The Unseen Hand - Ralph Epperson

World War II

It is in the Thule Society that one has to look for the real inspiration of Naziism.

The Second World War started when Adolf Hitler joined a secret society called the Thule Society in 1919. It was in this group that he found the perverted beliefs that were later to lead him in his control of the German government. In the Thule Society:

". . . the sun played a prime role . . . as a sacred symbol of the Aryans, in contrast to . . . the moon, revered by the Semitic peoples. The Fuhrer saw in the Jewish people, with their black hair and swarthy complexions, the dark side of the human species, whilst the blond and blue-eyed Aryans constituted the light side of humanity. . . . Hitler undertook to extirpate from the material world its impure elements."

In addition to sun (or light) worship, the Thule Society also practiced Satan worship: "The inner core within the Thule Society were all Satanists who practiced Black Magic."

The Society was not a working-man's group as it included amongst its members: "judges, police-chiefs, barristers, lawyers, university professors and lecturers, aristocratic families, leading industrialists, surgeons, physicians, scientists, as well as a host of rich and influential bourgeois . . ." The membership of the Thule Society also became the foundation of the Nazi Party: ". . . the Committee and the forty original members of the New German Workers' Party were all drawn from the most powerful occult society in Germany—the Thule Society."

One of the founders of both groups, the Nazi Party and the Thule Society, was Dietrich Eckart: "a dedicated Satanist, the supreme adept of the arts and rituals of Black Magic and the central figure in a powerful and widespread circle of occultists—the Thule Group. [He was] one of the seven founder members of the Nazi Party . . .

Eckart claimed to be the initiator of Hitler into the secrets of Satan worship. He is quoted as saying on his deathbed:

"Follow Hitler. He will dance, but it is I who have called the tune! I have initiated him into the 'Secret Doctrine;' opened his centers in vision and given him the means to communicate with the Powers. Do not mourn for me: I shall have influenced history more than any German."

But it was not just the Thule Society that gave Hitler the support he needed to become the leader of the German government. There were additional sources of Hitler's strength. One who offered an explanation of Hitler's easy rise to power was Walter Langer, a noted psychoanalyst. Langer wrote in his book The Mind of Adolf Hitler that it was his theory that Hitler was himself one-quarter Jewish and the grandson of a Rothschild. He wrote:

"There is a great deal of confusion in studying Hitler's family tree.

"Adolf's father, Alois Hitler, was the illegitimate son of Maria Anna Schicklgruber. It was generally supposed that the father of Alois Hitler was Johann Georg Hiedler . . . .

"Alois, however, was not legitimized, and he bore his mother's name until he was forty years of age when he changed it to Hitler.

"A peculiar series of events, prior to Hitler's birth, furnishes plenty of food for speculation.

"There are some people who seriously doubt that Johann Georg Hiedler was the father of Alois. Thyssen and Koehler, for example, claim that Chancellor Dolfuss (the Chancellor of Austria) had ordered the Austrian police to conduct a thorough investigation into the Hitler family. As a result of this investigation a secret document was prepared that proved Maria Anna Shicklgruber was living in Vienna at the time she conceived.

"At that time she was employed as a servant in the home of Baron Rothschild. As soon as the family discovered her pregnancy she was sent back to her home in Spital where Alois was born."

In a postscript in Langer's book, Robert G.L. Waite adds this comment:

"But even when Langer is mistaken and his guesses prove incorrect, he is often on the right track.

"Consider his hint that Hitler's grandfather might have been a Jew. There is no reason to believe the unlikely story told by Langer's informant that Hitler's grandmother Maria Anna Schickelgruber, a peasant woman in her forties from the Waldvietral of rural Austria, had had an intimate liason with a Baron Rothschild in Vienna.

"But Hitler had worried that he might be blackmailed over a Jewish grandfather and ordered his private lawyer, Hans Frank, to investigate his paternal lineage.

"Frank did so and told the Fuehrer that his grandmother had become pregnant while working as a domestic servant in a Jewish household in Graz.

"The facts of this matter are in dispute—and a very lengthy dispute it has been.

"The point of overriding psychological and historical importance is not whether it is true that Hitler had a Jewish grandfather, but whether he believed that it might be true.

"He did so believe and the fact shaped both his personality and his public policy."

It is possible that Hitler discovered his Jewish background and his relation to the Rothschilds, and aware of their enormous power to make or break European governments, re-established contact with the family. This would partially explain the enormous support he received from the international banking fraternity, closely entwined with the Rothschild family, as he rose to power.

One thing is certain, however. Hitler started World War II by moving into Austria first. It has been theorized that he moved into this country for two reasons. First, he wanted to silence Dolfuss who Hitler believed knew that he was a descendant of the Rothschilds, and secondly, he wished to remove all traces of his ancestry from the Austrian records.

But the major source of Hitler's power came from a chemical cartel called I.G. Farben, (the name is an abbreviation of the complete name: Interssen Gemeinschaft Farben.) The importance of I.G. Farben 's support for the Socialist movement was pointed out in a book about the cartel, in which it is stated: "without I.G.'s immense production facilities, its far reaching research, varied technical experience and overall concentration of economic power, Germany would not have been in a position to start its aggressive war in September, 1939."

But I.G. Farben had a little-known source of its enormous economic power: Wall Street, U.S.A. "Without the capital supplied by Wall Street, there would have been no I.G. Farben in the first place, and almost certainly no Adolf Hitler and World War II."

