The central charge against Prescott Bush has a basis in fact. In 1942, under the Trading With the Enemy Act, the U.S. government seized several companies in which he had an interest. Prescott at the time was an investment banker with Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH), which had funneled U.S. capital into Germany during the 1920s and '30s. Among the seized companies was the Union Banking Corporation (UBC) of New York, which was controlled by German industrialist Fritz Thyssen. Thyssen had been an early financier of the Nazi party — in fact, in 1941 he published a book entitled I Paid Hitler. Ergo, Prescott helped finance the Nazis.
An article by journalist Toby Rogers posted on Loftus's Web site makes an even more explosive charge. Another company in which Prescott and his associates had a stake was the Silesian-American Corporation (SAC), which owned several industrial concerns in Poland. The Auschwitz death camp was established in a district where SAC already had a steel plant. The plant allegedly used forced labor from Auschwitz during World War II. The article asserts that "a portion of the slave labor force in Poland was 'managed by Prescott Bush,' according to a Dutch intelligence agent." (See john-loftus.com
The slave labor charge is easy to dismiss. SAC plants in Poland were taken over by the German government after the Nazi invasion of 1939, and the Auschwitz prison camp wasn't established until 1940. No one can seriously claim that Prescott Bush managed camp inmates in any of those plants.
Prescott's involvement with Nazi finance is more complicated. Though Thyssen had been an ardent backer of the Nazis in the early days, he broke with them in 1938 after the Kristallnacht pogrom against the Jews. He fled to Switzerland the following year, and Hitler confiscated his fortune and stripped him of his citizenship. In I Paid Hitler Thyssen confessed his role in financing the Nazis and denounced the Führer. Arrested in Vichy France, he spent the balance of the war as an Axis prisoner. Prescott Bush, for his part, owned a single share of stock (of 4,000) in UBC, the Thyssen bank. According to a 2001 Boston Globe piece, the New York Herald Tribune ran a story in July 1942 headlined "Hitler's Angel Has 3 Million in US Bank," in which Prescott and other BBH partners "explain[ed] to government regulators that their position [as directors of UBC] was merely an unpaid courtesy for a client."