The Watchman On The Wall

The Watchman On The Wall
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Verse 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Friday, August 30, 2013


The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have blood on their hands

Friends, I only became aware of the information in Paul Watson's article on Friday evening. Below you will find links to the watchman’s telecast from Thursday August 29 where I provided evidence that President Obama and his administration is lying about the WMD attack that occurred near Damascus and that al Nusra/al Qaeda terrorists were responsible.) 
Below is our watchman report program from yesterday in which we discussed the "false flag" chemical attack by al Qaeda/al Nusra terrorists in Syria.

Paul Joseph Watson of Prison wrote the article below.
August 30, 2013
Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta have admitted to Associated Press (AP) correspondent Dale Gavlak that they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Assad’s forces, revealing that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia. (Watchman comment: When I was in Iraq it was not unusual for al Qaeda leaders to use their foot soldiers as uninformed pawns. For example, they would remotely blow up trucks while their  foot soldiers were driving. This way they were assured the bombing would take place when and where they wanted it to.)  
From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families, many believe that rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the deadly gas attack.
Rebels told Gavlak that they were not properly trained on how to handle the chemical weapons or even told what they were. It appears as though the weapons were initially supposed to be given to the Al-Qaeda offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra.
“We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions,” one militant named ‘J’ told Gavlak.
His claims are echoed by another female fighter named ‘K’, who told Gavlak, “They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them. We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”
Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of an opposition rebel, also told Gavlak, “My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” describing them as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.” The father names the Saudi militant who provided the weapons as Abu Ayesha.
According to Abdel-Moneim, the weapons exploded inside a tunnel, killing 12 rebels.
“More than a dozen rebels interviewed reported that their salaries came from the Saudi government,” writes Gavlak.
This story completely derails the United States’ rush to attack Syria which has been founded on the “undeniable” justification that Assad was behind the chemical weapons attack. Dale Gavlak’s credibility is very impressive. She has been a Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press for two decades and has also worked for National Public Radio (NPR) and written articles forBBC News.
The website on which the story originally appeared - Mint Press (which is currently down as a result of huge traffic it is attracting to the article) is a legitimate media organization based in Minnesota. The Minnesota Post did a profile on them last year.
Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in providing rebels, whom they have vehemently backed at every turn, with chemical weapons, is no surprise given the revelations earlier this week that the Saudis threatened Russia with terror attacks at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi unless they abandoned support for the Syrian President.
“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” Prince Bandar allegedly told Vladimir Putin, the Telegraph reports.
The Obama administration is set to present its intelligence findings today in an effort prove that Assad’s forces were behind last week’s attack, despite American officials admitting to the New York Times that there is no “smoking gun” that directly links President Assad to the attack.
US intelligence officials also told the Associated Press that the intelligence proving Assad’s culpability is “no slam dunk.”
As we reported earlier this week, intercepted intelligence revealed that the Syrian Defense Ministry was making “panicked” phone calls to Syria’s chemical weapons department demanding answers in the hours after the attack, suggesting that it was not ordered by Assad’s forces.
UPDATE: Associated Press contacted us to confirm that Dave Gavlak is an AP correspondent, but that her story was not published under the banner of the Associated Press. We didn’t claim this was the case, we merely pointed to Gavlak’s credentials to stress that she is a credible source, being not only an AP correspondent, but also having written for PBS, BBC and
A spent chemical weapon?
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

DEBKAfile Dec 23, 2012 “At the moment, [Syria’s] chemical weapons are under control,” said senior Israeli defense official Amos Gilad Sunday, Dec. 23, echoing the statement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Saturday that “the Syrian government has “consolidated its chemical weapons in one or two locations amid a rebel onslaught and they are under control for the time being.”

DEBKAfile reported on Dec 22, 2012 that the chemical warfare threat looming over Syria’s civil war and its neighbors has taken an epic turn with the announcement by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Saturday, Dec. 22, that “the Syrian government has “consolidated its chemical weapons in one or two locations amid a rebel onslaught and they are under control for the time being.”
He added that Russia, “which has military advisers training Syria’s military, has kept close watch over its chemical arsenal.”
DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report: The Russian foreign minister’s statement was a message to Washington that the transfer of Syria’s weapons of mass destruction to one or two protected sites was under Russian control. This had removed the danger of them falling into the hands of the al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra ,which had come ominously close Friday, Dec. 21, when the Islamists spearheaded a Syrian rebel assault for the capture of the al-Safira military complex and Bashar Assad’s chemical and biological stores.
Lavrov did not go into detail about how this arsenal was removed and to which locations. But his reference to “Russian military advisers training Syria’s military” clearly indicated that Russian forces were directly involved in removing the WMD out of the reach of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists.
His assertion that they were “under control” indicated that Russia was also involved in safeguarding them.

