In 2008, I have been interviewed (mp3) by John Loftus, former US government Nazi prosecutor and former Army intelligence officer, about Operation Juliana, which shows that, trough the "Nederlandsche Handel Maatschappij", the Dutch Royal Family has also been involved with "The Dutch connection", the "the mother of all money laundering schemes" or "How The Bush Family Made Its Fortune From The Nazis".
On Dec 10th, 2009, I posted the following comment on an article titled "Evidence of how Royal Dutch Shell saved Hitler and the Nazi Party" by royaldutchshellplc.com:
“You may want to see if there are any R.D. Shell connections to Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart N.V of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This was a Thyssen- run bank which owned in turn the US- Union Banking Corporation in New York.”
There’s a connection, all right and it points right to the Dutch Royal family. Interestingly, Henri Deterding bought his house in Germany where he spent the last years of this life from the Dutch Royal family…
In 1991, there were twp articles in a leading Dutch news paper, NRC, about “operation Juliana”, the operation whereby the Thyssen securities were smuggled from the eastern sector of Berlin to the safe of the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart:
A very interesting detail is that the Nederlandse Handel Maatschappij was one of the shareholders of the BHS in 1947, while the main shareholder of this Handel Maatschappij was Queen Wilhelmina.
I have translated parts of this article:
From part 1:
In the previous century, the German August Thyssen laid his basement for his Vereinigte Stahlwerke, an imperium of mines, [factories that extract iron from the raw material, don't know the word in English], steel factory, with thereto coupled transporting- and [companies that deliver partly products to others], [companies that own and exploit ships], banks and trading companies. The in 1918 founded Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, a daughter of the August Thyssen Bank in Berlin, belonged to the last category. While the BHS at first was just a ‘border-event’, during the twenties, end especially the thirties the bank expanded in various directions. She took minor- and major-interests in countless companies; from, to name a few, the NV Havenbedrijf Vlaardingen Oost and the Nederlandsche Handel Maatschappij (!) up to Union Banking Corporation in New York. Beside that, Thyssen-daughter BHS became the owner of many other Thyssen-comanies. The BHS grew to become a spider in an invisible web of ownershiprelations. Within the Thyssen-conglomeraat the BHS had become so important that, according to a speech of its board, that the English had said about it: ‘Not the dog wags the tail, but the tail wags the dog.’ With that the question of who the tail was became more and more interesting.”
NRC Handelsblad – June 8, 1991
Operation Juliana Part 2: how the Royal contraband led to confusion in The Netherlands
Short contents of the preceding: In august 1946, the Dutch reserve-officer and lawyer J. Coert Jr. untertook the risky adventure of smuggling an enormous amount of Dutch shares and obligations, worth more then seventeen million guilders (then worth ten times as much as today), that had been robbed by the Germans, from the Russian sector of Berlin to the Netherlands. Amongst these a considerable part of the stock possessions of Queen Wilhelmina she had to leave behind at her departure to the United Kingdom in May 1940. The royal securities had been stored during the war by the Germans in the safe of the Rotterdam Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart (BHS), which stood under direct German supervision.
From there they had been transported along with the other stockportfolios to the head office of the August Thyssen bank in Berlin. This bank was just like the BHS part of the Thyssen-concern. After the liberation concern-owner Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, living in Switzerland, asked his Dutch lawyer J. Coert sr. wether or not he could ensure that these stocks would be returned to The Netherlands, thereto incited from the ‘highest circles’ in The Netherlands. Coert sr. recruited his son for this, which took care of the Dutch economic interests in the British occupied area of Germany. With the aid of a German bank director, Coert Jr. managed to retrieve the stock possessions under the eyes of the Russian guard from the destroyed bankbuilding, and, breaking the allied regulations, transport them to Rotterdam.
While the transport was still underway, Coert sr. rang one of the administrators, appointed by the Dutch government, of the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, the lawyer W. Suermondt, and asked him if the packages with shares could be put in the safe of the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart again. Coert could have known that this message would not be received with cheer and joy. He and his son had, at August 12th 1946 – when the operation had not been carried out yet -, carefully polled the administrators of the BHS about a possible ‘evacuation’ of the Dutch shares from the Russian sector of Berlin. Thereby, they were not met with enthusiasm.
