(Jailing Opinions) It is unfortunate that many people today still believe that Adolf Hitler and the “Nazi” Party were secretly funded by international Jewish bankers — and many — such as Catholic activist Jim Condit — even go so far as to claim that Hitler himself was a crypto-Jew.
All of these allegations can be traced back to charges made in the Jewish-Communist press in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s during Hitler’s rise to power — and the reason they made these claims should be self-evident — to undermine Hitler’s credibility and demoralize his ardent followers.
In fact, those who make these false claims fail to realize that in 1923 Hitler successfully sued a Jewish-communist newspaper in Germany for claiming he was financed by Jews — and was awarded a sizeable settlement.
As was brought up recently in our Comments Section, the primary source for these false allegations is the 1933 book The Money Sources of National Socialism: Three Conversations with Hitler published in Holland under the pseudonym “Sidney Warburg” — a fictitious member of the Warburg banking dynasty.
Immediately after its publication, this spurious book was withdrawn and most of the copies were destroyed — not at the behest of the National Socialists — but rather by the publisher himself, who realized that the discredited book was a forgery or hoax.
Most historians who have studied the book believe that Otto Strasser — a communist former member of the NS — produced this hoax as a way of seeking vengeance against Hitler for expelling him from the NSDAP.
After Strasser’s expulsion from the NS — and the murder of his brother Gregor during the Night of the Long Knives — he spent the rest of the war in exile as Germany’s “Public Enemy Number One” with a $500,000 bounty on his head for his ongoing efforts to bring about the downfall of Hitler.
There’s no doubt that early on, Germany still had many financial ties to Wall Street and international banks — after all, Weimar Germany was dominated by Jewish financiers — and these concerns continued to do business in the early 1930s with Germany in the hope that they could influence Germany to take a more moderate approach to their economic reforms and policies vis a vis the Jews.
However, severing these financial relationships couldn’t happen overnight — these banking and economic ties were complicated — which is why Hitler appointed Hjalmar Schacht, the brilliant German banker and economist, to oversee the “aryanization” of the economy and head the first Reichbank.
Eventually Schacht had a falling out with Hitler, and Hermann Abs replaced Schacht as head of the Reichbank — a position he held throughout the war — and then after the war during Germany’s reconstruction — because of Robi Mendelssohn’s recommendation.
The best and most reliable book on this subject is Who Financed Hitler: The Secret Funding of Hitler’s Rise to Power, 1919-1933 by James Pool — which demonstrates that Hitler received major financial backing — not from international Jewish bankers — but rather from powerful German industrialists who feared losing their businesses if the communists which threatened Germany were ever to take over.
In fact, Pool points out that the prominent Jewish industrialist and financier, Paul Silverberg, offered to back Hitler in the 1930s, but Hitler refused — instead, Silverberg’s holdings were “aryanized” and he was forced out of Germany, fleeing to Switzerland.
The largest Jewish-owned bank in Germany at the time was Mendelssohn & Co. — which Robert “Robi” Mendelssohn had inherited upon the death of his father, Franz — though Robi chose not to be involved with the running of the bank, which was overseen by the Jewish banker, Rudolf Löb.
As the following article points out, the National Socialists “aryanized” Mendelssohn & Co. over a period of many years, but contrary to what many historians allege, not only was Robi Mendelsshohn fairly compensated for his ownership interest in the bank — he was also allowed to stay in Germany throughout the war — and unlike Hjalmar Schacht, Mendelssohn was never sent to a concentration camp — nor was he “gassed.”
Some may claim that because the Germans allowed Mendelssohn to remain in Germany, this is “proof” that he was being “protected” because of his “secret” financial support, but the reality is that Mendelssohn was a “mischling” — his father Franz had converted to Christianity, and his mother — Marie Westphal — was an ethnic German. And Robi’s wife appears to also have been an ethinic German. Many such “mischlings” who were married to ethnic Germans were allowed to remain and live openly in Germany during the Third Reich.
In fact, Joseph Goebbels’ diaries reveal that he had many discussions about the status these “mischlings” — Goebbels advocated that they be expelled as soon as possible as security threats, while Hitler dismissed this idea as too difficult — and wanted to resolve the issue after the end of the war.
But if any Jewish banker were in a position to secretly fund Adolf Hitler, it would surely have been Robi Mendelssohn — but instead, he voluntarily sold his shares to the German government, and then turned around and became an asset to British intelligence — proving Goebbels’ position to be justified.