On March 19, 2013 Russia Today reported that Syrian rebels  used rockets containing chemical substances in the conflict, killing 16 people. Reports say most of the casualties killed in the attack in the flashpoint city of Aleppo were civilians.
“Terrorists fired a rocket containing chemical substances in the Khan al-Assal area of rural Aleppo and initial reports indicate that around 15 people were killed, most of them civilians,” SANA news agency said. This is the first time the Syrian government has accused opposition forces of using chemical weapons in the ongoing conflict.
Shortly after the incident Al-Arabiya wrote that regime forces had struck Khan al-Assal with SCUD missiles and cases of suffocation had been reported.
The Russian Embassy in Damascus told RT that it had received no reports on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Fears that Syria’s chemical weapons could fall into militant hands have been a source of constant concern for the international community over the past few months. The US and the UN have repeatedly warned President Bashar Assad’s government against deploying its own chemical arms stockpile.
Damascus maintains that it would never use such weapons against its own people, but would consider their deployment if threatened by outside forces.
Reports that Syrian rebels had seized control of a number of chemical weapons depots in the Aleppo province emerged on Sunday.
“Opposition fighters gained control over weapons and ammunition stores in the village of Khan Toman in southern Aleppo province on Saturday after fierce fighting that went on for more than three days,” an anonymous military source told AFP. Reports of the weapons seizure came after days of brutal clashes between opposition and government forces.
The source said the rebels only managed to steal a few crates containing ammunition, as a large part of the weapons stockpile had been transferred out of the facility. Activists disputed this, maintaining that rebels had taken control of “huge reserves.” A video posted online showed fighters looking over crates of weapons and ammunition, and claimed the attack was mounted by opposition group the Martyrs of Syria.
UK-based opposition group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the attack, but did not mention chemical weapons among the arms that were reportedly seized by the rebels.

Russia Today reported on Sunday, June 10, 2012 that the armed Syrian opposition has got their hands on chemical weapons, which they acquired from Libya, a media report claims. They allegedly plan to use it against civilians and pin the atrocity on the Bashar al-Assad regime.
The report by Dam Press claims the opposition group in possession of the weapons is being trained in its use inside Turkey. No further detail on the alleged conspiracy is given.
The Libyan stockpile of chemical weapons was a matter of great concern during last year’s civil war in the country. There were fears that they may end up in the hands of the terrorists and used elsewhere in the world. However unlike Libya’s portable surface-to-air arsenal, no reports of the weapons going missing was made public.
Syria has a greater number of chemical weapons than Libya. Military experts say the agents in the Syrian stockpile are also more modern that what Gaddafi had produced for his military. Syria also didn’t join the Chemical Weapons Convention and is not obliged to declare what chemical weapons it possesses.

