Funding the Holocaust.

The picture above is of an Opel Bliz troops transporter, Opel is one of the companies that provided the Nazi regime with equipment but also with funding.

But Opel was not the only company. Funding the Nazis already started early 1930s.

Nineteen representatives of industry, finance, and agriculture signed a petition on November 19, 1932 where they requested for German President Paul von Hindenburg to make Adolf Hitler the German Chancellor.

On February 20 a secret meeting held by Adolf Hitler and 20 to 25 industrialists at the official residence of the President of the Reichstag Hermann Göring in Berlin. Its purpose was to raise funds for the election campaign of the Nazi Party.

The German elections were to be held on 5 March 1933. The Nazi Party wanted to achieve two-thirds majority to pass the Enabling Act and desired to raise three million Reichsmark to fund the campaign. According to records, 2,071,000 Reichsmarks (equivalent to about €9,000,000 in 2022) were contributed at the meeting. Together with the Industrial petition, it is used as evidence to support the idea that big business played a central role in the rise of the Nazi Party.

These are just some of the men and companies that supported the Nazi regime, financially and often also in equipment and services.

Ernst Brandi, chairman of Bergbauverein
Karl Büren, director general of Braunkohlen- und Brikettindustrie AG, board member of Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände
August Diehn , board member of Wintershall AG
Ludwig Grauert
Guenther Heubel , director general of C. TH. Heye Braunkohlenwerke AG, board member of Deutschen Arbeitgeberverbände
Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach
Hans von und zu Loewenstein, executive member of Bergbauverein
Fritz von Opel, board member of Adam Opel AG
Günther Quandt, major industrialist, later appointed Leader of the Armament Economy (Wehrwirtschaftsführer)
Wolfgang Reuter , director general of Demag, chairman of Vereins Deutscher Maschinenbau-Anstalten, presidential member of Reichsverbands der Deutschen Industrie
August Rosterg, director general of Wintershall AG
Hjalmar Schacht
Georg von Schnitzler, board member of IG Farben
Eduard Schulte, director general of Giesches Erben, Zink und Bergbaubetrieb
Fritz Springorum , Hoesch AG
Hugo Stinnes Jr. , board member of Reichsverband der Deutschen Industrie, member of the Supervisory board of Rhenish-Westphalian Coal Syndicate
Ernst Tengelmann, CEO of Gelsenkirchener Bergwerks AG
Albert Vögler, CEO of Vereinigte Stahlwerke AG
Ludwig von Winterfeld , board member of Siemens & Halske AG and Siemens-Schuckertwerke AG
Wolf-Dietrich von Witzleben , head of the office of Carl Friedrich von Siemens