I.G. Farben had its beginning in 1924 when American banker Charles Dawes arranged a series of foreign loans totalling $800 million to consolidate gigantic chemical and steel combinations into cartels, one of which was I.G. Farben. Professor Carroll Quigley terms the Dawes Plan: "largely a J.P. Morgan production."

Three Wall Street houses, Dillon, Read & Co.; Harris, Forbes & Co.; and National City handled three-quarters of the loans used to create these cartels.

The importance of I.G. Farben to the plans of the German Nazi Party can be illustrated by a product that an I.G. dominated company manufactured. It was called Zyklon B, the lethal gas utilized by the exterminators at Auschwitz, Bitterfeld, Walfen, Hoechst, Agfa, Ludwigshafen, and Buchenwald. (I.G. Farben, being a chemical company even before it was merged with other chemical companies to form the cartel, was also the producer of the chlorine gas used during World War I.) American support for I.G. Farben continued as Henry Ford merged his German assets with those of I.G. in 1928.

But the real importance of I.G. to the war efforts of Adolf Hitler came in the utilization of the process known as hydrogenation, the production of gasoline from coal, created by the I.G. Farben chemical cartel. Germany had no native gasoline production capabilities, and this was one of the main reasons it lost World War I. A German scientist discovered the process of converting coal (Germany was the possessor of large quantities of coal) into gasoline in 1909, but the technology was not completely developed during the war. In August, 1927, Standard Oil agreed to embark on a cooperative program of research and development of the hydrogenation process to refine the oil necessary for Germany to prepare for World War II.

And finally, on November 9, 1929, these two giant companies signed a cartel agreement that had two objectives:

"First, the cartel agreement granted Standard Oil one-half of all rights to the hydrogenation process in all countries of the world except Germany; and

"Secondly, the two agreed: ' . . . never to compete with each other in the fields of chemistry and petroleum products. In the future, if Standard Oil wished to enter the broad field of industrial chemicals or drugs, it would do so only as a partner of Farben.

"Farben, in turn, agreed never to enter the field of petroleum except as a joint venture with Standard.'

In the words of a Standard Oil official: "The I.G. are going to stay out of the oil business—and we are going to stay out of the chemical business."

This cartel agreement was extremely important to the war effort, because, by the end of the war, Germany was producing about seventy-five percent of its fuel synthetically.

But even more significant was the fact that these plants were not the subject of Allied bombing raids, so that, by the war's end, twenty-five to thirty of its refineries were still operating with only about fifteen percent damage.

Standard Oil got into the refining business as well. In fact, William Dodd, the U.S. Ambassador in Germany, wrote the following in his diary about the pre-war years around 1936: "The Standard Oil Company of New York, the parent company of the Vacuum (Oil Company,) has spent 10,000,000 marks in Germany trying to find oil resources and (in) building a great refinery near the Hamburg harbor."

Meanwhile, back in the United States, preparations were being made to elect a President. In 1932, President Herbert Hoover, a member of the CFR, was seeking re-election. He was approached by

"Henry Harriman, President of that body (the United States Chamber of Commerce who) urged that I agree to support these proposals (the National Industry Recovery Act, the NRA, amongst others,) informing me that Mr. Roosevelt had agreed to do so. I tried to show him that this stuff was pure fascism; that it was merely a remaking of Mussolini's 'corporate state' and refused to agree to any of it He informed me that in view of my attitude, the business world would support Roosevelt with money and influence."

Hoover, later in 1940, indirectly explained why he refused the support of the American business community. He saw inherent problems with government control of the business world:

"In every single case before the rise of totalitarian governments there had been a period dominated by economic planners.

"Each of these nations had an era under starry-eyed men who believed that they could plan and force the economic life of the people.

"They believed that was the way to correct abuse or to meet emergencies in systems of free enterprise.

"They exalted the state as the solver of all economic problems. These men thought they were liberals. But they also thought they could have economic dictatorship by bureaucracy and at the same time preserve free speech, orderly justice, and free government

"They might be called the totalitarian liberals.

"Directly or indirectly they politically controlled credit, prices, production of industry, farmer and laborer.

"They devalued, pump-primed, and deflated. They controlled private business by government competition, by regulation and by taxes. They met every failure with demands for more and more power and control

"Then came chronic unemployment and frantic government spending in an effort to support the unemployed.

"Government debts mounted and finally government credit was undermined.

"And then came the complete takeover, whether it was called Fascism, Socialism, or Communism."

Yet, even with Hoover's refusal to support the goals of "big business," Roosevelt's presidential campaign of 1932 consistently attacked President Hoover for his alleged association with the international bankers and for pandering to the demands of big business. The pervasive historical image of FDR is one of a president fighting on behalf of "the little guy," the man in the street, in the midst of unemployment and financial depression brought about by "big business" speculators allied with Wall Street. "Roosevelt was a creation of Wall Street [and] an integral part of the New York banking fraternity."

The 1932 presidential campaign strategy was very simple: "big business" wanted Roosevelt, but ran him as an "anti-big business" candidate.

Hoover was "anti-big business," but the media convinced the American people that he was "pro-big business."

The result was predictable. Roosevelt defeated the incumbent Hoover. He could now start his move, what he called the "New Deal," towards a Fascist state. One observer, Whitaker Chambers, the American Communist Party member who defected, commented thus about the "New Deal:" "(It) was a genuine revolution, whose deepest purpose was not simply reform within existing traditions but a basic change in the social, and above all, the power relationship within the nation."