The 10 anti-christ Kingdoms of Daniel 7:7-8 must exist before the "Time of Jacob's Trouble" begins
Israel on Wednesday implemented an initial, limited call-up of reserve forces and deployed additional anti-missile batteries to the northern border in anticipation of a Western military strike against neighboring Syria. The additional Iron Dome anti-missile batteries along the northern border will help to block more, but not all of the missile Syria could send Israel's way. Israeli military leaders continue to advise that the chances of a serious Syrian attack against Israel are very small. An Israeli official said, Assad knows that pulling Israel into the war would only further decrease any hopes that his regime would survive the conflict. At the same time, this is the Middle East, and anything is possible.
Actually, no, "anything" is not possible. World events are completely controlled by God's prophecies. While increasing numbers of political pundits have been using the World War III label, saying that a global war could erupt if the West attacks Syria, the fact of the matter is that World War III will not begin until the world is ready for Antichrist to step on to the world stage.
When Antichrist appears on the world scene, after a massive global war, he will be fulfilling Daniel 7:7-8. This prophecy declares that the world's nations will be reorganized into 10 kingdoms. The Club of Rome issued a plan in 1972 that reorganized the world into exactly 10 kingdoms, a plan which will fulfill this prophecy precisely.
When you study Daniel 7:7-8, you will realize that Antichrist cannot come to this world until the 10 Kingdoms are complete. Until these 10 Kingdoms are formed, with their own government, judicial system, and currency, Antichrist cannot appear.  Hence, until these 10 Kingdoms are created, the World War III which is designed to produce him, cannot occur.
In fact, the economic collapse planned during World War III cannot occur. In fact, one market analyst believes that the American stock market will move sharply higher once the missiles have completed their destruction in Syria.
NEWS BRIEF: "After Missiles Fly in Syria, Watch for Market Rebound", Yahoo Finance, August 28, 2013
"The fear premium hangs over nearly every unexpected development in the Middle East. Since the whole region is characterized by coups, terrorist attacks and forceful repression, seemingly any crack in social order can spiderweb into bedlam ... Yet there also seems to be a natural limit to how much instability this famously unstable region can export to the rest of the world ... Western policymakers are about to test their ability to contain hostilities in the Middle East to their country of origin. Recent experience in nearby countries suggests they will succeed, with a Syrian conflict causing lots of immediate worry in global markets but little lasting damage."
"Once missiles actually fly, however, its a good bet oil prices will spike further and stocks will swoon ... It would be a much bigger problem if Iran escalated the conflict by trying to block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, which is a transit point for about 20% of the worlds oil supply. But that would provoke an immediate U.S. response and be game over for the Iranians, says Trevor Houser of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Considering that Iran backed away from such action when the United States and Europe imposed sanctions on its own oil sales in 2012, it seems extremely unlikely Iran would undertake a suicide mission on behalf of a war-torn ally."
"What seems more likely is a lot of hand-wringing among investors once air strikes begin, followed by a few high-pucker days in the markets and then a return to relative calm. I think well get maybe a $10 spike in oil prices the day the strikes commence, says Houser. But unless it leads to retaliation that disrupts supply, it would be difficult to sustain price increases for more than a few days. If thats how the scenario unfolds, an attack on Syria could be the ultimate buy-the-dip (and short-the-spike) opportunity."
" In geopolitical terms, Syria will remain a snake pit. But harming the global economy is probably one bit of collateral damage the U.S. and European generals wont have to worry about."
Friends, we have read the plans of the Illuminati to move the world into their coveted New World Order and a third world war and at this point it is not happening. We have also passed their plans through Bible prophecy and realize that the 10 Kingdoms are not ready to be instituted.

rebels firing a WMD in Syria
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Friday morning that the Obama administration laid the groundwork for unilateral military action in Syria, a shift officials said reflected the U.K.'s abrupt decision not to participate and concerns that President Assad was using the delayed Western response to disperse his military assets. (watchman comment: Obama’s "evidence" in my opinion, is weak and circumstantial. 

The WSJ further reported that Russia and Iran are said to be preparing an "asymmetric" response; Iran has threatened to attack oil shipment facilities throughout the Middle East should she be attacked.
Friends, God’s plan to destroy satan and his followers in the Illuminati, the New World Order and the Club of Rome’s is proceeding as Isaiah 17 plays out before our eyes.

On Thursday, August 29, 2013, in what has been called a "brutal and vicious act," a team of 20 social workers, police officers, and special agents stormed a homeschooling family's residence near Darmstadt, Germany, forcibly removing all four of the family's children (ages 7-14). The sole grounds for removal were that the parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education. 

As the family quietly began their homeschool day, they were interrupted by a ring at the door. Dirk Wunderlich described the frightening turn of events. 

"I looked through a window and saw many people, police, and special agents, all armed," he said. "They told me they wanted to come in to speak with me. I tried to ask questions, but within seconds, three police officers brought a battering ram and were about to break the door in, so I opened it. 

"The police shoved me into a chair and wouldn't let me even make a phone call at first. It was chaotic as they told me they had an order to take the children. At my slightest movement the agents would grab me as if I were a terrorist. You would never expect anything like this to happen in our calm, peaceful village. It was like a scene out of a science fiction movie. Our neighbors and children have been traumatized by this invasion." 

Wunderlich said that his 14-year-old daughter Machsejah had to be forcibly taken out of the home. 

"When I went outside, our neighbor was crying as she watched," he said. "I turned around to see my daughter being escorted as if she were a criminal by two big policemen. They weren't being nice at all. When my wife tried to give my daughter a kiss and a hug goodbye, one of the special agents roughly elbowed her out of the way and said, 'It's too late for that.' What kind of government acts like this?" 

