Chapter 4 – Western capitalists serve the Nazi war machine
by Peter Cohen
The Nazi regime offered two main attractions for capitalists in the US, Germany, Sweden and elsewhere:
- Hitler had promised to rid the world of the Judeo-Bolshevist pestilence and annihilate the Soviet Union
- Large profits could be made in Nazi Germany.
The Nazi commitment to destroy the Soviet Union and fulfill the lost promise of the War of Intervention 1918-1922 was the primary driver for the holocaust known as World War 2, which in turn was the framework for the judeocide known as the Holocaust.
Capitalists in the US, Sweden and other countries cooperated enthusiastically with the Hitler regime and played a vital role as suppliers to the Nazi war machine both before and during World War 2.
The crucial contributions of American corporations to the Nazi war effort are particularly interesting in light of the Forum for Living History’s claim that the Soviet Union could not have defeated the Nazis without aid from the US.
Major US corporations with operations in Nazi Germany included Ford, General Motors, Standard Oil (now Exxon), IBM, ITT, Du Pont, Union Carbide, Westinghouse, General Electric, Gillette, Goodrich, Singer, Eastman Kodak, Coca-Cola, Alcoa (Aluminum Corporation of America) and Dow Chemical. American law firms, investment companies and banks were also eager to share in the profits to be made in a country where the working class was terrorized. They included the Chase Manhattan, J. P. Morgan as well as Dillon, Read and Company, and the Union Bank of New York, owned by Brown Brothers & Harriman together with German capitalists.
As of 7 December 1941, capital invested in Nazi Germany by US corporations amounted to approximately USD 475 million, which is about USD 6.7 billion in today’s money.
The value of assets owned by US corporations in Germany showed very strong growth under the Hitler regime. For example, the net worth of the IBM operation in Germany increased from 7.7 million Reichsmarks in 1934 to more than 14 million in 1938. Ford did even better, as the value of its assets in Germany rose from 25.8 million Reichsmarks in 1933 to 60.4 million in 1939.
Earnings reported by US-owned corporations in Germany showed similar trends, especially after Hitler launched the attacks on Poland and the Soviet Union. Profits generated by the Ford subsidiary were 1.2 million Reichsmarks in 1939, 1.7 million in 1940, 1.8 million in 1941, 2.0 million in 1942, and 2.1 million in 1943. Ford subsidiaries in German-occupied France, Holland, and Belgium contributed to the Nazi war machine and also reported satisfactory profits. For example, the French subsidiary had not been performing well until 1940, when it started supplying the Germans. In 1941 it registered earnings of 58 million francs. This prompted a letter of congratulations from Edsel Ford, Henry Ford’s son.
Opel, a subsidiary of General Motors, made so much money during the war that the German Ministry of Economics would not allow the figures to be published. They would have had an adverse effect on the morale of the German population, which was subject to an increasingly stricter austerity program.
IBM also enjoyed strong growth in earnings, both in Germany and occupied France, where it had to build new plants to handle the inflow of orders from the Nazis.
Slave labor boosts profits
US-owned operations in Germany, including Coca-Cola, also benefited from slave labor, i.e. workers who were forcibly recruited by the SS from German-occupied countries, as well as prisoners of wars and inmates of concentration camps. Ford and General Motors made particularly intensive use of the workers supplied by the SS.
Engines, vehicle fuel and lubricating oil
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for the German attack on the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941. Many of the trucks and tanks used by the Wehrmacht were fitted with engines produced by Ford and GM subsidiaries in Germany.
According to Tobias Jersak, a German historian who specialized in studies of fuel delivered by US corporations to the Germans, Operation Barbarossa could not have been launched without these supplies.
Bank for International Settlements
The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) was established in Switzerland in 1930 by a group of central banks, including the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which is Federal only in name. It is privately owned. When it was established in 1913 the owners included the Chase Manhattan Bank of New York (controlled by the Rockefellers), the Rothschild Banks of London and Berlin, the Lazard Brothers Bank of Paris, the Warburg Bank of Hamburg and Amsterdam and the Goldman Sachs Bank.
