The Wall Street Elites Who Financed Hitler

Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States – Prequel B

Directed by Oliver Stone

Film Review

Prequel B starts with the period of social repression that followed the return of GIs from World War I. US leaders were extremely concerned they would spread the oral sex techniques they had learned from French women. Alcohol prohibition, a crackdown on prostitution, rampant antisemitism (even Harvard restricted Jewish admissions) and anti-immigrant sentiment, and the eugenics movement (accompanied by forced sterilization of convicts, the “feeble minded” and promiscuous women) were all typical of this intense repression.

During the same period, Wall Street banks greatly reduced their investment in agriculture and manufacture, preferring the easier profits to be had from cheap credit and speculation. In 1929, a disastrous decision by central banks to increase interest rates triggered a deadly global depression, setting the stage for the rise of fascism in Europe.

Back in the US, Generals MacArthur, Eisenhower and Patton charged 40,000 World War I veterans and their families with infantry and tanks and burned their tents. The latter, calling themselves the Bonus Army, were demanding immediate payment of the bonus they had been promised for serving in World War I.

Stone describes the 1930s as a radical period of social experimentation, in part due to Roosevelt’s sweeping New Deal social reforms (including Social Security, unemployment insurance, agricultural subsidies, aid to dependent children and Federal paid work schemes), and in part due to aggressive industrial unionization and intense interest on the part of American intellectuals in Russia’s experiment with communism. Hundreds of thousands of Americans would join the Communist Party, while numerous prominent writers (including Ernest Hemingway, Langston Hughes, Sinclair Lewis, Richard Wright, Clifford Odets, and Sherwood Anderson) were communist sympathizers.

During the same period, the America’s wealthy elites were more inclined to support Hitler. Key individuals who helped finance the Third Reich include Henry Ford, Prescott Bush, William Randolph Hearst, the Morgan brothers, Allen Dulles (first CIA director) and John Foster Dulles (Secretary of State under Eisenhower). The key US banks involved were Bank of International Settlements, Chase Manhattan, JP Morgan and United Banking Corporation (Brown Brothers Harriman). Specific US companies that provided Hitler with armaments, military vehicles, aircraft, oil and other material support include Kodak, ITT, Dupont, Westinghouse, Standard Oil, Singer, GE, Pratt and Whitney, United Fruit, Singer, Douglas Aircraft and International Harvester.

In 1933, some of these same industrialists would also try to instigate a coup – foiled by General Smedley Butler – to remove Roosevelt from office.


Jonathan Kozol and the Pernicious Underfunding of Inner City Schools

Civil rights activist and education reformer Jonathan Kozol has been working with children in inner city schools for more than forty years. His primary focus is the pernicious under funding of schools that primarily serve minority students. In the talk below, he uses New York City as an example. In the year 2000, a child attending a Long Island school received average funding of $18,000 a year, while one attending school in the South Bronx received average funding of $8,000.

In the 1960s, Kozol worked as a primary school teacher in inner city Boston. He left classroom teaching to focus on teacher training, educational research and social justice organizing. His best known books are his 1967 Death at an Early Age: the Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools, his 1988 Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America, his 1991 Savage Inequalities, his 1995 Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation and his 2000 Ordinary Resurrections. The last two refer to his extensive work in South Bronx public schools and the students he came to know there.

In my view, his most powerful presentations are those in which he talks about Pineapple and Anthony and other students he worked with in the South Bronx.

The talk below is divided into six 8 minutes segments.

Part 1 – Kozol talks about getting his start in a Roxbury (Boston) church freedom school following the 1964 murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi.

Part 2 – Kozol addresses the severe disadvantages inner city school children start out with, including the highest rate of asthma in the country (due to constant exposure to polluting industries sited in their neighborhoods), periodic episodes of homelessness and the fact that more than one-fourth have fathers in prison.

Part 3 – Kozol addresses  discriminatory funding patterns in inner city schools.

Part 4 – Kozol laments the devastating impact of high stakes testing on inner city students, teachers and principals. Introducing Pineapple and other South Bronx students he has worked with, he explains how pressure to train students for high stakes testing destroys genuine motivation for learning.

Part 5 – Kozol talks about his depressing efforts to lobby Congress to improve funding for inner city schools. He also describes the time Mr Rogers came to visit the South Bronx after school program where he volunteered.

Part 6 – Kozol talks about how teaching in the ghetto politicized him, especially after he was fired by the Boston Public Schools for teaching his African American students about the African American poet Langston Hughes.