The state supervision of the BHS, prescribed as long as it was not clear was which nationality BHS-owner Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza the Kaszon actually had (German or Hungarian), was assigned to a trio. Beside the already mentioned lawyer Suermondt these were a former director of the BHS, H.J. Kouwenhoven, and another former top man of Thyssen-concern, J.G. Groeninger. The latter two had already been involved with the activities of Thyssen in the Netherlands since the beginning of the twenties. They were sound, decent ‘traders’ (as they called themselves according to the annual reports of the bank), not in for adventures and risky business.
They had cautiously guided the bank and the other Thyssen-corporations in the Netherlands trough the crisis years. Both had also shown to have their hearts at the right spot during the war. Kouwenhoven had been fired as BHS-director in 1942 because he resisted the transportation of the stocks to Germany (see the previous episode); out of protest against this lay-off, Groeninger resigned on his own initiative. Hence, the Nederlandsch Beheers Instituut delegated them as supervisors to the BHS.
There, they had a hard time. At the bank they were considered as ‘unloyal’ because they would not so much handle in the interests of the company, but in that of the Dutch government.
From the events that followed, it would become clear that they indeed took their task as government curators “au serieux”, but this way of conceiving their task did not prevent that Kouwenhoven and Groeninger still felt themselves very connected to the bank. ‘I don’t need to say how much I desired to be allowed to live this day,’ said Kouwenhoven in his speech getting in office as an administrator. ‘Approximately thirty years, I have been connected to the concerns you work for, and the task of a lifetime I got to fullfill with this, had the love of my heart. Today I taste the large satisfaction of having been returned to your ring.’
Kouwenhoven and Groeninger, and as a matter of fact also Suermondt, had put themselves to task of gradually bringing the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart into quieter waters, after the also in financial-economic respect devastating years of war. If there was one means to this end that did not lie in their nature, it were experiments and risky adventures. For this reason, the three had reacted indignated when father and son Coert had flown the kite of the stock contrabande.
‘Wild-West-stories’, that’s how Kouwenhoven had labelled the plans of the two Coerts, and he had warned with emphasis against actions like that, which ‘in his opinion had to lead to a serious conflict with Russia’. And all of a sudden he and his fellow managers were put in front of an accomplished fact not even a week later!
After Coerts phone call that the stocks were on their way to the Netherlands, the trio rapidly deliberated with one another and with the rayon office of the Nederlandsch Beheers Instituut in Rotterdam by telephone. The result of this was that the administrators refused to recieve the consignment as long as they had not consulted ‘The Hague’, because of ‘the large interests and consequences connected to this matter for the Dutch State’, according to their later representation of the events. When Coert Jr. rang Suermondt on Sunday August 25th to say that the consignment had arrived in the Netherlands, he got to hear that the safe of the BHS would remain closed.
Coert Jr. could hammer at the risks he had taken for this stunt as much as he wanted, Suermondt remained that first the Dutch government had to ask herself wether or not she thougt this smuggling action was worth a collision with the Soviet Union. ‘Does she consider Russia as a country with which no normal relations are possible anyway, which have strange sick methods themselves and with which one therefore does not have to take everything that particularly?’ Or was the Soviet Union in The Hague’s eyes a powerful country, which could better not be provoked? Coert Jr. gave up and furiously threw the horn on the hook. Until further notice, the packages with shares were stored at the home of Coert sr. at the Essenlaan in Kralingen.
A few hours later, Suermondt got a phone call again, now from the lawyer H. Stenfert Kroese, who held a prominent position at the Rotterdam rayon office of the Nederlandsch Beheers Instituut. Coert sr. had approached him and had persuaded him to cooperate at working on a solution. Obviously, Coert sr. had hinted him a few things about the large interests that were at stake. At least, Stenfert Kroese ordered on behalf of the Beheers Instituut that the shares from Berlin could be deposited at the BHS in the name of Coert sr. He pressed Suermondt on his heart to stay silent about the complete affair and ‘completely forget that this affair ever took place’. Suermondt and both the others however, did not accept this ’solution’ and demanded an immediate conversation with Stenfert Kroese.