It was about this time that an incredible scheme concerning the presidency of the United States started taking shape. From July, 1932 through November, 1933, a well known and popular military general. Major General Smedley Butler of the U.S. Marine Corps ". . . was sought by wealthy plotters in the United States to lead a putsch (revolution) to overthrow the government and establish an American Fascist dictatorship."

Butler was tempted into the plot by ". . . the biggest bribe ever offered to any American—the opportunity to become the first dictator of the United States." He was approached by three gentlemen: Grayson Mallet-Provost Murphy, a director of Guaranty Trust, a J.P. Morgan Bank; Robert S. Clark, a banker who had inherited a large fortune from a founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company; and John W. Davis, the 1924 Democratic candidate for President and the chief attorney for J.P. Morgan and Company. Their plan was to . . seize the White House with a private army [of 500,000 veterans], hold Franklin Roosevelt prisoner, and get rid of him if he refused to serve as their puppet in a dictatorship they planned to impose and control."

The plotters revealed to Butler that they had "$3 million in working funds and could get $300 million if it were needed."

Why the plotters selected General Butler is a mystery, as Butler truly understood his role as a general in the Marine Corps. He was on record as saying: "War was largely a matter of money. Bankers lend money to foreign countries and when they cannot repay, the President sends Marines to get it" Butler didn't say it, but his role in the military was exactly in accordance with the "Balance of Power" political game described in a previous chapter. He continued: "I know—I've been in eleven of these expeditions."

Butler's assertions that the military actually acted as a collection agency for the big bankers was confirmed in 1934 by the Senate Munitions Investigating Committee which "confirmed his (Butler's) suspicions that big business—Standard Oil, United Fruit, the sugar trust, the big banks—had been behind most of the military interventions he had been ordered to lead."

In addition, Congress created the McCormack-Dickstein Committee to investigate Butler's charges. The conclusions of this group confirmed General Butler's charges: "(it) found five significant facts that lent validity to Butler's testimony."

Jules Archer, the author of the book on Butler's charges, entitled The Plot to Seize the White House, interviewed John J. McCormack, the co-chairman of the Committee and asked for his views on the plot:

"Archer: Then in your opinion, America could definitely have been a Fascist power had it not been for General Butler's patriotism in exploding the plot?

"McCormack: It certainly could have. The people were in a very confused state of mind, making the nation weak and ripe for some drastic kind of extremist reaction. Mass frustration could bring about anything."

There are those, however, who believe that the intent of the plotters was not the imposition of Butler as the leader of the government, but was actually to use the incident as a means by which Roosevelt could impose a dictatorship down upon the American people after Butler led his army upon the White House. This action, after Roosevelt termed it to be a "national emergency," could have enabled him to take complete control of the government in the emergency, and the American people would probably have cheered the action. So Butler was, according to this theory, only the excuse to take complete control of the machinery of the government, and was never intended to be the new dictator.

The plan failed, after Butler revealed the existence of the plot, and Roosevelt had to be content, if the theory is correct, with just being the President and not the dictator of the United States. Roosevelt had other plans for a fascist United States, however. Frances Perkins, Roosevelt's Labor Secretary, reports that "At the first meeting of the cabinet after the President took office in 1933, the financier and advisor to Roosevelt, Bernard Baruch, and Baruch's friend, General Hugh Johnson, who was to become the head of the National Recovery Administration, came in with a copy of a book by Gentile, the Italian Fascist theoretician, for each member of the Cabinet, and we all read it with care."

So the plan was to move the American government into the area of Fascism or government control of the factors of production without a Butler led revolution. It was decided that one of the main methods of achieving this goal was through a war, and the plans for a war involving the United States were being laid.

One of the sources for confirming the fact that these plans were underway is Jim Farley, Roosevelt's Postmaster General and a member of Roosevelt's Cabinet. Mr. Farley wrote that at the second cabinet meeting in 1933: "The new President again turned to the possibility of war with Japan."

It is possible that President Roosevelt knew that war with Japan had been planned even before 1933. According to one historian, Charles C. Tansill, professor of diplomatic history at Georgetown University, war with Japan was planned as early as 1915.

In a book entitled Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt and the Coming of the War, published by D.C. Heath and Company, Professor Tansill makes this interesting observation:

"The policy of pressure upon Japan antedated [President Roosevelt's Secretary of War Henry] Stimson some two decades. . . .

"Under Woodrow Wilson, a three-pronged offensive was launched against Nippon [Japan]. . . .

"In January, 1915, the American minister at Peking. . . sent to the Department of State a series of dispatches so critical in tone that they helped to create in American minds a fixation of Japanese wickedness that made eventual war with Japan a probability."

It will be recalled that Franklin Roosevelt had been appointed Wilson's Assistant Secretary of the Navy, so it is both conceivable and probable that he knew about these dispatches and the plans to involve us in a future war with Japan as early as 1915.

If the professor is correct, it was not Roosevelt's purpose to bring President Wilson's plans into fruition. All that was needed was an act that could be utilized as the reason for a declaration of war against Japan.

That reason was an attack at Pearl Harbor.

In fact, the American government knew that they were vulnerable at Pearl Harbor, the site of Japan's "surprise" attack to start World War II. It was at Pearl Harbor in 1932 that the United States Navy conducted maneuvers to test the chances of success of an attack from the sea. They discovered that Pearl Harbor was vulnerable from as close as sixty miles off the shore. That meant that Japan could attack from sixty miles away from Pearl Harbor and be undetected. The American Navy had proved it.

