Where the Bush family got their money

Ever wonder where the Bush family got all that money?

In 1923, the Nazi party was given 100,000 gold marks ($25,000) by German industrialist Fritz Thyssen. This generous donation helped the fledgling party through its early financial troubles. After his father August’s death in 1926, Thyssen created the United Steel Works, a German industrial conglomerate.

In 1924, the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart met with Harriman & Co, represented by the Harriman brothers and George Walker. They formed the Union Banking Corporation.

Later in 1924, George Walker hired his new son-in-law, Prescott Bush, to be VP of Harriman & Co. Bush was responsible for overseeing the Thyssen/Flick United Steel Works.

In 1928, Hitler was broke again. Things had gone badly since his failed coup attempt in 1923. Thyssen arranged for the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart to buy the Barlow Palace and refit it as the new Nazi HQ. Thyssen claimed the cost was 250,000 marks; the Nazis claimed over 800,000.

In 1931, Harriman & Co. changed its name to Brown Brothers Harriman. Averell Harriman and Prescott Bush established a holding company called The Harriman 15 Corporation.

In 1932, Thyssen joined the Nazi party, and held a fundraiser for Hitler at his castle.

By 1934, Hitler had seized power, and USW was chosen to overhaul the German military machinery. Thyssen and Flick made hundreds of millions in profits, which flowed to UBC and the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart.

In 1934, the Polish government started threatening action against Consolidated Silesian Steel Corporation and Upper Silesian Coal and Steel, for financial irregularities. The owners of the companies—including the Harriman 15 Corporation—were faced with a demand for back taxes. Fortunately, Hitler’s invasion of Poland in 1939 ended the investigation.

Consolidated Silesian Steel happened to be located near Oswiecim in Poland, so when the Nazis began building concentration camps for slave labor, they decided to build one near Oswiecim. They called it Auschwitz. It provided cheap labor for many companies, including Consolidated Silesian Steel.

As Hitler began to march his armies across Europe, Thyssen and Flick began to have misgivings. They sold Consolidated Steel to UBC. It became Silesian American Corporation, under the complete control of Harriman, and managed by Prescott Bush. In fact, a Dutch intelligence agent reported that a portion of the slave labor force was managed by Bush.

Six days after Pearl Harbor in 1941, the Trading With The Enemy Act made it illegal for US business interests to deal with US enemies of war. Prescott Bush continued running Silesian American Corporation until the summer of 1942, when the New York Tribune exposed his business deals with Thyssen. The US government took over UBC and the Silesian American Corporation, but Bush was not prosecuted. In 1943, he resigned from UBC, but kept his stock.

In 1951, Thyssen died, and UBC’s assets were released to Brown Brothers Harriman. Prescott Bush cashed in his stock for $1.5 million, and used it to set up a firm called Overby Development Company as a gift to his son—George Herbert Walker Bush.

In 1980, George Herbert Walker Bush placed his father’s family inheritance into a trust fund, managed by William Farish III. Farish was the inheritor of millions of dollars made by Standard Oil, from its investments in IG Farben to build the IG Auschwitz gasoline plant.

—Summarized from a feature article in Clamor Magazine.