all these noisy propagandists and traitors,
repeating Hitler's propaganda, did succeed in raising a huge smokescreen
over America. Behind this artificial Redbaiting, antiSemitic,
anti-New Deal fog of confusion and falsehood, however, there was
a real Fifth Column of greater importance, the great owners and
rulers of America who planned world domination through political
and military Fascism, just as surely as Hitler did in Germany,
and like groups and like leaders did in other countries. There
is no reason to believe that the United States was the one exception
to the spread of Fascism.
Nine men, two representing Hitler and several leading American
industrialists, members of the Congress of the United States,
and representatives of large business and political organizations
met at a hotel in Boston, on 23 November l937-at a time Hitler
was trying out his Condor Legion, his dive bombers, his new tanks
and his Panzerdivisionen and his Blitzkrieg tactics on the poor
and practically unarmed people of Spain to formulate a working
agreement by which American forces would join Nazi forces in the
monopolistic control of the world's business and the political
and military domination of the whole world.
The document which follows is a memorandum
written at the conclusion of the meeting. The secretary who collected
the notes from five of the persons present, each of whom contributed
a part, was not versed in social, economic and political matters,
but was impressed somehow with the importance of the event, and
although her notes were taken away from her, she did succeed in
retaining a carbon copy of the document. It had a long journey,
went to Scotland, was copied by persons who realized its value,
and brought back to the United States, where I was able to obtain
it for the readers of In fact. Here it is in its entirety:
Text of Nazi - U.S. Cartel Memorandum
[Nine men representing Hitler
and several leading American industrialists, several members of
Congress and representatives of large business and political organizations
met in a hotel room in Boston on November 23, 1937.]
Our second German guest [made] the following
"Germany has been grossly misrepresented
before the American public by Jewish propaganda. 'In order to
clarify the picture,' he said, it is necessary to recall that
Germany of the Republican period has thrown a remarkable confusion
into the minds of the Germans. The state has been identified with
some popular welfare institution. Creative capital was overburdened
by the effects of a Utopian "social welfare" legislation.
Unemployed insurance, sick, old-age, and death benefits, social
security and war pensions meant terrible handicaps already. Trade
union wages and hours have lifted productive costs above world
"What is the paramount achievement
of National Socialism? 'The spirit of New Germany was conducive
to a kind of national solidarity. Exaggerated demands and "social
service" were reduced and production costs realistically
brought into harmony with the requirements of competition on the
world markets. This is what we have done. Not more and not less.
It is true that many objections had to be overcome. The conception
featuring the State as a supreme welfare agency had to be eradicated
and a policy of increased production pursued instead. We had to
silence therefore all centers from where class struggle was being
fomented and imprison dangerous Utopians and sentimental philanthropists.
It is true that Jewish propaganda was able to capitalize on some
stern measures and slander New Germany before the world opinion.
This is undoubtedly a detrimental fact. But we have gotten more
by the rebirth of national solidarity and the cooperation of all
for the same purpose.
"Without wishing to arouse any semblance
of interfering with domestic questions in the United States, I
cannot help mentioning that today's America presents a very close
picture of Social-Democratic Germany. Unrealistic "welfare
legislation" sponsored by the 2 Administration, chaotic class
struggles and wage demands absolutely out of any proportion, strong
Jewish influence in the political, cultural and public life of
the country are disquieting phenomena. We Germans, at any rate,
are disquieted. We carry on a good work for world recovery and
we know what potential danger an increasing Red influence in the
United States would mean for the whole world.
"Another disquieting characteristic
of the situation is the lack of unity and clear-sighted leadership
in the scattered national camp. You cannot start a strong concerted
drive of all forces and agencies for the revival of American nationalism
as long as this situation prevails.
"It is time to think seriously of
the centralization of all forces of American nationalism and traditionalism.
We Germans are seeking the cooperation of all American nationalists.