The story of Robi Mendelssohn is certainly crucial to our understanding of the inner workings of high German finance before, during, and after the war — and the following in-depth essay from the revisionist website — Jailing Opinions — offers us a unique insight into this nexus of power and finance:
…[The] key promoter of Hermann Abs in 1946 [as head of the post-war Reichbank] was not some undercover SS man straight out of Frederick Forsyth’s “The Odessa File,” nor some reactionary British aristocrat.
In fact the British occupation authorities were lobbied to press ahead with Abs’s rehabilitation by Robi Mendelssohn, a partner in the long-established Jewish banking firm Mendelssohn & Co.
Reading the accounts by [historians] Tom Bower, Adam LeBor, and Michael Pinto-Duschinsky, one would assume that the Mendelssohn family were victims of brutal Nazi rapacity, facilitated by Abs, and that Robi Mendelssohn should have been first in the queue to demand Abs’s prosecution as a ‘war criminal’.
Yet in fact Mendelssohn was the prime mover insisting that Abs was the man the British should immediately get onside in a key role to rebuild postwar Germany.
Who was Robi Mendelssohn? Why was he in a position to give high-level advice to the postwar British authorities? And why has his role remained secret until now, more than 75 years after the war?
Robert von Mendelssohn (known to friends, family and MI6/MI5 officers as Robi) was born in 1902 at a palatial residence in the Grunewald district of western Berlin, built for his father Franz, head of the family bank Mendelssohn & Co. The German Kaiser Wilhelm II had fourteen years earlier granted the family the noble prefix ‘von’ in recognition of their importance to the Reich’s economy.
The Mendelssohn bank was founded in 1795 by Joseph Mendelssohn, eldest son of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, and until the 1920s all of its partners (including the composer’s father Abraham) were family members. The firm came to specialise in government debt and overseas trade.
Franz von Mendelssohn died in June 1935 aged 69. As his Financial Times obituary emphasised, he remained senior partner of the bank and died at his home: “Rumours that he was interned in a concentration camp are entirely erroneous, neither he nor any member of his family ever having been in such a camp.”
His 34-year-old son Robi was now in principle head of the family and already a partner in the bank, but was regarded as more of a playboy entertainer: his role was to amuse visiting VIPs in Berlin theatres and nightclubs. Adolf Hitler had by this time been Chancellor of Germany for two and a half years, but it was three years after Franz’s death that moves were made to “Aryanise” the bank.
The initial problem in 1935 came not from the National Socialist government but within the family. Both Franz and his cousin Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, a fellow partner in the bank, died during 1935. In the ensuing family reshuffle Franz’s widow Marie was registered as a ‘managing partner’ but Paul’s widow Elsa was not.
In the meantime Robi cemented his credentials with the government by volunteering in 1936 for four months basic training in the German Army, and in 1938 he married the architect Liselotte von Bonin. It was during that summer – five years into National Socialism – that Mendelssohn’s bank began to reach the end of its almost 150-year history. Even then, records show that the government’s preferred solution was to transfer Jewish-owned shares to Robi, who classed as a mischling, or half-Jew.
A major issue here was that the bank held about 27 million Reichsmarks in “lines of credit” for overseas trade. During the financial crisis of 1931 these lines of credit had been frozen and were subject to renegotiation every year under the terms of the ‘Standstill Agreement’. Hermann Abs was one of the main German negotiators. In principle the bank’s proprietors were responsible and were any of the proprietors to withdraw, foreign creditors could demand immediate payment in foreign currency, which would mean seizure of assets.
By taking over Mendelssohn’s, any German bank would be doing the Jewish partners a favour not robbing them, as these Jewish partners would then be freed from the threat of having their foreign assets seized.
A further issue during the takeover was that non-Jewish employees of the bank were concerned that the partners were getting a good deal while leaving the employees vulnerable to pay cuts, redundancy or threats to their pensions (a situation familiar to every reader whose employers have been taken over). Jewish employees as opposed to the partners and owners were of course in a much worse position: they were dismissed at the end of 1938 when the bank went into liquidation.
It became clear during 1938 that the preferred solution was for Deutsche Bank to take over Mendelssohn’s, and Abs handled the negotiations. Among the ‘crimes’ commonly attributed to Hermann Abs was this Deutsche Bank takeover of Mendelssohn & Co., the largest private bank in Germany, as well as its Amsterdam branch in 1940.
As is standard in such cases, the tale is of innocent Jewish businessmen having their property confiscated, their art collections seized by the state. However the truth is that the Amsterdam branch of Mendelssohn’s, which had become a separate entity under the control of Jewish crook Fritz Mannheimer, had already become insolvent in August 1939 – eight months before the German invasion of the Netherlands.