After the children were taken away, the family was asked to attend a meeting with the senior social authority in charge at the scene. The Wunderlichs agreed to the meeting and were joined by their attorney, Andreas Vogt, who came as soon as he was notified, traveling hours by train to attend. 

When the parents asked when they could seek a hearing to contest the seizure of their children, they were told they would have to wait until the regular judge returned from vacation. Vogt told Home School Legal Defense Association that the authorities had displayed little sympathy. 

HSLDA obtained and translated the court documents that authorized this use of force to seize the children. The only legal grounds for removal were the family's continuation of homeschooling their children. The papers contain no other allegations of abuse or neglect. Moreover, Germany has not even alleged educational neglect for failing to provide an adequate education. 

Judge Koenig, a Darmstadt family court judge, signed the order authorizing the immediate seizure of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich's children on August 28. Citing the parents' failure to cooperate "with the authorities to send the children to school," the judge also authorized the use of force "against the children" if necessary, reasoning that such force might be required because the children had "adopted the parents' opinions" regarding homeschooling and that "no cooperation could be expected" from either the parents or the children. 

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris said Germany has continued to show its disregard for the human right to homeschool. "Germany has grossly violated the rights of this family," he said. "This latest act of seizing these four beautiful, innocent children is an outrageous act of a rogue nation." 

The right of parents to decide how children are educated is a human right of the highest order, said Farris. 

"The United States Constitution is not alone in upholding the right of parents to decide how to educate their children," Farris said. "Germany is a party to numerous human rights treaties that recognize the right of parents to provide an education distinct from the public schools so that children may be educated according to the parents' religious convictions. Germany has simply not met its obligations under these treaties or as a liberal democracy. HSLDA and I will do whatever we can to help this family regain custody of their children and ensure that they are safe from this persecution. This case demonstrates conclusively why the Romeike asylum case is so important. Families in Germany need a safe place where they can educate their children in peace." 

The Wunderlich family has faced their share of problems in trying to homeschool their children. In October 2012, state youth officials were granted formal legal custody of the Wunderlich children by a German court based solely on the fact that the family was homeschooling, but the ruling was forestalled by Vogt. Over the past four years, HSLDA has reported on the Wunderlich family as they have moved from country to country in the European Union looking for a place to call home where they could freely homeschool their children. Although they found refuge from homeschool persecution, Mr. Wunderlich was unable to find work, and last year the family had to return to Germany. At their return, the children's passports were seized to ensure they couldn't flee the country again. 

Following the raid, Dirk Wunderlich told Mike Donnelly, HSLDA Director for International Affairs, that he and his wife were devastated. 

"These are broken people," Donnelly said. "They said they felt like they were being ground into dust. They were shaken to their core and shocked by the event. But they also told me that they had followed their conscience and the dictates of their faith. Although they don't have much faith in the German state, they have a lot of faith in God. They are an inspiring and courageous family. 

"I've been fighting for German homeschool freedom for years," he continued, "and I had hoped that things were changing in Germany since it has been some time since brutality of this magnitude has occurred. But I was wrong." 

Petra Wunderlich said her heart was shattered. "We are empty," she said. "We need help. We are fighting but we need help." 

HSLDA has today begun a nationwide campaign to urge American homeschoolers to call the German embassy and its consular offices in the United States to protest this blatant violation of Germany's human rights commitments. 

Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms. Visit us online at

The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank of International Settlements