Not only was the government concerning itself with a possible war with Japan, but it was also aware that American capitalists were creating a war machine in Germany in the early 1930's, years before Germany started their involvement in World War II.

William Dodd, the U.S. Ambassador in Germany, wrote Roosevelt from Berlin:

"At the present moment, more than a hundred American corporations have subsidiaries here or cooperative understandings.

"The DuPonts have their allies in Germany that are aiding in the armament business. Their chief ally is the I.G. Farben Company, a part of the government which gives 200,000 marks a year to one propaganda organization operating on American opinion.

"Standard Oil Company . . . sent $2,000,000 here in December, 1933 and has made $500,000 a year helping Germans make ersatz [a substitute] gas [the hydrogenation process of converting coal to gasoline] for war purposes; but Standard Oil cannot take any of its earnings out of the country except in goods.

"The International Harvester Company president told me their business here rose 33% year [arms manufacture, I believe], but they could take nothing out.

"Even our airplanes people have secret arrangements with Krupps.

"General Motors Company and Ford do enormous business here through their subsidiaries and take no profits out."

In addition to these American companies, others were assisting the Germans in creating the materials they needed to wage war. For instance. International Telephone and Telegraph (I.T.T.) purchased a substantial interest in Focke-Wolfe, an airplane manufacturer which meant "that I.T.T. was producing German planes [fighter aircraft] used to kill Americans."

I.G. Farben's assets in America were controlled by a holding company called American I.G. Farben. The following individuals, among others, were members of the Board of Directors of this corporation: Edsel Ford, President of the Ford Motor Co.; Charles E. Mitchell, President of Rockefeller's National City Bank of New York; Walter Teagle, President of Standard Oil of New York; Paul Warburg, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and the brother of Max Warburg, the financier of Germany's war effort, and Herman Metz, a director of the Bank of Manhattan, controlled by the Warburgs.

It is an interesting and revealing fact of history that three other members of the Board of Governors of the American I.G. were tried and convicted as German "war criminals" for their crimes "against humanity," during World War II, while serving on the Board of Governors of I.G. Farben. None of the Americans who sat on the same board with those convicted were ever tried as "war criminals" even though they participated in the same decisions as the Germans. It appears that it is important whether your nation wins or loses the war as to whether or not you are tried as a "war criminal."

It was in 1939, during the year that Germany started the war with its invasions of Austria and Poland, that Standard Oil of New Jersey loaned I.G. Farben $20,000,000 of high-grade aviation gasoline.

The two largest German tank manufacturers were Opel, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Motors and controlled by the J.P. Morgan firm, and the Ford subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company.

In addition, Alcoa and Dow Chemical transferred technology to the Germans, as did Bendix Aviation, in which the J.P. Morgan-controlled General Motors had a major stock interest, which supplied data on automatic pilots, aircraft instruments and aircraft and diesel engine starters.

In addition to direct material support, other "capitalistic" companies supplied support: "In 1939 the German electrical equipment industry was concentrated into a few major corporations linked in an international cartel and by stock ownership to two major U.S. corporations (International General Electric and International Telephone and Telegraph.)"

Further support for the American owned or controlled corporations came during the war itself, when their industrial complexes, their buildings and related structures, were not subject to Allied bombing raids: "This industrial complex (International General Electric and International Telephone and Telegraph) was never a prime target for bombing in World War II. The electrical equipment plants bombed as targets were not affiliated with U.S. firms."

Another example of a German General Electric plant not bombed was the plant at Koppelsdorf, Germany, producing radar sets and bombing antennae.

Perhaps the reason certain plants were bombed and others weren't lies in the fact that, under the U.S. Constitution, the President is the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces, and therefore the determiner of what targets are bombed.

The significance of America's material support to the German government's war efforts comes when the question as to what the probable outcome of Germany's efforts would be: " . . . not only was an influential sector of American business aware of the nature of Nazism, but for its own purposes aided Nazism wherever possible (and profitable) with full knowledge that the probable outcome would be war involving Europe and the United States."

Even Hitler's ideas about exterminating the Jews were known to any observer who cared to do a little research. Hitler himself had written: "I have the right to exterminate millions of individuals of inferior races, which multiply like vermin."

In addition, Hitler made his desires known as early as 1923 when he detailed his plans for the Jews in his book Mein Kampf. Even the SS Newspaper, the Black Corps called for: "The extermination with fire and sword, the actual and final end of Jewry."

This material support continued even after the war officially started. For instance, even after Germany invaded Austria in March, 1938, the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation, fifty percent owned by General Motors and fifty percent by Standard Oil, was asked by I.G. Farben to build tetra-ethyl plants in Germany, with the full support of the U.S. Department of War which expressed no objection to the transactions.

And in August, 1938, I.G. Farben "borrowed" 500 tons of tetra-ethyl lead, the gas additive, from Standard Oil.

Later, after the invasion of Austria, and prior to the German invasion of Poland in 1939, Germany and Russia signed a pact on August 23, 1939, with a secret clause for the division of Poland by these two war-time allies.

All of the material support and all of the secret agreements came to a head on September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland in accordance with the terms of the pact signed with Russia.

The Second World War had begun.

The date of September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, is remembered as the date the war started. But little is remembered about the date Russia also moved into Poland, on September 16, 1939. The nation of Poland was now divided between these two war-time allies.

