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Updated: 13.02.2007 12:52

„Getting along with their own business“

The secret pact of Standard Oil with the Nazis or: why did Adolf Eichmann have to disappear?

Gaby Weber

On December 15, 1961, an Israeli court in Jerusalem sentenced Adolf Eichmann, responsible for the deportations of millions of Jews to the Death Camps, to death. This is the undeniable historical fact.

Three agents of Israel 's intelligence agency, among them the head of Mossad, Isser Harel, wrote books about how they kidnapped Eichmann from Argentina in May 1960 - a version that has never been questioned by the government of Israel :

  1. After years of tireless investigation, Mossad finally discovered the place where Mr. Eichmann lived in Buenos Aires . In the evening of May 11 th , 1960, Mossad agents captured him and pushed him violently in a car. The agents kept him in a safe house in Buenos Aires .
  2. In the night of May 20 th, Mossad agents carried Eichmann, drugged and unconscious, through the Passport Control and Customs at the International Airport in Buenos Aires (Ezeiza) and put him into the special aircraft of El Al, „Bristol Britannia“, that had earlier brought a delegation of high-ranking members of the Israeli government to Argentina.
  3. The aircraft started at midnight and arrived in Israel on May 22 nd , at 7.35 am - with one stopover in Dakar .

This cannot be true.

  1. Eichmann was discovered by a survivor of a Concentration Camp Lothar Hermann, an old blind man, emigrated to Argentina . He passed this information to the Chief Public Prosecutor in Frankfurt, Fritz Bauer, who tried to convince the Government of Israel in vain to bring Eichmann to trial in Jerusalem . In March 1960, Hermann wrote to Israeli authorities: „It seems that you have no interest to detain Eichmann“.
  2. In that night of May 20 th , according to Argentinean investigation, there was no man who passed drugged and unconscious through security checkpoints in the International Airport in Buenos Aires and the airplane of El Al started in Ezeiza without Eichmann on board.
  3. The "Bristol Britannia" has, according to Bristol Aeroplane Company, a range of 6.869 Kilometres. Between Buenos Aires and Dakar is a distance of 6.952 Kilometres. For this reason, the aircraft had to refuel on the way to Argentina in Recife , Brazil . It had to refuel on the way back too. In this for technical reasons indispensable stopover Eichmann was placed on the Bristol Britannia - in the Airport of Punta del Este , named Laguna del Sauce , Uruguay . How did Eichmann come to Uruguay ?

We do not know about interrogations, conversations - or negotiations? - with Eichmann between May 11 th and May 20 th in Uruguay . But we know that in the trial in Jerusalem he didn't make surprising declarations and he never talked about secret agreements and secret allies of the Nazis. But it's publicly known, that Eichmann had started talking about it before he was captured.

What where the motives for the capture of the man who was during five years on the payroll of Standard Oil? And who was that mysterious man, William Mosetti? The man of Standard Oil, officer of Mussolini , US intelligence agent and general director of Mercedes Benz Argentina . Adolf Eichmann was working there, too.

William Mosetti was born on November 25, 1914 in Trieste . His father was director of „Lloyd Triestino“, a shipping company that controlled the Suez Canal . Mosetti jr. studied in Florence mathematics, chemistry and physics. In 1935, he participated as a „First Lieutenant“ in the Abyssinian Campaign of Mussolini. Standard Oil had promised to the „Duce“ to supply the fuel for this war. 1936, the fascist army took Addis Abeba, after having used poison gas. After the war, Mosetti returned to business, but he couldn't return to the father's company because Mussolini took control of „Lloyd Triestino“. Mosetti was hired first by General Motors, went in 1939 to Ford in Cologne and on November 15 th , 1939 he got his dream job with Socony-Vacuum, „Standard Oil Company of New York“.

Standard Oil was founded in 1870 by John. D. Rockefeller. In 1879 he merged the Vacuum Company and many other firms until the Trust was dissolved in 1911 and broke into many smaller companies. But the Rockefeller family maintained power in the oil business.

At that time, petroleum was produced in two places, in Texas and in Baku , in the Caucasus . But after the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Nobel and Rothschild families lost their assets. And after WW1, the shares of the „Turkish Petroleum Company“, held by Deutsche Bank, were transferred as „enemy property“ to France. For many years, the Deutsche Bank tried to litigate against this expropriation, but finally they realized that there wouldn't be any chance on the legal front.