Above all we believe in cooperating with the economic leaders
of the country, whatever the suitable form of the cooperation
may be. There is little comprehension on behalf of the United
States Government, but in our belief there must be comprehension
for our viewpoint on behalf of business.
"We would advance the idea of such
informal conferences between responsible business and political
leaders in order to consider questions of national and international
importance affecting economic and, yes, political recovery.'
"The following opinions were expressed by the American participants
of the conference:
"(a) The substance of the German
suggestion amounts to changing the spirit of our nation as expressed
by recent elections. That is possible but by no means easy. The
people must become aware of the disastrous economic effects of
the policies of the present Administration first. In the wake
of the reorientation of the public opinion a vigorous drive must
start in the press and radio. Technically it remains a question
as to whether this drive may center around the Republican National
"(b) Farsighted business men will
welcome conferences of this kind. A tremendous inspiration might
come out of them. There is no reason why we should not learn of
emergencies similar to those prevailing in our own country and
the methods by which farsighted governments were trying to overcome
them. It is also clear that manufacturers, who usually contributed
to the campaigns of all candidates, must realize that their support
must be reserved to one, in whose selection they must take an
active hand. We must just as well recognize that the business
leaders of this country must get together in the present emergency.
By now they must have realized that they cannot expect much from
Washington. We will have to resort to concrete planning.
"We can all agree that it is desirable
to convince our business leaders that it is a good investment
to embark on subsidizing our patriotic citizens' organizations
and secure their fusion for the common purpose.
"Unified leadership with one conspicuous
leader will be a sound policy. We will be grateful for any service
our German friends may give us in this respect.
"(c) American foreign policy must
be chiefly guarded against the danger of the sovietization of
the Far East. More than ever we must supervise by Congress what
the State Department does. Rapprochement with Germany, while unpopular,
is a necessity, if we consider the strong proSoviet agitation
going on and finding patronage in the United States. It is of
the greatest importance that leading and influential figures in
our business life and the policy-making bodies of both political
parties should be appraised of this first conversation and prevailed
upon to discuss the possibilities of a non-partisan cooperation
on the subject."
The importance of the foregoing memorandum,
the first of a proposed series of notes upon which a political-commercial
pact between the Nazi regime and pro-fascist Americans could be
arranged, was recognized at the time.
The importance of the document lies largely in the prominence
and importance of the nine men who attended the conference and
the forces and corporations they represented. Of these nine, their
governments, and their corporations and other interests ...
General Motors Representative. General Motors was completely involved
in Nazi affairs. Until Pearl Harbor it was the owner of the Adam
Opel A. G., worth more than $100 million. It had paid $30 million
for 80 percent of the stock. It had made 30 percent of Germany's
peacetime passenger cars. After Hitler came into power, it began
manufacturing the trucks and panzer division equipment with which
Hitler waged war. In 10 years it had made a profit estimated at
$36 million. But, since Hitler banned the export of capital, and
American stockholders were thereby denied these dividends, General
Motors invested at least $20 million in other industries, all
owned or controlled by Goering and other Nazi officials, and thus
General Motors was completely affiliated with Nazi success or
failure. (Source for statistics: Poor's Manual.)
DuPont Representative. The four most important facts about the
DuPont Empire are:
a. that it controls General Motors, owning
$197 million of General Motors stock;
b. that it financed the Liberty League,
Sentinels, Crusaders and one dozen native American fascist outfits;
c. that it knowingly and secretly and
in violation of the U. S. and other laws, aided Hitler to arm
for this war;
d. that the DuPonts betrayed military
secrets to Hitler.
One great cartel of the merchants of death
is called Dynamit-AktienGesellschaft (DAG). Exhibit 456 in the
Nye-Vandenberg munitions investigation shows that DuPonts not
only own stock but a voting right and a voice in the management
of the cartel. Exhibit 456 also shows DuPont has a financial interest
in I. G. Farbenindustrie, the Nazi cartel which ties up with the
Aluminum monopoly, Standard Oil, synthetic rubber, Sterling and
other drug concerns.