The initiative for the BIS came from two of Hitler’s financial advisers: Hjalmar Schacht, Nazi Minister of Economics and president of the Reichsbank, and Emil Puhl, a leading German banker. Schacht knew that Germany would eventually go to war again, and was convinced of the need for an institution that would enable international financial leaders to cooperate irrespective of whether their countries were belligerents. In addition to the Fed, the owners of the BIS included the Bank of England, the Reichsbank, the Bank of Italy, the Bank of France, and the First National Bank of New York, in which J.P. Morgan had a major interest.
The charter of the BIS stipulated that it could not be seized, closed or interfered with if a state of war existed between any or all of the countries in which the central banks were located, and the charter was approved by all the relevant governments. The owners of the BIS stated publicly that its function was to serve as a conduit for payment of reparations by Germany as agreed with the Allies after the end of World War 1.
The true function of the bank was to enable flows of cash and gold between banks and investors in the US and the UK on the one hand and Nazi Germany on the other for various purposes, including financing of the Nazi war machine as well as payment of royalties and dividends on shareholdings. .
For example, in Trading with the Enemy: An Exposé of The Nazi-American Money Plot 1933–1949 (2007), Charles Higham describes a meeting at the BIS in 1944, when the Red Army was driving the German army out of Belorussia and eastern Poland, British and American troops were battling the Wehrmacht in Italy, and preparations for the D-landings were virtually complete. The president of the BIS was Thomas Harrington McKittrick, an American. His executive staff included bankers from Germany, Japan, Italy, the UK and the US. The subjects discussed at the meeting included gold worth USD 378 million (approximately USD 4.45 billion today) which Hitler’s Reichsbank had deposited in the BIS during the period following Pearl Harbor.
The gold was intended for use by the leaders of the German government after the end of the war. Some of the gold had been had been looted from the national banks of Austria, Holland, Belgium, and Czechoslovakia. Some of it had been melted down from fillings, cigarette lighters and wedding rings previously owned by Jews in Poland.
For the BIS and the bankers in the West, it was business as usual while the carnage of World War 2 continued. And for major US corporations as well. The brief sketch of typical dealings with the Nazis given below is based largely on Higham’s book.
The Rockefeller connection
The role of the BIS as a secret connection between the Nazis and Western capitalists during the war reflected the intricate and geographically widespread connections between bankers that had existed for many years. For example, in 1936 the German-owned J. Henry Schroder Bank of New York, which helped to finance the Nazi government by raising funds in the US, formed a partnership with the Rockefellers that included a new firm named Schroder, Rockefeller and Company Investment Bankers.
The owners of the new firm included Avery Rockefeller, Bruno von Schröder, a German banker and Nazi backer resident in London, and Kurt von Schröder, a director of the BIS and a member of the Gestapo. The firm’s lawyers were John Foster Dulles (later US Secretray of State under Eisenhower) and his brother Allen Dulles (later head of the CIA), who was on the Board of the Schroder bank in New York. The Paris branch of the Chase Manhattan (owned by the Rockefellers) was linked to Schroder, as was the pro-Nazi Banque de Worms and Standard Oil’s subsidiary in France. Several directors of this subsidiary were directors of the Banque de Paris et De Pays-Bas, which was also connected with the Nazis.
The above is only one example of the close and profitable relations between Western bankers and the people who ordered the Holocaust. These relations have been known for some time, e.g. Higham’s book was first published in 1983. But Western mainstream historians, mass media and the Swedish government’s Forum for Living History are apparently uninterested in this aspect of the background to the Holocaust.
IBM as an enabler of the Holocaust
The main source of information on IBM’s comprehensive dealings with the Nazis is Edwin Black’s IBM and the Holocaust (2001). The book has apparently not been translated into Swedish.
Black shows that IBM was a key enabler of the Holocaust. IBM technology was also applied throughout the German civilian and military infrastructure.
According to Black, IBM’s president Thomas J. Watson entered into a strategic business alliance with the Nazi government soon after Hitler came to power. The Nazi regime became IBM’s biggest customer outside the US, and the alliance continued throughout World War 2. “IBM and the Nazis jointly designed, and IBM exclusively produced, technological solutions” based on IBM’s punch-card technology. This enabled efficient identification of Communists and other political opponents, as well as Jews in general. In Poland, IBM technology was the core of a tailored system for administration of railways, including transportation of Jews to Auschwitz.
IBM’s subsidiaries in Germany and Poland made enormous profits during World War 2, which were transmitted to IBM in the US as royalties through the BIS. IBM recovered all its assets in Poland after the end of the war. However, Black appears to believe that the relationship between IBM and the Third Reich was an exceptional case.
