Was Adolf Hitler Woodrow Wilson’s love child?

By Perry Willis

Der grosse Aufmarsch der Nationalsozialisten in Weimar vor dem Führer Adolf Hitler.
Anwesend waren der thüringische Innenminister Nationalsozialist Dr. Frick, sowie der nationalsozialistische Reichstagsabgeordnete Dr. Goebbels (Berlin).
Vorbeimarsch der nationalsozialistischen Sturmtruppen mit faszistischem Gruss vor ihrem Führer Adolf Hitler (rechts im Bild im Auto stehend) auf dem Marktplatz in Weimar.

This is the fifth installment in a series of articles reviewing U.S. wars and interventions. I am trying to demonstrate four things…

  1. Most U.S. wars have made the world a worse place, and Americans less free and secure.
  2. The claim that U.S. soldiers “defended freedom” is sweet-sounding but false.
  3. Our “patriotic holidays” should honor soldiers without mischaracterizing U.S. wars.
  4. We must deny politicians the ability to wage aggressive war. I think we can best achieve this by making military funding voluntary.

Voluntary funding would give us a system of defense that’s consistent with the Zero Aggression Principle. Taxes are inherently aggressive. They force people to do things against their will. This is immoral. But there are also practical reasons to replace taxes with voluntary funding…

  • Voluntary funding would give us a consumer-controlled military. This would block political misuse of the military.
  • Citizens could increase funding for wars they agree with, and decrease it for wars they oppose.
  • The politicians would have to mold their foreign policy to fit public desires, rather than impose crusades on us against our will.
  • The military would also have to become more efficient and effective in order to gain and retain public support.

These arguments are made more compelling if the historical record shows that past U.S. wars have done more harm than good. Here’s what we’ve covered so far…

  • Were early U.S. wars good or bad?
  • Did Teddy Roosevelt co-found the Japanese empire?
  • Did U.S. politicians choose the more evil side in World War One?
  • How U.S. politicians helped create the Soviet Union

Now comes…

Did U.S. policies help create Nazi Germany?

I think the answer is yes. Two things were key…

  1. The harsh Versailles Treaty imposed on Germany as a result of U.S. intervention in World War One
  2. The global Great Depression caused by the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy

One U.S. politician was complicit in both things — Woodrow Wilson!

President Wilson…

  • Signed the bill creating the Federal Reserve in 1913
  • Made it possible to impose unjust surrender terms on Germany by giving an undeserved victory to Britain and France.

The Importance of the Versailles Treaty

The Versailles Treaty helped spark both the Nazi Party and World War Two. This isn’t controversial. But a quick look at the 25-point Nazi Party program drives home the claim. The first two points dealt directly with the Versailles Treaty…

  1. Point #1: We demand the unification of all Germans in the Greater Germany on the basis of the people’s right to self-determination. (The Versailles Treaty cut off some ethnic Germans in the Sudetenland and the Polish Corridor.)
  2. Point #2: We demand equality of rights for the German people in respect to the other nations; abrogation of the peace treaties of Versailles and St. Germain.

Responsibility for the Versailles Treaty lies primarily on Woodrow Wilson. His intervention in the war made the treaty possible, and his 14-points gave support to the crushing reparations payments the treaty imposed on Germany. The economic impact of those reparations gave the Nazi Party its first surge of support.

The Great German Inflation of 1921 to 1924

The German state had to pay its war reparations somehow. Inflation was one of their strategies. They started dramatically inflating their currency in June 1921. The inflation reached its peak in 1924. That was also when the Nazis ran their first election campaigns. You can see from the vote totals how they started strong when the inflation was high, but faded as the inflation ended…

  • May 4, 1924: The Nazis received 6.5% of the vote and 32 seats out of 472 in the Reichstag.
  • December 7, 1924: Nazi votes dropped to 3% and 14 Reichstag seats (out of 493).
  • May 20, 1928: Nazi votes dropped to 2.6% and 12 seats (out of 491).

So how did the Nazis gain total power a mere five years later?

The Federal Reserve and the Great Depression

Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law on December 23, 1913. Its purpose was to…

  • Provide a stable currency
  • Protect banks from economic shocks
  • End banking panics, recessions, and depressions

The Fed failed to maintain a stable currency almost immediately. It massively increased the money supply to fund the U.S. war effort in 1917/18. This produced some of the worst price inflation ever recorded in America. This inflation devalued savings and threatened retirement incomes. So…

When World War One was over The Fed contracted the money supply to absorb the extra currency it had created during the war. This move protected retirees by restoring the old value of the dollar. The Fed’s governors knew this action would also cause a depression. They were willing to accept that outcome because they believed rapidly falling prices would quickly restore prosperity. They turned out to be correct.

The 1920 depression lasted only a few months. James Grant tells the story in his great book, The Forgotten Depression. The 1920 depression teaches us four lessons…

  1. The Fed can cause price inflation by expanding the money supply.
  2. The Fed can make prices drop by contracting the money supply.
  3. Contracting the money supply can cause a depression (as it did in 1920 and again between 1930 and 1933).
  4. The depression can be short-lived if prices are allowed to fall in concert with the shrinking money supply.

Understanding these points from the 1920 depression will help you see how Fed policies between 1929 and 1933 led to the rise of the Nazis. Let’s look at this story step-by-step…

First came the Roaring Twenties boom

It appeared as if the Fed was finally doing a good job of maintaining a stable currency — net price inflation for the decade was zero (as measured by current methods). But looks can be deceiving…

Economist Murray Rothbard argued that the money supply was actually rising in the late 1920s. This may not have been reflected in general prices yet, but it was surely evident in stock prices. Economist Friedrich Hayek noticed this at the time. He wrote a paper in February 1929 predicting that the Federal Reserve’s monetary expansion would lead to a crisis starting in the stock and credit markets.

