In early 2011, a branch of the very rich Rothschild family bought a controlling stake in Weather Central, a provider of weather forecasts to hundreds of broadcasters.
“As weather becomes more extreme around the planet, with greater human and financial ramifications,” Sir Evelyn de Rothschild said in a news release, “we believe that Weather Central will play a major role in mitigating damage and improving lives.”
This was big news in meteorology and broadcasting circles: It appeared that the Rothschilds, a prominent business family, wanted to take on the Weather Channel to expand its media holdings.
This was also big news for conspiracy theorists: To them, it appeared as though the Rothschilds, a prominent Jewish family that made a fortune in European banking in the 1700s, wanted to control the weather and profit from natural disasters.
The Rothschilds’ supposed control of the weather — a charge peddled last week by D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) before he apologized for offending anyone — is just one of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of unproved, bizarre and anti-Semitic allegations that have been leveled against the Rothschilds for centuries.
The list of their supposed atrocities, spread by militant pastors, fringe political candidates, and garden-variety nut jobs, includes controlling the world economy, bankrolling Adolf Hitler, plotting to kill Presidents Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, founding Israel, funding the Islamic State, inflicting financial distress on Asians and, most recently, messing with the weather.
“Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” White said in a video posted to Facebook. “And D.C. keep talking about, ‘We a resilient city.’ And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.”
It wasn’t the first time White repeated anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about the Rothschilds. During a Feb. 27 meeting with Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and other top city officials, he was captured on video claiming that the family controls the World Bank and the federal government.
When did this craziness about the Rothschilds begin?
A long time ago.
The Battle of Waterloo.
In 1846, three decades after Napoleon’s French army had been vanquished in what is now Belgium by a British, Prussian and Dutch force, a political pamphlet, signed “Satan,” went 19th-century viral. The Independent, a London newspaper, recounted the story of the pamphlet a few years ago under the headline, “The Rothschild Libel”:
Here is the story that “Satan” told.
Nathan Rothschild, the founder of the London branch of the bank, was a spectator on the battlefield that day in June 1815 and, as night fell, he observed the total defeat of the French army. This was what he was waiting for. A relay of fast horses rushed him to the Belgian coast, but there he found to his fury that a storm had confined all ships to port. Undaunted — “Does greed admit anything is impossible?” asked Satan — he paid a king’s ransom to a fisherman to ferry him through wind and waves to England.
Reaching London 24 hours before official word of Wellington’s victory, Rothschild exploited his knowledge to make a killing on the Stock Exchange. “In a single coup,” the pamphlet charged, “he gained 20 million francs.”
And the rest is anti-Semitic history.