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Harriman Bank was the main Wall Street connection for several German companies and the varied U.S. financial interests of Fritz Thyssen. Thyssen had been an early financial backer of the Nazi party until 1938, but by 1939 had fled Germany and was bitterly denouncing Hitler. He was later jailed by the Nazis for his opposition to the regime. Business transactions with Germany were not illegal when Hitler declared war on the United States on December 11, 1941, but, six days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Trading With the Enemy Act after it had been made public that U.S. companies were doing business with the declared enemy of the United States. On October 20, 1942, the U.S. government ordered the seizure of German banking operations in New York City. Roosevelt's Alien Property Custodian, Leo T. Crowley, signed Vesting Order Number 248 seizing Bush's property under the Trading with the Enemy Act. The order cited only the Union Banking Corporation (UBC), of which Bush was a director and held only one share. Fox News has reports on recently declassified material about this issue, according to a document signed by Homer Jones, chief of the division of investigation and research of the Office of Alien Property Custodian, a World War II-era agency. By 1941 Thyssen no longer had control over his banking empire, which was in the hands of the Nazi government.
E. Roland Harriman – 3991 shares
Cornelis Lievense – 4 shares (New York banker)
Harold D. Pennington – 1 share (Employed by Prescott Bush at Brown Brothers Harriman)
Ray Morris – 1 share (a business partner of the Bush and Harriman families)
Prescott S. Bush – 1 share (director of UBC; managing partner for E. Roland Harriman and Averell Harriman)
H.J. Kouwenhoven – 1 share (organized UBC for Von Thyssen, managed UBC in Netherlands)
Johann G. Groeninger – 1 share (German Industrial Executive)
The Harriman business interests seized under the act in October and November 1942 included:
Union Banking Corporation (UBC) (for Thyssen and Brown Brothers Harriman).
Dutch-American Trading Corporation (with Harriman)
the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation (with Harriman)
Silesian-American Corporation (this company was partially owned by a German entity; during the war the Germans tried to take full control of Silesian-American. In response to that, the American government seized German owned minority shares in the company, leaving the U.S. partners to carry on the business.)
The assets were held by the government for the duration of the war, then returned afterward. UBC was dissolved in 1951. Bush was one of the board of directors of UBC and held only one share in the company which he was reimbursed for. These supposed assets were later used to launch Bush family investments, though there is no factual documentaion to support this assumption.
Toby Rogers claimed that Bush's connections to Silesian businesses (with Thyssen and Flick) made him complicit with the slave labour mining operations in Poland out of Auschwitz.
The New York Herald-Tribune referred to Thyssen as "Hitler's Angel". Some records in the National Archives, including the Harriman papers, document the continued relationship of Brown Brothers Harriman with Thyssen and some of his German investments up until his 1951 death. Investigator John Loftus has said, "As a former federal prosecutor, I would make a case for Prescott Bush, his father-in-law (George Walker) and Averell Harriman [to be prosecuted] for giving aid and comfort to the enemy... They remained on the boards of these companies." Two former slave laborers from Poland have filed suit in London against the government of the United States in the amount of $40 billion. Judge Rosemary Collier dismissed a class-action lawsuit filed in the U.S. in 2001, citing the principle of state sovereignty.
Prescott Bush connection to the Merchants of Death industry came from his father Samuel P. Bush who worked for Buckeye Steel Castings Company which manufactured railway parts for the railroad industry and barrels for guns and casings for shells for Remington Arms.
 Plot to overthrow FDR
Main article: Business Plot
On July 23, 2007, the BBC Radio 4 series Document reported on the alleged Business Plot and the archives from the McCormack-Dickstein Committee hearings. The program mentioned Bush's directorship of the Hamburg-America Line, a company that the committee investigated for Nazi propaganda activities, and the 1933 attempt, allegedly led by Gerald MacGuire, to stage a military coup against President Franklin D. Roosevelt aimed at forcing Roosevelt to resign (or, failing that, to assassinate him) and at installing a fascist dictatorship in the United States.