Chapters 1 & 2 of the book
Facts and Fascism
by George Seldes
In Fact, Inc., 1943 - 7th edition,
FASCISM ON THE HOME FRONT
THE TIME will come when people will not
believe it was possible to mobilize 10,800,000 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 OWI 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
OWI, 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. Christians and 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 12,000,000
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 Naziism 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
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 $1,000,000-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, i.e., 132,000,000 Americans.
7. Conspired, with DuPont as leader, in September, 1942, to sabotage
the war effort in order to maintain profits.
8. Sabotage the U. S. defense plan in 1940 by refusing to convert
the auto plants and by a sit-down of capital against plant expansion;
sabotage the oil, aluminum and rubber expansion programs. (If
any of these facts are not known to you it is because 99% 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 $-a-year
men looking out for present profits and future monopoly rather
than the quick defeat of Fascism. (Documented in the labor press
for two years; and again at the 1942 C.I.O. 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 9-point record are the main advertisers and biggest
subsidizers of the newspapers and magazines. In the 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, McCormick-Patterson) 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
On the anti-Fascist side, unfortunately, there is not one publication
which can boast of more than one or two hundred thousand circulation,
whereas the reactionary press has its New York News with
2,000,000 daily, its Saturday Evening Post with 3,000,000
weekly and its Reader's Digest with 9,000,000 monthly,
which means up to 50,000,000 readers.
It is a shameful and tragic situation that in America, with 132,000,000
persons of whom 50,000,000 read anti-labor and anti-liberal propaganda
in Reader's Digest, only a few hundred thousand buy and
read intelligent, honest, unbribed, uncorrupted publications,
issued in the public interest.
PROFITS IN FASCISM: GERMANY
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-Fascism 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, Rumania,
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.
These matters are all related, both as systems of government and
as business enterprises. It is the purpose of Part I of this book
to show who really owns the Fascist International, who profits
from it, and just how far the United States has gone along the
The true story of Hitler-Germany is the real clue to the situation
everywhere. In 1923, after his monkeyshines in the Munich Beer
Hall Putsch, Hitler received his first big money from Fritz Thyssen.
January 30, 1933, Hitler came into power after a deal with Hindenburg
and the big Prussian landlords (Junkers). Since then, and in all
of vast occupied Europe, Hitler has been paying off the men who
invested in Fascism as a purely money-making enterprise. A personal
dispute put Thyssen out, but his brother and the thousand biggest
industrialists and bankers of Germany have as a result of financing
Hitler become millionaires; the I. G. Farbenindustrie and other
cartel organizations have become billionaires.
Big money entrenched itself completely after the departure of
Fritz Thyssen, with his rather quaint ideas of placing limits
on corruption in business, with his repugnance to the murder of
Jews as a national policy, and other rather old-fashioned ethical
concepts of monopoly and exploitation which he inherited from
his father and which did not encompass robbery and bloodshed as
means of commercial aggression. The cartels moved forward with
There were, of course, exposés of Hitler as a tool of Germany's
Big Money, written before he became dictator, but inasmuch as
publication occurred in small non-commercial weeklies which few
people read, or in the radical press, which is always accused
of misrepresentation (by the commercial press which is always
lying) the fact remains that few people knew what really was going
on. This conspiracy of silence became even more intense when the
big American and other banking houses floated their great loans
for Hitler-and other fascist dictators in many lands.
As early as 1931 Gerhard Hirschfeld published in a Catholic literary
weekly a tiny part of the evidence that Hitler was the political
arm of the biggest branch of German capitalism. Recalling that
Hitler vowed that the Krupps, the Thyssens and the Kirdorffs,
the Mannesmans, the Borsigs and the Siemens (who are the Garys,
Schwabs and Mellons of Germany)-would be stripped of wealth and
power, Hirschfeld pointed out that "it is from the ranks
of heavy industry, however, that Hitler is drawing much of the
money which is making German Fascism something to be reckoned
with. Hitler received considerable support from the heavy industries
of Bavaria where he started the Fascist movement. The Borsig works
and the Eisenheuttenleute (Association of iron forgers and founders)
are important pillars of the Fascist structure. . . . From the
machine industry of Wuerttemberg and from many other branches
of the iron and steel industries, marks flow into the bulging
coffers. In addition, money comes from abroad. Swiss friends sent
him 330,000 francs just before last year's elections. Baron von
Bissing, the university professor, collected many thousands of
florins in the Netherlands . . . German-American friends expressed
their sympathy in dollar bills . . . even directors of the French-controlled
Skoda-Works (of Czechoslovakia), famous in the manufacture of
armaments, may be found among Hitler's supporters."