The Forum for Living History claims to be devoted to spreading information about the Holocaust. But a search for “IBM” at www.levandehistoria.se gave no results.
US General Electric and Krupp
The vital role of the Krupp corporation in supporting Hitler and launching World War 2 was illustrated in the previous chapter in the excerpt from the proceedings of the Nuremberg Trial, which began in 1945.
In the same year, General Electric, a giant American company with international operations, was on trial in a US court, accused of criminal conspiracy with Krupp both before and during World War 2. Among other things, the conspiracy had resulted in a considerable rise in the cost of the US war effort, and had also generated substantial subsidies for Hitler’s rearmament program as well as the German war machine.
The conspiracy started in the 1930s and centered on tungsten carbide (also known as carboloy), which because of its hardness is highly valued as a component in dies and systems for machining metal as well as in ammunition. Both GE and Krupp had patents for certain types of tungsten carbide, but the patents were not strong enough to form an international monopoly. So in the finest tradition of free competition, the two companies agreed to cooperate in a secret cartel which would control the world market price of carboloy.
The agreement stipulated that GE would not sell carboloy outside the Western hemisphere, and would pay royalties on sales within the hemisphere to Krupp, which had been donating funds to the Nazi party for years. The royalties were paid through the BIS.
GE had a near-monopoly on carboloy in the US, which enabled the company to maintain high prices and restrict supplies. When US industrial companies began purchasing large quantities of carboloy in connection with production of war materiel, they were paying well over ten times the price that Krupp was charging in Germany – when they could persuade GE to make deliveries.
The US Senate Committee on Military Affairs subsequently charged that the GE-Krupp arrangement had created a bottleneck in production of tungsten carbide. “In contrast with the situation in Germany, the present drastic shortage of this essential material in this country is notorious,” said John Henry Lewin, special assistant to the Attorney General. “The need to produce it, to retool our manufacturing plants with it, and to instruct workmen in the use of such tools has constituted one of the principal bottlenecks in our production program.”
General Electric, its subsidiaries and a number of company managers were found guilty in a US court in 1947 on five counts of criminal conspiracy with Friedrich Krupp A.G. of Essen, Germany.
GE was a major shareholder in the German company A.E.G., which made substantial financial contributions to the Nazi party. The directors of the company included four Americans. However, only the German directors of A.E.G were tried at Nuremburg.
General Electric had enough influence in Washington to ensure that US and British bombing raids on Germany during World War 2 did not target A.E.G. plants. This was confirmed by the United States Strategic Bombing Survey’s “German Electrical Equipment Industry Report” in January 1947.
Ford and GM trucks and tanks for the Wehrmacht
According to a 1974 report printed by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
The outbreak of war in September 1939 resulted inevitably in the full conversion by GM and Ford of their Axis plants [plants in Nazi Germany] to the production of military aircraft and trucks. On the ground, GM and Ford subsidiaries built nearly 90 percent of the armored ‘mule’ 3-ton half-trucks (see below) and more than 70 percent of the Reich’s medium and heavy-duty trucks. These vehicles, according to American intelligence reports, served as ‘the backbone of the German Army transportation system’.
The “mule” (German Maultier) truck was a half-track vehicle that could traverse difficult terrain, such as muddy roads on the Eastern front or desert sands in Africa. It was a re-engineered version of the Opel “Blitz” truck, of which about 100,000 were delivered to the German army. The Blitz was powered by a 6-cylinder engine that had been developed in the US for GM’s Buick cars. Opel was the largest supplier of trucks to the Wehrmacht, and Ford was the second largest.
About 50% of the tanks produced in Germany during the war came from Ford and GM, according to Reinhold Billstein, Karola Fings, Anita Kugler and Nicholas Levis in Working for the Enemy: Ford, General Motors, and Forced Labor during the Second World War (2000).
On 20 December 1922 the New York Times reported that Henry Ford was one of Adolf Hitler’s financial backers, and that
The wall behind his desk in Hitler’s private office is decorated with a large picture of Henry Ford. In the antechamber there is a large table covered with books, nearly all of which are a translation of a book written and published by Henry Ford.
It is therefore not surprising that in an article in the Detroit News in 1931 Hitler was quoted as saying “I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration”.
