An excerpt of the book Treason's Peace by Howard Watson Ambruster
Beechhurst Press, 1947 - hardcover
Front cover (photo)
Back cover (photo)
Inside cover flap (photo)
from page 399 - 413
On the last day of these hearings Senator O'Mahoney called on me, as an authority on cartels and I.G. Farben, and thus made it possible to put into a Senate record a few of the pertinent facts (which now may be found in this book) about the vicious political influence by which I.G. Farben during the pre-war era had so profoundly molded opinion and policy inside Germany and also in other countries, including the United States.
I utilized this opportunity to refute the earlier allegations of Messrs. Biddle and Berge that none of their so-called innocent American industrial cartelists knew that the national security was involved in their partnerships with Farben, and that the United States Government was not informed about these illegal agreements until after Germany began the war. The documentary proofs I which I cited to disprove the Biddle-Berge allegations were received in painful silence, especially those which clearly indicated that the political influence of I.G. Farben might have been responsible for the innocuous results of flabby Anti-Trust Law enforcement against those whose tie-ups with Farben did weaken our national security.
It was merely a coincidence, but surely a pleasant one, that Mr. Biddle resigned from his position as Attorney General the day after my testimony recorded some of the weird results of his tenure of that office. However, rumor had it that he had been slated to go ever since former Assistant Attorney General Norman Littell forced into the record some of the proofs relating to Mr. Biddle's relations with Thomas Corcoran.
How and why Francis Biddle under these circumstances later wound up as the United States member of the Nuremberg Court by appointment of President Truman remains a mystery on which the readers of this record may well ponder.
As the aftermath of having thus placed on a record of the Senate for the first time evidence that the political influence of I.G. Farben had been reaching inside the Government of the United States, the printing of the record of these hearings was held up for months, while parts of my testimony were suppressed.
However, it developed that the Wyoming Senator was unwilling that political influence of I.G. Farben should prevent his colleagues in the Senate, and the public, from reading testimony on that same political influence of I.G. Farben which had been recorded before his Committee. Thus, in the final printing of these hearings, there appeared a reproduction of my 1981 Chart or Flow Sheet (described in Chapter VII) showing I.G. Farben's control in that early pre-war era, of our munitions industries, its influence on our press and our government. Thanks to the courage of Joe O'Mahoney, this proof that it was then known what Farben had planned for ten years later, became a public record fourteen years after it had been sent to members of the Congress.
On December 12, 1945, after Colonel Bernstein's public testimony, Senator Kilgore, in an off-the-record conversation with me, expressed his indignation at incidents which I related as illustrations of Farben's influence in security immunity for some of its Amercan stooges. I was then advised that I would be called back to Washington as a witness before the Kilgore Committee. Instead, a letter from the Senator advised me that the public hearings were discontinued and would I kindly send him a written statement to be printed with the Committee's other testimony?
On December 21, 1945, a few days after our private conversation on Farben's political influence, Senator Kilgore issued a ringing public statement dealing with this same subject of influence. And in restrained but unmistakably critical language the Senator discussed the conduct of affairs in occupied Germany with this query:
For what private and selfish ends are our national security and the security of our allies placed in Jeopardy?
He became more specific as he continued:
The attitude of these military government officials is an outgrowth of their connections with industrial and financial enterprises which had close pre-war ties with the Nazis.
His statement also named some of the same O. M. G. officials mentioned in the Russel A. Nixon testimony, but unfortunately Senator Kilgore did not bring out clearly the basic issue of Farben's continued political influence inside government at Washington, where obviously the real responsibility lay for putting into the O. M. G. men who would deliberately sabotage the orders issued by General Eisenhower to smash I.G. Farben. These men did not appoint themselves to office.
As one way to remedy the silence on this issue I included in the statement which the Senator had requested for his Committee's hearings some of the ample proofs available that the most dangerous aspect of the German war potential was the political influence of Farben inside the Government of the United States. Incidents, a few of the many in this book, were recited.
My medicine was too strong for Senator Kilgorethe heat was on for what he had already put into the record. My statement was returned with advice that it could not be published because: "It is not the policy of the Sub-Committee to make charges against individuals . . . ." (which was a rather peculiar allegation in view of the charges against members of the O. M. G., and many others made in the Kilgore Committee Hearings ). Tactfully, the Senator's letter added:
"I am not questioning your veracity."
