The irony of George W. Bush going before the Knesset and mocking the late Sen. William Borah (pictured here) for expressing surprise at Adolf Hitler’s 1939 invasion of Poland is that Bush’s own family played a much bigger role assisting the Nazis.
If Borah, an isolationist Republican from Idaho, sounded naïve saying “Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided,” then what should be said about Bush’s grandfather and other members of his family providing banking and industrial assistance to the Nazis as they built their war machine in the 1930s?
The archival evidence is now clear that Prescott Bush, the president’s grandfather, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from and collaborated with key financial backers of Nazi Germany.
That business relationship continued after Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and even after Germany declared war on the United States following Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. It stopped only when the U.S. government seized assets of Bush-connected companies in late 1942 under the “Trading with the Enemy Act.”
So, perhaps instead of holding up Sen. Borah to ridicule, Bush might have acknowledged in his May 15 speech that his forebears also were blind to the dangers of Hitler.
By Robert Perry