London (Jul. 24)
Startling revelations regarding financial support of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist party in the years before it came to power in Germany are contained in the book, “Hitler as Frankenstein,” which will be published here tomorrow. The book is by Johannes Steel, the pseudonym of a German known to have had intimate Nazi contacts. Professor Harold J. Laski, noted political scientist, has written the preface for the volume.
In his preface, Professor Laski confirms Steel’s exceptional access to sources of Nazi information ordinarily unavailable and emphasizes the seriousness of the matter if the greatest international financiers are subsidizing a movement such as Hitler’s.
“It is a serious matter for Jews everywhere, if true, that Henry Ford, having stopped his anti-Semitic campaign in America, proceeded to endow a similar campaign on a wider scale in Germany,” Professor Laski points out.
Steel, revealing that the Nazi movement spent 350,000,000 marks in the five years preceding its assumption of power, proves convincingly that it was impossible to raise this amount in Germany alone despite the fact that Nazi collectors work on a commission basis, receiving as much as 30 percent even for street collections made with the swastika boxes.
The author circumstantially describes how Hjalmar Schacht, present Reichsbank president and chief Nazi authority on financial matters; Hermann Goering, present premier of Prussia; Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Nazi propaganda chief; the Hohenzollern princes and others who now have positions of authority in the Nazi Government were engaged in canvassing funds abroad to support the Nazi party activities. Financiers, particularly in America, constituted their chief field of operations, Steel asserts.
The Nazi fund emissaries used as their chief argument the dicta that the Hitler assumption to power would mean a return to prosperity and implied the protection of American interests in Germany and the thawing of capital frozen there.
The only American banking organization named by Steel is the House of Morgan, which he asserts, contributed $50,000 in three installments. Another American bank, whose president frequently visited Berlin, followed suit, he says. Most of the checks by which it paid its contributions were drawn on other banks.
The largest contributions from the United States, however, came from non-bankers such as Ford and the General Motors Corporation, Steel asserts. The latter concern, he claims, contributed $200,000 because of certain labor interests in connection with its purchase of the Opel automobile concern in Germany.
The first contribution from Ford amounted to $40,000 following suspension of the Dearborn Independent which Ford published in the United States, Steel says. He asserts the contribution was given to a Nazi publisher to spread anti-Jewish literature throughout Germany.
Ford declined to furnish additional funds, following his initial grant, the author reports, but the young Hohenzollern prince, Ferdinand, who went to Detroit to work in the Ford plants, was instrumental in the resumption of relations which had been terminated because of the manufacturer’s disappointment at the sale of his books.
APPEALED TO FORD’S FEELINGS
In breaking down this feeling held by Ford, Steel reports, the young prince used the same arguments successfully used by Nazi agents with other financiers and industrialists and in addition appealed to his prejudice against the Jews and to his desire to avoid a strike in the Ford German plants.
Steel expresses surprise that Ferdinand was permitted to enter the United States outside the quota although he came ostensibly as a worker.
Ford’s gifts to the Nazis subsequently amounted to $300,000 paid to Ferdinand under cover of an especially large salary and bonuses as an expert engineer, Steel says.
Ferdinand and August Wilhelm, “Auwi,” who were popular in Chicago society, succeeded in raising large sums there for Hitler, which were forwarded to Germany through four different banks, according to Steel.
Italian-Americans also aided in raising funds for the Nazis, according to Steel. He names specifically Julia Morosini of Riverdale-on-the-Hudson, whose father came to America when Garibaldi’s famous red-shirt legions disbanded. (Giuilia Morosini, who was known as a recluse and occupied the old Morosini mansion at Riverdale, died on February, 1932.â€”Ed).
Among the European industrialists and financiers supporting the Nazi movement, Steel names Sir Henri Deterding, Dutch oil magnate; the late Ivar Kreuger and various armament concerns even in France, Poland and Czechoslovakia.
MEET IN JEWISH BANKER’S OFFICE
A particularly interesting chapter of the book deals with the fateful meeting of German industrialists leading to Hitler’s accession to the chancellorship. Under the chairmanship of Col. Franz von Papen, Steel says, the German industrial leaders meet at Duesseldorf in the offices of the banking firm of R. Levi and Company. Levi, according to Steel, is a Jewish banker.
At the meeting, the industrialists threatened to withdraw their support and financial backing from Hitler unless he agreed to a coalition administration with Dr. Alfred Hugenberg, Nationalist party leader, in the cabinet. Hitler, under threat of losing his financial backing, was thus forced to accept this agreement before he assumed the chancellorship.