| Józef Retinger |
|Born||17 April 1888|
|Died||12 June 1960 (Age 72)|
|Alma mater||Institut d'études politiques de Paris, London School of Economics|
|Founder of||Bilderberg, European League of Economic Cooperation|
|Member of||Bilderberg/Steering committee|
At age 18, Retinger went to study in France with the help of Count Zamojski, who paid him to study at the Institut d'études politiques in Paris. With the help of his mentor, he attended many Polish salons, but also French literary cafes, where he met many famous intellectuals and writers. After his thesis, he continued his journey in Europe: Germany, Italy and Great Britain. He also continued his studies at the famous London School of Economics (LSE). He spent a large part of the 1920s in Mexico.
In 1939, Sikorski was the one who formed, in Paris and then in London, the Polish government in exile. At that time. The relations between Sikorski and Retinger got closer, because the Polish exile leader did not speak English. During this period, Retinger debated with heads of other governments such as Marcel-Henri Jaspar, Paul Van Zeeland and Paul-Henri Spaak.
After the disappearance of General Sikorski in an airplane accident (or assassination), Retinger was given the mission by the new Polish Prime Minister Stanisław Mikołajczyk to try to obtain from the leaders of the Polish resistance movement (the AK) a more conciliatory attitude vis-a-vis the Soviet requirements, in order to preserve the independence of Poland after the end of hostilities. The internal dissensions in the Polish government in exile, as well as the intransigent attitude of the AK leaders made this mission a failure. The evacuation of Retinger from Poland and his return to Brindisi on an RAF plane took place in dramatic conditions.
After the war, Retinger was in exile. He decided to contribute to the freedom of his country indirectly. He threw himself into the battle for European integration, convinced that it would one day embrace the countries of the East. He continued his travels to reconnect with the networks he had made when he was in London, through contacts including Paul Van Zeeland and Paul-Henri Spaak.
On September 17, 1946, Retinger spoke with Van Zeeland who presided over the establishment of the Independent League for European Cooperation (ECIL) which became the European League for Economic Cooperation (ECEL). In the minds of its creators, this league was to be a pressure group bringing together the political elites for the construction of a European Union on a liberal basis.
In the early 1947s, pro-European organizations shot up like mushrooms, for example the United Europe Movement with the son-in-law of Winston Churchill at its head, the European Union of Federalists of Hendrik Brugmans, and the Interparliamentary Union of Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, or the Christian-Democrat Nouvelles Équipes internationales. Retinger entered into contact with these associations and did not encounter any difficulties (apart from Coudenhove-Kalergi, who jealously wanted to keep his place as a pioneer of a united Europe). Retinger's goal was to coordinate all of these organizations. For this, he organized the congress in The Hague (May 7-10, 1948). This date is a benchmark on the road to European integration.
He is also one of only three European members (along with Winston Churchill and Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi) on the American Committee on United Europe (ACUE), a front organization created in 1948 by the CIA, the State Department and the Council on Foreign Relations, to coordinate American aid ($$$) for the European unification project. At the time, this was a priority for the United States, and Retinger was responsible for distributing the millions of dollars made available to encourage these goals. Joseph Retinger was also a strong supporter of the creation of NATO in 1949.
- Full article: Bilderberg
- Full article: Bilderberg
Retinger's most significant activity in the area of deep politics was his founding of the Bilderberg group, a deep state milieu which continues to this day. He wrote that he set it up the to offset "a growing distrust of America". He writes that he initially "approached H.R.H. Prince Bernhard, Dr. Paul Rykens and M. Paul van Zeeland with the suggestion that we should organize some unofficial and private meetings... Acting on the advice of my three friends, I approached about a dozen other people, viz: Mr. Hugh Gaitskell, Major-General Sir Colin Gubbins, Mr. Ole Bjørn Kraft, M. Guy Mollet, Dr. Rudolf Mueller, M. Antoine Pinay, M. P. Pipinelis, M. Max Brauer, Marshal of The R.A.F. Lord Portal of Hungerford, Ambassador Quaroni, and Signor de Gasperi".
Documents by Józef Retinger
|Title||Document type||Publication date||Subject(s)|
Events Participated in
|Bilderberg/1955 March||18 March 1955||20 March 1955||France|
|The second Bilderberg meeting, held in France|
|Bilderberg/1955 September||23 September 1955||25 September 1955||Germany|
|The third Bilderberg, in West Germany. The subject of a report by Der Spiegel which inspired a heavy blackout of subsequent meetings.|
|Bilderberg/1957 February||15 February 1957||17 February 1957||US|
St Simons Island
|The earliest ever Bilderberg in the year, number 5, was also first one outside Europe.|
|Bilderberg/1957 October||4 October 1957||6 October 1957||Italy|
|The 6th Bilderberg meeting, the latest ever in the year and the first one in Italy.|
|Bilderberg/1958||13 September 1958||15 September 1958||Buxton|
|The 7th Bilderberg and the first one in the UK|
- The Bilderberg Group, Józef Retinger