Bank Head Steps Down After Praising Hitler

By Rachel Zuckerman

Published August 15, 2003, issue of August 15, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The president of a Chicago area bank stepped down last week after a furor erupted over his comments praising Hitler’s economic policies.

In a 1,500-word article in the July issue of Outlook, the online newsletter of the Glenview State Bank, which serves thousands of customers in the north and northwest suburbs of Chicago, President David Raub positively portrayed the Depression-era German economy under Hitler.

“The Great Depression of the 1930s saw falling prices, staggering unemployment and shattered stock markets all over the world, and the world’s leading statesmen seemed helpless to defeat it,” wrote Raub. “Except for one. His name was Adolph Hitler.” Raub went on to argue that Hitler infused confidence in the German public, which “led German workers to work harder than anyone else.”

On August 5, Raub was demoted from president to senior executive vice president of the trust department. The newsletter, which has been edited by Raub for 15 years will be put on hold temporarily.

Raub’s remarks caused outrage in the Chicago Jewish community and impelled the regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, Richard Hirschhaut, to write a letter to the bank expressing concern over the portrayal of Hitler’s economy taken out of the context of the Holocaust.

“We reached out to the bank that they should dismiss Raub,” said Shoshana Buchholz-Miller, associate director of the ADL in Chicago. “We respect their decision and we look forward to working with the bank to make a teachable moment out of this whole incident.”

In an interview last week with a Chicago newspaper, Raub said last week that he has an interest in economic history and how it pertains to today’s markets.

But others dismissed Raub’s professions of mere intellectual curiosity. “The risk of [what Raub wrote] in the bank’s newsletter was that the uninformed would read it and conclude that Hitler was a ‘good guy’ for the economy and forget what he really stood for,” said Cheryl Banks, director of The Joseph and Mae Gray Cultural and Learning Center of North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park, Ill.

This week, Holocaust survivor Sam Harris, who is scheduled to address Glenview State Bank employees, bristled at Raub’s comments and told the Arlington Heights Daily Herald that his “parents’ gold teeth aided Hitler’s economy.”

The bank has published an apology to the Jewish community on its Web site. “We did not intend to offend anyone,” read the statement, which was signed by Raub and bank co-chairmen John Jones and Paul Jones. “Hitler’s economic policies cannot be divorced from the broader consequences of his monstrous rule.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.