Then on June 8, 1916, Secretary of State Lansing expanded the
prohibition and clearly stated that the proposed loans were illegal:
Your 563, 565, May 24, g: 569 May 25, 1 pm. Before delivering
messages to Vanderlip and Guaranty Trust Company, I must inquire
whether they refer to Russian Government loans of any
description. If they do, I regret that the Department cannot be
a party to their transmission, as such action would submit it to
justifiable criticism because of participation by this
Government in loan transaction by a belligerent for the purpose
of carrying on its hostile operations. Such participation is
contrary to the accepted rule of international law that neutral
Governments should not lend their assistance to the raising of
war loans by belligerents.
line of the Lansing cable as written, was not transmitted to
Petrograd. The line read: "Cannot arrangements be made to send these
messages through Russian channels?"
How can we
assess these cables and the parties involved?
Morgan-Rockefeller interests were not interested in abiding by
international law. There is obvious intent in these cables to supply
loans to belligerents. There was no hesitation on the part of these
firms to use State Department facilities for the negotiations.
Further, in spite of protests, the State Department allowed the
messages to go through. Finally, and most interesting for subsequent
events, Olof Aschberg, the Swedish banker, was a prominent
participant and intermediary in the negotiations on behalf of
Guaranty Trust. Let us therefore take a closer look at Olof
OLOF ASCHBERG IN NEW YORK,
Aschberg, the "Bolshevik Banker" (or "Bankier der Weltrevolution,"
as he has been called in the German press), was owner of the Nya
Banken, founded 1912 in Stockholm. His co-directors included
prominent members of Swedish cooperatives and Swedish socialists,
including G. W. Dahl, K. G. Rosling, and C. Gerhard Magnusson.18
In 1918 Nya Banken was placed on the Allied black-list for its
financial operations in behalf of Germany. In response to the
blacklisting, Nya Banken changed its name to Svensk Ekonomiebolaget.
The bank remained under the control of Aschberg, and was mainly
owned by him.
The bank's London agent was the British Bank of North
Commerce, whose chairman was Earl Grey, former associate of Cecil
Rhodes. Others in Aschberg's interesting circle of business
associates included Krassin, who was until the Bolshevik Revolution
(when he changed color to emerge as a leading Bolshevik) Russian
manager of Siemens-Schukert in Petrograd; Carl Furstenberg, minister
of finance in the first Bolshevik government; and Max May, vice
president in charge of foreign operations for Guaranty Trust of New
York. Olof Aschberg thought so highly of Max May that a photograph
of May is included in Aschberg's book.19
summer of 1916 Olof Aschberg was in New York representing both Nya
Banken and Pierre Bark, the tsarist minister of finance. Aschberg's
prime business in New York, according to the New York Times
(August 4, 1916), was to negotiate a $50 million loan for Russia
with an American banking syndicate headed by Stillman's National
City Bank. This business was concluded on June 5, 1916; the results
were a Russian credit of $50 million in New York at a bank charge of
7 1/2 percent per annum, and a corresponding 150-million-ruble
credit for the NCB syndicate in Russia. The New York syndicate then
turned around and issued 6 1/2 percent certificates in its own name
in the U.S. market to the amount of $50 million. Thus, the NCB
syndicate made a profit on the $50 million loan to Russia, floated
it on the American market for another profit, and obtained a
150-million-ruble credit in Russia.
New York visit on behalf of the tsarist Russian government, Aschberg
made some prophetic comments concerning the future for America in
opening for American capital and American initiative, with the
awakening brought by the war, will be country-wide when the
struggle is over. There are now many Americans in Petrograd,
representatives of business firms, keeping in touch with the
situation, and as soon as the change comes a huge American trade
with Russia should spring up.20
OLOF ASCHBERG IN
THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION
tsarist loan operation was being floated in New York, Nya Banken and
Olof Aschberg were funneling funds from the German government to
Russian revolutionaries, who would eventually bring down the "Kerensky
committee" and establish the Bolshevik regime.
evidence for Olof Aschberg's intimate connection with financing the
Bolshevik Revolution comes from several sources, some of greater
value than others. The Nya Banken and Olof Aschberg are prominently
cited in the Sisson papers (see chapter three); however, George
Kennan has systematically analyzed these papers and shown them to be
forged, although they are probably based in part on authentic
Other evidence originates with Colonel B. V. Nikitine, in
charge of counterintelligence in the Kerensky government, and
consists of twenty-nine telegrams transmitted from Stockholm to
Petrograd, and vice versa, regarding financing of the Bolsheviks.