Then came the bust

Hayek’s stock market prediction came true eight months later when the U.S. market crashed on October 29. But it’s what the Federal Reserve did next that really hurt.

The Fed shrank the money supply by one-third between 1929 and 1933!

The result was the same as in 1920 — a deep depression.

Why did the Fed do this? It isn’t clear. There was no need to counteract price inflation as there had been in 1920. But what really matters is this…

  • The result was a deep global depression.
  • The time period during which the money contraction happened was crucial — 1930 to 1933.

It’s been said in various ways by various people…

“When America catches a cold, the world catches the flu.”

The U.S. is so large and powerful that everything it does impacts the world in a magnified way. That’s why, when the Federal Reserve crashed the U.S. money supply between 1930 and 1933 the resulting depression spread around the globe, including to Germany.

And the date range when the money contraction happened is the precise time during which the Nazis went from tiny to huge. You can see the change in the Nazi’s vote totals…

  • September 14, 1930: The Nazis received 18.3% of the vote and 107 seats in the Reichstag (18.5% of 577 seats).
  • April 1932: Nazi Party membership reached 800,000 card-carrying members.
  • August 31, 1932: The Nazis received 37.3% of the vote and 230 seats (37.8% of 608 seats). This election made the Nazi’s the largest party in the Reichstag.
  • November 6, 1932: The Nazis received 33.1% of the vote and 196 seats (33.5% of 584 seats). Support for the Nazis had fallen a bit, but they remained the largest party in the Reichstag. It’s normal in a parliamentary system for the largest party to gain control of most government ministries. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before the Nazi’s leading position in the Reichstag resulted in the acquisition of executive power. And so…
  • January 30, 1933: President Hindenburg appointed Hitler as Chancellor, giving him ministerial control of the government.
  • March 5, 1933: The Nazis received 43.9% of the popular vote and 288 seats in the Reichstag (44.5% of 647 seats). The Nazis now had full control of Germany, with everything that would come to mean for the world.

The U.S. roots of Nazi power

Follow the chain of cause and effect…

First, U.S. intervention in World War One gave victory to Britain and France, which allowed them to impose the harsh Versailles Treaty on Germany.

Next, the Versailles Treaty midwifed the birth of the Nazi Party

Then, Federal Reserve policies gave the Great Depression to the world and power to the Nazis

Now run the story another way…

  • Step one: Remove the U.S. intervention in World War One. This would have created a draw leading to a more balanced settlement. There would have been no harsh Versailles Treaty.
  • Step two: Don’t create the Federal Reserve, or, if the Federal Reserve does exist, avoid contracting the money supply in the years 1930-1933. This would have prevented the Great Depression and the Nazi rise to power.

In other words…

The Nazis would’ve remained a tiny party of nutjobs, barely a footnote in history.

There would have been no World War Two and no Holocaust.

My previous articles have covered how U.S. policies helped create the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The next article in this series will show how U.S. involvement in World War One helped create radical Islam. Remember the four points I am trying to make with these articles…

  1. Most U.S. wars have made the world a worse place, and Americans less free and secure.
  2. The claim that U.S. soldiers “defended freedom” is sweet-sounding but false.
  3. Our “patriotic holidays” should honor soldiers without mischaracterizing U.S. wars.
  4. We must deny politicians the ability to wage aggressive war. I think we can best achieve this by making military funding voluntary.

If you find these articles valuable…

  • Please share them with others.
  • Use these articles to start a discussion about the Zero Aggression Principle and consumer-controlled governance
  • Discuss the correct way to honor veterans and the war dead given the sad reality of past U.S. wars. We believe it should be possible to honor their courage and mourn their loss, without telling lies about how the political class misused them.

If you’re new to our work and you like what you see, please subscribe. It’s free!

Perry Willis
Co-creator, Zero Aggression Project

PS: Here’s a list of books consulted in this series.

The rise of Nazi Germany

  • The Forgotten Depression by James Grant
  • America’s Great Depression by Murray Rothbard
  • A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz
  • Paris 1919 by Margaret Macmillan

The Russian Revolution

  • Comrades by Brian Moynahan
  • Russia Leaves the War by George F. Kennan

World War One

  • The Illusion of Victory by Thomas Fleming
  • World War I by Richard Maybury
  • The Pity of War by Niall Ferguson
  • The Forgotten Depression by James Grant

The Spanish-American War, the conquest of the Philippines, and Teddy Roosevelt’s betrayal of Korea…

  • Bully Boy by Jim Powell
  • The Politics of War by Walter Karp
  • The War Lovers by Evan Thomas
  • Honor in the Dust by Gregg Jones
  • The Imperial Cruise by James Bradley

The Mexican War

  • A Wicked War by Amy S. Greenberg

Show Comments 1


  1. The purpose of the Federal Reserve Act (the creation of the third central bank) was to coordinate money creation so that no one bank inflated faster than the others, reducing the probability of “bank runs” (failures), by redemption of paper, honoring the “promise to pay”, i.e., exchanging paper for precious metal, (real/honest money). Increasing paper “money” without backing (metal) is fraud. The paper is not the money, it’s a convenient (lighter, easier to store) substitute. Precious metals can’t be inflated, i.e., created faster than goods, services. But goods/services can expand faster than money, increasing the value of money, reducing prices, benefiting the poor.
    Organized inflation is organized fraud, organized theft, but not criminal when made legal by corrupt politicians who use the political power granted to them by the public.
    Solution: Don’t empower others to victimize you, don’t forfeit your sovereignty, and don’t think being in the majority gives you the right to violate the rights of others, e.g., impose your politics on them.

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