There is strong evidence to suggest that a pproximately in 1927, Deutsche Bank and Standard Oil made a secret pact aimed at bringing Hitler to power in order to conquer the Oil of Baku. Standard Oil promised to supply the fuel.

It was in 1927, when Adolf Eichmann entered in the „Frontkämpfervereinigung“ of the Nazis. He was born in 1906 in Solingen and grew up in Linz , Austria . He was educated in the same college as Adolf Hitler, the Kaiser-Franz-Josef-Realschule. 1927, the young Eichmann got an attractive job, the whole representation for the products of Vacuum Oil Company in Salzburg and Northern Tyrol, as he wrote in his curriculum. He remained there five years. 1932, his friend Ernst Kaltenbrunner, the future head of the Reichssicherheitshauptamtes, recruited him for the Nazi Party und the SS. The Vacuum Oil Company gave him a motorcycle that he used to organize nazi activities and his comrades in the Brown House in Linz named him „Fuehrer des Motorsturms der Standarte“. In June 1933, the Austrian government forbid all Nazi activities and Eichmann lost his job. The firm severance pay of several months' wages. Eichmann went to Germany and made career in the Nazi structure. In the SD-headquarter he organized the department for Jewish affairs.

1927, Standard Oil and IG Farben founded the company „Standard IG Farben“; president was the oil dealer William Farish from Texas . Standard passed to IG Farben the patents about the coal hydrogenation processes and the Germans gave them the patents how to manufacture synthetic rubber. This alliance wasn't well regarded by the US-government, above all after the entered into the war after Pearl Harbour , on December 7 th , 1941. Officials remembered an old law, "Trading with the Enemy“, and opened a formal investigation against Standard Oil. The accusation was that the company hid patents from the US -Navy and supplied fuel to German submarines. John D. Rockefeller said that he wasn't aware of that and Farish pled "no contest" to charges of criminal conspiracy with the Nazis. In March 1942, the Pentagon begged President Roosevelt to stop the investigation, to protect war production and oil supply. Roosevelt agreed. The Company paid a fine of 5000 dollars and promised to stop fuel supply for the enemies.

But Farish was forced to appear in front of a Special Committee of the US Senate investigating the National Defence Program, headed by Senator Harry Truman, who called behaviour of Standard Oil „treason“. Farish answered in the hearing: "Our contracts of 1929 (with IG Farben) were to run until 1947. As you gentlemen doubtless know, contracts such as these are not, in law, abrogated, but merely suspended when the party's nations are at war. The parties to such contracts must therefore find some way of getting along with their own business“.

While the men slaughtered each other in the battlefields in World War II, corporate America was looking for a way of „getting along with their own business“. It was not easy, after the decision of US Congress to enter in the War and to frustrate the pact of Big Oil with the Nazis. For Standard Oil it was a profound defeat. How did they continue with their "own business“? Maybe creating its own intelligence agency? An agency that cared above all for business and not for National Security?

Little information is known about such an agency. The CIA published some time ago a report on their homepage about an intelligence group called „the Pond“, founded in 1942, just in the year of investigation against Standard Oil. William Mosetti would fit well in the „Pond“, "The Pond" was disbanded in the fifties, after competition with CIA. Mosetti, first of all, was a businessman, open towards all sides. The documents, held by the CIA, are still classified because "they are now in a process of being reviewed before being sent to NARA to be made available to the public“. As the CIA official in charge of declassification told me, “this process will take three years”. But the CIA offered to sell me the information, paying 2880 dollars for the research. My request to get full access to the „Pond“ documentation is still pending.