Three of these telegrams refer to banks — telegrams 10 and 11 refer
to Nya Banken, and telegram 14 refers to the Russo-Asiatic Bank in
Petrograd. Telegram 10 reads as follows:
Furstenberg Saltsjobaden. Funds very low cannot assist if really
urgent give 500 as last payment pencils huge loss original
hopeless instruct Nya Banken cable further 100 thousand Sumenson.
Kozlovsky Sergievskaya 81. First letters received Nya Banken
telegraphed cable who Soloman offering local telegraphic agency
refers to Bronck Savelievich Avilov.
was the intermediary between Parvus (Alexander I. Helphand) and the
German government. About these transfers, Michael Futrell concludes:
discovered that during the last few months she [Evegeniya
Sumenson] had received nearly a million rubles from Furstenberg
through the Nya Banken in Stockholm, and that this money came
from German sources.21
of the Nikitine series reads: "Furstenberg Saltsjöbaden. Number 90
period hundred thousand into Russo-Asiatic Sumenson."
representative for Russo-Asiatic was MacGregor Grant Company at 120
Broadway, New York City, and the bank was financed by Guaranty Trust
in the U.S. and Nya Banken in Sweden.
mention of the Nya Banken is in the material "The Charges Against
the Bolsheviks," which was published in the Kerensky period.
Particularly noteworthy in that material is a document signed by
Gregory Alexinsky, a former member of the Second State Duma, in
reference to monetary transfers to the Bolsheviks. The document, in
part, reads as follows:
accordance with the information just received these trusted
persons in Stockholm were: the Bolshevik Jacob Furstenberg,
better known under the name of "Hanecki" (Ganetskii), and Parvus
(Dr. Helfand); in Petrograd: the Bolshevik attorney, M. U.
Kozlovsky, a woman relative of Hanecki — Sumenson, engaged in
speculation together with Hanecki, and others. Kozlovsky is the
chief receiver of German money, which is transferred from Berlin
through the "Disconto-Gesellschaft" to the Stockholm "Via Bank,"
and thence to the Siberian Bank in Petrograd, where his account
at present has a balance of over 2,000,000 rubles. The military
censorship has unearthed an uninterrupted exchange of telegrams
of a political and financial nature between the German agents
and Bolshevik leaders [Stockholm-Petrograd].22
there is in the State Dept. files a Green Cipher message from the
U.S. embassy in Christiania (named Oslo, 1925), Norway, dated
February 21, 1918, that reads: "Am informed that Bolshevik funds are
deposited in Nya Banken, Stockholm, Legation Stockholm advised.
Michael Furtell, who interviewed Olof Aschberg just before his
death, concludes that Bolshevik funds were indeed transferred from
Germany through Nya Banken and Jacob Furstenberg in the guise of
payment for goods shipped. According to Futrell, Aschberg confirmed
to him that Furstenberg had a commercial business with Nya Banken
and that Furstenberg had also sent funds to Petrograd. These
statements are authenticated in Aschberg's memoirs (see page 70).
sum, Aschberg, through his Nya Banken, was undoubtedly a channel for
funds used in the Bolshevik Revolution, and Guaranty Trust was
indirectly linked through its association with Aschberg and its
interest in MacGregor Grant Co., New York, agent of the
Russo-Asiatic Bank, another transfer vehicle.
AND GUARANTY TRUST JOIN RUSKOMBANK
years later, in the fall of 1922, the Soviets formed their first
international bank. It was based on a syndicate that involved the
former Russian private bankers and some new investment from German,
Swedish, American, and British bankers. Known as the Ruskombank
(Foreign Commercial Bank or the Bank of Foreign Commerce), it was
headed by Olof Aschberg; its board consisted of tsarist private
bankers, representatives of German, Swedish, and American banks,
and, of course, representatives of the Soviet Union. The U.S.