It is interesting to notice what the responses of the major allied nations were to these two dates. When Germany entered the western portion of Poland, Britain and France declared war on Germany. But when Russia moved into eastern Poland, there was no war declaration by either nation.

The Soviets caused one of the tragic events of history after they occupied their portion of Poland. They captured approximately 10,000 Polish officers and brutally murdered them, most of them meeting their death in Katyn Forest near the Russian town of Smolensk. The traditional story about their deaths was that the officers had been killed by the German army, but now the evidence is clear that the Russians committed this crime. The other victims were taken aboard a barge which was towed out to sea and then sunk.

Even with all of these efforts of the American businessman to construct the German war machine with the full knowledge and approval of President Roosevelt, he kept repeating that the nation would continue its "neutral" posidon: it would remain out of the war. On September 1, 1939, when the war started, he was asked by a reporter whether America would stay our of the war and Roosevelt replied: ". . . I believe we can, and every effort will be made by the Administration to do so."

Roosevelt responded by appointing George Marshall, a GFR member, as Chief of Staff of the Army over General Douglas MacArthur, not a member of the CFR, and other senior officers.

Others did not believe Roosevelt's claim that America would remain neutral. On September 12, 1939, Hans Thomsen, the German charge d' affaires in Washington, cabled the German government: ". . . if defeat should threaten the Allies (England and France), Roosevelt is determined to go to war against Germany, even in the face of the resistance of his own country."

But Germany's war efforts were still dependent on oil resources, and it came from a variety of sources, some external to the German border. Before Rumania was invaded by the Germans, it was selling oil to Germany. Life magazine of February 19, 1940, has a picture of Rumanian oil being loaded into oil tank cars. The picture has a caption under it which reads, in part: "Oil for Germany moves in these tank cars of American Essolube and British Shell out of Creditul Minier yards near Ploesti (Rumanina.) Notice that cars are marked for German-American Oil Co. and German Railways, consigned to Hamburg and Wuppertal in Germany. They were sent from Germany to speed up Rumanian oil shipments." This picture was taken after Germany had invaded Austria and Poland, yet American and British oil companies are transporting oil for the German government, (the tank cars in the picture are clearly marked "Essolube," and "Shell").

And other sources supplied oil as well: ". . . when the German air force ran short of fuel, this was generously supplied from the great refinery belonging to the Standard Oil Company situated on the island of Aruba via Spanish tankers." This occurred during the war itself, yet these tankers were not sunk by American submarines.

Even with the purchases of oil from non-German sources, the major supplier of oil was still the cartel: "The I.G. Farben-Standard Oil cooperation for production of synthetic oil from coal gave the I.G. Farben cartel a monopoly of German gasoline production during World War II. Just under one half of German high octane gasoline in 1945 was produced directly by I.G. Farben, and most of the balance by its affiliated companies."

But as the war in Europe continued, America's leaders were attempting to get America involved, even though the American people didn't want to become part of it. Roosevelt, the presidential candidate, was promising the American people that the Roosevelt administration would remain neutral should he be re-elected. Others knew better. One, for instance, was General Hugh Johnson, who said:

"I know of no well informed Washington observer who isn't convinced that, if Mr. Roosevelt is elected (in 1940), he will drag us into war at the first opportunity, and that, if none presents itself, he will make one."

Roosevelt had two opportunities to involve America in World War II: Japan was at war with China, and Germany was at war with England, France and other countries. Both war zones presented plenty of opportunities to involve the American government in the war, and Roosevelt was quick to seize upon the opportunities presented.

His first opportunity came from the war in the Pacific. It was in August, 1940, that the United States broke the Japanese "purple" war-time code. This gave the American government the ability to read and understand all of their recoverable war-time messages. Machines were manufactured to de-code Japan's messages, and they were sent all over the world, but none was sent to Pearl Harbor.

Roosevelt's public efforts to involve America, while ostensibly remaining neutral, started in August, 1940, when the National Guard was voted into Federal service for one year. This was followed in September by the Selective Service Act, also for one year's duration.

But the key to America's early involvement occurred on September 28, 1940, when Japan, Germany and Italy signed the Tripartite Treaty. This treaty required that any of the three nations had to respond by declaring war should any one of the other three be attacked by any of the Allied nations. This meant that should Japan attack the United States, and the United States responded by declaring war against Japan, it would automatically be at war with the other two nations, Germany and Italy.

Roosevelt now knew that war with Japan meant war with Germany. His problem was solved.

He had made secret commitments to Winston Churchill and the English government to become involved in the war against Germany and he knew ". . . that the only way he could fulfill his secret commitments to Churchill to get us into the war, without openly dishonoring his pledges to the American people to keep us out, was by provoking Germany or Japan to attack."

Roosevelt moved towards the Pacific theater first, knowing that, if he could provoke Japan to attack America first, America would automatically be at war with Germany as well. He also knew that, should Germany attack America, Japan would have to declare war on America. So Roosevelt attempted to get either nation to attack the United States first. Japan was to get the first opportunity.

The Attack on Pearl Harbor

In October, 1940, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox sent for Admiral J.O. Richardson, Commander-in-Chief of the American fleet in the Pacific. Knox advised him that "the President wanted him to establish a patrol of the Pacific—a wall of American naval vessels stretched across the western Pacific in such a way as to make it impossible for Japan to reach any of her sources of supply; a blockade of Japan to prevent by force her use of any part of the Pacific Ocean. Richardson protested vigorously. He said that would be an act of war, and besides, we would lose our navy. Of course Roosevelt had to abandon it."

