LETTER OF THE MONTH
By Michael D. Morrissey June 1990
The murder of Alfred Herrhausen, chairman of West Germany's Deutsche Bank, on November 30,1989, has been treated as an open-and-shut case by the media on both sides of the Atlantic. The Red Army Faction (RAF) did it.
It is difficult to question this foregone conclusion 'without seeming to defend a terrorist group which has been the German Public Enemy Number One for 16 years. But the evidence is thin consisting primarily of a note of confession found at the scene of the bombing, along with a letter written a month before by an imprisoned RAF leader and intercepted by German authorities. According to Das Spiegel (December 4,1989), it says, "We must orient ourselves to a new phase of the struggle" and "strike at the mechanism which makes everything worse"
As head of the biggest German bank, Herrhausen was certainly a key figure in the "mechanism," and after the opening of the border on November 9, and of Eastern Europe in general, he was in a particularly powerful position to influence these massive changes Shortly before his death, he announced Deutsches Bank's purchase of the British investment bank Morgan Grenfell for 17 billion marks, which Spiegel says "the most important strategic decision of the Deutsche flank since World War II," giving them a bridgehead in London, stir' the most important European center for international banking.
Herrhausen was not only powerful; he was perhaps the most progressive banker around. He had ideas which were sensible and realistic, but much too radical for some Furthermore, he was charismatic, attractive, articulate, and outspoken all of which adds up to a man who could have made a difference, such men, for darker minds are dangerous. We Americans know what happens to charismatic harbingers of change - they get shot, - according to the "lone nut" theory of history (which began with the Warren Report), All of this violence is senseless," but most of us know by now that the world makes more sense than the mass media would have us believe.
Spiegel is not the worst German newsweekly (there is considerable competition), but it is not surprising to read the most important aspect of the packaged story buried on the ninth page:
Some of the things Herrhausen said and did do not fit in the simple leftist image or the ugly capitalist enemy
For example, he was the first prominent western banker to propose publicly, two years ago " that the debt crisis in the Third World could not be solved without a partial waiver of claims by the western creditor Banks. This was also clear at the time to most other heads of banks, but they would have preferred to keep it to themselves a while longer.
Herrhausen supported the strategy of debt reduction, as posed to refinancing ("fresh money"), strongly and constantly. His derailed proposal was published in the German financial newspaper HairdeIsbiart on June 6th, 1989 and repeated in a presentation to the annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington on September 25, 1989. In the latter he remarked: "Mr. Reed, speaking for Citi-bank, has said they are a "New money" bank. I can tell you that the Deutsche Bank is a "debt reduction bank". ln the same speech, he pointed out that a major obstacle to his proposed debt reduction strategy is that Japanese and American banks would find it more difficult than their European counterparts to compensate partially for their losses through tax adjustments.
The New York Times, December 8th 1989, printed portions of a speech which Herrhausen was to have given in New York on December 4th at the American Council on Germany. The entire speech was published in German on the same day in Die Zeit. The comparison is revealing.
The original manuscript is in English (a complete copy of which I obtained from the Deutsche Bank), and the title is "New Horizons in Europe."
The Times excerpt, about half the original is entitled "Towards a Unified Germany", which grossly mis-represents the thrust of the speech. It is clear to who reads even what the Times printed. This Herrhausen was not pleading for unification. In fact, he was refreshingly cautious on this point, in contrast to the increasingly strident media campaign Germans east and West have been subjected to in the past few months. He said that if the East Germans decide to join the West, fine, but "at this point" the question is still very much an open question. (This sentence was omitted in the Times).
Secondly, such an endeavor would be a difficult and certainly a long process in view of the large economic and social differences that exist today."
Although Henry Kissinger appeared on German television at around the same time predicting unification within five years, Herrhausen was figuring on about ten years. The following paragraph, although it comes in the middle of a portion printed by the Times, was omitted:
Of course, the process transforming a socialist society into a capitalistic one could and should be managed in stages and it should be closely coordinated with price and currency reform. Price, currency and property reform would mean profound changes throughout society in Eastern Germany. Many people in the East, including some of the leaders or the present opposition groups, are already worried about the social costs of such adjustment. The rewards would certainly nor accrue instantaneously. However, I am convinced that, given an adequate economic environment in the East and pertinent support by the West, the East German as well as the other Eastern economies could achieve impressive growth. I believe the GDR in particular could then catch up on the western standard of living in about ten years or so.
Most importantly, the Times excerpt completely omitted Herrhausen's discussion of the same proposals for debt reduction and in-country development banks, which he had made to the World flank and IMF in September. These proposals, coming from a man in his position, were surely the most newsworthy items in the speech why did the Times find them unfit to print? Herrhausen refers here to Poland, but the same could apply to other highly indebted countries:
In the past, the banks have agreed to regular rescheduling, but now the onus is on government lenders assembled in the Paris Club [committee representing creditor nations that meets in Paris to deal with debt problems of individual countries to come up with a helpful contribution. They account for roughly two thirds of the county's external debt. If there is to he a permanent solution, this will require enlarging the strategies hitherto adopted to include a reduction of debt or debt service.