How did Standard Oil plan to "get along with their own business“? A memorandum of Deutsche Bank, dated March 15 th , 1935 makes it clear: „The Deutsche Petroleum AG (owned by Deutsche Bank, gw.) bought licences and will drill oil, with state subsidy drill in these new regions. (We) will share this deal with the Royal Dutch Shell and Vacuum Oil Company, sharing the risk and sharing the future profits.“

Royal Dutch Shell means British and Dutch monarchies and Vacuum Oil Company means: Standard Oil. In the attack of Iraq and Iran, Standard Oil wanted to „help“ - with drilling machines, wrote the chief of the department for Arabic affairs in the Foreign Ministry in Berlin: „The aim of our attack will be the occupation of Iraq, Syria and Palestine and the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Persia. We must prepare the takeover of the oil area of Arabia and Iran . A team of experts under direction of geologist Dr. Schmidt from the Vakuum-Oil-Company in Hamburg is built and the material, above all the drilling machines are available“.

This memo is from February 5 th , 1942. The US government just had declared the war to Nazi Germany but Vacuum Oil Company delivered the Wehrmacht with drilling machines.

The main problem for Germany 's attack on the Soviet Union was the need for fuel for tanks and airplanes. Thanks to the patents of Standard Oil, the Germans could produce fuel from their own coal, but this was not enough.

The Caucasus campaign lasted five and a half months. From the middle of 1942, when in the US Standard Oil suffered the official investigation and the Senate Hearing, the German military started to suffer lack of fuel. In January 43, defeat was complete. The Nazis Allies - American and British Big Oil - couldn't fulfil their part of the pact: the fuel supply.

In 1940, Socony-Vacuum sent William Mosetti to Argentina . The country was friendly to the Axis but entered only in March 45 into the war. On his arrival in Buenos Aires , the port was full of the freighters of Lloyd Triestino - the shipping company once headed by his father. The ships had come there for protection. The British controlled the Atlantic and ships with Italian flags were destroyed. Therefore, they needed another flag. So, the Italian Ambassador sold in an official treaty the ships to the Argentinean government who promised not to use them in any action against the Axis countries and to sell them back, six months after the end of the war to Italy .

Argentina has its own oil fields, for their own supply and therefore no interest to export or import oil. And in the US , the powerful Petroleum Administration of War controlled distribution of oil, to avoid that it came into the hands of the enemy. But Standard Oil pressured US government to get permission to import petroleum from the US or from US controlled countries - as a letter from the US Embassy in Buenos Aires to the State Department shows, written March 25 th , 1942: “A very large bulk of imported crude is imported by the Argentine subsidiaries of Standard Oil of New Jersey and the Socony-Vacuum combine – Texas. Any sharp reduction would seriously restrict the activities of these American companies”.

Did Standard Oil plan to send fuel to the Nazis via the neutral Argentina where Mosetti stayed? The difference between oil exports from US-controlled refineries in the US, the Caribbean and Venezuela to Argentina, according to the PAW files held in NARA, and, on the other hand, the oil imports of Argentina from Standard Oil according to the Argentinean Trade Ministry is significant in 1941 - but far from satisfying the need of the German Wehrmacht.

From 1942 on, the difference between export from the US to Argentina and Argentinean imports from the US get smaller. The sea blockade of the Allied Forced got impenetrable and the military defeat of the Nazis was sure. So, Big Oil changed their motto: damage control.

Mosetti left Argentina and arrived March 18 th , 1943 in Los Angeles . Normally, an Italian citizen, once an officer in the fascist army, would have been detained. But Mosetti told Immigration authorities that from now on he wanted to serve to the Allies. A "prominent businessman“ guaranteed for him and within few days, Mosetti got US citizenship. On May 18 th , 1943, he was taken by the US Army and received training in Camp Crowder , Missouri .

The "Office of Strategic Services“ wanted to recruit Mosetti: “French and Italian is required in addition to a proficiency in guerrilla and/ or commando warfare, close combat, demolitions and small arms. Must be willing to undertake dangerous and trying missions, a leader, and physically vigorous. Must also be of the Christian faith”. But the Army didn't want to loose him. „Not available“, noted a Colonel Conelly in the OSS-file. Mosetti was sent to Northern Africa and participated in the invasion of Italy . In June 1946, he left the active service of the Army.

Adolf Eichmann, SS-Obersturmbannführer and Protocol Secretary of the Wannsee Conference, hid after 1945 in Germany . He was not accused in Nuremberg . According to the information of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal, he was the man in charge of saving Nazi gold and to finance the escape of war criminals from Germany to Argentina .

