Who supported Hitler?
While there is no suggestion that Prescott Bush was sympathetic to the Nazi cause, the documents reveal that the firm he worked for, Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), acted as a US base for the German industrialist, Fritz Thyssen, who helped finance Hitler in the 1930s before falling out with him at the end of the decade. The Guardian has seen evidence that shows Bush was the director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation (UBC) that represented Thyssen's US interests and he continued to work for the bank after America entered the war.So, in other words, Grandpa Bush once worked for a bank that handled money for someone who was initially a friend of Hitler...and then wasn't. Boy, what a real bombshell this is.
Well, two can play at that game.
During May of 1938, Kennedy engaged in extensive discussions with the new German Ambassador to the Court of St. James's, Herbert von Dirksen. In the midst of these conversations (held without approval from the U.S. State Department), Kennedy advised von Dirksen that President Roosevelt was the victim of "Jewish influence" and was poorly informed as to the philosophy, ambitions and ideals of Hitler's regime. (The Nazi ambassador subsequently told his bosses that Kennedy was "Germany's best friend" in London.)
Columnists back in the states condemned Kennedy's fraternizing. Kennedy later claimed that 75% of the attacks made on him during his Ambassadorship emanated from "a number of Jewish publishers and writers. ... Some of them in their zeal did not hesitate to resort to slander and falsehood to achieve their aims." He told his eldest son, Joe Jr., that he disliked having to put up with "Jewish columnists" who criticized him with no good reason.
Like his father, Joe Jr. admired Adolf Hitler. Young Joe had come away impressed by Nazi rhetoric after traveling in Germany as a student in 1934. Writing at the time, Joe applauded Hitler's insight in realizing the German people's "need of a common enemy, someone of whom to make the goat. Someone, by whose riddance the Germans would feel they had cast out the cause of their predicament. It was excellent psychology, and it was too bad that it had to be done to the Jews. The dislike of the Jews, however, was well-founded. They were at the heads of all big business, in law etc. It is all to their credit for them to get so far, but their methods had been quite unscrupulous ... the lawyers and prominent judges were Jews, and if you had a case against a Jew, you were nearly always sure to lose it. ... As far as the brutality is concerned, it must have been necessary to use some ... ."
Brutality was in the eye of the beholder. Writing to Charles Lindbergh shortly after Kristallnacht in November of 1938, Joe Kennedy Sr. seemed more concerned about the political ramifications stemming from high-profile, riotous anti-Semitism than he was about the actual violence done to the Jews. "... Isn't there some way," he asked, "to persuade [the Nazis] it is on a situation like this that the whole program of saving western civilization might hinge? It is more and more difficult for those seeking peaceful solutions to advocate any plan when the papers are filled with such horror." Clearly, Kennedy's chief concern about Kristallnacht was that it might serve to harden anti-fascist sentiment at home in the United States.
So, do you folks on the left really want the conversation to go in this direction? Hm?