This scene in history poses two rather interesting questions:

"1. Why did Roosevelt, the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces, including the Navy, not directly order Admiral Richardson to do as he wished? Why did he choose to use his Secretary of the Navy to almost politely ask him to create the naval patrol?

Is it possible that Roosevelt did not choose to use his supreme power because he knew that this was indeed an act of war and that he did not want to be identified as the originator of the plan. If Richardson had agreed to Knox's proposal, and Japan had attacked an American naval vessel, Roosevelt could have directly blamed the admiral for allowing the vessel to get into the position of being fired upon by the Japanese Navy in the first place.

Roosevelt wanted a scape-goat and Richardson refused.

"2. Why did Roosevelt not replace the admiral with someone who would do exactly as he wished?

It is possible that Roosevelt realized that Richardson now knew about the plan, and since he did not approve, he would be in a position to clearly identify Roosevelt as the source of the idea should the second admiral agree to it.

Roosevelt did not want to jeopardize his carefully constructed image as a "dove" in the question of whether or not America should become involved in the war.

It is important to remember that, in November, 1940, just after this incident, candidate Roosevelt told the American people: "I say to you fathers and mothers, and I will say it again and again and again, your boys will not be sent into foreign wars."

Richardson later appraised his situation at Pearl Harbor and felt that his position was extremely precarious. He visited Roosevelt twice during 1940 to recommend that the fleet be withdrawn to the west coast of America, because:

  1. His ships were inadequately manned for war;
  2. The Hawaiian area was too exposed for Fleet training; and
  3. The Fleet defenses against both air and submarine attacks were far below the required standards of strength.

That meant that the American government had done nothing to shore up the defenses of Pearl Harbor against an offshore attack since the naval manuevers of 1932 discovered just how vulnerable the island was.

Richardson's reluctance to provide Roosevelt's incident for the United States to enter the war, and his concern about the status of the Fleet, led to his being unexpectedly relieved of the Fleet command in January, 1941.

The American Ambassador to Tokyo, Joseph C. Grew, was one of the first to officially discover that Pearl Harbor was the intended target of the Japanese attack, as he corresponded with President Roosevelt's State Department on January 27, 1941:

"The Peruvian minister has informed a member of my staff that he had heard from many sources, including a Japanese source, that, in the event of trouble breaking out between the United States and Japan, the Japanese intended to make a surprise attack against Pearl Harbor . . ."

In March 1941, President Roosevelt was still hoping for an incident involving the United States and Germany, according to Harold Ickes, Roosevelt's Secretary of the Interior. He reported: "At dinner on March 24, he [Roosevelt] remarked that 'things are coming to a head; Germany will be making a blunder soon.' There could be no doubt of the President's scarcely concealed desire that there might be an incident which would justify our declaring a state of war against Germany."

Roosevelt and Churchill had conspired together to incite an incident to allow America's entry into the war. According to Churchill:

"The President had said that he would wage war but not declare it, and that he would become more and more provocative. If the Germans did not like it, they could attack American forces.

"The United States Navy was taking over the convoy route to Iceland.

"The President's orders to these escorts were to attack any Uboat which showed itself, even if it were two or three hundred miles away from the convoy . . . .

"Everything was to be done to force "an incident".

"Hitler would be faced with the dilemma of either attacking the convoys and clashing with the United States Navy or holding off, thus 'giving us victory in the Battle of the Atlantic. It might suit us in six or eight weeks to provoke Hitler by taunting him with this difficult choice.'"

But Hitler was attempting to avoid a confrontation with the United States. "He had told his naval commanders at the end of July [1941] to avoid incidents with the United States while the Eastern compaign [the war against Russia] is still in progress . . . A month later these orders were still in force."

Churchill even wrote to Roosevelt after the German ship the Bismarck sank the British ship the Hood, recommending in April, 1941: ".. . that an American warship should find the Prinz Eugen (the escort to the Bismarck) then draw her fire, 'thus providing the incident for which the United States would be so thankful,' i.e., bring her into the war."

Hitler was not as wise in other matters. He attacked his "ally" Russia on June 22, 1941, even though Germany and Russia had signed a treaty not to declare war on each other.

With this action, the pressure to get the United States involved in the war really accelerated. Roosevelt, on June 24, 1941, told the American people: "Of course we are going to give all the aid that we possibly can to Russia." And an American program of Lend-Lease began, supplying Russia enormous quanddes of war materials, all on credit.

So with Hitler pre-occupied with the war against Russia and refusing to involve himself with the Americans on the open sea, Roosevelt had to turn his attendons back to Japan for the incident he needed.

The next step was to assist other countries, the English and the Dutch, to embargo oil shipments to Japan in an attempt to force them into an incident that would enable the United States to enter the war.

Japan, as a relatively small island, and with no oil industry to speak of, had to look elsewhere for its oil, and this was the reason for the proposed embargo. It was thought that this action would provoke Japan into an incident Ex-President Herbert Hoover also saw the manipulations leading to war and he warned the United States in August, 1941:

"The American people should insistently demand that Congress put a stop to step-by-step projection of the United States into undeclared war "

But the Congress wasn't listening.

President Roosevelt wasn't listening either to the charges of Congressman Martin Dies, Chairman of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. By August of 1941, "The Dies committee had assembled a large amount of evidence which more than confirmed the suspicions which we had entertained on the basis of surface appearances: It was clear that the Japanese were preparing to invade Pearl Harbor and that they were in possession of vital military information."

This information was made available to the Roosevelt administration by Congressman Dies personally. But this was the second time that Dies had appealed to Roosevelt about his knowledge of Japan's intention to attack Pearl Harbor:

"Early in 1941 the Dies Committee came into possession of a strategic map which gave clear proof of the intentions of the Japanese to make an assualt on Pearl Harbor. The strategic map was prepared by the Japanese Imperial Military Intelligence Department."

Dies telephoned Secretary of State Cordell Hull who talked to President Roosevelt.

Congressman Dies was told not to release the document to the public, and the Roosevelt administration did nothing.

(Note: In April, 1964, when Dies told the American public of these revelations, he added this comment: "If anyone questions the veracity and accuracy of these statements, I will be glad to furnish him with conclusive proof.")

[Illustration] from The Unseen Hand by Ralph Epperson


It was also in August, 1941, when the new product of the I.G. Farben cartel was tested on humans for the first time. The product was called Zyklon B and it was to be used on the Jews and others at the concentration camps.

In the Pacific Theater, Japan's war messages, being read in Washington, started asking their spy in Pearl Harbor to report ship movements, and, later, the exact nature and location of the ships in the harbor.

Japan's request for more information on what was happening at Pearl Harbor was followed on October 16, 1941, by the resignation of the Prince's cabinet in Japan. These resignations were followed by the military administration of General Tojo and his cabinet. All of this activity was recognized by the American government as a decided step toward war, but still nothing was done to alert Pearl Harbor.

It was on this day that Henry Stimson, Roosevelt's Secretary of War, wrote the following in his diary: ". . . and so we face the delicate question of the diplomatic fencing to be done so as to be sure that Japan be put into the wrong and to make the first bad move—overt move."

Stimson was to repeat this concern that faced the Roosevelt administration when he testified before one of the Committees investigating Pearl Harbor. There he was quoted as saying: "The question was how we should maneuver them [the Japanese] into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to ourselves."

The Japanese would still not respond with the incident to provoke the United States into retaliating, but America was convinced that it would happen ultimately. For instance. Secretary of State Cordell Hull told Roosevelt on Novbember 7, 1941, that he foresaw "every possibility of an early war with Japan."

Japan continued its efforts towards staying out of a war with the United States and had its Ambassador in Washington continue his efforts towards securing a no-war treaty with the Secretary of State. On November 22, 1941, they wired their Ambassador: "Do your best, spare no efforts and try to bring about the solution we desire."

But even though Japan was attempting to avoid war with tire United States, the Japanese were being encouraged by an unlikely source to strike out at the United States. "On May 17, 1951, the New York Daily News featured an article by its Washington correspondent, John O'Donnell, concerning various old Far Eastern intelligence reports which were being closely guarded in Washington. Among those documents were the 32,000 word confession of Soviet spy Richard Sorge."

Mr. Sorge was a Russian spy who had infiltrated the German embassy in Japan and worked hard to convince Japanese officials that Japan should not attack Russia, but move south, at the risk of war with the United States. "When [Sorge] informed the Kremlin [in Russia] in October, 1941, that the Japanese intended to attack Pearl Harbor within 60 days, . . . he . . . received thanks for his report and the notice that Washington—Roosevelt, Marshall, Admiral Stark, et al.—had been advised of the Japanese intentions."

On November 25, 1941, the day that the Japanese fleet sailed for Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt convened a meeting of the various Cabinet officers: Secretaries Stimson, Knox, Marshall and Admiral Harold R. Stark, Chief of Naval Operations. According to Stimson's testimony:

"The President brought up the event that we were likely to be attacked perhaps [as soon as] next Monday, for the Japanese are notorious for making an attack without warning.

"In spite of the risk involved, however, in letting the Japanese fire the first shot, we realized that in order to have the full support of the American people, it was desirable to make sure that the Japanese be the ones to do this so that there should remain no doubt in anyone's mind as to who were the aggressors."

On November 26, 1941, the Japanese Embassy in Washington sent the following message to Tokyo: "Hull said. . . I am sorry to tell you that we cannot agree to it [Japan's treaty Proposal]."

The British Intelligence Service, which had men inside the Japanese diplomatic agencies in the United States, took the November 26th telegram to Tokyo as meaning that the "Japanese negotiations off. Services expect action within two weeks."

And Roosevelt and the Department of the Army also knew this, as ". . . a very important American Army Intelligence officer, in service in the Far East during 1941 . . . had gained knowledge of the Yamamoto plan to send a task force to attack Pearl Harbor and sent three separate messages to Washington revealing this information, and at least two of these reached the Army files well before the attack on Pearl Harbor."

Finally, in desperation, the Japanese government sent a message to their Washington embassy on December 6, 1941, in essence breaking off all negotiations with the American government. After the message was intercepted by the American government, decoded and given to Roosevelt, he is quoted as saying: "This means war."

Roosevelt now knew that Japan planned on attacking the United States, but still he did nothing about warning the American forces at Pearl Harbor. And on December 7, 1941, Japan launched a "surprise attack."

The American forces were not prepared for the attack. And the attacking Japanese forces had orders from Japan to return to Japan should they detect any evidence that the Americans had been alerted.

