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Historical Error #18: Two Bogus Quotations from Bismarck on How European Bankers Planned the Civil War and Lincoln's Assassination

Gary North
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Ellen Brown felt compelled to strengthen her case against the gold standard by filling her book with quotations from famous people. Many of these quotes are bogus, but none so obviously bogus as these two. Here is the first.

The Confederacy was not the only power that was bent on destroying Lincoln's Union government. Lurking behind the curtain pulling the strings of war were powerful foreign financiers. Otto von Bismarck, Chancellor of Germany in the second half of the nineteenth century, called these puppeteers "the masters of European finance." He wrote:

I know of absolute certainty, that the division of the United States into federations of equal force was decided long before the Civil War by the high financial powers of Europe. These bankers were afraid that the United States, if they remained in one block and as one nation, would attain economic and financial independence, which would upset their financial domination over Europe and the world. Of course, in the "inner circle" of Finance, the voice of the Rothschilds prevailed. They saw an opportunity for prodigious booty if they could substitute two feeble democracies, burdened with debt to the financiers, . . . in place of a vigorous Republic sufficient unto herself. Therefore, they sent their emissaries into the field to exploit the question of slavery and to drive a wedge between the two parts of the Union. . . . The rupture between the North and the South became inevitable; the masters of European finance employed all their forces to bring it about and to turn it to their advantage. [Web of Debt, pp. 91-92]

We are asked to believe that the Chancellor of what was about to become Germany (1871), or maybe after it had become Germany, would say such a thing about the Rothschilds and the other bankers, who helped fund his government. Ellen Brown seems never to have asked herself why a senior politician would say such a thing. It would be political suicide.

It goes much deeper than this. Bismarck's personal financial affairs were conducted for 30 years by Gerson von Bleichröder, who was a Jewish German banker. The biographer of both men was Fritz Stern, historian at Columbia University. Here is a review of his book on both men, written by A. J. P. Taylor, one of the most influential historians of Europe in the 20th century.

Gerson Bleichröder rose highest of all Jews in Imperial Germany. He was the Rothschild of Berlin, his wealth second only to Alfred Krupp's. He was the first Prussian Jew to become a "von" without conversion to Christianity. What carried him to greatness was his association with Bismarck. Bleichröder was Bismarck's financial agent and adviser for more than thirty years--from the early days when Bismarck was Prussian representative at the Frankfurt Diet until his own death in 1893. He handled Bismarck's private accounts and directed Bismarck's investments on a basis profitable to both. Throughout these thirty years Bismarck saw more of Bleichröder than of any minister or diplomat, perhaps more even than of Emperor William I. . . .

In the 1880s a new demagogic anti-Semitism developed and Bleichröder was among its principal targets. Despite his wealth and the power it brought, he remained always a Hausjude -- providing essential services but admitted only by the back door. Bismarck alone was above such feelings. There is a characteristic exchange in the period just before Bismarck's fall. Bleichröder had for once gone against Bismarck's direction and promoted a Russian loan. Herbert Bismarck wrote indignantly, "When this money-grubbing Semite can earn a few million, then he could not care less what happened to Papa or the Fatherland." Bismarck scribbled in the margin, "Who would?"

Yet we are asked to believe that Bismarck would make such an outlandish statement about financiers.

We are not told when Bismarck wrote this. As usual, Brown cites a modern secondary source, which in turn quoted a 1921 source.

I searched Google for "Bismarck" and "the voice of the Rothschilds prevailed. They saw." The 40 references are mainly to her book. Click here.

Quotation #2 is even more preposterous. She writes this.

Bismarck wrote in 1876, "The Government and the nation escaped the plots of the foreign financiers. They understood at once, that the United States would escape their grip. The death of Lincoln was resolved upon." Lincoln was assassinated in 1865.

She again cites the same source, Conrad Siem. A quick search on Google would have revealed the full quotation. To assess how reliable her source is, read the full quotation. The Civil War was the plan of Jewish bankers in Europe. (Wouldn't John Brown have been chagrined to learn that he was just a puppet of Jewish bankers! Jefferson Davis, too.)

The division of the United States into two federations of equal force was decided long before the Civil War by the High Financial Power of Europe. These bankers were afraid that the United States, if they remained in one block and as one nation, would attain economical and financial independence, which would upset their financial domination over the world. The voice of the Rothschilds predominated. They foresaw tremendous booty if they could substitute two feeble democracies, indebted to the Jewish financiers, to the vigorous republic, confident and self-providing. Therefore, they started their emissaries in order to exploit the question of slavery and thus to dig an abyss between the two parts of the republic. Lincoln never suspected these underground machinations. He was anti-slavery, and he was elected as such. But his character prevented him from being the man of one party. When he had affairs in his hands, he perceived that these sinister financiers of Europe, the Rothschilds, wished to make him the executor of their designs.