That conversation already took place the next day, August 26th. Stenfert Kroese was obviously terrified that the smuggling affair would leak out. He pressed the others again to keep ’strict confidentiality’ about what had happened during the last few days with the ’shares of the Bank’ that were deposoted at the August Thyssen Bank in Berlin. The Beheers Instituut itself woult take the responsibility for the shares, so that the three administrators of the BHS could keep a clean conscience. But Suermondt, Kouwenhoven and Groeninger did not want to hear anything like that. They wanted a conversation with Prime-Minister dr. L.J.M. Beel and with the concerned Ministers, namely dr. G.W.M. Huysmans of Economic Affairs, dr. P. Lieftinck of Finances and laywer C.G.W.H. baron of Boetzelaer and Oosterhout of Foreign Affairs. Stenfert Kroese agreed to that. A day later already, the companionship sat together at the head office of the Nederlandsch Beheers Instituut in The Hague, with on the agenda the plan to request a common audience with Beel about the matter.
Again two days later, on August 29th 1946, the three BHS-administrators asked the Beheers Instituut to let them know as soon as possible, in writing, when they could count on a conversation with Beel.
Apparently the Beheers Instituut saw much less reason to haste than Kouwenhoven, Groeninger and Suermondt, since no request for a conversation with the Prime-Minister left the door. That was found at September 13th, when the trio asked in The Hague why no date for an appointment had been passed on. It had not come to that because the Beheers Instituut ‘expected welfare of keeping the facts confidential’, as Groeninger and Kouwenhoven (Suermondt had given up) wrote to Minister Huysmans some weeks later. The two administrators had become furious, and had announced to arrange a conversation with Beel or at least with one of the Ministers concerned themselves.
At October 10th 1946, the two gentlemen had a short conversation with Minister Huysmans, during which they told him something about the matter. Huysmans apparently had little time, since he asked them put an exposité about the matter on paper. That same day Kouwenhoven and Groeninger composed a long memorandum for Huysmans. In that they warned: ‘The carrying away of securities out of the Russian occupied area, of which in the last resort an Hungarian citizen baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, probably considered as an enemy by Russia, considers himselve the owner, remains just as well as delivering services with respect to the safekeeping of these, against a state with which we are not at war, extremely irresponsible.’
It started to dawn on Huysmans that something had possibly happened that could have unpleasant consequences for the Netherlands, even though he did not understand the rights of it yet, and he didn’t know what to do with it. He informed Beel of the stock smuggling, as well as his colleague of Finances, Lieftinck, and that of Justice, Mr. J.H. van Maarseveen, along with the question who was competent for the affair. It was Lieftinck who acted as first. On November 7th 1946, he requested the head of the Customs Investigation Service to establish an investigation into the smuggling affair and ‘if necessary, to seize the stocks concerned’.
Would Lieftinck had also given this order if he had known that amongst the ’stocks concerned’ there was a considerable part of the fortune of the Oranjes? That seems extremely improbable, considering the fact that the Minister strook sail super-fast after some highly placed persons had brought the consequences of its intention under his eyes. Still the same day, thesaurier-general of Finances rang his Minister to tell tell that Coert sr. had became higly upset when hearing about the possible seizure: ‘Mr Coert told me that such a seizure would not only bring along large misfortunes for the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, but would also bring along considerable damage for The Netherlands.’
Coert sr. wanted a conversation with Lieftinck immediately. Also the extraordinary envoy and authorised Minister to the Dutch embassy in London, baron A. Bentinck of Schoonheeten, who was married to a daughter of Heinrich Thyssen, protested to Lieftinck, as well as – even more important – the lawyer dr. H. Albarda, director of the Nederlandse Handel Maatschappij, of which the queen was major shareholder and where her stocks had been in depot until the German intervention (by then, Coert sr. had already been allowed to give the papers that were at his home in preservation to the Handel Maatschappij).
Indeed, no investigation was done; out of anger about that Kouwenhoven and Groeninger resigned within the same november-month as administrators at the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart. Lieftinck wrote immediately to the Nederlandsch Beheers Instituut that the two leaving administrators should be replaced by people that had the full confidence of the shareholders of the BHS (amongst which by then the Nederlandsche Handel Maatschappij); a remarkable instruction if one considers that the administrators should handle in the first place in the interest of the Dutch state and not in that of the shareholders.
A few months afterwards, in March 1947, Prince Bernhard came with a proposition about the supervison of the BHS. The supervision by the Nederlandsch Beheers Instituut should be ended, he wrote to Lieftinck, and be replaced by a Council of Commissioners. In that Council should be, beside Coert sr., the already named diplomat Bentinck, the former major of The Hague, S.J.R. de Monchy, and the old-Minister of Navy, J.M. de Booy. De Monchy and De Booy were both trustees of the mother in law of Bernhard (Queen Wilhelmina).