Friends of the Senator then complained to me that I was causing him embarrassment. Be that as it may, his probe of I.G. Farben had already caused such dismay and resentment that no appeasement policy would suffice and the Kilgore Committee's investigations were marked for the same end as those of the Bone Committee.
Following Mr. Nixon's testimony in February, it was announced that witnesses from the State Department would appear before the Kilgore Committee to refute the Nixon charges. But no such witnesses appeared. Instead, the Audit and Contingent Expenses of the Senate reached out to strangle Senator Kilgore's brave effort to defeat the Farben revival plot, by cutting the appropriation for his Sub-Committee to a fraction of the sum required.
This is not to imply that this action, by the Senators involved, was not motivated by a desire for economy or was influenced by the I.G. Farben lobby.
While the tug-of-war was going on in the United States Senate between the save-Farben and smash-Farben teams, important contributions were made by those two valiant battlers. Representatives Voorhis of California and Coffee of Washington. Among the several forceful speeches by Mr. Voorhis touching on the I.G. Farben tie-ups in the United States was that delivered on May 21, 1945, in support of his House Concurrent Resolution 55, which demanded that the Government prevent the economic financial or technical resources of Germany from rebuilding the future war potential of the enemy in any other nation, and to prevent any citizens or corporations of the United States taking any action "through cartel, agreements or otherwise" which would contribute to the rebuilding of that future war potential.
Again on July 20, 1945, Mr. Voorhis complained bitterly that:
Some of the very people who hold top positions in the American Control Commission in Germany are men who either in the past or at this very moment are officials of American companies who had . . . . connections with some of the very German companies which the Senate (Kilgore) Committee has warned about . . . . .
Mr. Voorhis also put his finger on the issue by saying that:
To select men with connections of this sort and to pass over the thousands of other American businessmen whose companies never had any such connections is, to put the matter very mildly indeed, a mistake which may have the most serious consequences for the future peace of the world.
Representative Coffee also has a long and notable record of well-documented and forthright attacks upon the cartel as an institution and I.G. Farben tie-ups in particular. On October 4, 1945, while Colonel Bernstein's battle against the sabotage of the directives to destroy Farben was at its height in Germany, Mr. Coffee delivered in the House a blasting attack upon I.G. Farben political influence in which he paid me the honor of referring to my own efforts, citing among other things my exposé of the way the Geneva Economic Conference in 1927 was influenced by Farben's Dr. Lammers.* Mr. Coffee then put into the record his own views on the way Farben influenced both international and our own domestic affairs, including the following:
We have all, I think, felt the impact of such influence here at Washington, at times like these, when investigation and legislation which may affect any cartel activities is under discussion, or pending. Then it is that some visitorin plain language some lobbyistattempts his persuasions with quaint sophistries, or more subtle argument. Now what essential difference can anyone point out between the lobbyistor fixerexerting pressure here at Washington or in Europe in our reconstruction set-up, in 1945, for cartel survival; and Farben's Dr. Lammers at Geneva in 1927 successfully persuading that international assembly not to act against the cartel.
In the light of events since then, which are known to all of us, it may be admitted that should the Geneva Economic Conference in 1927 have protested at the evils of the cartel, and had it even raised the lid a fraction of an inch to peer within the Pandora's Box of I.G. Farben, then those beastly, tragic human ills, which later were loosed from that casket of evil and death, might not have brought us, now, to a war and a victory so dearly won with the blood of American youth. In 1927 I.G. Farber's leaders had to prevent action by the League, so Farben's distinguished Dr. Lammers was on the spot to do so.
Who shall dare to say that some other Dr. Lammers, disguised in sheep's clothing as a learned technical adviser, or in the raiment of apostle of democracy and peace, has not been around Washington to advise anyone so credulous as to listen to him; or is not among those who at this very time are in Europe to help decide on the spot what to do about saving German industries, or what punishment, if any, shall be meted out to guilty German industrialists.
*In monograph, The Cartel, published in the Encyclopedia Americana, 1945.
