While Allied soldiers were invading Germany in 1944, the Nazis transferred its wealth to the West with the cooperation of Allied corporate elite, intelligence agencies and Swiss Banks. The Nazis owned as many shares of Standard Oil as the Rockefellers!
When he wrote Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile (1981) Paul Manning had the transcript of the planning meeting August 10, 1944 at Hotel Maison Rouge in Strasboug (left.) Below are excerpts from a summary by Dave Emory, who deserves credit for keeping this story alive.
"German industrialists must be prepared to finance the continuation of the Nazi Party, which would be forced to go underground, just as had the Maquis in France."
by Paul Manning
The Bormann organization controls corporate Germany and much of the corporate world. Martin Bormann, the organizational genius who was the "the power behind the throne" in Nazi Germany drafted the plan.
Hitler, his intuitions at peak level despite his crumbling physical and mental health, advised Bormann to 'Bury your treasure,or you will need it to begin a Fourth Reich.'
[SS Obergruppenfuhrer] Dr Scheid, [managing director at the Heshe company] presided at the meeting. Bormann told him: 'The steps to be taken...will determine the postwar future of Germany.' The Reishsleiter had added, 'German industry must realize that the war cannot now be won, and must take steps to prepare for a postwar commercial campaign which will in time insure the economic resurgence of Germany.'
A transcript of that meeting is in my possession. It is a captured German document from the files of the U.S. Treasury Department, and states who was present and what was said, as the economy of the Third Reich was projected onto a postwar profit-seeking track.
Dr. Scheid told the industrialists: "From now on, Germany industry must take steps in preparation for a postwar commercial campaign, with each industrial firm making new contacts and alliances with foreign firms. This must be done individually and without attracting any suspicion."
Dr. Scheid also affirmed, 'The ground must now be laid on the financial level for borrowing considerable sums from foreign countries after the war.'
As an example of the kind of support that had been most useful to Germany in the past, Dr. Scheid cited the fact that 'patents for stainless steel belonged to the Chemical Foundation, Inc. New York, and the Krupp Company of Germany, jointly, and that of the United States Steel Corporation, Carnegie, Illinois, American Steel & Wire, National Tube, etc., were thereby under an obligation to work with the Krupp concern.'
He also cited the Zeiss Company, the Leica Company, and the Hamburg-Amerika line as typical firms that had been especially effective in protecting German interests abroad. He gave New York addresses to the twelve men.
Dr. Bosse from the Armaments Ministry restated Bormann's belief that the war was all but lost, but that it would be continued by Germany until certain goals to insure the economic resurgence of Germany after the war had been achieved. He added that German industrialists must be prepared to finance the continuation of the Nazi Party, which would be forced to go underground, just as had the Maquis in France.
From this day, German industrial firms of all rank were to begin placing their funds--and, wherever possible, key manpower--abroad, especially in neutral countries. Dr. Bosse advised that 'two main banks can be used for the export of funds for firms who have made no prior arrangements; the Basler Handelsbank and Schweizerische Kreditanstalt of Zurich.' He also stated, 'There are a number of agencies in Switzerland which for a five percent commission will buy property in Switzerland for German firms, using Swiss cloaks.'
Dr. Bosse closed the meeting, observing that "after the defeat of Germany, the Nazi Party recognizes that certain of its best known leaders will be condemned as war criminals. However, in cooperation with the industrialists, it is arranging to place its less conspicuous but most important members with various German factories as technical experts or members of its research and designing offices.
Bormann set up 750 corporations in neutral countries, and these became repositories for the liquid wealth of the Third Reich. Overseas subsidiaries of key German corporations were also central to the realization of the Bormann assets. A breakdown by U.S. treasury investigators of these new 750 German firms was as follows: Portugal, 58; Spain, 112; Sweden, 233; Switzerland, 214; Turkey, 35; Argentina, 98.
Over half of the total German capital in Switzerland was used in setting up holding companies representing I.G. Farben, Merck, Siemens, Osram, Henkel, and others. A holding company may not trade in any form. It may only hold stock in other companies, but through this device the existing German firms, and the 750 new corporations established under the Bormann program, gave themselves absolute control over a postwar economic network of viable, prosperous companies that stretched from the Ruhr to the 'neutrals' of Europe and to the countries of South America; a control that continues today and is easily maintained through the bearer bonds or shares issued by these corporations to cloak for real ownership.
Bearer shares require no registration of identity, for such shares are exactly what they mean; the bearer of the majority shares controls the company without needing a vestige of proof as to how he acquired them. Thus the Germans who participated as a silent force in Bormann's postwar commercial campaign--which is sometimes referred to by aging nazis as 'Operation Eagle's Flight' or 'Aktion Adlerflug'-insured their command over the industrial and financial institutions that were to move the new Federal Republic of Germany back into the forefront of world economic leadership.