As noted above, the position of Mendelssohn’s Bank in Germany was far more complicated, mainly due to its international debt obligations. From 1938 to 1943 it continued to operate as “Mendelssohn in Liquidation”, with Robi as the most important family partner – indeed by 1942 the sole partner – and by 1943 the liquidation was almost completed, with Deutsche Bank having absorbed almost all its assets and liabilities.
Meanwhile several other family members were given financial compensation for the value of their shareholdings in the liquidated bank, and very importantly were freed from their obligations regarding its debts. These included Robi’s brother-in-law Paul Kempner, a former partner in the bank who emigrated to the USA in 1939…
…Unlike his brother-in-law Kempner, however, Robi was not overtly involved in politics. For most of the decade between his father’s death and the end of the war, therefore, Robi Mendelssohn continued to play an important role in what had been Germany’s largest private bank, especially in regard to international trade (limited of course after 1939 to neutral and German-allied countries).
The German government evidently felt that Robi Mendelssohn was one half-Jew who could be trusted. They were wrong.
[CFT Note: It is likely that given his family’s long-standing relationship with the Prussian aristocracy, Robi Mendelssohn could have been aware of the 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler fomented among Hitler’s Prussian generals — the 20 July Plot or Operation Valkyrie.]
In the summer of 1943 senior MI6 officer John Cordeaux reported to the Foreign Office (in a document revealed here for the first time) that during a trip to Stockholm, Mendelssohn had made contact with the MI6 representative in the Swedish capital, Harry Carr.
Carr was a veteran MI6 officer who first worked for British intelligence in Russia soon after the Bolshevik revolution. From 1928 to 1941 he had been in charge of the important MI6 station in Helsinki, mainly focused on anti-Soviet operations, then relocated to Sweden after Finland joined the German side in 1941.
This sensational contact from a high-level Berlin source had to be handled at top level within MI6 and the Foreign Office, whose head Sir Alexander Cadogan had written to MI6 chief Sir Stewart Menzies only a few weeks earlier about the extreme sensitivity of such operations:
“The danger grows in proportion as the enemy national concerned is a person of standing in his own country, and I would say that no direct contact whatever should be made (without prior reference to myself) with any really prominent enemy national, such as a Cabinet Minister, a General or a senior official. These last are precisely the sort of contacts that are likely to become known and that are most likely to arouse Russian suspicions; and even if it ever seemed desirable to authorize a contact of this kind, it would, I think, simultaneously be necessary to inform the Russians of it and probably the Americans as well.”
Hence Cordeaux felt it necessary to inform Cadogan (through his intelligence liaison officer Peter Loxley) about the Mendelssohn case:
“With reference to Sir Alexander Cadogan’s personal and secret letter to my Chief of 18th June, and his letter C/3646 in reply, one of the members on the staff of our late representative in Helsinki, now working in Stockholm, has contacted Robert Mendelsohn [sic], a member of the German Mendelssohn Banking Firm who has been visiting Stockholm on official German foreign exchange business.
“This is a most interesting and valuable contact which we have directed the officer concerned to follow up. Our officer handling this contact is an experienced, able and very discreet man, and the contact will in any case be supervised by our late Helsinki representative whom you know but, as Mendelsohn is a man of some importance, I thought it best to inform you in accordance with the above-quoted letters.”
After this initial contact with MI6, Mendelssohn made two further visits to Stockholm during the second half of 1943, and one in 1944, on each occasion meeting with MI6 and with an unnamed American diplomat (probably OSS officer Francis Cunningham). He appears to have been partly acting as an intermediary on behalf of German military intelligence officer Georg Hansen, right-hand man to Abwehr chief and arch-plotter Admiral Wilhelm Canaris.
[CFT Note: Wilhelm Canaris was the head of German military intelligence — and eventually took an active role in subverting and sabotaging the German war effort — for which he was eventually arrested and executed for treason.]
In 1944 Hansen became deputy chief of the SS intelligence organisation RSHA, where he continued working with anti-Hitler conspirators who attempted to assassinate the Führer in the failed Stauffenberg bomb plot of 20th July 1944. Hansen was arrested on 22nd July, convicted, and hanged on 8th September 1944.
Another influential associate of Mendelssohn’s was the lawyer Carl Langbehn, regarded by historians as in some sense an associate of Heinrich Himmler. Langbehn had preceded Mendelssohn to Stockholm six months earlier to meet with Bruce Hopper (a Harvard political science professor working for OSS), then travelled to Switzerland in September 1943.
