The Bahamas has had more ties with Nazi Germany than its history even realises. The first and originally named Bank of Bahamas, Ltd. was started in 1939 by Swedish multi-millionaire and Nazi confidant, Axel Wenner-Gren. Wenner-Gren started the bank for one reason, and one reason only, to help fund Nazi, Germany through his friend Field Marshall Hermann Göering and others. Wenner-Gren saw a veritable gold mine in the untapped potential of the Bahamas when bought a large chunk of Hog Island, later renamed, Paradise Island. He called his Hog Island estate, Shangri-la! On Hog Island, Wenner-Gren went on a spending spree to create a lavish mansion and estate, complete with a mile long vista of sunken terraces and lily ponds based design by Le Notre for Louis XIV.
In 1939, Axel Wenner-Gren met with Nazi Field Marshall Hermann Göering. Göring was one of the most powerful figures in the Nazi regime and oversaw the creation of the Gestapo. The Gestapo was the official secret police created by Göering in 1933. Wenner-Gren met with his friend Goring in 1939 and then flew to London to meet with British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin, in an attempt, to broker some sort of appeasement deal between Britain and Nazi Germany. “On 10, June 1939, Wenner-Gren reported back to Göering what was discussed with Chamberlin” (Treveleyan, R. (2012) Grand Dukes and Diamonds, The Wernhers of Luton Hoo, Faber and Faber, 83). by Any peace negotiations or talks that may have transpired between the men, all came to naught when Hitler invaded Poland, setting off World War Two.
Wenner-Gren returned to the Bahamas and created Bank of the Bahamas. It’s affiliate bank in Germany would become the Stein Bank of Cologne. Through the Bank of the Bahamas and the Stein Bank of Cologne, Axel Wenner-Gren was funding the Gestapo. Through the Krupp Industries, Wenner-Gren was supplying munitions to the Germans.(Porter, D. (2005) Howard Hughes, Hell’s Angel, 603)
And then, the British abdicated king Edward, was sent to the Bahamas as governor. The Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson became inseparable friends with Wenner-Gren and his wife Marguerite. Wenner-Gren was a multi-millionare a hundred times over, and the exiled Duke of Windsor was forced to live on a budget that was a mere fraction of what would have been afforded to him as king. The Windsors came to a hot, underdeveloped West Indies island with no friends and few allies. The Windsors found both in the rich industrialist, Axel Wenner-Gren.
By 1942, the Duke, under pressure by the British and the Americans was forced not only to cut ties with his friend Wenner-Gren for appearances sake, the Duke of Windsor was also forced to sign an order seizing seven companies, all of them Bahamas registered companies.
Wenner-Gren was placed on the American blacklist for being pro-Nazi and for the activities that were taking place right under the nose of the Bahamas Governor, The Duke of Windsor. Wenner-Gren found himself on the British blacklist as well. He fled the Bahamas and spent the rest of World War Two in exile in Mexico. (McIver, S. (1995) Murder in the Tropics, The Florida Chronicles, Volume 2, Pineapple Express, 28)
There is no way of knowing how much money passed through Bank of the Bahamas and into the hands of the Nazis between 1939 and 1942.
What is telling is that even after Axel Wenner-Gren was black listed and exiled to his Mexico mansion Cuernavaca, even after his Bank of Bahamas was confiscated, hampering his funding and money transfer activities to the Nazis, Wenner-Gren simply became a principle in a Mexican bank (Banco Continental, a bank established to help the Nazis launder foreign money), and continued his banking activities from there.
It is little wonder that when World War II ended, Wenner-Gren emerged one of the world’s richest men, more wealthier than prior to 1939.
Under the cloak of secrecy it is said Wenner-Gren would sneak into the Bahamas via Norman’s Island in the Exumas to meet with the Governor, the Duke of Windsor and his wife Wallis Simpson.
WINDSOR ORDERS WENNER-GREN’S HOLDINGS SEIZED
Seven Big Bahama Firms Confiscated.
Washington, D.C. May 16, 1942
-Thru an order signed by the Duke of Windsor, as governor general of the Bahama Islands, the islands government has seized seven of Axel Winner-Gren’s huge commercial enterprises, according to a copyrighted story int he Washington Times-Herald. This means, the article says that the pro-Nazi “Rockerfeller of Sweden,” who is on the American black list, is definitely out of the financial picture in this hemisphere.
The confiscated properties are the Bahamas Dredging Company, Ltd., Grand Bahama Packing Company, Ltd., Paradise Beach and Transportation Company, Ltd., Sunny Isles, Ltd., Bank of Bahamas Ltd., Mobile Corporation and Mababa, S. A. Most of the companies will be sold or leased, the story says. There is a report that General Foods is negotiating to buy or take over on long lease the Grand Bahama Packing company interests.
ENDS TIE-UP WITH DUKE
This move of the Bahamian government brings to an end the “honeymoon” of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor with one of the chief backstage characters in the financing of the World War II and serves notice of Anglo-American solidarity to axis agents in Latin America, the Times Herald said, in reporting his activities as follows:
In the past two years, Axel Wenner-Gren has been one of the headaches of the American state department.
The 63 year old Swedish steel king has spent much time in recent years traveling around South America. The supposition was that he had agents in this country. Whenever the United States were completing deals with Latin American countries, Wenner-Gren was sure to come steaming into port in his yacht, the Southern Cross. The technique was simple: Give glamor parties aboard the Southern Cross, wine and dine officials of Latin governments, finally to offer better terms that the United States. In this way several United States – Latin American projects were hamstrung.
YACHT LONG SUSPECTED
The Southern Cross was long suspect vessel to American observers. They noted she was often on hand to rescue passengers from torpedoed ships. The yacht rescued 399 persons from the unarmed British liner Athena when she was sunk without warning by the Germans in 1939. Charges were made that she was a fuelling station for Nazi submarines.
So important did the role of the Southern Cross appear to the state department that the vessel was placed on the black list as one of the Wenner-Gren assets. Her Swedish owner protested vigorously. He claimed to have presented the yacht as a gift to Señora Maximino Avila Camacho, sister-in-law of President Manuel Avila Camacho of Mexico. He knew her when her and her husband when they visited the Windsors at Nassau.
MARRIED TO MISSOURIAN
Wenner-Gren’s career rivals that of his fellow countryman, Ivar Kruegar, the match king who committed suicie in Copenhagen in 1932. He is called the “Rockefeller of Sweden” because he gave $7,500,00 for a research institute and $100,000 for anti-aircraft batteries to defend Stockholm. He got rich by making funs, vacuum cleaners, and electric ice boxes. His wife – Marguerite Liggett – hails from Kansas City. Once asked by a friend how the Southern Cross happened to be in the vicinity of a German torpedoed ship, she replied, “I had a dream that a ship would be sunk in that spot and ordered the captain to sail there.”
While yachting off Nassau in February, 1940, Wenner-Gren received a cable from Field Marshall Hermann Göering asking him to come home and mediate the Russo-Finnish peace.
Wenner-Gren sailed to Italy on the same ship as Undersecretary of State Sumner Welles and proceed to Berlin around the same time. Later that same year he was reported in Rio de Janerio offering Brazilians exploitation of their steel industry by a Swedish-German combine.
The United States crushed any such aspirations by loaning Brazil, thru the Export-Import back, $20,000,000 to help establish that country as an important steel producer.
Wenner-Gren is reported in Mexico with his yacht in Vera Cruz harbour.