Some other companies and how they contributed

AEG -Germany Forced labour from concentration camps.
Allianz -Berlin, Germany Provided insurance for facilities and workers at concentration camps.
Associated Press – New York, United States Censorship and cooperation with Nazi Germany.
Audi- Zwickau, Germany Forced labour from concentration camps.
-Bahlsen- Hannover, Germany Employed about 200 forced labourers between 1943 and 1945 – most of whom were women from Nazi-occupied Ukraine.
BASF -Ludwigshafen, Germany Collaborated with Degussa AG – now Evonik Industries – and IG Farben – to produce sodas used in Zyklon B – utilized in Concentration Camps to commit mass murder. The BASF built the chemical factory IG Auschwitz.
Bayer- Barmen, Germany Forced labour and medical experimentation in concentration camps,production of the chemicals and pharmaceuticals supplies of Nazi Germany.
BMW-Munich, Germany Forced labour from concentration camps, produced fighting sidecar motorcycles BMW R75 and aircraft engines.
Carl Walther GmbH-Germany Produced Gewehr military carabines and Walther handguns.
Chase National Bank-Manhattan, New York State, USA Assisted in the sale of Nazi war bonds (Rueckwanderer Marks) to German Americans.
Degussa AG (now Evonik Industries)-Frankfurt, Germany Zyklon B pesticide production used for executions in gas chambers.
Dehomag (a subsidiary of IBM)-Germany Provided data computers for the Gestapo state police notably for arrests.
Deutsche Bank-Germany Provided construction loans for Auschwitz.
Deutsche Bergwerks- und Hüttenbau- Germany Mine and quarries.
Dresdner Bank- Dresden, Germany Major stakeholder in the construction company for Auschwitz.
Eisenwerke Oberdonau- Germany Steel production. Part of Reichswerke Hermann Göring.
Flugmotorenwerke Ostmark-Lower Austria Engine production mainly for aircraft.
Focke-Wulf- Germany Produced Focke-Wulf military planes.
Franz Eher Nachfolger- Germany Produced books and the famous Mein Kampf under the control of the Nazi party.
General Motors- United States Automotive industry, provided passenger vehicles for the SS, Wehrmacht and the Nazi party.
Hoesch AG-Dortmund, Germany Mines and steel productions.
Hugo Boss- Metzingen, Germany Produced propaganda items, uniforms for Nazi State and Vichy Collaborating State.
IBM-New York, USA Produced early computers utilized in the pursuit of the Holocaust by Nazi Germany.
IG Farben-Frankfurt am Main, Germany Zyklon B main manufacturer.
Krupp (now part of ThyssenKrupp) – Essen, Germany Zyklon B was produced by the company along with other ones. Some more of the productions were Panzer Tank Series, U-boats, military ships, artillery guns.
Maggi (now owned by Nestlé) – Switzerland Benefited from slave labour.
Mercedes-Benz -Stuttgart, Germany Forced labour from concentration camps, produced turret for tanks. Also were the limos of choice of Nazi leaders such as Hitler, Göring, Himmler, and Heydrich.
Porsche- Stuttgart, Germany Forced labour,created design for the first version of the outgunning heavy Tiger tank series: the Tiger I despite the trials it was not retained for further production.
Puma -Herzogenaurach, Germany As Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory, with Adidas. Shoe supplier to Hitler Youth.
Reichswerke Hermann Göring- Berlin, Germany State-owned steelworks.
Siemens-Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany Forced labour, Trucks possibly other productions as trains.
Standard Oil- Cleveland, Ohio Provided fuel for U-boats.
Steyr Arms-Steyr, Austria Forced labour in the Steyr-Münichholz subcamp, production of weapons.
Steyr-Daimler-Puch- Steyr, Austria Constructed military facilities and military vehicles as the light RSO Raupenschlepper Ost (with cargo, self propelled antitank and traction versions).
Stoewer- Stettin, Germany Used forced labour in its factory. manufacturer leichter geländegängiger Einheits-PKW, a versatile four-wheel drive car, for Wehrmacht.
Swarovski-Wattens, Austria Members of the executive board were members of the Nazi Party.
Thyssen AG (now part of ThyssenKrupp)- Hamborn, Germany Produced steel, machines, weapons and steelworks.
Topf and Sons- Erfurt, Germany Designed, manufactured and installed crematoria for concentration and extermination camps.
Volkswagen Group- Berlin, Germany Forced labour from concentration camps. Produced V-1 flying bomb and Kübelwagen military vehicles.

These were not the only companies, Coca Cola created the Fanta brand for the German Army, due to some sanctions not all ingredients to manufacture Coca Cola were available in Germany

Henry Ford was a great admired of Hitler and also funded the Nazi party, it is alleged that Henry Ford sent Hitler a cheque of $50,000 on Hitler’s birthdays.

Not only did these companies fund the Nazi regime and therefore by association the Holocaust, they also profited from the death and destruction caused by the Nazis. Many of them went on to become global marker leaders in their fields and some are now known as manufactures of luxury goods.

sources

https://www.jstor.org/stable/1841917

https://dbpedia.org/page/Secret_Meeting_of_20_February_1933

https://www.ns-archiv.de/nsdap/foerderung/eingabe-hindenburg.php

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IBM and the Holocaust

IBM

Punch cards, also called Hollerith cards after IBM founder Herman Hollerith, were the forerunner of the computers that IBM is famous for today. These cards stored information in holes punched in the rows and columns, which were then “read” by a tabulating machine. The system worked like a player piano . First designed to track people and organize a census, the Hollerith system was later adapted to any tabulation or information task.

image006

From the first moments of the Hitler regime in 1933, IBM used its exclusive punch card technology and its global monopoly on information technology to organize, systematize, and accelerate Hitler’s anti-Jewish program, step by step facilitating the tightening noose. The punch cards, machinery, training, servicing, and special project work, such as population census and identification, was managed directly by IBM headquarters in New York, and later through its subsidiaries in Germany, known as Deutsche Hollerith-Maschinen Gesellschaft (DEHOMAG), Poland, Holland, France, Switzerland, and other European countries.

Among the punch cards published are two for the SS, including one for the SS Rassenamt, or Race Office, which specialized in racial selections and coordinated with many other Reich offices. A third card was custom-crafted by IBM for Richard Korherr, a top Nazi statistician and expert in Jewish demographics

Richard_Korherr_(1978)

who reported directly to Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler and who also worked with Adolf Eichmann. Himmler and Eichmann were architects of the extermination phase of the Holocaust. All three punch cards bear the proud indicia of IBM’s German subsidiary, DEHOMAG. They illustrate the nature of the end users who relied upon IBM’s information technology.

Iin 1937, with war looming and the world shocked at the increasingly merciless Nazi persecution of the Jews, Hitler bestowed upon Watson a special award — created specifically for the occasion — to honor extraordinary service by a foreigner to the Third Reich.