It requires neither integrity nor courage today to say that Hitler
was made the Fuehrer of Germany by the biggest industrialists
of his country. (It does require integrity and courage even today
to relate the German men and forces to those in America, to point
out the equivalents, and that is why no commercial newspaper or
magazine has ever done so.) But as early as Summer, 1933, in the
Week-End Review, a light which shows up Fascism as nothing but
a military-political-economic movement to grab all the money and
resources of the world was already focused on Germany by the man
who wrote under the name of "Ernst Henri."
He denies, first of all, the myth that Naziism is a "rebellion
of the middle classes." The middle classes, it is true, were
most united and outspoken for Hitler, they did in fact send in
their contributions, but when "these sons of butchers and
publicans, of post office officials and insurance agents, of doctors
and lawyers" imagined they were fighting for their own interests,
when "they swarmed out of the Storm Troops barracks and struck
down defenseless workers, Jews, Socialists and Communists"
they would not have been able to do it, had they not been mobilized
by other sources. "Hitler, the idol of this mass, and himself
only a petty bourgeois-a petty bourgeois posing as a Napolean-in
reality followed the dictates of a higher power."
The secret, continues Henri, "must be sought in the hidden
history of Germany's industrial oligarchy, in the post-war politics
of coal and steel. . . . Not Hitler, but Thyssen, the great magnate
of the Ruhr, is the prime mover of German Fascism."
Thyssen's main undertaking was the German Steel Trust, the equivalent
of U. S. Steel. Vereinigte Stahlwerke Aktien Gesellschaft, incidentally,
was heavily financed by American banking houses-Episcopalian,
Catholic and Jewish-throughout the pre-Hitler and Hitler regimes.
The Steel Trust was the basis of Germany economy, and when it
found itself in a desperate situation, during the Bruening regime
which preceded Hitler, the foundations of Germany were threatened.
It was then that the state came to trust's aid by buying nearly
half the shares of Gelsenkirchener Bergwerke, holding company,
nominally worth 125,000,000 marks, at a fantastic price, estimated
at double the market. Immediately thereafter the political parties
of the nation began fighting for control of this weapon.
The Bruening regime, Catholic, favored the Otto Wolff-Deutsche
Bank group which was affiliated with powerful Catholic groups.
The Thyssen-Flick-Voegeler group was opposed, although Thyssen
himself was a Catholic. Otto Wolff is a leading Catholic, but
one of his partners, Ottmar Strauss, is a Jewish liberal. Another
affiliate of Wolff's was General Schleicher. The rivalry in Germany
was something like that between the Morgan and Rockefeller interests
in America, except that the Wolff group was known as liberal and
the Thyssen group included Flick and Voegeler, political heirs
of Hugo Stinnes who had been, Henri says, "perhaps the first
National Socialist in Germany."
Stinnes, Hugenberg, Thyssen and other multi-millionaire owners
of Germany had never hidden their participation in political movements
nor their subsidization of all reactionary anti-labor political
parties. These men put their money into the parties of the right
wing and were powerful enough at all times to prevent the Social-Democratic
Party, which took over the nation (with the aid of the victorious
Allies) in 1918 from doing anything radical to aid the majority
of the people-even if the Social-Democrats had sincerely attempted
to do so. The historic facts speak for themselves. Germany under
Ebert and all the liberal coalitions which preceded the reactionary
regimes, which naturally culminated in the advent of big business
Fascism, never did more than make gestures towards the working
class and permitted joblessness and poverty to increase while
the Stinneses and Hugenbergs and Thyssens grew in wealth and power.
Thyssen became interested in Hitler in the year of the Beer Hall
Putsch, when Hitler was regarded as a revolver-firing clown who
would end up in an insane asylum rather than the chancellor's
chair. But Thyssen saw possibilities. In 1927 Thyssen took his
partner in the Steel Trust, Voegeler, to Rome, they interviewed
Mussolini, and when they returned it was noticeable that the Nazi
Party suddenly grew rich and began its march to power.