During a secret meeting on August 10 th , 1944 in Strasbourg , high ranking directors of German corporations had planned with SS-Obergruppenführer Scheid, well connected with Deutsche Bank, how to hide German capital in neutral countries: "German industrialists must through their exports prepare themselves to finance the Nazi party which would be forced to go underground. From now on, the government would allocate large sums to industrialists, existing financial reserves in foreign countries must be placed at the disposal of the Party so that a strong German Empire can be created after the defeat.”

Argentina was offering its territory for this purpose. In 1950 Eichmann came to Buenos Aires with a passport provided by a catholic priest in Italy with the name of „Ricardo Klement“. Wiesenthal received information about his stay there only in 1952 and tried to convince and Israeli authorities to capture him. In vain. The CIA had hired many Nazis for the Cold War and Israel had other problems in the Near East .

„Eichmann came with a group of 16 other Germans and Daimler-Benz asked me to give him a job“, says Jorge Antonio, right hand of General Juan Domingo Perón. Antonio had founded Mercedes Benz Argentina with Nazi gold in 1951. "I knew him under his real name but it was a problem of the Germans and the Allies“ - he told me in an interview.

Antonio bought as a cloak for Daimler-Benz and other German firms 60 corporations, mining companies, real estate, and agriculture. Daimler used the „savings“ that they accumulated during the war in Switzerland . To get this capital clean and in its own firm's circulation after the war, they introduced it as money to pay import and export bills. Did he never ask himself if he was washing Nazi gold? "With us, the Germans made a lot of money“, Antonio told me, living still in Buenos Aires . "If you call this money laundering. I wanted a truck factory and I got the factory“.

1955 the military took over power in Argentina and threw out General Perón. They confiscated all of Antonio's 60 firms , including all documentation like bank accounts and secret bookkeeping. Antonio spent two years in jail. In 1957 the judges decided to nationalize the whole enterprise of Daimler-Benz in Argentina , without any compensation. "The confiscated firm“, so the trial said, „could never prove the origin of the investment.“

Daimler-Benz and its main shareholder, Deutsche Bank, were afraid to lose all „their“ capital and remembered an old friend. William Mosetti. He had returned to Socony-Vacuum in 1949, transformed in Mobil Overseas Oil Company, and was stationed in Africa . When Daimler-Benz hired him, he was stationed in Leopoldville, Belgian Congo, and from there they sent him to Buenos Aires . And with his connections, above all to the military, he did an excellent job. In 1959, an Argentinean District Court found in favour of Daimler-Benz. Although the company couldn't explain where its investment came from - there was no proof of legal entry of money to Argentina - this fact should not be considered serious enough to justify expropriation, argued the judges. Mercedes Benz Argentina should pay a fine and the truck factory was opened again. Mosetti hired workers, among them Ricardo Klement, alias Adolf Eichmann.

Twice the US government tried to investigate the destination of Nazi gold, hidden during World War II. In the last period of the war, their operation „Safehaven“ systematically checked the ties between Germany and Switzerland . But on the eve of the Cold War, "Safehaven“ died. In the 1990's, Secretary Stuart Eizenstat tried again and published an extensive report. Although the CIA and FBI participated in this investigation, the report did not reveal anything new. It didn't mention the name of Jorge Antonio, money laundering and the confiscation of his empire in Argentina - in spite of the fact that this confiscation was discussed in the press for years. CIA and FBI station chiefs probably read the local press and informed their headquarters. The German industry paid ten billon Deutsche Mark, about five billion dollars, to Jewish organizations for slave workers during the war and the whole subject disappeared from the newspapers.

On 29 th , 1960, the shareholders' meeting of Mercedes Benz Argentina named William Mosetti General Director. And twelve days later Adolf Eichmann didn't come back to his home. He had told his wife that he had an "important meeting“, outside of Buenos Aires and that he would be back at night. As he didn't come back, the wife, in desperation, in the next morning went to the factory of Mercedes Benz and, started with some former officers of the Wehrmacht a “more or less official search” - as an internal memorandum of Daimler director and former SS officer Hanns Martin Schleyer, dated May 30 th , 1960, described. On May 23 rd , Premier Minister David Ben Gurion declared in the Knesset that war criminal Adolf Eichmann was in detention in Israel . He didn't say how he came to Israel . He mentioned a „group of volunteers“. And in a letter to his Argentinean colleague, he wrote on June 7 th : "I am aware of that serious violation of Argentinean laws - committed by persons who, after a long investigation, bring their work to an end. I am sure that only few people in the world do not understand their noble-minded motivation and their moral justification“.

