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International Bankers. Not Only Jews--Far From It. Post-WWI German Reparations

jan peczkis|Tuesday, July 14, 2015

This very detailed, scholarly book, is a tour de force. It is best known for its analysis of international capitalism. (My review is based on the original 1966 edition). I focus on it. Lest I be misunderstood, I neither endorse nor oppose conspiracy theories. I merely present the information as given by the author.


Author Carroll Quigley sees Financial Capitalism as the third stage of capitalism, replacing Industrial Capitalism (1770-1850) and the still-earlier Commercial Capitalism. Under Financial Capitalism, the previously-existing local methods of handling money and credit were replaced by a centralized, international system.

Financial Capitalism can, in some ways, be considered a form of parasitic capitalism or pariah capitalism. Along these lines, Quigley says, (quote) As we have said the stage of Financial Capitalism did not place emphasis on the exchange of goods or the production of goods as the earlier stages of Commercial Capitalism and Industrial Capitalism had done. In fact, Financial Capitalism had little interest in goods at all, but was concerned entirely with claims on wealth—stocks, bonds, mortgages, insurance, deposits, proxies, interest rates, and such. (unquote). (capitalization added). (p. 336).


England became the center of Financial Capitalism. This was because she had been the very cradle of the Industrial Revolution, which was now rapidly expanding in many nations, and because her non-aristocratic social structure facilitated the inclusion of non-English participants, notably American heiresses and central-European Jews. (p. 51).

Dynasties of international bankers developed, and they rivalled the traditional political dynasties. Quigley adds that, (quote) The greatest of these dynasties, of course, were the descendants of Meyer Amschel Rothschild (1743-1812) of Frankfort, whose male descendants for at least two generations, generally married first cousins or even nieces. Rothschild’s five sons, established at branches in Vienna, London. Naples, and Paris, as well as Frankfort, cooperated together in ways which other international banking dynasties copied but rarely excelled. (unquote). (p. 51).


It is manifestly incorrect to think of the international bankers as some kind of Jewish cabal. For instance, consider the Bank of France. Its Board of Regents included the Rothschilds. However, Quigley adds that, (quote) Otherwise, in 1914, the names, frequently those of Protestants of Swiss origin (who arrived in the eighteenth century) and of Jews of German origin (who arrived in the nineteenth century), had been much the same for more than a century. (unquote). (p. 56).

The international bankers of France disagreed on matters of policy, and were clearly divided according to their ethnic background and alliances. Quigley writes, (quote) Thus there were, in the period 1871-1900, three great groups in France: (a) the alliance of Jews and Catholics dominated by Rothschild; (b) the alliance of Catholic industrialists and Catholic bankers dominated by Schneider, the steel manufacturer; and (c) the group of Protestant bankers dominated by Mirabaud…The first waxed wealthy in the period 1871-1900, chiefly through its control of the greatest French investment bank, the Banque de Paris et des Pays Bas (Paribas). This Paribas bloc by 1906 had a dominant position in French economic and political life. (unquote). (p. 517; For additional details, see pp. 520-521). In addition, (quote) The whole Paribas system in the twentieth century was headed by the Baron Edouard de Rothschild… (unquote). (p. 525).

The financial power of the international bankers, in general, was apportioned between Jews and non-Jews. For instance, Quigley comments, (quote) On the whole, in the period up to 1931, bankers, especially the Money Power controlled by the international investment bankers, were able to dominate both business and government…Thus, Rothschild interests came to dominate many of the railroads of Europe, while Morgan dominated at least 26,000 miles of American railroads. (unquote). (p. 60).


Quigley writes (quote) They [international bankers] were, especially in later generations, cosmopolitan rather than nationalistic; they were a constant, if weakening, influence for peace, a pattern established in 1830 and 1840 when the Rothschilds threw their whole tremendous influence successfully against European wars. (unquote). (pp. 51-52).

International bankers supported Russia even before the Russian Revolution. Quigley comments, (quote) The Rothschilds, close friends of Edward VII and of France, were linked to the French investment bank, Banque de Paris et des Pays Bas. This, in turn, was the chief influence in selling nine billion rubles of Russian bonds in France before 1914. (unquote). (p. 216).

In addition, the international bankers were involved in political matters other than those immediately connected with finance. For instance, Quigley points out that, (quote) The Balfour Declaration took the form of a letter from British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild, one of the leading figures in the British Zionist movement. This movement…was much stronger in Austria and Germany than in Britain… (unquote). (p. 246).


Author Quigley says it succinctly, (quote) Financial Capitalism in Britain, as elsewhere, was marked not only by a growing financial control of industry but also by an increasing concentration of this control and by an increasing banking control of the government. (unquote). (p. 501).

Most important of all, Quigley reminds us that, (quote) As early as 1909, Walter Rathenau, who was in a position to know (since he had inherited from his father control of the German General Electric Company and held scores of directorships himself), said, “Three hundred men, all of whom know one another, direct the economic destiny of Europe and choose their successors from among themselves.” (unquote). (p. 61).

The international bankers were, in a sense, a form of potentially-conspiratorial world government, if only in the sense of having considerable power over governments, and of effectively becoming a law unto themselves, especially when acting covertly. Along these lines, Quigley writes, (quote) Both were based on the assumption that politicians were too weak and too subject to temporary popular pressures to be trusted with control of the money system…To do this it was necessary to conceal, or even to mislead, both the governments and people about the nature of money and its methods of operation. (unquote). (p. 53).


The author disputes one common exculpation for the Nazi movement—that of a Germany broken by the burden of reparations. Quigley suggests that a fair estimate, for the total reparations paid by Germany, comes out to 40 billion marks. This is considerably less than what Germans reckoned as reparations, and, even then, does not take into account the loans which the Germans obtained. Quigley concludes that, (quote) Since these loans greatly strengthened Germany by rebuilding its industrial plant, the burden of reparations as a whole on Germany’s economic system was very slight. (unquote). (p. 312).


In an infamous January 1939 speech that foreshadowed the Holocaust, Adolph Hitler accused influential Jews of causing wars so that they could profit from them, and threatened the retaliatory destruction of European Jews if “international Jewry” caused another world war. Obviously, Hitler, if nothing else, had overlooked the multitudes of non-Jewish international bankers, and had treated Jews as a monolith and object of collective responsibility.

Interestingly, however, the author provides information that helps explain the apparent paradox of the Nazis faulting Jews for being capitalists and faulting Jews for being Communists. It also can help illuminate Hitler’s thought process, in which he imagined that Jewish capitalists and Jewish Communists are in cahoots, and moreover are acting directly against Germany. Thus, Quigley comments on the post-1937 Paribas bloc as follows, (quote) The Rothschild desire to form an alliance with Russia and adopt a policy of resistance to Hitler while supporting Loyalist Spain… (unquote). (p. 525).


The author realizes that Jews were not the only victims of Nazi German genocide, (quote) Nazi plans aimed at the eventual extermination of the Poles and the Polish nation. (unquote). (p. 771).
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