Corporations Supporting Nazi Germany

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by canuck, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

  2. Vitesse

    Vitesse Senior Member

    Random House is a very surprising inclusion in that list, given that Bertelsmann didn't buy it until 1998 - especially as the entry is based on a definition in a dictionary published in 1997. Also worth noting that the current Bertelsmann company was founded in 1947 and shares only its name with the original, which was closed by the occupying powers for illegal paper trading.

    Still, let's not let facts get in the way, eh?
     
  3. Dave55

    Dave55 Very Senior Member

  4. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

  5. L J

    L J Senior Member

    I read it some years ago,but,IMHO,the claim that without IBM,there would be no Holocaust ,is NONSENS .
     
  6. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

    I read it some years ago,but,IMHO,the claim that without IBM,there would be no Holocaust ,is NONSENS .


    I have not read it since I think 2005. The author did over egg the pudding somewhat if I recall.
     
  7. Nicola_G

    Nicola_G Senior Member

    Random House is a very surprising inclusion in that list, given that Bertelsmann didn't buy it until 1998 - especially as the entry is based on a definition in a dictionary published in 1997. Also worth noting that the current Bertelsmann company was founded in 1947 and shares only its name with the original, which was closed by the occupying powers for illegal paper trading.

    Still, let's not let facts get in the way, eh?

    HHhhmmm I used to work for a company owned by Bertelsman. Had no idea. Surprised that they were able to afford Random House, given that they closed my company down due to loses over the 1st postal strike in around 1990 and made everyone redundant!!!

    I stopped drinking Coke because of the social issues connected to it and started drinking Fanta instead. Again had no idea! Bugger, what am I going to drink now? lol
     
  8. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Nicola, keep on driking the Fanta! IIRC it was one of a large number of patents siezed after VE Day, so you're merely partaking of your share of the spoils of war ;)

    Ford, and the other companies that had German "divisions" (sic) are in a strange situation; after Hitler delared war on the U.S., they were all nationalised at the start of 1942. Many banked their profits, and this were returned to the parent companies after the war - but it would be too much of a stretch to claim that Ford of America was building vehicles for the Third Reich; the CEO of the Ford Germany concern did manage a couple of meetings with reps from Ford in Switzerland IIRC, but he was always in an unenviable position...if he'd simply liquidated the company, or tried to, then Ford the parent concern would have lost its German division entirely.
     
  9. Nicola_G

    Nicola_G Senior Member

    Nicola, keep on driking the Fanta! IIRC it was one of a large number of patents siezed after VE Day, so you're merely partaking of your share of the spoils of war ;)

    :D Still, knowing it has that background isn't nice. Spoils of war = theft by another name :D
     
  10. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Nothing wrong with Reparations! :)
     
  11. L J

    L J Senior Member

    I have not read it since I think 2005. The author did over egg the pudding somewhat if I recall.
    The author is an American:rolleyes:.
    1)Most of the victims of the Holocaust were Jews from Eastern Europe:a lot of them were murdered by the Einzatsgruppen,who did not need the help of IBM;the same fot the Polish Jews who were starved/sent to the camps.The same for the Jews from Hungary .
    There also is the fact that the author (probably a journalist:rolleyes:) does not know the difference between IBM Germany and IBM US.IBM Germany was a German firm,who followed the demands of the Nazi's .
     
  12. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Ford and Chrysler had German connections during WWII
     
  13. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Multi National Companies are not new.

    German Divisions of International companies would have had to carry out business in order to survive.

    I am sure that I have read the same happened in reverse in the UK, with a UK Division of a German firm.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  14. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Overall,it was the large German industries which bank rolled the Nazi Party and are still in business today.

    Ford had a subsidiary in Germany with its HQ in Cologne and Henry Ford 1 was a keen supporter of Hitler.

    While held by the Allied Powers in preparation for his trial as a war criminal,Robert Ley who had presided over new labour legislations in Germany,banned trade unions and requisitioned their assets,wrote to Ford to offer his services as a manager.Ford as you might expect did not answer.