They made the rupture between the North and the South imminent! The masters of finance in Europe made this rupture definitive in order to exploit it to the utmost. Lincoln's personality surprised them: they thought to easily dupe the candidate woodcutter. But Lincoln read their plots and soon understood that the South was not the worst foe, but the Jewish financiers. He did not confide his apprehensions; he watched the gestures of the Hidden Hand; he did not wish to expose publicly the questions which disconcert the ignorant masses. He decided to eliminate the international bankers, by establishing a system of loans, allowing the states to borrow directly from the people without intermediary. He did not study financial questions, but his robust good sense revealed to him that the source of any wealth resides in the work and economy of the nation. He opposed emissions through the international financiers. He obtained from the Congress the right to borrow from the people by selling to it the bonds of the states. The local banks were only too glad to help such a system. And the government and the nation escaped the plots of foreign financiers. They understood at once that the United States would escape their grip. The death of Lincoln was resolved upon. Nothing is easier than to find a fanatic to strike.

The death of Lincoln was a disaster for Christendom. There was no man in the United States great enough to wear his boots. And Israel went anew to garner the riches of the world. I fear that Jewish banks with their craftiness and tortuous tricks will entirely control the exuberant riches of America and will use it to systematically corrupt modern civilization. The Jews will not hesitate to plunge the whole of Christendom into wars and chaos in order that "the earth should become the inheritance of Israel." (Interview by C. Seim, La Vieille France, March, 1921.)

This appears on a forum on We learn what this site is on its home page:

We are a community of White Nationalists. There are thousands of organizations promoting the interests, values and heritage of non-Whites. We promote ours.

Yet, even here, one of the participants identified the quotation as bogus.

Siem was born in 1861. He lived in the United States. He claimed that Bismarck wrote these words to him in a letter in 1876. He would have been 15 years old at the time.

What is the source of Siem's fabricated quotation? A 1926 book by a notorious anti-Semite, The Secret World Government Or "The Hidden Hand": The Unrevealed in History By Count Cherep-Spiridovich. The quotation from Siem appears on page 180. You can read the book here. The Count insisted that a "Jewish Conspiracy" assassinated Lincoln.

This antisemitic Count was a Greenbacker, as is Ellen Brown. He pushed her thesis about interest-free money long before she was born. Here is an example of Greenbacker historiography, on page 177 of the Count's book.


To pay the soldiers the Government issued its Treasury notes, authorized by act of Congress, July 17, 1861, for $50,000,000, bearing no interest. These notes circulated at par with gold. The Rothschilds' agents inspired the American banks to offer to Lincoln a loan of $150 million. But before they had taken much of the loan, the banks broke down and suspended specie payments in Dec. 1861. They wished to blackmail Lincoln and demanded the "shaving" of government paper to the extent of 33%, an extortion which was refused. A bill drafted for the Government issue of $150 million, which should be full legal tender for every debt in the United States, passed the House of Representatives Feb. 25, 1862, and was hailed with delight by the entire country. But the Wall Street bankers were furious.

Sen. Pettigrew reprints the so called "Hazzard Circular" sent in 1862 by the Bank of England (ruled by the Rothsehilds) "Slavery is likely to be abolished by the war power and chattel slavery destroyed. This I (Rothschild) and my European friends (the 300 men) are glad of, for slavery is but the owning of labor and carries with it the care of the laborer, while the European (read ' Rothschildian') plan led on by England (i.e. the Rothschilds) is for capital to control labor by controlling wages . THIS CAN BE DONE BY CONTROLLING THE MONEY. THE GREAT DEBT THAT CAPITALISTS WILL SEE TO IS MADE OUT OF THE WAR must be used as a means to control the volume of money. To accomplish this the BONDS must be used as a banking basis. We are now waiting for the Secretary of the Treasury to make his recommendation to Congress.

It will not do to ALLOW the GREENBACK, as it is called, to circulate as money any length of time, as we cannot control that. Thus the order of the Rothschilds was clear: "Capitalists WILL SEE TO IT that a DEBT is MADE out of the war."

The result was that by "hook and crook" the Rothschilds enslaved this country. And Schiffs, Baruchs & Co. are the rulers.

Ellen Brown has no understanding of historical research. She cannot spot obvious crackpot authors.

My reply to her response is here:

For a detailed critique of Ellen Brown's economics, go here:

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