Stockholm legation reported to Washington on this question and
noted, in a reference to Aschberg, that "his reputation is poor. He
was referred to in Document 54 of the Sisson documents and Dispatch
No. 138 of January 4, 1921 from a legation in Copenhagen."24
banking consortium involved in the Ruskombank represented mainly
British capital. It included Russo-Asiatic Consolidated Limited,
which was one of the largest private creditors of Russia, and which
was granted £3 million by the Soviets to compensate for damage to
its properties in the Soviet Union by nationalization. The British
government itself had already purchased substantial interests in the
Russian private banks; according to a State Department report, "The
British Government is heavily invested in the consortium in
consortium was granted extensive concessions in Russia and the bank
had a share capital of ten million gold rubles. A report in the
Danish newspaper National Titende stated that "possibilities
have been created for cooperation with the Soviet government where
this, by political negotiations, would have been impossible."26
In other words, as the newspaper goes on to say, the politicians had
failed to achieve cooperation with the Soviets, but "it may be taken
for granted that the capitalistic exploitation of Russia is
beginning to assume more definite forms."27
October 1922 Olof Aschberg met in Berlin with Emil Wittenberg,
director of the Nationalbank fur Deutschland, and Scheinmann, head
of the Russian State Bank. After discussions concerning German
involvement in the Ruskombank, the three bankers went to Stockholm
and there met with Max May, vice president of the Guaranty Trust
Max May was then designated director of the Foreign
Division of the Ruskombank, in addition to Schlesinger, former head
of the Moscow Merchant Bank; Kalaschkin, former head of the Junker
Bank; and Ternoffsky, former head of the Siberian Bank. The last
bank had been partly purchased by the British government in 1918.
Professor Gustav Cassell of Sweden agreed to act as adviser to
Ruskombank. Cassell was quoted in a Swedish newspaper (Svenskadagbladet
of October 17, 1922) as follows:
bank has now been started in Russia to take care of purely
banking matters is a great step forward, and it seems to me that
this bank was established in order to do something to create a
new economic life in Russia. What Russia needs is a bank to
create internal and external commerce. If there is to be any
business between Russia and other countries there must be a bank
to handle it. This step forward should be supported in every way
by other countries, and when I was asked my advice I stated that
I was prepared to give it. I am not in favor of a negative
policy and believe that every opportunity should be seized to
help in a positive reconstruction. The great question is how to
bring the Russian exchange back to normal. It is a complicated
question and will necessitate thorough investigation. To solve
this problem I am naturally more than willing to take part in
the work. To leave Russia to her own resources and her own fate
Siberian Bank building in Petrograd was used as the head office of
the Ruskombank, whose objectives were to raise short-term loans in
foreign countries, to introduce foreign capital into the Soviet
Union, and generally to facilitate Russian overseas trade. It opened
on December 1, 1922, in Moscow and employed about 300 persons.
Ruskombank was represented by the Svenska Ekonomibolaget of
Stockholm, Olof Aschberg's Nya Banken under a new name, and in
Germany by the Garantie und Creditbank fur Den Osten of Berlin. In
the United States the bank was represented by the Guaranty Trust
Company of New York. On opening the bank, Olof Aschberg commented:
bank will look after the purchasing of machinery and raw
material from England and the United States and it will give
guarantees for the completion of contracts. The question of
purchases in Sweden has not yet arisen, but it is hoped that
such will be the case later on.29
Ruskombank, Max May of Guaranty Trust made a similar statement:
United States, being a rich country with well developed
industries, does not need to import anything from foreign
countries, but ... it is greatly interested in exporting its
products to other countries and considers Russia the most
suitable market for that purpose, taking into consideration the
vast requirements of Russia in all lines of its economic life.30
that the Russian Commercial Bank was "very important" and that it
would "largely finance all lines of Russian industries."
very beginning the operations of the Ruskombank were restricted by
the Soviet foreign-trade monopoly. The bank had difficulties in
obtaining advances on Russian goods deposited abroad. Because they
were transmitted in the name of Soviet trade delegations, a great
deal of Ruskombank funds were locked up in deposits with the Russian
State Bank. Finally, in early 1924 the Russian Commercial Bank was
fused with the Soviet foreign-trade commissariat, and Olof Aschberg
was dismissed from his position at the bank because, it was claimed
in Moscow, he had misused bank funds. His original connection with
the bank was because of his friendship with Maxim Litvinov. Through
this association, so runs a State Department report, Olof Aschberg
had access to large sums of money for the purpose of meeting
payments on goods ordered by Soviets in Europe:
sums apparently were placed in the Ekonomibolaget, a private
banking company, owned by Mr. Aschberg. It is now alledged [sic]
that a large portion of these funds were employed by Mr.
