John Loftus, a former prosecutor in the
Justice Department's Nazi War Crimes Unit, said his research found that
Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a principal in the Union Banking
Corp. in Manhattan in the late 1930s and the 1940s.
Leading Nazi industrialists secretly owned
the bank at that time, Loftus said, and were moving money into it through
a second bank in Holland even after the United States declared war on Germany.
The bank was liquidated in 1951, Loftus said, and Bush's grandfather and
great-grandfather received $1.5 million from the bank as part of that dissolution.
"That's where the Bush family fortune came
from: It came from the Third Reich," Loftus said.
Loftus made his remarks during a speech
as part of the Sarasota Reading Festival. The author of "Unholy Trinity:
The Vatican, The Nazis and the Swiss Banks," Loftus documented the Swiss
bank accounts that harbored funds confiscated from Holocaust victims and
the participation of Italian priests in smuggling Nazi war criminals to
safe haven in Canada, Central and South America and the United States after
Although he said he had a file of paperwork
linking the bank and Prescott Bush to Nazi money, Loftus did not provide
that documentation Saturday.
Loftus pointed out that the Bush family
would not be the only American political dynasty to have ties to the "wrong
side of World War II." The Rockefellers had financial connections to Nazi
Germany, he said..
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Loftus also reminded his audience that
John F. Kennedy's father, an avowed isolationist and former ambassador
to Great Britain, profited during the 1930s and '40s from Nazi stocks that
"No one today blames the Democrats because
Jack Kennedy's father bought Nazi stocks," Loftus said. Still, he said,
it is important to understand these historical connections for what they
tell us about politics today. The World War II experience points out how
easy it was then -- and remains today -- to hide money in multinational
That money flows into American politics
today, he said, from "a series of multinational corporations behaving like
pirates. They don't care about ideology; they care about money."
Loftus' speech left many in tears.
"I am absolutely shocked," said Nancy Krauss
of Punta Gorda. "I wish this would have come out before the election. My
husband voted for Bush. I don't think he would have voted for him if he
would have known."