Bankrolling Terror – The German Company Behind Mugabe’s Cash

Allan Hall, Berlin
www.theage.com.au
June 28, 2008

" ... During the Nazi regime [Giesecke & Devrient's] directors had close links with the party, which landed it profitable contracts printing share certificates for such heavyweight firms as Daimler and Junkers, the latter of which used its wartime share issues to build planes to bomb Britain. In 1941, Heinrich Himmler visited the directors and asked them to print counterfeit money with which to flood Britain. ... "

A GERMAN firm that grew rich under the Nazis is underwriting the terror in Zimbabwe by printing the banknotes Robert Mugabe needs to pay for his machinery of repression.

The German firm Giesecke & Devrient, whose motto is "Virtue Through Work", agreed to do what numerous other banknote companies have refused - to print Zimbabwe's currency.

Gorden Moyo, of the opposition group Bulawayo Agenda, said: "It is the most important weapon in the terror arsenal of Robert Mugabe. Hundreds of thousands of new notes arrive weekly in Zimbabwe and pay the security forces which put down dissent."

The company, which has a turnover of a billion pounds a year, is discreet about its clients, wanting neither to confirm or deny its contract.

"With the production of notes we undertake a sovereign task and take no positions as regards to individual customers," said spokesman Heiko Witzke. He stressed that the company adheres to all laws relating to international business and pointed out that the EU has no commercial sanctions in place against Zimbabwe.

Giesecke & Devrient is the world's second-largest printer of banknotes, with offices in 53 countries. The company's office in Dulles, Virginia, supplies the US federal government with some of its banknote needs with a small contract worth around $A415,000 annually.

In Zimbabwe, the firm provides banknotes for half the nation's currency.

The government in Berlin said it had no legal grounds to impose sanctions on the company.

During the Nazi regime its directors had close links with the party, which landed it profitable contracts printing share certificates for such heavyweight firms as Daimler and Junkers, the latter of which used its wartime share issues to build planes to bomb Britain. In 1941, Heinrich Himmler visited the directors and asked them to print counterfeit money with which to flood Britain.

The company turned to Hermann Goering, air force chief and a sworn enemy of Himmler, for help; he intervened and Himmler enlisted the services of concentration camp prisoners to make the fake notes instead.

During World War II, Giesecke & Devrient used slave labour in its plants and in 2000 signed up to the fund launched by German industry to compensate forced labourers.

http://www.theage.com.au/world/bankrolling-terror--the-german-company-behind-dictators-cash-20080627-2y3y.html

  • Lyle Courtsal

    Could private military contractors from israel and US bombed the iranian uranium enrichment facilities? Probably. . .

  • Lyle Courtsal

    Criminal Bush-Reagan adminstration ran a .5% to 2% asset to debt ratio funding the largest “peacetime” military buildup in US history. No one counts the 30-40 low-intensity conflict “private wars” of the rightwing military contractors employed by right and center-right interests, re. Killary and Albright, responsible for the criminal 16 year Iraqi medical blockade.

  • Lyle Courtsal

    US CIA also prints counterfeit bills too to subvert independent national regional economies