The eloquent Representative summed up his conclusions with:
. . . . . the one great national and international issue which the cartel presents to us at this time, and which we must face before it is too late, is that of the cartel's political influence, as we see it now revealed in preparation for this war, and as it must be met if its impact upon the next peace is to be immunized. We have won the war in Europe and in Asia, but are we doing those things which must be done if we are to win the peace, while the friends and allies of I.G. also plan and connive in secret to reconstruct their private cartel super-state? Remember, too, that much of the propaganda which clandestinely attempts to foment discord among the Allies in this war and in this peace has its origin and its motivation among the adherents of another era of world cartelization.
These references to the influence which might effect what punishment, if any, shall be meted out to guilty German industrialists are a reminder that up to the time this is written there appears no record of the indictment or the punishment of any officer or employee of I.G. Farben, in Europe, save for the gentle protective custody in which some of them have been held, until they were released by influences exerted upon subordinate officials in the O. M. G.
One of those identified by Stokes in his column of May 26, 1945, was Col. Frederick Pope, who had been with the Office of War Mobilization before being selected as Chairman of the F. E. A. Committee on Chemicals which prepared that section of Mr. Crowley's Program for German and Industrial Disarmament (already mentioned).
Without questioning Mr. Pope's high standing as an industrial engineer, or the good faith of his recommendations relating to the peacetime control rather than the destruction of Farben's production of war chemicals, Mr. Stokes pointed out that Mr. Pope was a director or official of more than one of I.G. Farben's American affiliates.
These have included Mr. Pope's directorship of the American Cyanamid Company (fined $10,000 in April, 1946, for conspiring with I.G. Farben) and of the Southern Alkali Co. (defendant in action filed in 1944 for conspiracy with Farben in the alkali industry) and prior to 1939 Mr. Pope was also closely associated with the Farben subsidiary Synthetic Nitrogen Products Co., along with Col. Carl Peters, which company's record has also been presented.
The press in general, as has been mentioned in earlier chapters, continued its customary reluctance to publish all of the real truth which came out of Germany.
As the struggle inside of the O. M. G. proceeded, between those like Bernstein and Nixon who wanted to be harsh, as ordered, with Farben, and those opposed, there were increasing protests from news correspondents stationed in our occupied zone in Germany that either direct censorship or indirect pressure was making it difficult to send back home the real facts on what was going on behind the scenes. Correspondents of even the conservative New York Times joining in these protests justify a belief that they were well grounded. It remains fortunate that Messrs. Bernstein and Nixon, when they returned to the United States, resisted such efforts to silence them as we may be quite sure were made.
This may be the appropriate place to cite that dramatic incident which took place in the courtroom in New York on June 6, 1945, when, as told in Chapter XVIII, Farben's chief Counsel, Dr. August von Knieriem, flown from Frankfurt, in custody in a military plane, was produced as a surprise witness by Philip Amram, Assistant Attorney General, and testified regarding the celebrated fake agreement made by Standard Oil of New Jersey with Farben at The Hague in September, 1939, after Germany had invaded Poland.
Dr. von Knieriem produced from the Farben files a signed copy of the so-called Hague agreement which he identified as his own original, and on its margin in his own handwriting there were numerous notations made at the time to explain the various clauses in the agreement. One of these conclusions recorded by Farben's chief legal adviser in 1939, when the Farben leaders' vision of world conquest held no possibility of the tragic revelations in 1945, was a short pungent phrase in German which, translated, shouted out the fraud and the confident expectation of a future renewal of the mesalliance between Farben and Standard. The words were "Post-War Camouflage."
We may well ask how much of the contemptible double talk and worse relating to Farben which has been uncovered comes within lawyer von Knieriem's definition of camouflage to deceive the Government and the people of the United States.
James S. Martin, previously mentioned in Chapter XV, succeeded Mr. Nixon as control officer for I.G. Farben in the American Military Government for Germany. After he had appealed for the establishment of another tribunal to try the guilty industrialists, Mr. Martin was permitted to organize a unit to be devoted specifically to the de-cartelization of Farben and its affiliates. However, the efforts of this group to eliminate Germany's industrial war potential appeared to be restricted to surveillance and control of the so-called peacetime economy, which, since Potsdam, the higher ups had found so conveniently elastic and expandable.