Aschberg for making investments for his personal account and
that he is now endeavoring to maintain his position in the bank
through his possession of this money. According to my informant
Mr. Aschberg has not been the sole one to profit by his
operations with the Soviet funds, but has divided the gains with
those who are responsible for his appointment in the Russian
Commerce Bank, among them being Litvinoff.31
then became Vneshtorg, by which it is known today.
We now have
to retrace our steps and look at the activities of Aschberg's New
York associate, Guaranty Trust Company, during World War I, to lay
the foundation for examination of its role in the revolutionary era
GUARANTY TRUST AND GERMAN ESPIONAGE IN THE UNITED STATES, 1914-191732
World War I Germany raised considerable funds in New York for
espionage and covert operations in North America and South America.
It is important to record the flow of these funds because it runs
from the same firms — Guaranty Trust and American International
Corporation — that were involved in the Bolshevik Revolution and its
aftermath. Not to mention the fact (outlined in chapter three) that
the German government also financed Lenin's revolutionary
of the loans granted by American banks to German interests in World
War I was given to the 1919 Overman Committee of the United States
Senate by U.S. Military Intelligence. The summary was based on the
deposition of Karl Heynen, who came to the United States in April
1915 to assist Dr. Albert with the commercial and financial affairs
of the German government.
Heynen's official work was the
transportation of goods from the United States to Germany by way of
Sweden, Switzerland, and Holland. In fact, he was up to his ears in
German loans raised in the United States between 1915 and 1918,
according to Heynen, were as follows: The first loan, of $400,000,
was made about September 1914 by the investment bankers Kuhn, Loeb &
Co. Collateral of 25 million marks was deposited with Max M. Warburg
in Hamburg, the German affiliate of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. Captain George
B. Lester of U.S. Military Intelligence told the Senate that
Heynen's reply to the question "Why did you go to Kuhn, Loeb & Co?"
was, "Kuhn, Loeb & Co. we considered the natural bankers of the
German government and the Reichsbank."
loan, of $1.3 million, did not come directly from the United States
but was negotiated by John Simon, an agent of the Suedeutsche
Disconto-Gesellschaft, to secure funds for making shipments to
loan was from the Chase National Bank (in the Morgan group) in the
amount of three million dollars. The fourth loan was from the
Mechanics and Metals National Bank in the amount of one million
dollars. These loans financed German espionage activities in the
United States and Mexico. Some funds were traced to Sommerfeld, who
was an adviser to Von Rintelen (another German espionage agent) and
who was later associated with Hjalmar Schacht and Emil Wittenberg.
Sommerfeld was to purchase ammunition for use in Mexico. He had an
account with the Guaranty Trust Company and from this payments were
made to Western Cartridge Co. of Alton, Illinois, for ammunition
that was shipped to El Paso for use in Mexico by Pancho Villa's
bandits. About $400,000 was expended on ammunition, Mexican
propaganda, and similar activities.
The then German
ambassador Count Von Bernstorff has recounted his friendship with
Adolph von Pavenstedt, a senior partner of Amsinck & Co., which was
controlled and in November 1917 owned by American International
Corporation. American International figures prominently in later
chapters; its board of directors contained the key names on Wall
Street: Rockefeller, Kahn, Stillman, du Pont, Winthrop, etc.
According to Von Bernstorff, Von Pavenstedt was "intimately
acquainted with all the members of the Embassy."33
Von Bernstorff himself regarded Von Pavenstedt as one of the most
respected, "if not the most respected imperial German in New
York."34 Indeed, Von Pavenstedt was
"for many years a Chief pay master of the German spy system in this
country."35 In other words, there is no
question that Armsinck & Co., controlled by American International
Corporation, was intimately associated with the funding of German
wartime espionage in the United States.
To clinch Von Bernstorff's
last statement, there exists a photograph of a check in favor of
Amsinck & Co., dated December 8, 1917 — just four weeks after the
start of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia — signed Von Papen
(another German espionage operator), and having a counterfoil
bearing the notation "travelling expenses on Von W [i.e., Von Wedell]."
French Strothers,36 who published the
photograph, has stated that this check is evidence that Von Papen
"became an accessory after the fact to a crime against American
laws"; it also makes Amsinck & Co. subject to a similar charge.
Bolo-Pasha, yet another German espionage agent, and a prominent
French financier formerly in the service of the Egyptian government,
arrived in New York in March 1916 with a letter of introduction to
Von Pavenstedt. Through the latter, Bolo-Pasha met Hugo Schmidt,
director of the Deutsche Bank in Berlin and its representative in
the United States.
