Sen. Prescott Bush

prescott bush

The documentary du jour Ralph Nader: An Unreasonable Man, mentioned someone named Prescott Bush, father of former president George H.W. Bush. I looked him up on Wikipedia and found his entry extremely interesting. I urge everyone to read it in order to understand what kind of family our president comes from. Here are some highlights:

  • In 1913, he enrolled at Yale University, continuing a family legacy; four subsequent generations of Bushes have been Yale alumni. Prescott Bush was admitted to the Zeta Psi fraternity while at Yale and Skull and Bones secret society.
  • In what became a controversy, Bush wrote home about receiving medals for heroic exploits, and his letters were later published in Columbus newspapers. However, Bush retracted statements made in his letters a few weeks later when it was revealed that he, in fact, had not received such medals. The retraction was made in a cable in which Bush stated that his earlier letter had been written “in a spirit of fun” and was not intended for publication.
  • The Bushes moved to Columbus, Ohio, in 1923, where Prescott Bush went to work for the Hupp Products Company, where his business efforts generally failed.
  • In 1924, Bush was made a vice-president of Harriman & Co. by his father-in-law, George Herbert Walker. Also employed by the company were E. Roland Harriman and Knight Woolley, Bush’s Yale classmates and fellow Bonesmen.
  • Bush was a typical New England Republican of his time; but held many positions today considered socially moderate. He was involved with the American Birth Control League as early as 1942, and served as the treasurer of the first national capital campaign of Planned Parenthood in 1947.
  • Nazi collaboration controversy (I’m just posting the whole thing here.)

Harriman Bank was the main Wall Street connection for several German companies and the varied U.S. financial interests of Fritz Thyssen. Thyssen had been an early financial backer of the Nazi party until 1938, but by 1939 had fled Germany and was bitterly denouncing Hitler. He was later jailed by the Nazis for his opposition to the regime. [5] Business transactions with Germany were not illegal when Hitler declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941, but, six days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Trading With the Enemy Act after it had been made public that U.S. companies were doing business with the declared enemy of the United States. On October 20, 1942, the U.S. government ordered the seizure of German banking operations in New York City. Roosevelt’s Alien Property Custodian, Leo T. Crowley, signed Vesting Order Number 248 seizing Bush’s property under the Trading with the Enemy Act. The order cited only the Union Banking Corporation (UBC), of which Bush was a director and held one share, which had connections with a Dutch bank owned by Thyssen. Fox News has reported that recently declassified material reveals that the 4,000 Union Banking shares owned by the Dutch bank were registered in the names of the seven U.S. directors, according a document signed by Homer Jones, chief of the division of investigation and research of the Office of Alien Property Custodian, a World War II-era agency. [6]. By 1941 Thyssen no longer had control over his banking empire, which was in the hands of the Nazi government.

  • E. Roland Harriman–3991 shares (managed and under voting control of Prescott Bush)
  • Cornelis Lievense–4 shares (He was the New York banker of the Nazi Party)
  • Harold D. Pennington–1 share (Employed by Prescott Bush at Brown Brothers Harriman)
  • Ray Morris–1 share (a business partner of the Bush and Harriman families)
  • Prescott S. Bush–1 share (director of UBC, which was co-founded and sponsored by his father-in-law George Walker; senior managing partner for E. Roland Harriman and Averell Harriman)
  • H.J. Kouwenhoven–1 share (organized UBC for Von Thyssen, managed UBC in Nazi occupied Netherlands)
  • Johann G. Groeninger–1 share (German Industrial Executive, a not unimportant member of the Nazi party)

Both E. Roland Harriman and Prescott Bush were members of Skull and Bones as well as being members of the board of Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.[7]

The Harriman business interests seized under the act in October and November 1942 included:

  • Union Banking Corporation (UBC) (for Thyssen and Brown Brothers Harriman). The President of UBC at that time was George Herbert Walker, Bush’s father-in-law.
  • Dutch-American Trading Corporation (with Harriman)
  • the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation (with Harriman)
  • Silesian-American Corporation (this company was partially owned by a German entity; during the war the Germans tried to take full control of Silesian-American. In response to that, the American government seized German owned minority shares in the company, leaving the U.S. partners to carry on the business.)

The assets were held by the government for the duration of the war, then returned afterward. UBC was dissolved in 1951. Bush was on the board of directors of UBC and held one share in the company. For it, he was reimbursed $1,500,000.(a huge amount of money at the time – but there is no documentary evidence to support this claim) These supposed assets were later used to launch Bush family investments in the Texas energy industry. There is no documentaion to support this assumption either.

Toby Rogers has claimed that Bush’s connections to Silesian businesses (with Thyssen and Flick) make him complicit with the mining operations in Nazi-occupied Poland which used slave labor out of Oświęcim, where the Auschwitz concentration camp was later constructed.

The New York Herald-Tribune referred to Thyssen as “Hitler’s Angel” and mentioned Bush as an employee of the investment banking firm Thyssen used in the United States. Some records in the National Archives, including the Harriman papers, document the continued relationship of Brown Brothers Harriman with Thyssen and some of his German investments up until his 1951 death.[8] Investigator John Loftus has said, “As a former federal prosecutor, I would make a case for Prescott Bush, his father-in-law (George Walker) and Averell Harriman [to be prosecuted] for giving aid and comfort to the enemy. They remained on the boards of these companies knowing that they were of financial benefit to the nation of Germany.” Two former slave laborers from Poland have filed suit in London against the government of the United States and the heirs of Prescott Bush in the amount of $40 billion. A class-action lawsuit filed in the U.S. in 2001 was dismissed based on the principle of state sovereignty.[5]

Prescott Bush connection to the Merchants of Death[9] industry came from his father Samuel P. Bush who worked for Buckeye Steel Castings Company which manufactured railway parts for the railroad industry and barrels for guns and casings for shells for Remington Arms[10][11].

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~ by jaredran on March 2, 2008.

One Response to “Sen. Prescott Bush”

  1. Great post, Jared.

    JM

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