It is unclear whether Hitler’s admiration was also based on the close relationships that Ford had developed with large German companies that were backing the Nazis. In 1928 Ford’s assets in Germany were merged with IG Farben, which acquired a 40% holding in Ford’s German subsidiary, and Carl Bosch of IG Farben became head of the company. Ford’s son Edsel was elected to the Board of IG Farben’s subsidiary in the US.
The fact that Henry Ford had sold an automobile plant to the Soviet Union in 1932 did not diminish Hitler’s appreciation of him, because they both were convinced that Western civilization was menaced by Communists, Jews and labor unions. In 1938 Ford received the highest honor that the Third Reich could give to a foreigner, the Grand Cross of the German Eagle.
Ford repaid his admirer by supplying not only about one-third of the trucks the Wehrmacht needed, but also strategic raw materials, including rubber.
While Ford in Germany presented a gift of 35,000 Reichmarks to Adolf Hitler on his 50th birthday in April 1939, Ford in the US was not so enthusiastic about making money by supporting the Western war effort. Following the fall of France in June 1940, the US government asked Ford to manufacture Rolls-Royce engines under license as inputs for production of British fighter planes. Ford refused.
A report by the US Army in September 1945 stated that the Ford operation in the Third Reich was “an arsenal of Nazism, at least for military vehicles” and had the “consent” of the parent company in Dearborn.
Many of the Ford trucks were produced by slave labor. According to Working for the Enemy, enslaved workers were kept behind barbed wire at the Ford plants in Cologne and Berlin. They worked 12 hours a day, with a 15-minute break. They were fed 200 grams of bread and coffee for breakfast. No lunch was provided. Dinner consisted of spinach and a few potatoes, or soup made from turnip leaves.
A subsidiary of Ford’s operation in Germany called Arendt GmbH specialized in machining components for military aircraft. This company was also involved in development of turbines for the V-2 rockets that were fired at civilian targets in London.
Before World War 2 ended, Ford subsidiaries in Germany and France received compensation from the Nazi government for damage caused by Allied bombings. But Ford management wasn’t satisfied. In 1965 the company appealed to the US Foreign Claims Settlement Commission for more money, although it admitted that most of the products destroyed by the bombings were actually war materiel to be used by the Germans. The Commission paid compensation to Ford, but it reduced the amount because it discovered that some of the products had been destroyed by flooding, not by bombing.
After the German invasion of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 a number of Americans, including GM shareholders, criticized General Motors for continuing to do business with Hitler. They asked GM to divest its assets in Germany. GM’s Board Chairman Alfred P. Sloan said that divesting subsidiaries in Germany would be a mistake, as they were “highly profitable”. In a letter to a shareholder, Sloan wrote that Nazi policies in Germany “should not be considered the business of the management of General Motors”.
According to Bradford Snell, a former US Senate counsel and US anti-trust attorney,
“General Motors was far more important to the Nazi war machine than Switzerland”, and that Albert Speer, German Minister of Armaments and War Production during World War 2, told him in 1977 that Hitler “would never have considered invading Poland” without synthetic fuel technology provided by General Motors (Washington Post, 30 November 1998).
GM’s contribution to the Nazi war machine was not limited to trucks and synthetic fuel technology. Bendix Aviation, a GM-controlled company in the US, supplied Siemens & Halske A. G. in Germany with data on automatic pilots and aircraft instruments. After the invasion of Poland, Germany was officially at war with Great Britain and France, although the latter two did not start military operations (see Chapter 9). In 1940 Bendix Aviation supplied the Bosch company with technology for aircraft-engine starters as well as diesel engines. Bosch paid royalties to Bendix through the BIS.
GM’s director of international operations was James Mooney. Like Henry Ford he was honored with the Grand Cross of the German Eagle. He met with Hitler in Berlin shortly after the Nazis invaded Poland.
The subjects of their talks presumably included the conversion of the main GM plant at Rüsselsheim to production of military aircraft and propulsion systems for the Junker JU 88, one of the most effective bombers in the Luftwaffe. Mooney was directly involved in the conversion program. In February 1940 Mooney was again in Germany for talks with Herman Goering, commander of the Luftwaffe. Mooney then personally inspected the plant at Rüsselsheim.
