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.)
Was Busch or his family from Germany?
Yes, his father was German.
There were actually quite a number of Bolivian and other South American presidents who came from German families. The current President of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, is the son of a German refugee.
With the Polish surname;)
Exactly. A typical European combination.
I have now updated the article to reflect a bit on the German connection of the Busch presidency.
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Quite a fascinating story. Indeed the right material for a film to make!
I will try to write a book about it that can be turned into a movie script.
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.
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.
it’s an honor to read from you!
I don’t know about a specific ship, but I have written about the German-Jewish migration to Bolivia here: https://andreasmoser.blog/2016/02/19/german-history-bolivia/ In the middle of the article, after the first photo, there are a few links to more information.