One of Bolo-Pasha's projects was to purchase
foreign newspapers so as to slant their editorials in favor of
Germany. Funds for this program were arranged in Berlin in the form
of credit with Guaranty Trust Company, with the credit subsequently
made available to Amsinck & Co. Adolph von Pavenstedt, of Amsinck,
in turn made the funds available to Bolo-Pasha.
words, both Guaranty Trust Company and Amsinck & Co., a subsidiary
of American International Corporation, were directly involved in the
implementation of German espionage and other activities in the
United States. Some links can be established from these firms to
each of the major German operators in the U.S. — Dr. Albert, Karl
Heynen, Von Rintelen, Von Papan, Count Jacques Minotto (see below),
and Paul Bolo-Pasha.
In 1919 the
Senate Overman Committee also established that Guaranty Trust had an
active role in financing German World War I efforts in an
"unneutral" manner. The testimony of the U.S. intelligence officer
Becker makes this clear:
mission Hugo Schmidt [of Deutsche Bank] was very largely
assisted by certain American banking institutions. It was while
we were neutral, but they acted to the detriment of the British
interests, and I have considerable data on the activity of the
Guaranty Trust Co. in that respect, and would like to know
whether the committee wishes me to go into it.
NELSON: That is a branch of the City Bank, is it not?
OVERMAN: If it was inimical to British interests it was
unneutral, and I think you had better let it come out.
KING: Was it an ordinary banking transaction?
BECKER: That would be a matter of opinion. It has to do with
camouflaging exchange so as to make it appear to be neutral
exchange, when it was really German exchange on London. As a
result of those operations in which the Guaranty Trust Co.
mainly participated between August 1, 1914, and the time America
entered the war, the Deutsche Banke in its branches in South
America succeeded in negotiating £4,670,000 of London exchange
in war time.
OVERMAN: I think that is competent.37
really important is not so much that financial assistance was given
to Germany, which was only illegal, as that directors of Guaranty
Trust were financially assisting the Allies at the same time. In
other words, Guaranty Trust was financing both sides of The
conflict. This raises the question of morality.
Jacques Minotto is a most unlikely but verifiable and persistent
thread that links the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia with German
banks, German World War I espionage in the United States, the
Guaranty Trust Company in New York, the abortive French Bolshevik
revolution, and the related Caillaux-Malvy espionage trials in
Minotto was born February 17, 1891, in Berlin, the son of an
Austrian father descended from Italian nobility, and a German
mother. Young Minotto was educated in Berlin and then entered
employment with the Deutsche Bank in Berlin in 1912. Almost
immediately Minotto was sent to the United States as assistant to
Hugo Schmidt, deputy director of the Deutsche Bank and its New York
representative. After a year in New York, Minotto was sent by the
Deutsche Bank to London, where he circulated in prominent political
and diplomatic circles. At the outbreak of World War I, Minotto
returned to the United States and immediately met with the German
ambassador Count Von Bernstorff, after which he entered the employ
of Guaranty Trust Company in New York. At Guaranty Trust, Minotto
was under the direct orders of Max May, director of its foreign
department and an associate of Swedish banker Olof Aschberg. Minotto
was no minor bank official. The interrogatories of the Caillaux
trials in Paris in 1919 established that Minotto worked directly
under Max May.39 On October 25, 1914,
Guaranty Trust sent Jacques Minotto to South America to make a
report on the political, financial, and commercial situation. As he
did in London, Washington, and New York, so Minotto moved in the
highest diplomatic and political circles here. One purpose of
Minotto's mission in Latin America was to establish the mechanism by
which Guaranty Trust could be used as an intermediary for the
previously mentioned German fund raising on the London money market,
which was then denied to Germany because of World War I.
returned to the United States, renewed his association with Count
Von Bernstorff and Count Luxberg, and subsequently, in 1916,
attempted to obtain a position with U.S. Naval Intelligence. After
this he was arrested on charges of pro-German activities. When
arrested Minotto was working at the Chicago plant of his
father-in-law Louis Swift, of Swift & Co., meatpackers. Swift put up
the security for the $50,000 bond required to free Minotto, who was
represented by Henry Veeder, the Swift & Co. attorney. Louis Swift
was himself arrested for pro-German activities at a later date.
an interesting and not unimportant coincidence, "Major" Harold H.