Further, the prince pointed out that all directors of the BHS had to be Dutchmen, this to emphasise the Dutch character of the bank.
Nevertheless London nor Washington undertook anything against The Hague. Perhaps respect for the Dutch Queen played a role, but then at least not an important role. Even though the British and the Americans knew that capital owned by Wilhelmina was part of the ‘transaction’ according to their reports, it was also clear that with the venture as a whole much larger interests were at stake. A more important consideration at the Foreign Office, was the certainty that an official protest by the British government to the Dutch ambassador would alarm the Russians. Around that time the friendship between the Soviets and the other Allied Forces already was that much cooled off that the West was extra careful not to provide the Russians with ammunition for battling out diplomatic conflicts. London let the Control Commission in Berlin know that the Western Allied Forces formally had nothing to do with the smuggling-affaire, because the stocks were stolen from the Russian sector of Berlin.
What did happen however, was that the head of the Dutch military mission in Berlin, colonel A. van Lennep, was called to the stain by the British in March 1947 to be told informally that a formal protest to the Dutch government still belonged to the possibilities. Van Lennep pretended to know nothing of the ‘transaction’ by Coert Jr.; he was prepared however to send Coert to Berlin to give an explanation to the English. This offer however, has not been used by the British, or at least they have not put any pressure behind it, since Coert Jr. never had to go to Berlin for justification, according to his widow and his son. Thanks to the cold war the matter disappeared into the forget-book. In the middle of 1947, the Dutch government formally gave an import license for the smuggled stocks, and with that the transaction had become legal.
One aspect had to be regulated urgently now, however, in order to be able put a final point behind the complete affair, and that was the question of the nationality of the main shareholder of the BHS. If it was clear that the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart was Dutch possession, after all the charge that Dutch government had been serving German interests would be expired. Baron Bentinck took the initiative to solving this problem. The discussion had until then always focused on the question of which country Heinrich Thyssen really was a national of, but Bentinck put forward to Foreign Affairs to that his father in law was ‘mentally not completely normal anymore’, and with that he could no longer be the driving force behind the Thyssen-concern. In his place, Bentinck slid his oldest brother-in-law, baron Stephan Thyssen, forward. According to Bentinck, Stephan was stateless and as a result of that, no German. A problem was however, that during the complete war he had lived in Germany, an incidental circumstance that called some doubt to his state as being stateless.
In the summer of 1948, Captain-Lieutenant at sea J.H. Zeeman of the Dutch Military Mission got the task of figuring out the nationality of Stephan Thyssen, but once Zeeman had in October of that year put the question forward ‘wheter or not by a treatment of the matter of subject the danger could arise that certain Dutch interests become, namely those of the Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, would be damaged’ , he got orders from The Hague to stop with his research. Formally, it was no longer disputed that Stephan Thyssen was stateless, and the young Thyssen promised to ensure that the BHS would be conducted in ‘Dutch spirit’. There came a council of commissioners, in which the candidate mentioned by Bernhard, De Monchy, got a seat, as well as Bernhards confidant jonkheer Mr. P. Six. The interests of the Handel Maatschappij in the BHS were guarded by Albarda.
Also another candidate for a BHS-commissionership mentioned by Bernhard, Coert sr., received a seat in the Council in 1947, and he remained commissioner up to 1956, when he resigned because of his progressed age. Colonel Swart, who had done so much useful services for ‘Operation Juliana’, became director of the flourishing Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaart, which moved to a brand-new building in the middle of the fifties at the Coolsingel in Rotterdam. Swart retired in 1968, briefly before the BHS merged with the Nederlandsche Crediet bank, also a component of Thyssen-concern. He died some years ago. Coert Jr., who had returned in 1947 to the Rotterdam legal profession, died in 1971. Kouwenhoven died in 1948, in New York, a year after his former supreme boss Heinrich Thyssen.
And the capital of the Oranjes [Dutch Royal Family]? Once per year, now already for decades, the queen of the Netherlands is claimed to be the richest woman of the world by some American magazine, which is then subsequently denied the [Dutch] state information service.
The article itself is also worth reading: