While it is hardly surprising that historians have played down the monstrous legacy of ‘philatrophist’ Basil Zaharoff – in much the same way the present generation of historians, academics and journalists are currently protecting George Soros – it still remains remarkable just how well he has managed to remain hidden from the general public for so long.
His main legacy being, that Zaharoff facilitated the mass carnage of working class males during the Great War on behalf of the interrelated European royal families, who feared being overthrown by mass unemployed populations looking for food.
Born in 1849, Basil Zaharoff was an arms dealer from Greece, and somehow became one of the wealthiest men who has ever lived. His nickname during his own lifetime was the “merchant of death” as well as the “mystery man of Europe”. His wealth was accumulated by stoking the flames of war on two sides and then selling arms to the opposing armies. Very much giving us a taste of the political dynamic of global conflicts in the decades following World War Two.
Zaharoff also supplied faulty ammunition and machinery so a constant supply of spare parts would be purchased from him. Dangerous, but affordable submarines were sold to small nations including his own native Greece. Just business…
At one time, Zaharoff was summoned to a British court over his activities only to be discharged on condition that he paid the sum of £100, and remained within the court’s jurisdiction. Even then, he jumped bail and fled to his native Greece were he began to proclaim himself a victim of foul justice. His connections with European military and royalty assured his personal safety and access to lucrative contracts.
Following a move to Ireland to set up an import export business and an employment agency, this led him to the United States working as a salesman for the railroad manufacturing industry. While posing as a “Prince Zacharias Basileus Zacharoff,” he married a Philadelphia heiress, Jennie Billings, while he was still married to a woman in England. Every time Zaharoff fell foul of the law, the hidden hand of European royalty protected him and moved him up the social ladder until he was making millions selling weapons and military equipment all over Europe.
World War One was his ultimate business deal in which he invested colossal sums of money in order to lure more and more nations into the conflict with the aim of winning the favours of the royal families of Europe who needed the ‘Great War’ in order to ensure their own regal survival. The Times of London estimated that Zaharoff had paid out £50 million to politicians, journalists and other vested interests for the Allied cause of creating and expanding the conflict with the Central Powers.
During his later life, Basil Zaharoff used his immense fortune to fund newspapers and other media outlets to ensure universities and historians would write his horrific legacy out of the history books. This was achieved in terms of donations and ‘philatrophic’ gestures with this aim in mind. Just as they are doing today with George Soros.
Originally written and posted by Thomas Sheridan