The DuPonts knew that according to the Thyssen plan German Fascism
was nothing more than a system by which the biggest German industries
got control of the nation, smashing small business, seizing political
rule. Wendell R. Swint, director of DuPont foreign relations,
testified the DuPonts knew of the "scheme whereby industry
would contribute to the (Nazi) Party Organization funds, and in
fact industry is called upon to pay one-half percent of the annual
wage or salary roll to the Nazi organization." (Munitions
Hearing, Vol. XII.)
The relationship of the DuPonts to Nazi
Germany-the story of how they armed Hitler with the help of Mr.
Hoover-as exposed by the munitions investigation, gives valuable
support to the foregoing.
On 4 December 1938 the Associated Press,
Moscow bureau, sent out a list issued by the official Tass government
press bureau of a "fascist clique" in the United States,
which list follows with explanatory facts about each person:
"War Industry Magnate" DuPont.
The official statement said the DuPonts had "great capital
investments in fascist Germany."
William S. Knudsen, president of General
Motors. Knudsen told a New
York Times reporter (6 October 1933) on
arriving from Europe that Hitler's Germany was "the miracle
of the 20th Century." Nevertheless paragraph "c"
in our memorandum was not written by Knudsen, but by another GM
official of equal prominence.
Colonel Charles Lindbergh. In addition
to collaborating with the British Cliveden Set, Lindbergh had
written an article for the reactionary Reader's Digest stating
Hitler's Aryan myth and other fascist doctrines.
Former President Herbert Hoover.
Ambassador to Britain Joseph P. Kennedy.
Kennedy's secret report to Roosevelt on the war favored Britain
NAM (National Association of Manufacturers):
The Men Who Financed American Fascism
The two corporations which were part of
the Nazi cartel plot in the United States are two of the main
vertebrae of the backbone of American Fascism. Lammot DuPont and
Alfred P. Sloan, Jr., of the DuPont Empire and General Motors
respectively, have been exposed by Congressional committees as
subsidizers of fascist organizations and movements. Both corporations
and both men are also among the top flight rulers of the National
Association of Manufacturers.
In establishing the fact that the NAM was founded primarily to
fight labor, and that it was still doing so, Senator La Follette
introduced a statement published in 1904 in a NAM magazine called
American Industries. In objecting to the only large union of its
time-1904-this publication said: "We are not opposed to good
unionism if such exists anywhere. The American Federation brand
of unionism, however, is un-American, illegal 1 and indecent."
When the O'Mahoney committee released its Monograph 26 the newspapers
of the nation, always happy to suppress anything that is critical
of the hand that feeds it-that is, Big Business, through the medium
of advertising, obliged by refraining from mentioning the matter
at all, or, like the New York Times, published a report that lobbying
had been condemned but omitted the name of the NAM.
The Times, which did publish a column
story, and therefore did publish much more than other papers,
nevertheless omitted most of the following quotations-which will
give the reader a taste of the tremendously important material
Monograph 26 contains:
'The American people are confronted with
the problem of who shall
control the government." The monograph
then discusses the big pressure group, notably the American Legion
lobby, farmers, peace groups, but concludes that the National
Association of Manufacturers, the Chamber of Commerce, and their
agents, the lawyers' associations, the newspaper publishers' associations,
rule the country.
"From the beginning, business has
been intent upon wielding economic power and, where necessary,
political control for its own purposes .... Even today, when the
purposeful use of government power for the general welfare is
more widely accepted than at any time in our history, government
does not begin to approach the fusion of power and will characteristic
of business." Everyone is fighting for power, for control,
in Washington, but "by far the largest and most important
of these groups is to be found in 'business' . . . as dominated
by the 200 largest non-financial and the 50 largest financial
corporations, and the employer and trade associations into which
it and its satellites are organized." The 200 nonfinancial
corporations in 1935 controlled $60 billion of physical assets.