As an alternative to the European Development flank proposed by France, Herrhausen proposed the establishment of a development bank in Warsaw to bundle incoming aid and deploy it in accordance with strict efficiency criteria. Such an "Institute for Economic Renewal," as he called it, would help channel western aid and monitor its efficient use. The Institute," he said' "could play a constructive role in economic reform. Similar institutions could, of course, be established for other countries."
These are eminently reasonable ideas, but it is not hard to imagine that they would encounter powerful opposition. No matter how you put it, for the creditors debt reduction means giving away money. And of course it more sense to put the lending bank "on tile Spot," since this would keep the repaid capital and interest in the country where it is needed. This is not the way the big international banks make money, however.
Alfred Herrhausen may have been a terrorist victim, as the media seem determined to have us believe (and now forget).
The question is who are the terrorists?
Michael D. Morrissey teaches at Kessel University.
From: G. Wisnewski
Subject: Investigation of Herrhausen/Kennedy-Assassination
Dear Mr. Prouty,
I am member of a journalist team that was investigating the assassination
of Alfred Herrhausen and others by the socalled Red Army Faction in Germany. By that way we learned about an
appendix of an american army "Field Manual 30-31". This appendix contained detailed informations and advice
how a terror group could be influenced and directed by military agents. The paper was dated Nov 8, 1970 and was
signed by W.C. Westmoreland, JCS.
Can you tell me whether this document is authentic?
Did US-services infiltrate f.e european left and reight wing extreme and
terror groups? Did those agents built special operations groups among the socalled
"insurgents" for performing violent acts? What was/is the role of the JCS in the assassinations of JFK, Herrhausen
and others? Is the JCS the "power centre" of wich you spoke on several occasions?
Do you see any possibility to help us with our investigations?
Many thanks so far,
Reply From Col. Prouty
a) I have done a lot of work on the Herrhausen murder and will enclose a brief item written by a friend of mine. We had corresponded on the subject, and my ideas agree with his. There is much more that could be said. I am enclosing a copy of Prof. Morressey's article. I possess a complete copy of the speech Herrhausen was going to deliver in New York City as the Arthur Burns Memorial Lecture on Dec 4, 1989 less than a week after his murder in Germany. It is a most important bit of writing. You should look in the files of that period for the article published by the New York Times that widely altered the speech for its own purposes. This act by a leading newspaper deserves much research and study.
b) Before I respond about the U.S. Army Field Manual 30-31, let me say that the most important one you can get today is the one used at the "U.S. Army school of the Americas: Teaching Terror." This has been recently made the subject of an important article in the Columbian magazine "Columbia Bulletin" which can be contacted as follows:
Columbia Bulletin c/o/CSN
P.O. Box 1505
Madison, WI 53701
Tel: (608)257-8753 FAX: (606) 255-6621.
c) As for military Field Manuals today, I have been retired since 1963 and most of the ones I knew so well have been significantly revised. However you can get a fine book on the market: "LOW INTENSITY WARFARE" by Michael T. Klare and Peter Kornbluh. It has three pages of bibliography and much of the books mentioned are Field Manuals or the equivalent. I had been the Director of Special Operations during 1962-1963 with the Joint staff, and am not familiar with the Gen. Westmoreland manual you mention. My boss was Gen. Victor H. Krulak of the U.S. Marine Corps.
d) You may be quite certain that U.S. military elements did infiltrate European units during and after WW II. Of course this was an assigned task of the 0SS and then the CIA in those times. U.S. Army Special Forces were in Europe then in a classified mission that was much different than that of todays' Special Forces.
e) I do not believe that the Jas had any role in the assassination of either JFK or of Herrhausen. That role is assigned otherwise to highly skilled anonymous units purely as a technical function. Their orders come from other sources. Just re-consider carefully what happened, or did not happen in Dallas on the day JFK was killed. There's where the clues are and none of them involve Lee Oswald, and the others of that "Cover Story" scenario that still lives.
f) The JCS in not a "power cadre" in the sense you use it. Their role is the defense of this country, when properly ordered to do so by higher authority.
g) All highest level power groups, whether nations or other centers of the highest power maintain the capability to assassinate selected individuals when they feel it is necessary. This capability is somewhat similar to what our society maintains under the name of an "executioner", "hangman", or other. From that perspective it is a fundamental task of the source of power.
It is too bad that the three-decade old "Cover Story" of the Kennedy assassination has been permitted to spread its sordid scenario for so long. Too many people now believe that contrived story which certainly is totally untrue.
I have no way to address your mention of "the so-called Red Army Faction in Germany" other than what I have acquired through incidental reading. The Herrhausen case, like the Kennedy case should be thoroughly and properly investigated by unbiased authority.
Thank you for your important questions:
L. Fletcher Prouty
Back to Main Page