President Busch is dead


Yes, Bolivia had a President Busch, too.

In a strange coincidence, Germán Busch was the 41st and 43rd President of Bolivia, just like George Bush Sr. and Jr. were the 41st and 43rd Presidents of the United States of America. But Germán Busch’s first term in office was only three days. The second lasted two years until it was cut short by the President’s death at age 35.

The prevailing assumption is that he committed suicide. But when you consider that

  • Busch had been trained by Germany officers in Bolivia,
  • he had been an adjutant to Hans Kundt and Ernst Röhm,
  • during the Chaco War he fought together with Achim von Kries, who later established the Landesgruppe Bolivien of the German Nazi party NSDAP (yes, they were everywhere),
  • the Axis Powers and the Allies were competing for influence everywhere in South America at that time,
  • Busch had expropriated US-American oil companies,
  • Bolivia was negotiating with the Nazis about concessions for gold mines,
  • President Busch had already received a Mercedes-Benz cabriolet 770K as a gift from Adolf Hitler before the agreement was finalized,
  • Germany was financing the Bolivian national airline Lloyd Aereo Boliviano and the newspaper La Calle,
  • Busch died on 23 August 1939,
  • and one week later, World War II began,

this part of Bolivia’s history provides enough material for a thriller. And there would be many more incredible stories.

(Photographed at the cemetery of La Paz in Bolivia. – Zur deutschen Fassung.)

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Bolivia, Germany, History, Military, Photography, Politics, USA and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to President Busch is dead

  1. David Wiebe says:

    Was Busch or his family from Germany?

  2. Pingback: Präsident Busch ist tot | Der reisende Reporter

  3. Hello,
    Quite a fascinating story. Indeed the right material for a film to make!

  4. Andres says:

    Talking about Bolivian presidents, one day you should write about the story of Gualberto Villarroel, the Bolivian president who was literally lynched by a crowd of protesters in 1946

    • I just saw the photo of the lynching today when I was researching for another story.
      I am planning a story about the tumultuous changes of government that Bolivia had in its history. I am still trying to find out if the number of revolutions, coups and coup attempts in Bolivia’s history is a world record.

  5. Jeffrey McKinney says:

    Hello Andreas, your website is very interesting! German Busch was my grandfather. Is there any information of the boatload of Jewish refugees from World War II that was denied entry to many countries but was allowed to enter Bolivia by German Busch? I know there was no access to the sea but, the refugees were allowed to travel to and settle in Bolivia. Somewhat of an Oskar Schindler in his own rite. My mother told me this story.
    Thank you!!

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