This article was written by Adam LeBor.
Thomas McKittrick

After Thomas McKittrick, the former president of the Bank for International Settlements, died in a New Jersey nursing home in 1970, at age 81, the New York Times eulogized him as a world financier. His brief obituary described him as a man sufficiently daring to attend a bank meeting in Switzerland in 1940 “within earshot of a French-German artillery duel,” while his peers voted by proxy instead. But like many obituaries, McKittrick’s death notice was more notable for what it omitted.
As head of the BIS, headquartered in Basel, from 1940 to 1946, McKittrick played a crucial role in abetting Hitler’s war—and, at the same time, in revealing details about his Nazi colleagues to his friends in Washington, D.C. On McKittrick’s watch, the BIS willingly accepted looted Nazi gold, carried out foreign exchange deals for the Reichsbank, and recognized the Nazi invasion and annexation of conquered countries. By doing so, it also legitimized the role of the national banks in the occupied countries in appropriating Jewish-owned assets. Indeed, the BIS was so indispensable to the overall Nazi 
Emil Puhl
project that the vice-president of the Reichsbank, Emil Puhl—who was later tried for war crimes—once referred to the BIS as the Reichsbank’s only “foreign branch.” In the closing months of the war, as American GIs fought their way across Europe, McKittrick was arranging deals with Nazi industrialists to guarantee their profits after the Allied victory.
But McKittrick was also a key contact between the Allies and the Nazis, passing information back and forth from Washington to Berlin. His relationship with the Third Reich was encouraged both by factions within the State Department and by the leadership of the Office for Strategic Services, the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency. He also served as a back-channel between anti-Nazi German business interests and the United States—and ultimately served to help preserve the power of German industry after the war, over the opposition of no less a figure than Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau.
Born in St. Louis in 1889, McKittrick graduated from Harvard in 1911. He joined the U.S. Army in 1918, at the end of WWI, and was sent to Liverpool, England. There he was seconded to British military intelligence, checking that no spies were using the docks to pass in and out of the country. After the armistice in November 1918, McKittrick was dispatched to France to work with the Allied occupation forces. The following year he returned to New York and started work at Lee, Higginson & Company, then a renowned Boston investment house.
In 1921, McKittrick was sent to London to work for the firm’s British wing, and he was made a partner. He quickly built up an impressive network of contacts with international connections. Much of his time was spent working on German loans and investments, many of which were arranged by John Foster Dulles, then a lawyer working at the immensely powerful law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell. McKittrick enjoyed his time in London and became a kind of honorary Englishman, complete with a butler who ironed his copy of theTimes of London each morning before he read it.
McKittrick’s involvement with the BIS began in 1931, when he joined the German Credits Arbitration Committee, which adjudicated disputes involving German commercial banks.
One of the other two members was Marcus Wallenberg, of Sweden’s Enskilda Bank, who taught McKittrick about the intricacies of international finance. Marcus and his brother Jacob were two of the most powerful bankers in the world. During the war, the Wallenberg brothers used Enskilda Bank to play both sides and harvest enormous profits. (Their nephew Raoul would later save tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews before disappearing into the Soviet gulag, abandoned by his uncles.) In May 1939 McKittrick was offered the position of president of the BIS, which he readily accepted. Once he was in office, Marcus Wallenberg remained his most important mentor, teaching the American banker how to negotiate the delicate path between the opposing European powers—just as the Wallenbergs themselves had so skillfully done.
At first glance, McKittrick seemed a curious choice to run the world’s most influential bank, especially during wartime. He was a lawyer by training with no direct experience of central banking. But that did not matter, for McKittrick was the ideal contact person between both sides: He was an American, and thus, when he was appointed in 1940, a citizen of a country that was still neutral in the growing war between the Axis and the Allies. He had excellent connections in Washington and on Wall Street, in London and Berlin.
The BIS was founded in Basel in 1930, where it is still headquartered today. Ostensibly set up as part of the Young Plan to administer German reparations payments for WWI, its real purpose was detailed in its statutes: to “promote the cooperation of central banks and to provide additional facilities for international financial operations.” The establishment of the BIS was the culmination of the central bankers’ decades-old dream to have their own bank—powerful, independent, and free from interfering politicians and nosy reporters. Under the terms of the founding treaty, the bank’s assets could never be seized, even in times of war. Most felicitous of all, the BIS was self-financing and would be in perpetuity. Its clients were its own founders and shareholders—the central banks. The BIS, boasted Gates McGarrah, an American banker who served as its first president, was “completely removed from any government or political control.”
Based in a former hotel near Basel’s central railway station, the BIS swiftly made itself into the principal pillar of the new international global financial system at a time of worldwide financial crisis. It organized bailouts for Austria, Spain, and Hungary. It provided banking services for central banks. Its annual reports on the state of the global economy were soon required reading in the world’s treasuries. Every month, the BIS brought together some of the most powerful central bankers in the world, in conditions of extreme secrecy, to discuss the world economy. Reporters were forbidden from even looking into the room where the directors met after they had left. The cabal of central bankers, aided by their numerous friends on Wall Street, including John Foster Dulles, the future American secretary of state, and his brother Allen Dulles, had been instrumental in rebuilding Germany after WWI—a project that continued after Hitler took power in 1933.