Meanwhile, as the trial of Nazi leaders at Nuremberg proceeded, many Americans sought in vain for some sign that punishment would be inflicted upon the Farben leaders who were in the custody of the American authorities. The criminal acts of these men had again been established by countless original documents uncovered in their own files, as not only responsible for Hitler and Hitler's armed might and the weakening of Germany's victim countries, but also as directly involved in some of the most beastly deeds of the Nazi regime.
These included such acts of criminal depravity as direct participation in the Nazi slave labor practices which had their origin "in the blackest periods of the slave trade," by which Farben war plants had been manned with forced labor of hapless captives; in manufacturing and knowingly supplying the deadly poison gases used to murder millions of helpless humans in the death chambers at Auschwitz (Oswiecim); and, after these mass murders, in the conversion into fertilizer of the ashes remaining from the cremation of the corpses.
It so happens that ample evidence of all these unbelievable practices was produced at the trial and recorded in the final judgment of the Nuremberg Tribunal.
With relation to this evidence of depravity, it may be mentioned that Georg von Schnitzler, called by some the No. 2 Farben criminal, admitted to our O. M. G. officials long before the Nuremberg trials began that he, and other Farben directors, had known that poison gases manufactured in a Farben plant were being used to murder human beings in the Nazi concentration camps, and did nothing about itsave to continue the supply.
However, at Nuremberg all this evidence was not related to the guilt of Farben's leadersthey were not on trial. The senile Krupp was the only one indicted who was publicly identified as an industrialist (with side-door ties to Farben). He was not even tried.
And, as the trial dragged on, the slimy Schacht, close associate of Farben, and involved in Farben's pre-Hitler preparations for war, but usually referred to as a mere financier, boasted complacently that he would not be convicted.
To some it may have seemed strange indeed that there were no Farben figures in the Nuremberg dock, especially in view of earlier insistence of United States Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson that some of them should be. The indictment, where it dealt with certain vital aspects of aggressive warfor which Hermann Schmitz and his associates obviously were responsibleincluded the following:
The Nazi conspirators, and in particular the industrialists among them, embarked upon a huge rearmament program and set out to produce and develop huge quantities of materials of war, and to create a powerful military potential . . . . .
Dr. Schmitz, indicted in the United States in 1941, remained untried for those offenses; and at Nuremberg he was not even indicted with other and lesser iminals.
In view of the record thus summarized it is not surprising that on May 1, 1946, former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., broadcast a denunciation of the State Department policies on elimination of Germany's war potential, with careful analysis which included this positive statement:
We have failed to de-industrialize Germany.
The speaker then reflected the views of many others by saying:
It is still not clear to me whether Mr. Byrnes intends to scrap the Allied program of Quebec, Yalta and Potsdam . . . . . If it is Mr. Byrnes' intention to scrap the Potsdam pact and allow Germany to remain industrially powerful, then I prophesy that we are simply repeating the fatal mistakes of Versailles, and laying the foundation for World War III.
Mr. Morgenthau's query to Secretary Byrnes was a voice crying in the wilderness of synthetic public clamor which demanded the survival of German industryof Farben. This appeal was disguised in a confusion of many voices, of hysterical pleas for a starving Germany and fears of a Russian menace.
In July 1946, Russia's Molotov had made an obvious public bid for the favor of an unrepentant Germany. Then late in August Lieutenant General Lucius D. Clay, Deputy Military Governor of the American Zone in Germany, contributed what may appear as the first of a series of answers to Mr. Morgenthau's query. As reported, General Clay's statement included inaccurate and rather naive allegations that Germany no longer had any physical war potential of her own and could only be a threat if some other power with the industrial wherewithal used her as a mercenary.
A week later, on September 6, 1946, Secretary of State Byrnes made his counter-bid for the friendship of the prostrate nation in a broadcast at Stuttgart, in which he threw overboard all pretence of implementation of the plan to eliminate Farben's war potentialwhich the Potsdam conference had decreed.
In double talk decrying the oversight that no allowance had been made in fixing levels of industry for reparations and a self-supported Germany, Mr. Byrnes assured his listeners of a balanced industrial economy to be controlled by trained inspectors, and an export-import program out of which reparations (and industrial profits) might come.