The march of America toward public betterment "has been hindered,
obstructed and at times apparently completely stopped by pressure
"Business ... has fought ... government
ownership. Through the press, public opinion and pressure groups
it is possible to influence the political process .... Both press
and radio are, after all, 'big business' and even when they possess
the highest integrity, they are the prisoners of their own beliefs."
Business, continues the report, operates
on the principle that $60 billion can't be wrong.
"In this connection the business
orientation of the newspaper press is a valuable asset. In the
nature of things public opinion is usually well disposed toward
business .... Newspapers have it in their power materially to
influence public opinion on particular issues .... With others,
editorializing is practiced as a matter of course. And even where
editors and publishers are men of the highest integrity, they
are owners and managers of big business enterprises, and their
papers inevitably reflect, at least to some extent, their economic
interest. When organized business deliberately propagandizes the
country, using newspaper advertising as one medium, the press
is a direct means of channeling business views into the public
mind .... Lawyers have remade constitutional guarantees in the
image of business .... The la)the newspaper press, and the advertising
professions have all helped business by spreading this changed
conception of the Jeffersonian idea."
In other words, Business, using lawyers,
the press and advertising, has undermined Jeffersonian democracy.
The report names the business pressure
lobbies, notably the National Association of Manufacturers, U.S.
Chamber of Commerce, Edison Electric Institute, Association of
Life Insurance Presidents, American Iron and Steel Institute,
American Petroleum Institute, American Bankers Association, American
Investment Bankers Association, American Bar Association, and
adds: "Through the American Newspaper Publishers Association
[Lords of the Press] the country's daily newspapers join their
strength for business and against government." This is a
most damning indictment. It did not appear in the Times
You will have to read the free and independent press, which is
largely the press of small unbribed weeklies, and a few pamphlets
and books to get the truth. The truth is not in the commercial
press because the truth is a dagger pointed at its heart, which
is its pocketbook. Native American Fascism is largely the policy
of the employers of gangsters, stool pigeons, labor spies, poison
gas, and antilabor propaganda; it is the fascism of the NAM, the
Associated Farmers and Associated Industries, the Christian American
Association; the KKK, the Committee for Constitutional Government,
the Constitutional Educational League, the U. S. Chamber of Commerce,
the old Liberty League and its present subsidized outfits, and
the Royal Family which unfortunately controls the American Legion.
The following statement made by Professor
Gaetano Salvemini of Harvard is noteworthy. Professor Salvemini
told reporter Joseph Philip Lyford of the Harvard Crimson that
"a new brand of Fascism" threatens America, "the
Fascism of corporate business enterprise in this country."
He believed that "almost 100 percent of American Big Business"
is in sympathy with the "philosophy" of government behind
the totalitarianism of Hitler and Mussolini; the bond of sympathy
between Big Business and the Fascist Axis, said the professor
of history, lies in the respect of American industrialists for
the Axis methods of coercing labor.
There are two means which the industrialist
can employ to crush labor, Professor Salvemini explained; one
way is to hire strikebreakers to "crack the workers' skulls,"
the other way is to pass a law outlawing strikes. "Mussolini
has used both methods in Italy," Professor Salvemini asserted;
"in America Big Business has only been able to use the first."
But business is definitely sympathetic to anti-strike legislation,
he added, and compared the organization of the Ford plant at River
Rouge to the organization of the Fascist auto industry, and the
strikebreaking methods used by Ford there to those which had been
used by Italian industry to crush the workers on the eve of Mussolini's
rise to power.
Salvemini's statement, based on Italian
Fascism, paralleled the statement which Ambassador Dodd made on
returning to America from Germany. Both these men noted the relationship
between foreign Fascism and American business monopolies and the
handful of super-industrialists who rule most countries for their
The George Seldes Reader
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