Like Henry Ford, senior executives of GM were not anxious to convert production in the US to war materiel. According to Bradford Snell, a company document shows that they told shareholders that GM’s automobile assembly lines in Detroit were “not adaptable to the manufacture of other products” such as airplanes.
DuPont and Standard Oil
By the end of World War 1 the DuPont corporation was the world’s largest producer of explosives and one of the largest chemical companies. The DuPont family controlled General Motors.
IG Farben and Krupp had arranged for German industrial corporations to contribute a sum equal to one-half of one percent of their total salary costs to the Nazi Party. GM’s Opel subsidiary was one of them. DuPont was fully aware that it was subsidizing the Nazis.
In the US, DuPont funded an organization called the Black Legion, which terrorized workers who tried to form unions at GM’s automobile plants. Like the Nazis, their methods included arson and murder.
Du Pont, GM and the Rockefeller-owned Standard Oil of New Jersey cooperated with IG Farben to form a jointly owned company in Germany, Ethyl GmbH. This company built plants that supplied synthetic leaded tetraethyl fuel for military vehicles. The three American companies had patents on the fuel. Bradford Snell quotes from German records captured during the war:
The fact that since the beginning of the war we could produce lead-tetraethyl is entirely due to the circumstance that, shortly before, the Americans (Du Pont, GM and Standard Oil) had presented us with the production plants complete with experimental knowledge. Without lead-tetraethyl the present method of warfare would be unthinkable.
The long, profitable association between Standard Oil and IG Farben was deadly for Jews and non-Jews. It is described in detail in Joseph Borkin’s The Crime and Punishment of IG Farben, 1978 (published in Sweden as Hitler och IG Farben, 1978). This book has evidently not been read by anyone at the Forum for Living History.
International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT)
ITT was started in 1920 and by the start of World War 2 had become a giant in the global market. It was headed by Sosthenes Behn, who had established close ties with J.P. Morgan, one of the most powerful investment banks in New York. In 1924 Morgan helped Behn acquire Compañia Telefónica de España, which had a monopoly on telecommunications in Spain. In 1930 he acquired several companies in Germany, including AEG.
In 1933, the year Hitler came to power, Behn met the German dictator in Berchtesgaden and was later introduced to Baron Kurt von Schröder, whose family had close ties with the Rockefellers in New York (see above). Schröder was in direct contact with the top levels of the Nazi party and the German banking sector, and for a number of years was the German representative in the BIS.
Among other things, Schröder helped ITT to acquire a substantial shareholding in the Focke-Wulff company, which produced military aircraft for the Luftwaffe. ITT became a major supplier to the Nazi war machine, not least in terms of advanced communication systems. ITT continued to supply these after the US entered the war, and they were used by the Nazis to crack the American diplomatic code. Throughout World War 2, ITT plants in Germany and in neutral countries such as Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain delivered crucial equipment to the German armed forces.
According to Charles Higham,
After Pearl Harbor the German army, navy, and air force contracted with ITT for the manufacture of switchboards, telephones, alarm gongs, buoys, air raid warning devices, radar equipment, and thirty thousand fuses per month for artillery shells… This was to increase to fifty thousand per month by 1944. In addition, ITT supplied ingredients for the rocket bombs that fell on London, selenium cells for dry rectifiers, high-frequency radio equipment, and fortification and field communication sets. Without this supply of crucial materials it would have been impossible for the German air force to kill American and British troops, for the German army to fight the Allies, for England to have been bombed, or for Allied ships to have been attacked at sea.
Anthony Sampson, The Sovereign State of I.T.T. (1973),
Thus while ITT Focke-Wulff planes were bombing Allied ships, and ITT communication lines were passing information to German submarines, ITT direction-finders were saving other ships from torpedoes. Schröder continued to promote ITT’s interests in Germany throughout the war and facilitated the company’s contributions to the SS through the BIS as late as 1944, when World War 2 was still raging.
Several of ITT’s plants in Germany were damaged by Allied bombing raids. After the war’s end ITT received USD 27 million (approximately USD 287 million in today’s money) in compensation for the damage.
The Wallenbergs lend a hand
Naturally, American capitalists were not the only ones to realize that life under the Nazis was full of interesting business opportunities for anyone who was willing to lend a hand in the crusade.