As their air force attacked Pearl Harbor, they reported that the American planes were having difficulty in getting off the ground.

This was because the American planes had been grouped in circles, with their propellors all facing inward as the result of an order by President Roosevelt. It was reported that Roosevelt had ordered the planes grouped in this fashion because he feared "acts of sabotage" against the planes and he was acting to protect them.

Since airplanes do not have a "reverse gear" the grouping of the planes in this manner made it extremely difficult for them to rapidly get out of the circle and into the air. One critic of the circling of these airplanes, Harry Elmer Barnes, has written: "Bunching the planes in a circle, wing to wing, would [make them] helpless in the event of a surprise air attack."

Another strange circumstance was the make-up of the fleet anchored at Pearl Harbor at the time of the attack. The Pacific Fleet consisted of nine battleships and three aircraft carriers along with a host of smaller ships. During the attack, the Japanese sank or seriously damaged eight battleships but no aircraft carriers.

The American government had reasoned that the aircraft carriers would have an extremely important role to play in the type of war they felt would be waged in the Pacific theater. So all of the aircraft carriers were moved out of Pearl Harbor and all of the less valuable battleships were left behind. The battleships were expendable because most of them had been constructed prior to or during World War I, which meant that they were old and obsolete.

Along with the aircraft carriers, Roosevelt's government also withdrew the smaller, more mobile ships that they knew could be more efficiently utilized in a sea war. "On November 28th, Admiral William F. Halsey was sent to Wake [Island] with the carrier Enterprise, three heavy destroyers and nine destroyers. On December 5th, Admiral John E. Newton was sent to Midway with the carrier Lexington, three heavy cruisers and five destroyers. The carrier Saratoga had been sent to the Pacific Coast "

Admiral Husband Kimmel, the commander of the naval forces at Pearl Harbor, clearly places the blame for Pearl Harbor's unpreparedness on President Roosevelt. He has written: "We were unready at Pearl Harbor because President Roosevelt's plans required that no word be sent to alert the fleet in Hawaii."

The Rt. Hon. Oliver Lyttleton, a member of Churchill's war cabinet, declared in an address to the American Chamber of Commerce in London on June 24, 1944: "America provoked [the Japanese] to such an extent that the Japanese were forced to attack Pearl Harbor. It is a travesty of history to say that America was forced into the war."

The Council on Foreign Relations published an article in its publication called Foreign Affairs in January, 1974, that agreed with Lyttleton. The article stated that "Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor actually thrust the United States into World War II, but the Roosevelt administration decided a year and a half earlier to risk war in order to prevent the totalitarian domination of all Europe." 75

So on December 8, 1941, President Roosevelt asked the Congress to declare war on Japan, stating that December 7, 1941 would go down in history as a "day of infamy."

So when Roosevelt addressed the nation through his speech in Congress, he lied when he said: "We don't like it—and we didn't want to get in it—but we are in it and we're going to fight it with everything we've got."

So Roosevelt asked for, and received, a Declaration of War against Japan. Germany followed on December 11th with a Declaration of War against the United States. This action was in accordance with the terms of the Tripartite Treaty signed earlier by Germany, Italy and Japan.

Roosevelt's activities in the planning of Pearl Harbor had a costly price. The final toll was 2,341 U.S. servicemen dead and 1,143 wounded; eighteen ships including the eight battleships were sunk or heavily damaged; more than two hundred Army Air Corps and Navy planes were destroyed or unusable; and sixty-eight civilians were killed.

For his supposed unpreparedness at Pearl Harbor, Admiral Kimmel was relieved of his command, and he retired on January 7, 1942.

After the war was over, Congress looked into the reasons for the lack of preparation at Pearl Harbor. Their conclusions are most revealing:

  1. The attack was unprovoked by America;
  2. There was no evidence that the President, Secretary of State, Secretary of War, Secretary of Navy, provoked the attack;
  3. The American government made every effort to avoid the war with Japan;
  4. The attack was caused by the Army's and Navy's failure to detect hostile forces; and
  5. The errors made were errors of judgment and not derelictions of duty.

The last conclusion was apparently intended to relieve the commanders of the armed forces from responsibility so that they could not be courtmartialed. Admiral Kimmel and General Walter C. Short, the commander of the armed forces at Pearl Harbor, continuously pleaded for a court martial to clear their reputations, but they were never granted.

Admiral Robert Theobold, the Commander of all destroyers at Pearl Harbor, wrote a book entitled The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor, in which he detailed his conclusions about the "surprise attack." He wrote:

  1. President Roosevelt forced Japan to war and enticed them to initiate hostilities by holding the Pacific fleet in Hawaiian waters as an invitation to that attack;
  2. The plans to use Pearl Harbor as the bait started in June, 1940;
  3. War with Japan meant war with Germany; and
  4. Roosevelt, Marshall and Stark knew about Pearl Harbor 21 hours before the attack.

But in spite of all of this evidence that the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was known by Roosevelt and his top advisors well in advance of that actual event, there are those who still hold to the position that the government, and Roosevelt specifically, knew nothing about it.

One of these skeptics is Walter Scott, who writes the question-and answer series called "Personality Parade" in the Parade magazine. In answer to the question: "Is it true that Franklin D. Roosevelt knew that Japan was going to attack Pearl Harbor in World War II?" Mr. Scott answered: "Not true."

So America now had a two-front war against Japan in the Pacific and against Germany in Europe.

Just as planned!