    General Motors also had investment in Germany through their Adam Opel subsidiary.

    These companies came under direction of the German war economy and off course assisted the German war effort.However their reputation was stained when they used forced labour manpower.

    As regards the use of forced labour by industrialists,I think there was only Robert Bosch who declined the offer of forced labour.

    IBM technology and the Kalamazoo system were deployed by the German authorites to index their own population and the populations of countries they overrun.I think the Germans conducted three censuses of their population from the rise of Hitler to power and the start of the war.Usually, when they overran a country, one of the first administration tasks was to conduct a census of the local/district population.For those who had vision,the best policy was not to get on the index.

    The Allies found it a hard task to sell off German industry,in order to penalise those who had been complicit with the rise of Nazism.In the end, the sale of the likes of Krupps,I G Farben and Daimler Benz, failed and ownership stayed with the previous owners under the new Europe.
     
  15. Jon Horley

    Jon Horley Member

    Just found this. I knew about Krupps and Farben, of course, but the rest of the names mentioned, especially those in the second link to the Amazon books, has astounded me. The Rockefeller and Carnegie Institutes? Supposed bastions of WASPishness in the USA - and as for General Motors supplying transport for the Third Reich, well, that's just beyond me! And Hugo Boss as tailor to the SS - another horrid surprise.

    But I suppose today one has to ask why are there so many Audis, Mercs, Beamers and VW's on our roads? Have we all forgiven so quickly on the premise of them being 'reliable' cars, or whatever? I have a friend in her 60s who won't buy a Japanese vehicle because, she says, "of what they did in the war". We're horrified by collusive wartime practice, but we support German production lines which also once happily benefitted from mass slave labour.

    Is there any point to tut-tutting about who cooperated with the Nazis when we buy readily, and heavily, from companies who helped to prop up this despicable regime?
     
  16. Vitesse

    Vitesse Senior Member

    Just found this. I knew about Krupps and Farben, of course, but the rest of the names mentioned, especially those in the second link to the Amazon books, has astounded me. The Rockefeller and Carnegie Institutes? Supposed bastions of WASPishness in the USA - and as for General Motors supplying transport for the Third Reich, well, that's just beyond me! And Hugo Boss as tailor to the SS - another horrid surprise.
    If you were a German industrialist and wanted government contracts - which companies always want because they provide steady, regular business, usually at a good profit margin - then you were dealing with a government, which happened to be run by the NSDAP.
    But I suppose today one has to ask why are there so many Audis, Mercs, Beamers and VW's on our roads? Have we all forgiven so quickly on the premise of them being 'reliable' cars, or whatever?
    Dealing with these in turn: the only thing the Audi company of today shares with the pre-war Auto Union is really the four rings logo. All their production facilities ended up in the Russian Zone and the most direct descendants of AU were the East German Trabant and Wartburg. Auto Union was re-established as DKW in West Germany in 1949 with money from the Bavarian government and the Marshall Plan and was actually majority-owned by Daimler Benz between 1958 and 1964, when it was acquired by Volkswagen.

    Volkswagen itself had been revived -almost by accident - by a British army major, due to a shortage of vehicles in post-war Germany: the original company had built hardly any passenger cars - and sold none! - before it was switched to military production. Again, the current VW has no real connection - apart from location in Wolfsburg - with the old KdF-wagen.

    Daimler Benz and BMW were - because they also built aero-engines - more complicit, but both were already well-established firms when the Nazis were just a small local party in Bavaria. It would surely have been commercial suicide for them to abandon all government contracts and even if they had done so, they would just have been nationalised with party men placed in management positions. There were many anti-Nazis within both companies' senior management: in 1942 Franz-Joseph Popp, the MD of BMW, was "removed" because of his views.
    I have a friend in her 60s who won't buy a Japanese vehicle because, she says, "of what they did in the war".
    That attitude was quite common: my late mother - by no means an intolerant person - felt the same about the Japanese. But friends of hers had been in Far East prison camps: in some cases it depends on how close you were to such things.