Described in the press as America's bidding against Russia for German favor, columnist Edgar Ansel Mowrer aptly called it Byrnes' plan "to fight fire with fire," while expressing the vain hope that "we come through unharmed."
And Upton Close complacently termed it "a cardinal principle of democracy," and "a reminder to the Reich that we recognize the right of every nation to govern itself."
The Secretary of State then returned to the Paris Peace Conference and his bi-partisan foreign policy which, whatever else it may or may not be, does have the unqualified approval of that good friend of Standard Oil's late Mr. Farish, Democratic Senator Tom Connally, and the learned legal adviser of Farben's Mr. Halbach, Republican statesman John Foster Dulles.
President Truman, nudged rather violently on foreign relations by the man he had displaced as Vice-President, then publicly indicated his full support of the policies of the Secretary of State.
With another swift turn of the wheel, one more completed design in the pattern of things to come was unfolded when, on September 30, 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal handed down its verdict convicting the Nazi riffraff and military gangsters, but acquitting both Franz von Papen and Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht. Subsequently mysterious press reports intimated that Francis Biddle, as American Judge, had voted to convict Schacht. However, Mr. Biddle declined to say how he voted. The Judgment states "The Tribunal finds Schacht not guilty . . ." Of the four Judges, American, British, French and Russian, only the last dissented.
The dissent of Russia's Judge J. I. Nikitchenko appears as an understatement when he declared that:
Schacht's leading part in the preparation and execution of a common criminal plan is proved.
In the light of damning facts, showing the involvement of Schacht, which were recited in the verdict itself, he was obviously guilty on Counts 1 and 2 of the indictment, of:
. . . . . participation in a common plan or conspiracy to commit crimes against peace . . . . . in the planning, initiation or waging of a war of agression.
But after reciting the evidence of Schacht's guilt the judges who wrote the weasel-worded acquittal then accepted the Schacht alibi that he "didn't know" that the rearmament for which he and his Farben associates were responsible was intended for aggressive war. The naive judges who concocted this decision attempted to justify the Schacht innocence on his plea that "when he discovered the Nazis were rearming for aggressive purposes he attempted to slow down the speed of rearmaments."
So this close associate of Dr. Hermann Schmitz and other directors of Farben and Vereinigte Stahlwerke, who sat with him on the board of the Reichsbank, went free on that moth-eaten alibi of Farben's allies: "I didn't know," despite a showing of guilt which included substantially each of the various offenses that can be proved against Dr. Schmitz and the rest of the Farben broodif and when these gentry are tried.
So out of Nuremberg has now emerged the judicial dictum and high precedent behind which immunity for the leaders of Farben may be made secure.
Disheartened, Robert Jacicson (who five years earlier, as Attorney General, had complained of the "pattern" of non-military invasion which interfered with "law enforcement itself"), was quoted as agreeing fully with the Russian dissent. "I'd rather see any man but Schacht get off," said the American prosecutor, and "the further prosecutions of industrialists . . . . . which have been planned, will have to be studied from the text of the opinion."
What he might have said was that it now had become an almost futile task either to indict or to try the Farben criminals. Unless an outraged public opinionwhen the truth is revealedwill smash down the pattern of immunity which has protected war criminals of two world wars.
With his acquittal, many of Schacht's close friends outside Germany, industrialists, financiers and politicians, breathed in relief from the fear that had been haunting them; fear that the vengeful tongue of a Schacht, if convicted, would have spilled the beans; a fear now abated because stupid men on a high bench had been persuaded to say that Schacht's guilt had not been "established beyond a reasonable doubt."
A verdict so bad that it outraged many of the German people themselves may give rise to the query whether the Nuremberg trial was arranged to provide a judicial warning of the hangman's noose to gangsters who may plan aggressive war in future; or to provide judicial safe havens for respectable criminals who created the gangsters thus condemneda crowning example of the unwritten law of the Farben jungle.
Following quickly on the heels of the Schacht fiasco was the announcement of an official economic mission to study the possibility of advancing United States Government funds to German industry to implement its controlled peace-time economy by a revival of the German import-export trade. This mission was headed by George Allen, as director of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and Howard C. Peterson, Jr., as assistant Secretary of War.