Swift, brother of Louis Swift, was a member of the William Boyce
Thompson 1917 Red Cross Mission to Petrograd — that is, one of the
group of Wall Street lawyers and businessmen whose intimate
connections with the Russian Revolution are to be described later.
Helen Swift Neilson, sister of Louis and Harold Swift, was later
connected with the pro-Communist Abraham Lincoln Center "Unity."
This established a minor link between German banks, American banks,
German espionage, and, as we shall see later, the Bolshevik
Caillaux was a famous (sometimes called notorious) French
politician. He was also associated with Count Minotto in the
latter's Latin America operations for Guaranty Trust, and was later
implicated in the famous French espionage cases of 1919, which had
Bolshevik connections. In 1911, Caillaux became minister of finance
and later in the same year became premier of France. John Louis
Malvy became undersecretary of state in the Caillaux government.
Several years later Madame Caillaux murdered Gaston Calmette, editor
of the prominent Paris newspaper Figaro. The prosecution
charged that Madame Caillaux murdered Calmette to prevent
publication of certain compromising documents. This affair resulted
in the departure of Caillaux and his wife from France. The couple
went to Latin America and there met with Count Minotto, the agent of
the Guaranty Trust Company who was in Latin America to establish
intermediaries for German finance. Count Minotto was socially
connected with the Caillaux couple in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo,
Brazil, in Montevideo, Uruguay, and in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In
other words, Count Minotto was a constant companion of the Caillaux
couple while they were in Latin America.41
On returning to France, Caillaux and his wife stayed at Biarritz as
guests of Paul Bolo-Pasha, who was, as we have seen, also a German
espionage operator in the United States and France.42
Later, in July 1915, Count Minotto arrived in France from Italy, met
with the Caillaux couple; the same year the Caillaux couple also
visited Bolo-Pasha again in Biarritz.
In other words, in 1915 and
1916 Caillaux established a continuing social relationship with
Count Minotto and Bolo-Pasha, both of whom were German espionage
agents in the United States.
Bolo-Pasha's work in France was to gain influence for Germany in the
Paris newspapers Le Temps and Figaro. Bolo-Pasha then
went to New York, arriving February 24, 1916. Here he was to
negotiate a loan of $2 million — and here he was associated with Von
Pavenstedt, the prominent German agent with Amsinck & Co.43
Severance Johnson, in The Enemy Within, has connected
Caillaux and Malvy to the 1918 abortive French Bolshevik revolution,
and states that if the revolution had succeeded, "Malvy would have
been the Trotsky of France had Caillaux been its Lenin."44
Caillaux and Malvy formed a radical socialist party in France using
German funds and were brought to trial for these subversive efforts.
The court interrogatories in the 1919 French espionage trials
introduce testimony concerning New York bankers and their
relationship with these German espionage operators. They also set
forth the links between Count Minotto and Caillaux, as well as the
relationship of the Guaranty Trust Company to the Deutsche Bank and
the cooperation between Hugo Schmidt of Deutsche Bank and Max May of
Guaranty Trust Company. The French interrogatory (page 940) has the
following extract from the New York deposition of Count Minotto
(page 10, and retranslated from the French):
Under whose orders were you at Guaranty Trust?
Under the orders of Mr. Max May.
He was a Vice President?
was Vice President and Director of the Foreign Department.
1922, Max May became a director of the Soviet Ruskombank and
represented the interests of Guaranty Trust in that bank. The French
interrogatory establishes that Count Minotto, a German espionage
agent, was in the employ of Guaranty Trust Company; that Max May was
his superior officer; and that Max May was also closely associated
with Bolshevik banker Olof Aschberg. In brief: Max May of Guaranty
Trust was linked to illegal fund raising and German espionage in the
United States during World War I; he was linked indirectly to the
Bolshevik Revolution and directly to the establishment of Ruskombank,
the first international bank in the Soviet Union.
It is too
early to attempt an explanation for this seemingly inconsistent,
illegal, and sometimes immoral international activity. In general,
there are two plausible explanations: the first, a relentless search
for profits; the second — which agrees with the words of Otto Kahn
of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. and of American International Corporation in the
epigraph to this chapter — the realization of socialist aims, aims
which "should, and can, be brought about" by nonsocialist means.