    In the immediate aftermath of the war, many people felt that way about the Germans - and the Italians too - but as the Cold War progressed, so attitudes changed.
    We're horrified by collusive wartime practice, but we support German production lines which also once happily benefitted from mass slave labour.
    If you smoke, or take sugar in your coffee, or wear cotton, does that mean you are in favour of slavery? Because all three of those industries were established on the back of it. And that's before we even consider the issues of child labour in mills and mines ...
    Is there any point to tut-tutting about who cooperated with the Nazis when we buy readily, and heavily, from companies who helped to prop up this despicable regime?
    No.

    Do some research on the Morgenthau Plan and then consider what Europe and the World might be like if it had been implemented ...B)
     
  17. Jon Horley

    Jon Horley Member

    Good responses, Vitesse - what I enjoy about well-run, informed forums is the ability to chuck out some thoughts and see what others think and especially learn from their knowledgeable responses. One is never too old to learn, or to re-think outdated or poorly-informed ideas. I think the analogies to slavery are fair enough - on another thread there's a hearty discussion on whether to change a war diary's now-unacceptable references to 'black' people, to suit modern mores. The overall sense is that things have to be put in the context of the time and accepted for what they were then. Which means that a lot more time needs to pass for people like my anti-Japanese friend to eventually put aside that country's wartime rep when making purchase choices.

    The only sentence I'd query a bit is that about attitudes changing during (and after) the Cold War. Just look at the Concordia affair: it didn't take but days for a racial slanging match between the Italians and the Germans to erupt there (Capt. Schettino vs Auschwitz, no less), and we Brits are forever smirking about Agincourt to the French. Our media are always sniping at them, sometimes satirically, but more often in a derogatory manner. We seem lumbered with a lot of history, old and relatively new, and a lot of that 'lumber' seems to consist of chips on shoulders!

    I will Google 'Morgenthau Plan' and see what you're referring to. Thanks!
     
  18. sebfrench76

    sebfrench76 Senior Member

    Jon,don't worry.
    We know the English medias are frequently joking at us,frogs,but i'm still loving the British Empire citizens!!!!
    And ,next summer ,i will be the first to help your tourists lost in my good ole town of Rouen,hehehe!!
     
  19. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Just a point, FDR turned down the Morgenthau plan for Germany which would have meant a de-industrialied Germany with its living restricted to agriculture and the husbandry of land.The proposal was intended to permanently strip Germany of the capability to wage war in the future by the dismantling of the Ruhr and Saar industrial base.One added statement to Morgenthau's proposal by FDR and WSC (at least they signed the additional statement,it was not Morgenthau's ) was that the Allies were "looking forward to converting Germany into a country primarily agricultural and pastoral in character"

    But before the Plan could be a firm proposal,the proposal which had been tentatively approved at the Quebec Conference in September 1944 with FDR and WSC's added statement was rejected by FDR a month later.FDR had realised that an error had been made in the plans concerning the role of the Germany of the future.

    Hitler and Geobbels took full advantage of what FDR had accepted was a misguided policy to inflict on a post war Germany.The German propaganda machine went into action to declare that defeat of Germany would seal the nation's fate and its citizens.Hitler urged the Germans to fight on to the end to avoid the penalties that the Morgenthau plan proposed.

    The German propaganda ministry took futher advantage,in their anti sematic role,to point out that Henry Morgenthau was a Jew and his proposal reflected his personal position.
     
  20. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    I remember reading somewhere that Siemens had used prisoner slave labour at all their industrial factories, some of which had their own mini-concentration camps within the grounds.

    Of course they also built the cremetoria and ovens too.

    I also recall back in the early 2000's they attempted to launch a range of kitchen appliances called 'Zyklon'! Now whose insensitive bright idea was that?
     

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