The Nazi Billionaire Family Behind Germany’s Far Right

August von Finck Jr.
Düren/picture alliance via Getty Images

The Nazi Billionaire Family Behind Germany’s Far Right

Germany’s most prominent far-right party, the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), is surging ahead in the polls with the potential to become Germany’s most popular party. This makes it all the more concerning that the initial success of this party was enabled by a Nazi billionaire family.

The latest insa poll has the AfD at 21 percent as the second-strongest party, within reach of overtaking the Christian Democrats, currently at 25 percent. If elections were held next Sunday, the AfD’s success would make it either impossible for traditional coalitions to form or ensure that another coalition emerges that will further contribute to the AfD’s rise.

The AfD is now able to shape its own destiny. It has risen from being the haunted to the one haunting others. This is a frightening development; one of the party’s main goals seems to be changing how Germans view their past. The AfD has repeatedly made light of Germany’s Nazi past and called for a change in the nation’s Holocaust remembrance.

The party’s goals become a hundred times more alarming if you consider who helped the party get where it is today: entrepreneur August von Finck Jr.

Finck Jr. inherited his wealth from his father, banker August von Finck, who helped finance the rise of Adolf Hitler in the 1920s. He benefited from the Aryanization of Jewish banks, which he personally called for. In a letter to Munich’s Chamber of Commerce in 1937, he wrote: “Today, the German private banking sector is still largely made up of non-Aryan firms. The gradual cleansing of this trade, which is strongly influenced by the Jewish element, must not be halted by the granting of applications for exemptions but must … be promoted by all means.”

After the war, the Finck family became politically active again. In the days of Franz Josef Strauss, Finck donated large sums to the conservative Christian Social Union. In 2010, it was revealed that donations of millions also flowed to the business-friendly Free Democrats. The latter is said to have benefited the families co-ownership of more than a dozen hotels in Germany.

Finck has shied away from discussing political views publicly and from publicity in general. But his business partner and right-hand man, Ernst Knut Stahl, made a disturbing statement about Jews in the banking industry. “There is danger ahead,” Stahl said. “There is a street in New York with lots of investment bankers, lawyers and so forth. Coincidentally, they are all Jews, but that’s not relevant here. They want to push Germany into ruin. They control everything.”

The context of this quote, published by Der Spiegel magazine in 2018, is also interesting. Stahl was seeking to establish a new newspaper, Deutschland Kurier. The above statement is from a May 1, 2017, meeting with a publisher he sought to win for his cause, who later shared Stahl’s comment under oath. Soon after the meeting, Deutschland Kurier landed in people’s mailboxes and aided the AfD’s campaign against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refugee policy. Der Spiegel’s article “A Billionaire Backer and the Murky Finances of the AfD” highlights how Stahl and Finck helped the AfD from its earliest beginnings.

Research by Der Spiegel revealed that the billionaire and his circle had not only contributed to the AfD-affiliated newspaper distributed during the 2017 election campaign, but also financed AfD events and were involved in the lucrative gold trade, which the AfD initially used to supplement its finances. The latter involved Finck’s subsidiary Degussa that supplied bars for the AfD’s gold store.

Der Spiegel wrote:

Ideologically, Finck fits well with the party. Many years ago, a banker who knows Finck well told Der Spiegel that “only Ghengis Khan can be found to the right of Gustl,” using Finck’s nickname. Finck’s father, August Sr., was a Hitler admirer and provided financial backing to the Nazis.

Finck Jr. died in 2021, but his son August François continued his dubious relations. Even before his father’s death, he took on more positions in the family’s business dealings, including one at the Swiss subsidiary of gold trader Degussa.

Since then, the family’s connections with the Nazi regime have been greatly illuminated in Nazi Billionaires: The Dark History of Germany’s Wealthiest Dynasties. Toward the end of his book, David de Jong ties the Finck’s family history into its contributions to the AfD. He highlights that Degussa helped produce the cyanide-based pesticide Zyklon B used in the gas chambers of concentration camps. The company profited when Jews were plundered; for example, Degussa’s Berlin refinery received direct shipments of gold teeth from the Lodz ghetto. It’s hard to believe the company had no knowledge of the monstrous atrocities.

A family that gained its wealth from Jewish banks worked with a company that acquired Jewish gold. Together, they financed a party that is accused of reviving hatred toward Jews. But the dubious connections don’t end there.

August François appears to continue the heritage of his father and his grandfather in his own way. He made the news in 2019 for being the most important donor to Augustus Intelligence—an obscure artificial intelligence company with right-wing connections.

Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution until November 2018, was involved with Augustus Intelligence. So was the former head of Germany’s foreign intelligence service, August Hanning, who criticized the refugee policy of the federal government in 2015. Also involved was former Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, whom the Trumpet watches closely. (Read “Is KT zu Guttenberg About to Come to Power?” by Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry.)

Today, it is easy to dismiss allegations that a group or an individual is “far right” or neo-Nazi. But when it comes to business dealings and politics in Germany, there are legitimate reasons to be alarmed. In 1996, the United States published revelations of a top-secret World War ii document (printed in full in our free booklet Germany’s Conquest of the Balkans) that exposed agreements between German industrial giants and top German political officials.

Many have dismissed the reality of a Nazi underground due to a supposed lack of evidence. Almost 80 years later, people care even less. But we should pay attention. The fact that the far right today is backed by the same family that backed Adolf Hitler may not be a coincidence. On May 9, 1945, the late Herbert W. Armstrong warned:

We don’t understand German thoroughness. From the very start of World War ii, they have considered the possibility of losing this second round, as they did the first—and they have carefully, methodically planned, in such eventuality, the third round—World War iii! Hitler has lost. This round of war, in Europe, is over. And the Nazis have now gone underground. … Now a Nazi underground is methodically planned. They plan to come back and to win on the third try.

Since he wrote that, more evidence has emerged that Mr. Armstrong was right. But how did he know the Nazi underground would be successful? A prophecy in Revelation 17 reads: “The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder …. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space” (verses 8, 10).

As Mr. Flurry explains in his booklet Prophesy Again:

This revelation is about the period when Mr. Armstrong, God’s end-time Elijah, was doing this work of God. …

During World War ii, we saw the Hitler-Mussolini axis, but then it disappeared from the scene. It “was not”! And yet, God says, “it is”! The Axis powers lost the war, but as Mr. Armstrong preached time and again, they just went underground—into “the bottomless pit” (verse 8). They’re still there—they’re just underground.

Now they are reemerging for everybody to see, yet we are blind to this obvious reality!

No matter the future of the AfD, this party and this billionaire family have already changed Germany’s mood. But the biggest transformation of Germany is yet ahead. Very soon, Germany’s industrialists will once again throw their weight behind one man who will lead our world into another war. We at the Trumpet believe we know who this man may be. He too has ties with the Finck family and other German industrialists. To learn what the Bible says about this man, request your free copy of A Strong German Leader Is Imminent.