Ernst Hanfstaengl on the right with Hitler on the left 
Before he moved to Basel, McKittrick had established himself as a valuable go-between for the Americans. In October 1939, lawyers for Ernst Hanfstaengl, Hitler’s former propaganda chief, asked McKittrick to provide a character reference for their client. Hanfstaengl, a Harvard graduate, had lived in New York and was well connected in American high society. He returned to Germany to become one of Hitler’s earliest backers. Hanfstaengl was appointed foreign press chief in 1931, and his job was to present a moderate, sophisticated face to journalists. However, his eccentric mannerisms, dry sense of humor, and close connection to Hitler made him enemies, and he fled in 1937, eventually winding up in a British prison camp. McKittrick was ready to declare that the former Nazi spin doctor would not act against British interests if he were set free—although it is unclear how McKittrick could know this. Hanfstaengl was duly released and sent to the United States, where he compiled psychological profiles of Nazi leaders for American intelligence.
McKittrick was an admirer of the new Germany and, like many in his social and business circles at that time, had an ambivalent attitude toward Jews. After Kristallnacht, the German pogrom of November 1938, he used his contacts to help Rabbi Israel Mattuck, of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in London, arrange the immigration of German Jews. Mattuck wrote a grateful note thanking McKittrick “most heartily.” Later on, in August 1942, Paul Dreyfus, a Basel banker, asked McKittrick to write a letter of introduction for him to Leland Harrison, the American ambassador to Switzerland. McKittrick obliged but made his feelings about Dreyfus clear in a separate letter to Harrison. “He is, as you will surmise, a Jew, but a good sort who is doing everything he can to help his unfortunate countrymen.”
McKittrick started work in Basel in January 1940. The outbreak of war in Europe posed existential choices for the BIS management. There were three options: liquidate the bank, downsize and become dormant until the end of hostilities, or remain as active as possible within the bounds of the declared policy of “neutrality.” The directors were unanimous—and already thinking ahead of the needs of transnational capital: The BIS must be kept going to assist with postwar financial reconstruction. (Watchman comment: yeah, sure these blood suckers smelled war time profit.) McKittrick assured the Swiss authorities that the bank would be neutral and the staff would not “undertake political activities of any sort whatsoever on behalf of any governments or national organizations.”
The bank was indeed a bizarre island of neutrality. Basel is perched on the northern Swiss border, overlooking both France and Germany. Just a few miles away, Allied and Nazi troops were fighting and dying. But at the BIS, nationals of opposing sides worked together in courteous harmony. Roger Auboin, the manager, was a Frenchman. Paul Hechler, the assistant manager, was a German, a Nazi party member who signed his correspondence ‘Heil Hitler,’ as German law required. Rafaele Pilotti, the bank’s secretary, was Italian. British nationals also worked at the bank. After the fall of France, the BIS and the staff were temporarily evacuated from Basel, in anticipation of a Nazi attack. But the German invasion of Switzerland never materialized. Switzerland was far more useful to the Nazis as a neutral launderer of Nazi gold, a supplier of hard currency, and a financial channel to the rest of the world than as another territory under Nazi rule.
In any case, McKittrick’s declarations of neutrality soon proved worthless. He and the rest of the bank’s management turned the BIS into a de facto arm of the Reichsbank. This was not a result of inertia, passivity, or bureaucratic sloth. It followed from a series of deliberate policy decisions. The BIS accepted Nazi gold looted from occupied countries such as Belgium until the final days of the war, when even neutral countries refused the plunder. The BIS recognized the forcible incorporation of 10 countries, including France, Belgium, Greece, and the Netherlands, into the Third Reich. The BIS allowed the Nazi occupation regimes to take ownership of those nations’ BIS shares, so that the Axis bloc held 64.7 percent of the bank’s voting stock. Board meetings were suspended, but Annual General Meetings continued, with member banks voting by proxy.
McKittrick was especially close to Emil Puhl, the Reichsbank vice-president, whom McKittrick described as his friend. Puhl, who was a director of the BIS, was a regular visitor to Basel. In autumn 1941 McKittrick gave Puhl a tutorial on the Lend-Lease program, under which the United States supplied the Allies with arms, ammunition, and other war materiel. The act, passed in March of that year, effectively marked the end of the United States’ policy of neutrality. But America’s entry into the war did not affect McKittrick’s cordial and productive relationship with the Reichsbank. Puhl wrote of McKittrick in September 1942, “Neither his personality nor his manner of conducting business have been any cause for any criticism whatsoever.”
