In Vienna, the Rothschilds Are Getting Their Due

Dec. 24 2021

In a 2018 Facebook post, Marjory Taylor Greene—who subsequently became a congresswoman from Georgia—speculated about the role of the “Rothschild Inc. international investment-banking firm” in causing wildfires in California by means of “space solar generators.” In the same year, a Washington, DC councilman blamed a snowstorm on “a model based off the Rothschilds” that involves “controlling the climate to create natural disasters.” Of course, the real Rothschild family—whose name comes from the red shield logo of their pawnshop in the Frankfurt ghetto—has little to do with such fantasies. Its fascinating history is the subject of a new exhibition at Vienna’s Jewish museum, reviewed by Liam Hoare:

The family’s Austrian branch can trace its roots back to Salomon Mayer von Rothschild, born in Frankfurt in September 1774, the third child of the great banker Mayer Amschel Rothschild. In Vienna, Rothschild fils established the banking enterprise S.M. von Rothschild in Vienna in 1820, was the personal banker to Chancellor Klemens von Metternich, and financed the construction of the railway network that connected Vienna to points northward in the Austrian land empire in Bohemia, Moravia, and Galicia.

The Vienna Rothschilds were a Jewish success story. They entered the ranks of the country’s nobility. . . . The Rothschilds were also a philanthropic family, donating to Vienna’s Jewish community its hospital. Salomon’s grandson, Nathaniel Meyer von Rothschild, established a foundation in his will whose proceeds would be used to found two neurological hospitals in the Austrian capital.

The Rothschilds’ downfall occurred in two stages. The first happened in the 1920s when the family bank, the Creditanstalt, became a victim of the turbulent Austrian and world economies. The bank was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1931; bailed out by the state, it was de-facto government property by 1934. The second occurred after the Anschluss of March 1938. The Nazi regime held Louis Nathaniel de Rothschild for ransom, in essence, while his family’s possessions—its homes, its businesses, its paintings—were seized and “Aryanized” without compensation. After 1938, the Rothschilds left Austria—never to return.

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Read more at Vienna Briefing

More about: Anti-Semitism, Art, Jewish museums, Rothschilds, Vienna

How China Equips the Islamic Republic to Repress Its People

In its dedication to bringing totalitarianism into the 21st century, the Chinese Communist party has developed high-tech forms of surveillance using facial-recognition software, a vast system of “social credit,” and careful control over its subjects’ cellular phones. Even stricter and more invasive measures are applied to the Uyghurs of the northwestern part of the country. Beijing is also happy to export its innovations in tyranny to allies like Iran and Russia. Playing a key role in these advances is a nominally private company called Tiandy Technologies. Craig Singleton describes its activities:

Both Tiandy testimonials and Chinese-government press releases advertise the use of the company’s products by Chinese officials to track and interrogate Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang province. According to human-rights groups, Chinese authorities also employ Tiandy products, such as “tiger chairs,” to torture Uyghurs and other minorities.

Iran has long relied on China to augment its digital surveillance capabilities, and Tehran was an early adopter of Beijing’s “social-credit” system, which it wields to assess citizens’ behavior and trustworthiness. . . . Iranian government representatives have publicized plans to leverage smart technologies, including AI-powered face recognition, to maintain regime stability and neutralize dissent. Enhanced cooperation with China is central to those efforts.

At present, Tiandy is not subject to U.S. sanctions or export controls. In light of Tiandy’s operations in both Xinjiang and Iran, policymakers should consider removing the company, its owner, and stakeholders from the international financial system and global supply chains.

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Read more at FDD

More about: China, Human Rights, Iran, Totalitarianism, U.S. Foreign policy