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 in America.]

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 of dollars.

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 against labor.

2. Founded the Liberty League to fight civil liberties.

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 profits.

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 movement."

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 in America.

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 profits.

.... 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 bill?

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 after victory.

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 Giacomo Matteotti.

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 nation.

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 Money.

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 report:

"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 points:

"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 standards.'

"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 Committee.

"(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 going Fascist.

Henry Ford.


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 groups."

"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 own profit.

The George Seldes Reader

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