The Reichsbank greatly valued its relationship with the BIS. Berlin continued to pay interest on the BIS’s prewar investments in Germany, even though that interest contributed to the bank’s dividends, which were paid to its shareholders, including the Bank of England. Thus, through the BIS, Nazi Germany was contributing to Britain’s wartime economy. It was a price worth paying, Puhl believed. Some of the BIS’s dividend payments to shareholders in Nazi-occupied countries went through the Reichsbank, thus giving Berlin access to the foreign exchange transactions and allowing it to charge a fee for its services.
Hermann Schmitz
Hermann Schmitz, the CEO of IG Farben, the giant Nazi chemicals conglomerate, and a BIS board member, sent his sincerest New Year wishes to McKittrick in January 1941. Schmitz wrote, “For their friendly wishes for Christmas and the New Year, and for their good wishes for my 60th birthday, I am sending my sincere thanks. In response, I am sending you my heartfelt wishes for a prosperous year for the Bank for International Settlements.” It would certainly be another prosperous year for IG Farben, one of whose subsidiaries manufactured Zyklon B, the gas used to murder millions of Jews.
In the winter of 1942 McKittrick traveled to the United States. His return to New York was the talk of Wall Street. On Dec. 17, 1942, Leon Fraser, an American banker and himself a former BIS president, hosted a dinner for McKittrick at the University Club. Thirty-seven of the United States’ most powerful financiers, industrialists, and businessmen gathered in his honor. They included the presidents of the New York Federal Reserve, the National City Bank, the Bankers’ Trust, and General Electric, as well as a former under-secretary of the treasury and a former U.S. ambassador to Germany. Standard Oil, General Motors, JP Morgan, Brown Brothers Harriman, several insurance companies, and Kuhn Loeb also sent executives. It was probably the greatest single gathering of America’s war profiteers. Many of these companies and banks had, like McKittrick, made fortunes from their connections with Germany, connections that carried on producing profits long after Hitler took power in 1933 and certainly after the outbreak of war in 1939.
But, despite McKittrick’s powerful connections on Wall Street, the BIS was coming under pressure from the Treasury Department, where Henry Morgenthau and his aide, Harry Dexter White, were the bank’s most powerful foes. White was scathing about McKittrick, describing him as “an American president doing business with the Germans while our American boys are fighting the Germans.” The BIS, like all Swiss banks, needed a license to operate in the United States, and it had been revoked in 1941. McKittrick hired John Foster Dulles to get the license unblocked. He also met Morgenthau. The encounter did not go well. Morgenthau walked out after 20 minutes and recommended that McKittrick consult Treasury experts.
McKittrick was then denied permission to return to Basel. He spent his time while waiting for his passport being debriefed by OSS agents about the intelligence he gleaned from his Nazi contacts. There was a rich haul. Hitler, McKittrick revealed, had become indecisive. “Instead of having a definite plan laid out, and pursuing it relentlessly, he switches from one plan to another,” the OSS report of McKittrick’s interview noted. There were even rumors that he had started drinking. Despite the soaring casualties on the Eastern Front, and the surrender at Stalingrad, most Germans, McKittrick explained, still believed state propaganda. He related how one friend of his in the Reichsbank said he had to get out of Germany every now and again or he would start to believe the propaganda himself.
Some of the most intriguing material the OSS obtained from McKittrick detailed his role as a back-channel between anti-Nazi Germans and the United States. McKittrick told the OSS that he received “peace feelers” from non- or anti-Nazi Germans twice a month. All of them, however, argued that, even if a deal was made, Germany would remain the dominant European power “with a free hand in the east and a large measure of economic control in western Europe.” McKittrick also strongly emphasized the BIS’s future use in planning the postwar order. “While it does not concern itself with political affairs, it does offer facilities for the discussion of postwar financial and economic questions,” wrote the author of the OSS memo, “and he thinks that a year or two can be saved in getting Europe back to work by informal international conversations under its auspices.”
McKittrick finally arrived back in Basel in April 1943. Despite his lobbying and John Foster Dulles’ legal advice, the BIS’s request for exemption was denied, and the bank’s funds in the United States remained frozen. There were many in Washington who asked why the State Department had renewed McKittrick’s passport and allowed him to return to Basel, when it was clear that the BIS was aiding the Nazi war effort. The answer was 60 miles south, in Berne, at Herrengasse, 23.