In Berne — just a few weeks after Mendelssohn’s first Stockholm mission — Langbehn discussed peace proposals with future CIA chief Allen Dulles and his fellow OSS officer Gero von Gaevernitz, an economist of German-Jewish origin.
It’s not clear just how much Himmler knew about these peace feelers — and to what extent he would have been prepared to act against Hitler if necessary to secure a separate peace with the Western Allies – or indeed to what extent Himmler and Hitler were working together all along to pursue these peace feelers: this remains one of the unsolved mysteries of the Second World War, and is likely to be explained more fully when David Irving published the second volume of his long-awaited biography of Himmler.
Allegedly, unfortunately for Langbehn, an Allied telegram identifying him in relation to the trip to Switzerland was intercepted by the Gestapo: whether or not Himmler had earlier approved of the mission, he now had to dissociate himself. Langbehn was arrested and executed in October 1944.
The grim fates of Hansen and Langbehn have long been known to historians, though there remains a good deal of mystery about the Langbehn-Himmler story. But until today nothing has been written about Robi Mendelssohn, who survived all of these treason arrests and trials entirely unscathed.
What is especially interesting is that at the end of October 1946 Mendelssohn arrived in London and told a version of the Hansen and Langbehn stories to MI5. Mendelssohn already knew, for example, that Langbehn’s arrest was due to the interception of an Allied telegram. The half-Jewish banker clearly still had high-level Berlin contacts, at least until mid-1944.
Most likely, after the failure of the July bomb plot, Mendelssohn decided to retire to his country home and keep out of politics. As a result he was never troubled personally by the Gestapo, even though his wife (who had her own range of contacts in Berlin artistic circles) was briefly detained during investigations of the July bomb plot conspiracy.
In 1943 he had paid the SS to secure his mother’s emigration to Sweden: she returned to Germany in 1946 and died in 1957 aged 90. The only casualty of the National Socialist era in Mendelssohn’s immediate family was an aunt who committed suicide in 1942, when she heard that she faced arrest.
An October 1946 entry in the diary of Guy Liddell, deputy director-general of MI5, reveals that it was Robi Mendelssohn who pushed for [Hermann] Abs to be given a key postwar role in the German economy. Robi, wrote Liddell, “has certain constructive proposals to make. He thinks it is hopeless to expect agreement with the Russians to run the whole of Germany as an economic unit. The only thing to do is to accept the ‘iron curtain’ and try and put the West on to a sound economic footing – to do this it is necessary to consult with experts in all the various fields, i.e. banking, industry, agriculture, etc..
“Robi could interrogate suitable people and they could, if necessary, be got over here. He thinks that if this is not done, and advantage is not taken of the swing to the Right in the recent elections, Germany will gradually sink into communism and starvation. He talked to Ned Reid [Sir Edward Reid, a member of the Baring banking family who was MI5’s main expert on City matters] about this, who agreed with his views and put him into touch with Playfair, the financial expert in the office of the Control Commission in London. [This was the future Sir Edward Playfair, a Treasury civil servant who later became head of the Ministry of Defence.] He told Playfair about his proposals and mentioned the kind of people he had in mind: one was a man called Abs, who was in the Reichsbank.
“Playfair took the view that it would be impossible to use a man who had served throughout the war in an institution which had been supporting the Nazi regime. Robi said that if this attitude was maintained, it would be really impossible to do anything. It was clearly no good digging out some old financier who had been out of the swim for the last fifteen years. He suggested that I should see Playfair and try and get some sense into him.”
It seems that at Mendelssohn’s instigation, the British (and more reluctantly the Americans) did indeed ‘come to their senses’. The Americans (in a hangover from the Morgenthau Plan) had wanted the separate German regions (Länder) to have separate currencies: indeed until July 1947 the US occupation policy was governed by a Joint Chiefs of Staff directive that forbade their authorities “to take any steps to strengthen [the] German financial structure…”
…The introduction of the Deutsche Mark was one of the ways in which Hermann Abs shaped the postwar world, along the lines suggested by Robi Mendelssohn to British intelligence: what could be termed an anti-Morgenthau Plan.
Instead of permanently weakening the German economy, the Western allies should take steps to build up the Federal Republic. Hermann Abs’s other major contribution to this plan was his successful renegotiation of German debts (including both pre-war debts and reparations for the First and Second World Wars): the London Debt Agreement (Londoner Schuldenabkommen) was signed in February 1953, with Abs leading the German side. Not coincidentally, at almost exactly the same time the West German Bundestag ratified an agreement for long-term German payments to the new Israeli state.