Watson_Hitler

The medal, the Order of the German Eagle with Star, bedecked with swastikas, was to be worn on a sash over the heart. Watson returned the medal years later in June 1940 as a reaction to public outrage about the medal during the bombing of Paris. The return of this medal has been used by IBM apologists to show Watson had second thoughts about his alliance with the Reich. But a newly released copy of a subsequent letter dated June 10, 1941, drafted by IBM’s New York office, confirms that IBM headquarters personally directed the activities of its Dutch subsidiary set up in 1940 to identify and liquidate the Jews of Holland. Hence, while IBM engaged in the public relations maneuver of returning the medal, the company was actually quietly expanding its role in Hitler’s Holocaust. Similar subsidiaries, sometimes named as a variant of “Watson Business Machines,” were set up in Poland, Vichy France, and elsewhere on the Continent in cadence with the Nazi takeover of Europe.

Particularly powerful are the released copies of the IBM concentration camp codes. IBM maintained a customer site, known as the Hollerith Department, in virtually every concentration camp to sort or process punch cards and track prisoners.

Rassenamt

The codes show IBM’s numerical designation for various camps. Auschwitz was 001, Buchenwald was 002; Dachau was 003, and so on. Various prisoner types were reduced to IBM numbers, with 3 signifying homosexual, 9 for anti-social, and 12 for Gypsy. The IBM number 8 designated a Jew. Inmate death was also reduced to an IBM digit: 3 represented death by natural causes, 4 by execution, 5 by suicide, and code 6 designated “special treatment” in gas chambers. IBM engineers had to create Hollerith codes to differentiate between a Jew who had been worked to death and one who had been gassed, then print the cards, configure the machines, train the staff, and continuously maintain the fragile systems every two weeks on site in the concentration camps.

Camp_Info_Poster

Recently -released photographs show the Hollerith Bunker at Dachau. It housed at least two dozen machines, mainly controlled by the SS.

hollerith (1)

The foreboding concrete Hollerith blockhouse, constructed of reinforced concrete and steel, was designed to withstand the most intense Allied aerial bombardment. Those familiar with Nazi bomb-proof shelters will recognize the advanced square-cornered pillbox design reserved for the Reich’s most precious buildings and operations. IBM equipment was among the Reich’s most important weapons, not only in its war against the Jews, but in its general military campaigns and control of railway traffic. Watson personally approved expenditures to add bomb shelters to DEHOMAG installations because the cost was born by the company. Such costs cut into IBM’s profit margin. Watson’s approval was required because he received a one-percent commission on all Nazi business profits.

Dehomag_Poster

Two telling U.S. government memos, now published, are remarkable for their telling irony. The first is a State Department memo, dated December 3, 1941, just four days before the attack on Pearl Harbor and as the Nazis were being openly accused of genocide in Europe. On that day in 1941, IBM’s top attorney, Harrison Chauncey, visited the State Department to express qualms about the company’s extensive involvement with Hitler. The State Department memo recorded that Chauncey feared “that his company may some day be blamed for cooperating with the Germans.”

The second is a Justice Department memo generated during a federal investigation of IBM for trading with the enemy. Economic Warfare Section chief investigator Howard J. Carter prepared the memo for his supervisors describing the company’s collusion with the Hitler regime. Carter wrote: “What Hitler has done to us through his economic warfare, one of our own American corporations has also done … Hence IBM is in a class with the Nazis.” He ended his memo: “The entire world citizenry is hampered by an international monster.”

At a time when the Watson name and the IBM image is being laundered by whiz computers that can answer questions on TV game shows, it is important to remember that Thomas Watson and his corporate behemoth were guilty of genocide. The Treaty on Genocide, Article 2, defines genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group.” In Article 3, the treaty states that among the “acts [that] shall be punishable,” are the ones in subsection (e), that is “complicity in genocide.” As for who shall be punished, the Treaty specifies the perpetrators in Article 4: “Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials, or private individuals.”

In February 2001, an Alien Tort Claims Act claim was filed in U.S. federal court against IBM for allegedly providing the punched card technology that facilitated the Holocaust, and for covering up German IBM subsidiary Dehomag’s activities. In April 2001, the lawsuit was dropped. Lawyers said they feared proceeding with the suit would slow down payments from a special German Holocaust fund created to compensate forced laborers and others who had suffered due to the Nazi persecution. IBM’s German division paid $3 million into the fund, although the corporation made clear that it was not admitting liability with its contribution.

In 2004, the human rights organization Gypsy International Recognition and Compensation Action (GIRCA) filed suit against IBM in Switzerland. However, the case was dismissed in 2006 due to an expiration of time under the statute of limitations.

Edwin Black is the author of IBM and the Holocaust, The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation, newly released in the Expanded Edition.

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