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Duncan Grant

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Hometown: Northern California
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
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Globalization: Following the money across the globe and back in time

Globalization: Following the money across the globe and back in time Lapham’s Quartlerly, March 2019

“Everybody spoke English, old friends talking old times, fondly remembering how Cap managed to get Skandinavia back to the American side of the Atlantic after the outbreak of World War II in September 1939. The admirals in Berlin wanted to retain the tanker in German custody for fear of its use in the convoys supplying Great Britain. Cap stayed a long weekend at Carinhall, Hermann Göring’s Gothic hunting lodge in the Schorfheide, dining on wild boar, listening to the music of Richard Wagner, petting the pet lion, admiring the swans. The soon-to-be Reichsmarschall granted exit visas for the tankers in return for continuing shipments of fuel to the Nazi war effort in 1940.

The history lesson spread for three nights across a table always festive with wildflowers, oysters, and champagne, and over the many courses of gemütlichkeit, money was invariably the hero of the tale. Governments come and go, and so do wars and ideologies; money lives forever. The shipyard owners made no apologies for Hitler, nor did the captain regret his dealings with Göring and Francisco Franco, the Spanish dictator who made Rieber a Knight Grand Cross of Isabella the Catholic. For a good many American corporations in the 1930s, dealing with Nazi Germany was standard operating procedure; Ford and General Motors building trucks for the Wehrmacht, the Rockefeller Foundation funding Nazi eugenics programs. The oil tanker sliding the next day into the Elbe River was a multinational corporate enterprise, free and clear of romantic sentiment, union labor, or nationalist entanglements—American ownership headquartered in the Bahamas, Greek officers, Malay crew, Panamanian registry and flag.”
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