In 1927 Thyssen joined the Nazi Party officially and began that
cooperation with Hitler which led to the latter's overthrow of
the Republic in 1933.
"Hitler," writes Henri, "never took an important
step without first consulting Thyssen and his friends. Thyssen
systematically financed all the election funds of the National
Socialist Party. It was he who, by a majority decision and against
the most pointed opposition on the part of Otto Wolff and Kloeckner,
persuaded the two political centers of German Ruhr capital, the
Bergbauverein Essen and the Nordwestgruppe der Eisen-und Stahlindustrie,
to agree that every coal and steel concern had, by way of a particular
obligatory tax, to deliver a certain sum into the election cash
of the National Socialists. In order to raise this money, the
price of coal was raised in Germany.
"For the presidential elections of 1932 alone, Thyssen provided
the Nazis within a few days with more than 3,000,000 marks. Without
this help the fantastic measures resorted to by Hitler in the
years 1930-1933 would never have been possible. Without Thyssen's
money Hitler would never have achieved such a success, and the
party would probably have broken up at the time of the Papen elections
at the end of 1932, when it lost 2,000,000 votes and the Strasser
group announced its secession. In January, 1933, Schleicher was
on the point of hitting the Hitler movement on the head and putting
it under his own command. But, just as before Thyssen had raised
Hitler by his financial machinery, so now he rescued him by his
"To bring off this coup Thyssen employed two of his political
friends and agents: Hugenberg (who is one of the directors of
the Thyssen Steel Trust group) and Von Papen. In the middle of
January a secret meeting between Hitler and Papen was held at
Cologne in the house of Baron von Schroeder, partner of the banking
House of J. H. Stein, which is closely related with Flick and
Thyssen. Although, thanks to an indiscretion, the news of this
meeting got into the papers, a few days later, the conspiracy
against Schleicher was ready. The allied group, Thyssen-Hitler-Von
Papen-Hugenberg, which was backed by the entire German reactionary
force, succeeded in drawing to its side the son of President von
Hindenburg, Major Oskar von Hindenburg, who had so far stood by
his old regimental friend, Schleicher. In this way the sudden
fall of Schleicher and the sensational nomination of Hitler came
about. Thyssen had won, and Hitler set the scene for his St. Bartholomew's
"What's followed was a continual triumph of the capitalistic
interests of the Thyssen group. The National Socialist Government
of Germany today carries out Thyssen's policy on all matters,
as though the entire nation were but a part of the Steel Trust.
Every step taken by the new Government corresponds exactly to
the private interests of this clique; Stinne's days have returned.
"Thyssen had six main objectives: (1) to secure the Steel
Trust for his own group; (2) to save the great coal and steel
syndicates, the basis of the entire capitalist system of monopolies
in Germany; (3) to eliminate the Catholic and Jewish rival groups
and to capture the whole industrial machine for the extreme reactionary
wing of heavy industry; (4) to crush the workers and abolish the
trade unions, so as to strengthen German competition in the world's
markets by means of further wage reductions, etc.; (5) to increase
the chances of inflation, in order to devaluate the debts of heavy
industry (a repetition of the astute transaction invented by Stinnes
in 1923); and finally (6) to initiate a pronouncedly imperialist
tendency in foreign politics in order to satisfy the powerful
drive for expansion in Ruhr capital. All these items of his programs,
without exception, have been, are, or will now be executed by
the Hitler government." (The reader must remember that this
prediction was written in early 1933, within a few months of Hitler's
How did Hitler repay Thyssen? There were
general and specific ways. Thyssen was made sub-dictator of Germany
(Reichs Minister of Economics), in charge of all industry. The
labor problem for Thyssen and all employers of Germany was solved
when Hitler abolished the unions, confiscated the union treasuries,
reduced labor to a form of serfdom. Specifically, Hitler poured
hundreds of millions of dollars into Thyssen's pocketbook by the
manipulation of Gelsenkirchener. The new capitalization was 660,000,000
marks instead of 125,000,000. The state, which had owned more
than half of Gelsenkirchener, came out holding less than 20% of
the new corporation, and Thyssen, who had feared the collapse
of his empire, came out king of coal and steel again, and therefore
the most powerful industrialist in the land.
Within a few weeks after taking power Hitler used his anti-Semitism
for commercial purposes as an aid to his main financial backer,
Thyssen. Oscar Wassermann, of the Catholic-Jewish Deutsche Bank,
had been chief rival of the Thyssen bankers. Hitler retired him
on "grounds of health." Thyssen's one opponent within
the Steel Trust, Kloeckner, a Catholic like Thyssen, was forced
to resign from the Hitler Reichstag. A charge of corruption was
filed against Otto Wolff, who led the financial battle against
Thyssen. Goering appointed Thyssen chief representative of private
capital in his new Prussian State Council. And, finally, the Fighting
League of the Trading Middle Class, the little business men who
put up their small money and who went into the streets killing
and robbing industrial working men and Jews, was ordered dissolved
by Hitler early in 1933 because it might menace the upper class.
It is with especial interest that one reads Henri's conclusion
and prediction a full decade after he made it. He said in 1933:
"The trade unions have been destroyed. Thyssen can dictate
wages through the new 'corporations' and thus reduce still further
the prices of export goods in the face of English and American
competition. Armaments are being prepared; Thyssen provides the
steel. Thyssen needs the Danube markets, where he owns the Alpine
Montan-Gesellschaft, the greatest steel producers in Austria.
But the primal objective of this new system in Germany has not
yet been attained. Thyssen wants war, and it looks as though Hitler
may yet provide him with one."
The historic facts are that armaments were being prepared, although
the British and French closed their eyes to this fact and believed
the promise that they would be used only against Russia; the Nazi
army did march into Austria and did unite the Alpine works with
their own, and it is also true that Hitler did provide a war,
although it was Thyssen's brother, Baron von Thyssen, and Thyssen's
partner and successor as head of the Vereinigte Stahlwerke, Voegeler,
who reaped the profit, and not Thyssen himself. Naziism paid all
its original backers (except on man) and all its present owners
The relation between money and elections was more clearly illustrated
in the German elections in the decade of 1923-1933 than in any
American elections-although a volume could be written to prove
that the Republican or Democratic Party which wins every four
years is the party (with only a very few exceptions) which has
the larger number of millions to spend.
"Seven months before he (Hitler) got there (the chancellor's
seat) he polled his legitimate maximum of 13,745,781 votes, just
over one third of those recorded. Four months later, in the last
constitutional Reichstag election, he lost over 2,000,000 votes.
That was in November, 1932. The huge Nazi Party was rapidly declining;
it had been overblown with millions of mere malcontents, victims
of the slump, lured in by desperation rather that Hitler's glib
tongue and splendid showmanship. Yet, after the landslide of the
November elections, the Party was broke to the wide and in what
looked like hopeless dissolution. Hitler moodily (not for the
first time nor for the last) threatened suicide. A few weeks later
he was in power."
The foregoing statement is from the Fabian
Society of Great Britain. It states the situation truthfully.
How then explain what followed?
"How had the miracle happened? Goebbels
grandly called it 'The National Socialist Revolution'; it was
nothing of the kind. It was just a bargain with Big Business and
the Junkers. Strong in money, power and influence, but with hardly
any popular backing, these vested interests (with arch-intriguer
Von Papen as their political representative) were worried by the
Schleicher government's threat to expose the worst of their graft;
they were even more worried by the possibility of a swing to the
Left through a coalition of Schleicher and the Trade Unions. That's
why the Papen group, having cold-shouldered the slipping Nazi
Party for some time, were now keen on an alliance capable of adding
a mass movement to their own financial and industrial power. That's
how Hitler got his much-needed cash for his Party and his own
appointment as Chancellor in a new Coalition Government."
Hitler's entire history is one of spending
big money to build up a party, bug 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 or 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 "Ja" 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
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 my 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 thirteen million followers before 1933
by a pseudo-socialistic 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
4. Participation of the workers in the profits of all corporations-the
mill, mine, factory, industrial worker was to become a part owner
5. Establishment of a sound middle class. Naziism, 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. 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 Naziism 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 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
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 Naziism 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 Naziism 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
had 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.
"In his program Hitler promised the middle class preference
in all government jobs, abolition of interest on loans, breaking
of the power of the trusts and cartels, and dividing up the department
stores. Each of these points could only have been carried out
at the expense of finance-capital to which Hitler had made definite
commitments which, in turn, spell ruin for the middle class and
workers. . . . The Kampfbund des Gewerblichen Mittlestandes, a
Nazi organization . . . had been schooled to destroy Marxism.
Everywhere they had killed Socialists and Communists, demolished
workers' headquarters and trade union offices. Now that Hitler
had triumphed they wanted to reap the fruits. But the Nazi leaders
offered them cheap laurels instead-laurels which pleased neither
their senses nor their pocketbooks. . . .
"Never yet in modern history has the middle class, relying
solely on itself and without an alliance with other social strata,
successfully played an independent role or triumphed in the social
struggle. . . . The Nazi leaders did not hesitate one moment in
their decision when the big industrialists and bankers began to
complain. One after another, Hitler, Goering and Hess in May,
June and July, 1933-issued sharp warnings against 'attacks on
business'; and Hess ordered all activities against department
stores to cease. . . . Already by August, 1933, the high hopes
which millions of little people had pinned on Hitler had been
rudely shattered. . . . Leaders of the struggle of the middle
class against the trusts . . . were sent to concentration camps.
Before the month had ended the Fighting League of the Middle Class
was no more. . . . The massacre of the entire leadership of the
Storm Troopers on the pretext of homosexuality closed the short
chapter of independent action by the middle class with a smashing
political victory by Big Capital. . . . 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 Wolff, 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 Naziism),
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. . . .
"Moreover, the turnover tax on big business was reduced to
one-half per cent on all commodities, while for little business
it was raised to 2 per cent. The decree establishing price ceilings
was eliminated so that Big Business under Hitler was able to raise
prices on numerous occasions. Thus in two years immediately preceding
the outbreak of the present war, tens of thousands of small businessmen
were able to get prices which just barely covered their own costs,
and sometimes were even lower. That is why small businesses were
liquidated on a mass scale in Germany. . . . The government of
the Third Reich, a long time before the outbreak of the war, had
passed the death-sentence on over one million members of the middle
class, and carried it out, thus profiting the wealthiest sections
of German finance-capital. . . . The result is inevitably the
same: a blood-letting without parallel and impoverishment all
along the line. Hitler's regime of a 'people's community' and
elimination of the class struggle has hastened, as no previous
regime has done, the crystallization of classes in German society,
dealing terrible blows to the middle class and favoring the upper
ten thousand in striking fashion. In ten years of the Nazi regime
the lower middle class in Germany has been more ruined and declassed
than in the preceding 50 years.
"In 1932 a tremendous scandal exploded in Germany. It concerned
the so-called Osthilfe, government subsidies destined for the
needy farmers. . . . Among the beneficiaries were the House of
Hohenzollern and the President of the Republic, Field Marshal
von Hindenburg, whose East Prussian property of Neudeck was involved
in tax frauds. Hitler promised to suppress the entire scandal
if he became Chancellor of the Reich. The interests of the aristocracy
and of the munitions-kings, whose war-mongering appetites were
whetted by the appointment of Hitler, coincided. So Hindenburg
covered over his scandal of corruption with his disgraceful appointment
of Hitler as chancellor.
"Today the princes and their followers among the nobility
are still the largest landowners in Germany. Three thousand aristocrats
own 2,630,000 hectares (1 hectare equals 2.47 acres) of agriculturally
tilled land. On the other hand 3,000,000 families of small farmers-60%
of all those occupied in agriculture-own together only 1,-500,000
hectares. 0.15% of the landowners each possessing 5,000 hectares
own altogether 10,100,000 hectares or almost 40% of the entire
land under cultivation. . . . 412 Junkers owned as much land as
1,000,000 peasants (Darre admitted this).
"The Reichstag deputies in their S.S., S.A. and army uniforms
raised their arms and shouted Heil for several minutes as Hitler
told them, after the outbreak of war in September, 1939: 'No one
will make money out of this war.' One lie more or less makes no
difference to Hitler. The fact is, the profits of the upper 10,000
in Germany have reached astronomical proportions in this war.
To detect these profits, however, one must know how to read between
the lines of company reports. . . . German industry wrote off
'between a half and one billion marks' above the normal amount
for reserves, etc., during the period just before the outbreak
of the war. This is a clear case of concealing profits. . . .
"Exactly 24 hours before Hitler's armies attacked the Soviet
Union the Nazi newspapers published a decree that was intended
to prove the Socialist character of the Third Reich and to incite
German soldiers to fight the 'bolshevik-plutocratic world conspiracy.'
This decree called for a compulsory payment to the State of dividends
that exceeded 6%. As if by magic the stock companies immediately
began to increase their capital. They did not have to lay claim
to their bank credits, but simply converted their hidden profits,
their secret and open reserves, into additional capital. Thus
the dividends decreased in percentage but remained the same in
actual profit. By May, 1942, 883 stock companies had already increased
their capital from 4,900,000,000 to 7,800,000,000 marks by making
use of their concealed profits. . . . Baron von Thyssen-Bornemisza,
Fritz Thyssen's older brother . . . increased the capital of one
of his companies, the Duesseldorger Press und Walzwerk to 3 times
its former amount. Thus, when he pays 5% dividends now they correspond
in cold cash to 15%. . . . "
Another pamphlet which exposes the profits
in Naziism is The Economics of Barbarism by J. Kuczynski
and M. Witt, who, after showing how by violence and by illegal
means disguised as legal the Germans have seized the wealth of
all occupied Europe, arrive at the conclusion that "The European
continent in the hands of German monopoly means the end of the
United States as a great economic power. It is the first step
towards the enslavement of the Americas."
The Nazi plan, after taking over all of Europe, has been to use
monopoly capital to reduce imports permanently and to increase
the volume of cheap exports rapidly. German monopoly would exclude
American goods from all markets except within the two Americas
at first, then enter the South and Central American markets as
a formidable competitor and eventually, with the aid of Japan,
to exclude the United States and England from both the Asiatic
and British Empire markets. All this of course based on a victory
of the Fascist International.
The three principles of fascist economic strategy, according to
these authors, are:
1. To achieve the economic subjugation of a conquered nation it
is essential to control the heavy industries. The first principle
of Nazi economic strategy: keep intact, build up, and above all
else, take into their own hands the heavy industries.
2. Fascist economy centers on war production. Since it has no
interest in the welfare of the masses of people and prefers to
depress wages of workers and farmers and lower their standard
of living, goods for popular consumption are of secondary importance.
Since all the big industrialists are linked with Fascism, it is
a policy to give the consumer goods manufacturers a monopoly for
all Europe. There is therefore a tendency towards decentralization
in the heavy industries, with centralization in Germany of consumer
goods industry. The Nazi principle is: kill consumption goods
industries outside Germany.
3. The third principle is to increase the numbers of millions
dependent upon agriculture with a corresponding increase in the
holdings of the great landed proprietors. This pays back the Junkers
who financed Hitler, provides materials for the chemical industry
and profits the same industry in the sale of artificial fertilizers,
and furthers the policy of complete self-independence or autarchy.
These principles of barbarism, conclude the authors, would, if
realized, "put back the technical and economic structure
of certain parts of Europe a hundred years or more, while overdeveloping
economy in other parts of the continent."
The pamphlet, written before America was attacked by Japan, warns
our country that Fascism is an epidemic disease, and that we cannot
So far as this writer knows, the only publication of any kind-book,
pamphlet, newspaper story, radio address, etc.-which shows the
relationship between Big Business in America and the international
fascist system, is to be found in the works of Prof. Robert A.
Brady. The serious student of Fascism must read both books listed
The relationship of the big money system to the Fascist Party
itself is more clearly shown in what happened in Italy than anywhere
else. Let us look beyond the Alps.
Fritz Thyssen, I Paid Hitler, Farrar
& Rinehart, 1941.
Week-End Review, London, August 5 and 12, 1933.
Fabian Society, London, Tract Series No. 254, p. 5.
Albert Norden, The Thugs of Europe, German American League
for Culture, 45 Astor Place, New York City.
J. Kuczynski and M. Witt, The Economics of Barbarism, International
Publishers, New York.
Robert A. Brady, The Spirit and Structure of German Fascism,
Viking Press, 1937; Business as a System of Power, Columbia
University Press, 1943.
The Theory of Capitalist Development, by Paul M. Sweezey,
Oxford University Press, 1943.