It was the wealth of industrialists that enabled World Wars i and ii. Many of these same industrialists also profited from the National Socialists’ policies through the regime’s Aryanization, slave labor or increased arms production. After the war they continued to shape German politics. One notable example is the late entrepreneur August von Finck Jr.
Finck Jr.’s father, banker August von Finck, helped finance the rise of Adolf Hitler and worked hand in hand with his regime. In postwar Germany, he donated large sums of money to Franz Josef Strauss’s conservative Christian Social Union (csu). His son later donated to the election campaign of Strauss’s political heir, Edmund Stoiber. His grandson August François made the news in 2019 as the most important donor to Augustus Intelligence, an obscure artificial intelligence company with right-wing connections that include yet another prominent csu member: Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.
Revelations by Spiegel magazine published in November 2018 show that the family enterprise also enabled the rise of the far-right party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD).
In 2022, the family’s connections with the Nazi regime were illuminated in the book Nazi Billionaires: The Dark History of Germany’s Wealthiest Dynasties, by David de Jong. This revealed how Finck called for and then greatly benefited from the Aryanization of Jewish banks—it also detailed the family’s many connections to the AfD.
The Fincks are just one of many billionaire families that continue to influence politics today. De Jong also focuses on the family history of the Quandts, the Flicks, the Porsche-Piëchs, the Oetkers and the Reimanns. The list can be extended to other companies and individuals that profited from the Third Reich and continued their business afterward, such as the heirs of IG Farben, Krupp, Siemens and Rheinmetall. Similar to the Fincks, their political involvment continued after the war ended.
Most famous of all is the Flick Affair—a large-scale political bribery scheme in the 1980S. The scandal preoccupied Germany for years, but it wasn’t until 2015 that it became public that legendary csu politician Franz Josef Strauss was even more deeply involved than originally known.
In his more than 700-page biography on Strauss, Peter Siebenmorgen recounts that the heads of the Flick and Quandt dynasties took a particular interest in Strauss—and valued his advice. Additionally, Siebenmorgen reveals that Strauss received bribes through a shell company from 1964 to the 1980s. Spiegel wrote: “The list of payers ranges from bmw and Bertelsmann to Daimler-Benz and Dornier to companies belonging to the Flick empire and media mogul Leo Kirch’s Taurus-Film GmbH.”
De Jong points to yet another connection between the Nazi billionaires and Strauss: In the 1960s, Krauss-Maffai under Flick’s control was awarded the first contracts of the Leopard tank thanks to “Strauss’s backing.” The design of the tank was created in cooperation with Porsche. In the following years, the Leopard tank and later versions were not only integrated into the German Armed Forces but exported around the world—and the Nazi billionaire families were once again involved in large-scale weapons production.
These Nazi billionaire families have laid the foundation of modern Germany and their present-day activity is often as equally mysterious as their past. But one historic event may shed light into the industrialists’ goals.
During the so-called Red House meeting in 1944, senior Nazis told representatives from Krupp, Messerschmitt, Volkswagenwerk, Rheinmetall and others that they must “prepare themselves to finance the Nazi Party, which would be forced to go underground ….” The United States declassified the document in 1996—but few believe that these underground plans were executed.
The Bible, however, reveals that some of the same industrialist families that backed the two world wars will once again play a role in shaping Germany’s destiny. Revelation 18:3 calls them “the merchants of the earth.” We have mentioned only a few examples of who could be among these merchants. To learn more, read “Rising From the German Underground,” by Gerald Flurry.