The Argentinean government started a huge investigation about violation of its sovereignty. But the results of this investigation never was published. Neither the Argentineans nor the world knew of that little, dirty Piper-(Apache) airplane with an US registration number that was seen in the small airport in Eichmann's neighbourhood, on May 11 th, coming from Uruguay and returning to Uruguay . That day, Mr. Eichmann didn't return to his home.

There are still a lot of questions. It is unknown if and how the group of Lothar Hermann, who discovered Eichmann in 1957, got in touch with William Mosetti, director of Mercedes Benz Argentina, who told everybody that he fought during World War II against the Nazis. And it is unknown how Mosetti "convinced" Israel to receive the war criminal.

But Mosetti must have participated in handing over Eichmann to Israel . He took Klement/ Eichmann on May 12 th , only one day after his disappearance, out of the Social Security System ANSeS - eleven days before Ben Gurion announced it in the Knesset. Mosetti knew that Klement/ Eichmann wouldn't return to this working place.

Eichmann felt safe in Argentina . He even gave taped interviews during four years to former SS officer Willem Sassen. On the recording there is often the noise of the opening of wine bottles. Eichmann was proud of his “heroic deeds”: “I don't regret anything. If we would have killed 10,3 million Jews of the 10,3 million European Jews, I would be glad and say: ok, we destroyed an enemy”.

Eichmann tried to justify himself. He felt bitterness, once the master of millions of lives, now he lived poor without any power. While his comrades from SS and Nazi party were making careers, he, the highest ranking Nazi representative in exile, received only some charity as a worker of Mercedes Benz and the companies did not remember what was agreed in 1944 between the Nazi party and German industrialists in Strasbourg - to “finance the Party to create a strong German Empire after the defeat“.

Sassen tried to sell the interview to the press. And it was a question of time that a journalist would ring at Eichmann's door. It was incalculable what and about whom a talkative war criminal would speak. About Hans Globke, author of the Nuremberg Race Laws and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer's Secretary of State? About former SS comrades in corporate Germany ? About his former employer Standard Oil who wanted first to conquer and share with the Nazis the oilfields of Baku and then left them with empty fuel tanks in the Caucasus ?

William Mosetti cannot answer these questions. He resigned 1975 from Mercedes Benz Argentina . His last job was at the US Embassy in Bern . He died 1992 in Switzerland .

After years of investigation, I am standing in front of a wall of silence. The Freedom of Information Act and the Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act do not work. Several request are still pending.

Only public administration can be forced to release information, not firms. In the archives of Standard Oil and Daimler Chrysler I was shown “cleaned” documents. During three years, DaimlerChrysler claimed not to know Mosetti's name, 15 years their CEO in Buenos Aires . Then, they sent me by email parts of his curriculum, without date and signature.

I asked ExxonMobil for Mosetti and Eichmann, if they financed Eichmann's transport out of Argentina and about the secret pact with the Nazis to conquer the oil fields of the Caucasus . ExxonMobil answered me: “We cannot confirm Mr. Mosetti's employment as we did not find his name within the available records. We know nothing of the details of the kidnapping of Mr. Eichmann, nor of any relationship between Socony-Vacuum and Mr. Eichmann.“

I tried several times to get an official statement of Israel if they confirm the Mossad version of „their“ kidnapping of war criminal Eichmann from Argentina . The press officer in the Embassy hung up the phone.

Ben Gurion never said that Mossad kidnapped Eichmann. This version was invented first by journalists, quoting anonymous sources, then, from 1975 on, written by Mossad-agents. And, with the years, Mossad officials liked the role of the „noble-minded kidnapper“ who broke international laws, in order to do justice. Steven Spielberg shows it in the documentary „ Munich ”, Mrs. Golda Meir shouting: "As we brought Eichmann to justice, we will bring the Palestine terrorists to justice too“.

It's time that the Israeli government, and all other governments and involved companies, release the secret records and agreements, made between May 11 th and May 20 th in Uruguay .

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