There, McKittrick’s old friend Allen Dulles ran the Swiss branch of the OSS. McKittrick, also known as OSS codename 644, regularly met with Dulles and American Ambassador Leland Harrison. The three men, McKittrick recalled, talked more freely “in those meetings than at any other time.” Dulles and Harrison wanted to know everything McKittrick knew, especially about Nazi money channels. McKittrick, they discovered, knew a lot. For example, the BIS held gold for the Reichsbank, so sometimes, when the interest was due on the bank’s investments, the BIS simply helped itself to the Nazi gold it held to make up the payments. At other times, the Germans borrowed BIS gold for their dealings with Swiss banks. This cozy arrangement caused no concern at the BIS, said McKittrick, as “we knew that they’d replace it.” McKittrick’s close relationship with Emil Puhl, the vice president of the Reichsbank, was especially valued by Dulles and the OSS.
OSS telegram 3589-90, sent on May 25, 1944—at a time when thousands of Jews were still being deported every day to Auschwitz, where most were immediately murdered—records Puhl’s fears, not that the war was lost, but that the Reichsbank might lose its privileged position during the reconstruction:
Not long ago our 644 [McKittrick] had two lengthy conversations with Puhl of the Reichsbank. The latter was extremely depressed, not so much by the idea of Nazi defeat, but by the situation, which Germany will have to contend with later. The Reichsbank has been engaged in work on plans for the reconstruction, and evidently they are unable to see where an effective beginning can be made.
Declassified OSS documents reveal that McKittrick played a central role in an American psychological-warfare operation known as the “Harvard Plan,” which aimed to undermine the morale of German businessmen—and their support for the Nazi regime. The Stockholm OSS office published a wartime newsletter called “Information for German Business,” the purpose of which was to suggest that cooperation now would pay handsome dividends after the Allied victory.
On Feb. 1, 1945, David Williamson, an official in the OSS Morale Operations department, wrote to codename 110—Allen Dulles. Williamson suggested to Dulles that he set up a similar psychological-warfare operation in Switzerland. He enclosed some draft material. Notably, all the material had been passed by the State Department before it was to be distributed. It revealed how McKittrick was arranging deals with Nazi industrialists to guarantee their profits after the war was over. “The new agreement will guarantee the German export interests during this second period an export income at least equal to their prewar revenues regardless of the expected break in the German cartel control,” read the document. A second paragraph outlined how, even as Allied airmen were bombing Germany, negotiations were under way to “preserve the industrial substance of the Reich.” Anyone who questioned this was merely a “leftist radical,” according to McKittrick:
Mr. Thomas H. McKittrick, the American president of the BIS, has announced his decision to continue his efforts for a close cooperation between the Allied and German business world, irrespective of the opposition of certain leftist radical groups; in these efforts he counts on the full assistance of the American State Department. “After the war such agreements will be invaluable,” said McKittrick.
For Morgenthau and White, such “agreements” were simply treasonous. They wanted the country to be deindustrialized and the power of the German cartels broken forever. For a brief moment, it seemed as though they might triumph. In July 1944 the Allies met at Bretton Woods to plan the postwar financial system. There would be a new International Monetary Fund and an International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. A resolution was passed calling for the dissolution of the BIS “at the earliest possible moment.”
But the Dulles brothers and their allies, who argued that Germany must be rebuilt as rapidly as possible as a bulwark against the Soviet Union, triumphed over Morgenthau and White. The BIS returned the looted Nazi gold, and the calls for its dissolution faded away. Today, the bank is richer and more inviolable than ever. Last year, the BIS made a tax-free profit of $1.36 billion—an impressive sum for a bank with just 140 customers. Ultimately, McKittrick was proved right: The agreements he brokered were indeed “invaluable.”
After he stepped down as BIS president in 1946, McKittrick was appointed a vice president of Chase National Bank in New York, in charge of foreign loans. He was even lauded by those whose stolen goods, in the form of looted Nazi gold, he had traded: That same year, McKittrick was invited to Brussels and decorated with the Royal Order of the Crown of Belgium. The honor, noted a press release, was “in recognition of his friendly attitude to Belgium and his services as President of the Bank for International Settlements during World War II.”