This remarkable piece of research is definitely the most repressed book of all history. In a nutshell, it tells the story of how the Nazi Party of Germany managed to go underground at the end of WWII, while giving all the appearances of disappearing. As we already learned in Kurt Reiss’ book The Nazis go Underground, written in 1944, the formal decision to go underground was made on May 16th 1943. In effect, since November 1942, the executive branch of the Nazi Party, incarnated mainly by Martin Bormann, Adolf Hitler’s right-hand man and financier, and Heinrich Himmler, were convinced that it would be extremely difficult for Germany to win the war on the military front, if not impossible. Hitler came to understand that and to accept it. So the NSDAP, the German Nazi Party, immediately took the appropriate steps to ensure its survival. The Party, that had taken over the government in 1933, withdrew not only out of it but went underground.
This book by Paul Manning explores the circumstances in which such a decision was made but focuses on the economic and financial dimensions of this descent into the underground. If Germany could not win the military war, maybe it could win the political and economical ones. So on August 10th 1944, Martin Bormann inaugurated a flight capital program that would allow him and the NSDAP to transfer all the wealth (gold, money, stocks, paintings, bearer bonds, blue chips, etc) that the Nazis had plundered during WWII in countries they occupied in Europe, into 750 new corporations abroad in « neutral » nations, such as Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Luxembourg, Switzerland and also Argentina, among others. Besides these 750 new corporations, Martin Bormann also utilized the I.G. Farben company, a giant in the chemical industry, to transfer another chunk of the Nazi loot through some 700 companies abroad into which it had interests, besides the official structure that it already had in 93 countries. I.G. Farben was eventually fractured into 47 smaller companies after the war, and then eventually partially reunited into three big corporations (BASF, Bayer and Hoechst). One has to realize that the Nazi occupation was complete. When they occupied a country, not only that their troops were physically marching in the streets and their politicians ruling the government, but they were also taking control of the banks, fabrics, industries, seizing patents, bonds, etc.
On May 1st 1945, Martin Bormann managed to escape while Germany was surrending to the Allies. He made it to Argentina where he established for himself a stronghold. He also lived in a few other countries of South America, and so for many years after the end of the war. Heinrich Mueller was his security chief. These developments in the external form of the Reich brought some interesting consequences. Manning recalls that from 1947 to 1977, the Federal Republic of Germany paid 85.3 billion marks to survivors of the Holocaust. Some of these payments had to be made with discretion from South America. As an example, Manning tells with how much consternation the arrest of Adolf Eichmann in South America was received in Buenos Aires in German and Jewish communities. Many Jewish businessmen having profited from these highly profitable German corporations in the post-WWII world economy, they reacted nervously as they realized that the repercussions of Adolf Eichmann’s arrest could diminish their capacity to share some of that wealth with the newly-born state of Israel and its citizens.
To sums things up, Martin Bormann Nazi in Exile is not only remarkable, it is unique. It is the witness account of someone who made the sacrifice of his own safety and the one of his family to tell the real story of WWII. The fact that the book has been suppressed, as if we were still under the Inquisition of the Catholic Church, is not really surprising. Isn’t history always written by the victors? Because, that’s exactly the key thing here. The Nazis lost on the ground but they won the political, propaganda, economical and financial fronts of the war. The Berlin Wall came down as a confirmation of this. And it fell on November 9th, the most important date on the Nazi calendar, besides April 20th, Hitler’s birthday. When it happened, we all thought that it was the victory of democracy. We were wrong. It was the victory of fascism over communism. Since the end of WWII, democracy has been only the host used by the forces of the Underground Reich to continue its war on Communism, Socialism, the individual and his liberties. I can’t convince you enough to read that courageous research endeavour. Those who don’t know history are condemned to repeat it. Let’s just hope there is still something called « history » next time we have a chance to defeat fascism.