Time will reveal whether any Farben plants or Farben affiliates now in dire need of financial aid will be judged as deserving it by Mr. Allen, friend of Victor Emanuel, and director of Farben's General Aniline; or by Mr. Peterson, former member of the Cravath law firm which represented Farben, and official successor of that other ex-Cravath firm lawyer, John J.McCloy.
Then came a significant resignation at Nuremberg. Abraham Pomerantz, distinguished American attorney and Prosecutor of the industrial war criminals (who had asked me to serve as his advisor on I.G. Farben) quit the job in protest at the calibre of the Judges designated to try these cases.
Other reports, not confirmed, indicated that Dr. Herman Abs, one of the most powerful of Farben's directors, had been immunized in the British Zone, where he was acting as adviser to the English officials; and that Fritz Thyssen, safe in his pleasant quarters on the Island of Capri, was also immune from prosecution.
Meanwhile Schacht announced that he had a plan to solve "Germany's economic problems." Thyssen had already produced his plan for a German corporate state in his true-confessions book. And surely the Geheimrat Hermann Schmitz, with the help of nephew Max Ilgner and of Georg von Schnitzler, could supply a planif not convicted.
Schacht-Thyssen-Schmitzwhat a team that would be to rebuild German's peace time economy, and direct it jointly with a select group of Anglo-American industrialists, financed with American taxpayer's funds!
The foregoing constitutes a small part of the record, and of the proofs available that the conspiracy to save the Farben war criminals from punishment, to revive the Farben structure, and to renew the Farben carry-over tie-ups, here and elsewhere, is proceeding on schedule.
Just as Max Ilgner told his criminal associates in 1944 that it would be, this plot is proceeding in the pattern of another false peacetime tragedy which, in reality, is another intermission for rebuilding of a superstate and another era of secret preparation for World War III.
That the same influence which reaches into high places to make a treason's peace is also active in promoting friction among the victorious Allies of World War II may be in some respects the most dangerous manifestation of that cancer in the vital organs of government.
That Great Britain under Attlee, as under Churchill, has favored a soft peace for Farben and has changed little from its pre-war dependence upon cartel trade restrictions, and that Moscow has severely criticized the Anglo-American policy of hard talk and soft action regarding Farben has been apparent in many news items coming from London, from Berlin and from Moscow.
This book is not the place for appraisal of the post-war relations between the United States and Great Britain on one side and Russia on the other, nor to comment on the manners and tactics of Moscow or the pin prickings and vacillations of Washington.
It is, however, within the purposes of this book to point out that ample proofs have been recorded here of many aspects of the pattern of I.G. Farben which show a purpose always to divide and conquer, and that this pattern very definitely traces its slimy threads into the sabotage of the eradication of I.G. Farben's war potential by the same influences inside the Government at Washington which have been pressing our foreign policies and our stand in the United Nations away from a possible rapprochement with Russia.
The arguments heard that the recrudescence of Germany's armed might by a revival of Farben's industrial war potential may be desirable to provide a buffer, or a threat, to Russian expansion (call it imperialism, or demand for security as you will) appear as cockeyed and as vicious as would be a demand for the reorganization of Max Ilgner's spy ring in South America in order to help us protect the Panama Canal.
Readers of this book may perceive emerging now the shadow of the Frankenstein's monster rebuiltby folly, or by treasonno less alive in now socialistic Britain than in capitalistic United States. This creature may introduce that culmination of final world conquest for which Farben's leaders have already planned and made possible two World Wars.
Of what avail a victory at arms, with its ghastly sacrifice of sweat, and blood, and tears; of youth destroyed, or warped, or wreckedif out of it shall come another peace of Farben's pattern, a peace disguised this time as a union of nations to rule by force, by the atomic bomb, if you will, with men of Farben's choice to make up that super-state?
If that shall be the sacrifice and the victory and the profit, then this ghastly price will have been paid merely to yield our own destinies, and those of all the world, to the tender mercies of a supreme corporate state guided by men of Farben's choice; a union of nations, as a super-world-government, which, call it by what name you will, in reality will be the consummation of the world conquest planned by faceless Farben figures to be consummated by Farben's faithless dupes.