Jacob and Marcus Wallenberg, Raoul Wallenberg’s uncles, cooperated eagerly in complex financial dealings with IG Farben, Bosch and the Nazi government. Both Farben and Bosch were deeply involved in preparations for war and made intensive use of the slave laborers delivered by the SS from Poland and the Soviet Union. Farben also supplied Zyklon B, the gas used in the death chambers at concentration camps.
Swedish readers would undoubtedly find the Wallenberg case highly instructive. But neither the Forum for Living History nor the Swedish mass media seem to be interested in revealing the exploits of the “grand old man of Swedish industry” and his equally mercenary brother. The details of the Wallenberg’s profitable relationship with Nazi Germany are given in Alders and Wiebes, The Art of Cloaking – Secret Collaboration of Neutral States with Nazi-Germany, 1996 (published in Sweden as Affärer till varje pris, 1989). Interested Swedish historians can find this book in the Swedish library system.
The background to the Wallenbergs’ cooperation with Farben and Bosch was a US law entitled the Alien Property Act. It was enacted shortly after America entered World War 1, and gave the government the right to seize property in any form belonging to individuals or corporations resident in or with their head office in a country with which the US was officially at war, e.g. Germany.
By the time the Armistice was signed in 1918, the government in Washington had confiscated shares in US subsidiaries of several German corporations. In order to retrieve the shares as quickly as possible, the original German owners engaged the services of a young American lawyer named John Foster Dulles at the law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. Dulles later worked closely with a number of companies in Nazi Germany, and in post-war Germany as well. He was subsequently Secretary of State in the Eisenhower administrations 1952-60, and as a leading advocate of nuclear war he proposed dropping a few H-bombs on the unruly Vietnamese when they had the temerity to inflict military defeats on the French army that was occupying their country.
In 1936 the Nazi government and the large German corporations began preparing for wars of aggression, in particular against the Soviet Union. It occurred to several far-sighted German captains of industry that the conflicts might involve an official state of war between Germany and the US, where the Alien Property Act was still in force. This could obviously lead to another round of confiscations by Washington, probably on a more comprehensive scale.
Bosch and IG Farben had extensive multinational operations that included profitable subsidiaries in the US. The directors of Bosch and Farben decided to ask Jacob and Marcus Wallenberg for help. In return for satisfactory fees, of course.
The scheme was known as “cloaking”. It involved transferring shareholdings in Farben’s US subsidiaries to owners who would be immune from the provisions of the Alien Property Act. For example, it was extremely unlikely that the US would ever be at war with Holland, so that a company in that country which appeared to own the shares in a previous Farben subsidiary could be expected to retain them for the duration of the war. A secret agreement between the Wallenbergs and Farben would enable IG to repurchase the shares at a previously agreed price once the war was over.
Using the Enskilda Bank in Stockholm as a base, the Wallenbergs effectively got the job done. They erected a corporate labyrinth within which shares in Farben subsidiaries were sold and resold in order to hide the trail that led back to IG.
The Wallenberg brothers not only made money on their dealings with Bosch and Farben, but were honored by the Nazis as well. Like Henry Ford and GM director Mooney, Jacob received the Grand Cross of the German Eagle from the Third Reich in recognition of his services.
The Wallenbergs could not have been unaware that IG Farben was virtually married to the Nazi government. Or that the directors of Farben had developed the plan for a rearmament program that was launched in the mid-1930s and was the platform for the gigantic slaughter that is known as World War 2 inEurope, which in turn led to the Holocaust. The Wallenbergs must also have known that both Farben and Bosch were using slave laborers from the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Ball-bearings and other types of bearings are indispensable for modern mechanized warfare. At the start of World War 2 the world’s largest producer of bearings was Svenska kullagerfabriken (SKF), a Wallenberg company. Alders and Wiebes show that like GE in America, SKF in Philadelphia went to great lengths to delay deliveries to American companies producing military equipment. But on the other side of the Atlantic, SKF in Sweden supplied large quantities of vitally needed bearings to the Nazi war machine.
According to Alders and Wiebes, the Wallenberg brothers also received substantial amounts of gold from Nazi Germany, some of it extracted from the teeth of the dead in the concentration camps.
The Wallenbergs were typical of the ruling class in Sweden and other capitalist countries, for whom continued profitable exploitation of the working class was a top priority. They therefore supported the war on the Soviet Union and the working class in general whenever the opportunity arose, as we shall see in the next chapter.