The Truth about the Trusts (New York: Moody Publishing,
J. P. Morgan Company was originally founded in London as George
Peabody and Co. in 1838. It was not incorporated until March 21,
1940. The company ceased to exist in April 1954 when it merged
with the Guaranty Trust Company, then its most important
commercial bank subsidiary, and is today known as the Morgan
Guarantee Trust Company of New York.
House, Committee on Foreign Affairs, The Story of Panama,
Hearings on the Rainey Resolution, 1913. p. 53.
4Ibid., p. 60.
See also the Los Angeles Times, October 13, 1966.
with Hjalmar Schacht (Hitler's banker) and Emil Wittenberg, of
the Nationalbank für Deutschland.
Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, Investigation of
Mexican Affairs, 1920.
The Letters of Lincoln Steffens (New York: Harcourt,
Brace, 1941, I:386
Committee on Foreign Relations, Investigation of Mexican
Affairs, 1920, pts. 2, 18, p. 681.
Times, January 23, 1919.
Committee on Foreign Relations, op. cit., pp. 795-96.
Hearings Before the Special Committee Investigating the
Munitions Industry, 73-74th Cong., 1934-37, pt. 25, p. 7666.
Dept. Decimal File, 861.51/110 (316-116-682).
Dept. Decimal File, 861.51/112.
Dept. Decimal File, 861.51/111.
En Vandrande Jude Frän Glasbruksgatan (Stockholm: Albert
Bonniers Förlag, n.d.), pp. 98-99, which is included in
Memoarer (Stockholm: Albert Bonniers Förlag, 1946). See also
Gästboken (Stockholm: Tidens Förlag, 1955) for further material
Times, August 4, 1916.
Northern Underground (London: Faber and Faber, 1963), p.
22See Robert Paul
Browder and Alexander F. Kerensky, The Russian Provisional
government, 1917 (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University
Perss, 1961), 3: 1365. "Via Bank" is obviously Nya Banken.
Dept. Decimal File, 861.00/1130.
Dept. Decimal File, 861.516/129, August 28, 1922. A State Dept.
report from Stockholm, dated October 9, 1922 (861.516/137),
states in regard to Aschberg,
"I met Mr. Aschberg some weeks ago
and in the conversation with him he substantially stated all
that appeared in this report. He also asked me to inquire
whether he could visit the United States and gave as references
some of the prominent banks. In connection with this, however, I
desire to call the department's attention to Document 54 of the
Sisson Documents, and also to many other dispatches which this
legation wrote concerning this man during the war, whose
reputation and standing is not good. He is undoubtedly working
closely in connection with the Soviets, and during the entire
war he was in close cooperation with the Germans" (U.S. State
Dept. Decimal File, 861.516/137, Stockholm, October 9, 1922. The
report was signed by Ira N. Morris).
861.516/130, September 13, 1922.
861.516/140, Stockholm, October 23, 1922.
861.516/147, December 8, 1922.
861.516/144, November 18, 1922.
861.316/197, Stockholm, March 7, 1924.
32This section is
based on the Overman Committee hearings, U.S., Senate,
Brewing and Liquor Interests and German and Bolshevik Propaganda,
Hearings before the Subcommittee on the Judiciary, 65th Cong.,
Bernstorff, My Three Years in America (New York:
Scribner's, 1920), p. 261.
Strothers, Fighting Germany's Spies (Garden City, N.Y.:
Doubleday, Page, 1918), p. 152.
37 U.S., Senate,
Overman Committee, 2:2009.
38This section is
based on the following sources (as well as those cited
elsewhere): Jean Bardanne, Le Colonel Nicolai: espion de
genie (Paris: Editions Siboney, n.d.); Cours de Justice,
Affaire Caillaux, Loustalot et Comby: Procedure Generale
Interrogatoires (Paris, 1919), pp. 349-50, 937-46; Paul
Vergnet, L'Affaire Caillaux (Paris 1918), especially the
chapter titled "Marx de Mannheim"; Henri Guernut, Emile Kahn,
and Camille M. Lemercier, Etudes documentaires sur L'Affaire
Caillaux (Paris, n.d.), pp. 1012-15; and George Adam,
Treason and Tragedy: An Account of French War Trials
(London: Jonathan Cape, 1929).
39See p. 70.
Interrelationship is dealt with extensively in the three-volume
Overman Committee report of 1919. See bibliography.
Binion, Defeated Leaders (New York: Columbia University
Treason and Tragedy: An Account of French War Trials
(London: Jonathan Cape, 1929).
Within (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1920).