Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

IBM and the Holocaust

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (Through 2005) Donate to DU
scottxyz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-12-03 10:03 PM
Original message
IBM and the Holocaust
Edited on Sun Oct-12-03 10:33 PM by scottxyz
How IBM Helped Automate the Nazi Death Machine in Poland
IBM and the Holocaust
by Edwin Black
March 27 - April 2, 2002

When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, most of the world saw a menace to humanity. But IBM saw Nazi Germany as a lucrative trading partner. Its president, Thomas J. Watson, engineered a strategic business alliance between IBM and the Reich, beginning in the first days of the Hitler regime and continuing right through World War II. This alliance catapulted Nazi Germany to become IBM's most important customer outside the U.S. IBM and the Nazis jointly designed, and IBM exclusively produced, technological solutions that enabled Hitler to accelerate and in many ways automate key aspects of his persecution of Jews, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, and others the Nazis considered enemies. Custom-designed, IBM-produced punch cards, sorted by IBM machines leased to the Nazis, helped organize and manage the initial identification and social expulsion of Jews and others, the confiscation of their property, their ghettoization, their deportation, and, ultimately, even their extermination.

Recently discovered Nazi documents and Polish eyewitness testimony make clear that IBM's alliance with the Third Reich went far beyond its German subsidiary. A key factor in the Holocaust in Poland was IBM technology provided directly through a special wartime Polish subsidiary reporting to IBM New York, mainly to its headquarters at 590 Madison Avenue.

And that's how the trains to Auschwitz ran on time.

Thousands of IBM documents reviewed for the first edition of {Edwin Black's} book 'IBM and the Holocaust,' published early last year and focused mainly on IBM's German subsidiary, revealed vigorous efforts to preserve IBM's monopoly in the Nazi market and increase contracts to meet wartime sales quotas.

Since then, continued research and interviews have uncovered details, described here for the first time, of IBM's work for the Nazis in Poland through the separate subsidiary and of the Polish subsidiary's direct contact with IBM officials on Madison Avenue....

= = =

IBM and the Holocaust is the stunning story of IBM's strategic alliance with Nazi Germany -- beginning in 1933 in the first weeks that Hitler came to power and continuing well into World War II. As the Third Reich embarked upon its plan of conquest and genocide, IBM and its subsidiaries helped create enabling technologies, step-by-step, from the identification and cataloging programs of the 1930s to the selections of the 1940s.

Only after Jews were identified -- a massive and complex task that Hitler wanted done immediately -- could they be targeted for efficient asset confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, enslaved labor, and, ultimately, annihilation.... /

= = =

"Hitler could not have so quickly and efficiently identified and rounded up Jews and other minorities, used them as slave laborers and ultimately exterminated them, without IBM's assistance....",1283,41753,00.html
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-12-03 10:12 PM
Response to Original message
1. All large major corporations that were in existence at the time of the
rise of Hitler are all somehow involved in the inhumanity of the Third Reich. Money is basically the only motivator of these people. Humanity and comassion are not their strong points. Scratch the surface of any company in existence at that time and you'll find a rotten skeleton hidden in the closet.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-12-03 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Amazing how some things still stay the same (n/t)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
scottxyz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-12-03 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
3. Photos of the punchcards and the machines /

Lochkarten = "hole cards"

Rassenamt = "race bureau"

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
scottxyz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-12-03 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. Interview with Edwin Black, author of 'IBM and the Holocaust'

What was this relationship about then? Money? Was IBM aware of what the Nazis were going to be using the technology for?

IBM was of course aware of what the technology was being used for because they had to ask not only what information was to go into a punch card application, but what information the Nazis wanted to bring out of it. And so IBM had to basically find out what its clients wanted to have at the end of this process. And if the answer was to identify the number of Polish Jews in Berlin who were in the fur trade by coding a Jew in one column, and a person of Polish descent in another column, and a resident of Berlin in a third column and being in the fur trade in a fourth column, by cross-tabulating 24,000 cards per hour the Reich could quickly identify exactly how many Jews in Berlin of Polish extraction were engaged in the fur trade. Thats the velocity that IBM brought to Adolf Hitler. They began in 1933 and they covered all six phases of the Holocaust: the identification of the Jews, the social expulsion, the confiscation of their assets, the ghetto-ization of their communities, their deportation and finally, their extermination.

How known or unknown was the relationship between the Third Reich and IBM to the international public at the time?

It was very known because Thomas J. Watson, the President of IBM, was the worlds leading advocate, if you will, of conducting business with the Third Reich. He was the president of the International Chamber of Commerce. In 1937 Watson received a medal from Hitler- second highest medal awardable by Hitler- for his contribution to the Reich and basically he was interested in bringing more business to the Nazi regime because the more business that was brought to Nazi Germany, the more punch cards and machines could be produced by IBM for its Nazi clients and those who were catering to the Nazi regime. In addition, you should understand that all of the Nazi atrocities which were before the war, in terms of persecution, were vastly headlined in the newspapers of the day and my book explicitly quotes the front page of the New York Times continuously because this is the newspaper that Thomas Watson and IBM was reading.

And so, Thomas Watson, like everyone else in the United States, was aware that Adolf Hitler was persecuting the Jews, stealing their assets and getting them ready for the worst forms of physical destruction, even extermination....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
scottxyz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-12-03 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
5. Photo of IBM president Thomas Watson at a meeting with Hitler
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
scottxyz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-12-03 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
6. The infamous Auschwitz tattoo began as an IBM number
The infamous Auschwitz tattoo began as an IBM number. And now it's been revealed that IBM machines were actually based at the infamous concentration-camp complex.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Aug 24th 2017, 04:02 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (Through 2005) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC