Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #279 Tabulate This! IBM and the Third Reich

Lis­ten: One Seg­ment

1. This broad­cast details col­lab­o­ra­tion between Nazi Ger­many and IBM. In the con­text of this pro­gram, it should be not­ed that many of this coun­try’s promi­nent indus­tri­al­ists and financiers, as well as many of its most influ­en­tial com­pa­nies, were open­ly sup­port­ive of the fas­cist pow­ers of Europe.

2. IBM and its Ger­man sub­sidiary were instru­men­tal in pro­cess­ing data about Jews and oth­er “racial” and polit­i­cal ene­mies of the Third Reich. (“IBM Tech­nol­o­gy Helped Facil­i­tate the Holo­caust” by Michael D. Haus­feld; Los Ange­les Times; 2/19/2001; p. A15.)

3. This insid­i­ous form of data pro­cess­ing was absolute­ly essen­tial to the real­iza­tion, not only of the Holo­caust, but of the sys­tem­at­ic iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and oppres­sion of indi­vid­u­als opposed to Hitler through­out Europe. (Idem.)

4. IBM knew pre­cise­ly which of its Hol­lerith data-pro­cess­ing machines were locat­ed in con­cen­tra­tion and exter­mi­na­tion camps. (Idem.)

5. IBM knew of, and con­trolled, all of the oper­a­tions of its Ger­man sub­sidiary through­out the war. (Idem.)

6. Beyond its role in cat­e­go­riz­ing the vic­tims of Nazi per­se­cu­tion, IBM’s data pro­cess­ing tech­nol­o­gy was essen­tial to the cen­tral­iza­tion and coor­di­na­tion of Ger­man indus­tri­al and civic oper­a­tions. (IBM and the Holo­caust; Edwin Black; Crown Pub­lish­ers; Copy­right 2001 [HC]; ISBN 0–609-60799–5; pp. 86–89.)

7. This cen­tral­iza­tion and coor­di­na­tion, as well as the effi­cien­cy made pos­si­ble only by the IBM Hol­lerith tech­nol­o­gy, was essen­tial to the oper­a­tion of the Third Reich’s war-mak­ing econ­o­my. (Idem.)

8. For the ser­vices his com­pa­ny pro­vid­ed to the Ger­man econ­o­my, and for his enthu­si­asm for the Third Reich, IBM chief Thomas J. Wat­son received the “Mer­it Cross of the Ger­man Eagle with Star.” (Ibid.; p. 131.)

9. This medal was the high­est award that the Third Reich could con­fer on any non-Ger­man. (Idem.)

10. Wat­son’s ser­vices on behalf of Nazi Ger­many went far beyond the con­tri­bu­tions his com­pa­ny’s machines made to the Ger­man war effort and sup­pres­sion and liq­ui­da­tion of its vic­tims. Wat­son argued for an arrange­ment between busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Axis nations and like-mind­ed col­leagues from the U.S., U.K. and France. (Ibid.; pp. 176–177.)

11. This trade agree­ment was designed to facil­i­tate the move­ment of key strate­gic mate­ri­als between the non-Axis and Axis nations “. . .[to] ren­der unnec­es­sary the move­ments of armies across fron­tiers.” (Ibid.; p. 176.)

12. As Edwin Black notes that “. . . the raw mate­ri­als were need­ed by Axis pow­ers sole­ly for the sake of wag­ing war.” (Idem.)

13. It should be not­ed that this arrange­ment was to be made exclu­sive­ly between busi­ness­men of the respec­tive nations. (Ibid.; pp. 176–177.) This type of arrange­ment, as well as the pro­fessed ratio­nal for it (“avert­ing war”), might be seen as antic­i­pat­ing some of the inter­na­tion­al “free trade agree­ments” that have char­ac­ter­ized world com­merce in the last decade or so.

14. The broad­cast details the efforts of the Eco­nom­ic War­fare Sec­tion of the Depart­ment of Jus­tice at frus­trat­ing the coop­er­a­tion of Amer­i­can indus­try with Nazi Ger­many. (Ibid.; pp. 348–350.)

15. In attempt­ing to inter­dict the rela­tion­ship between IBM and the Third Reich, the DOJ found that IBM was so cen­tral to the eco­nom­ic oper­a­tions of Ger­many and occu­pied Europe, that the preser­va­tion of IBM’s role in both economies was seen as essen­tial to the suc­cess­ful occu­pa­tion of these areas after the war. (Idem.)

16. The broad­cast notes con­cludes with spec­u­la­tion about the pos­si­ble role of the pub­li­ca­tion of IBM and the Holo­caust and an atten­dant law­suit in the ongo­ing polit­i­cal and com­mer­cial maneu­ver­ing over Third Reich-relat­ed lit­i­ga­tion. The pos­si­bil­i­ty that the IBM suit may con­sti­tute (inten­tion­al­ly, or oth­er­wise) a “pres­sure point” that may hold the key to busi­ness oper­a­tions in both Europe and the U.S. is not one to be too read­i­ly cast aside. Mr. Emory notes that IBM and the Holo­caust has received an inor­di­nate amount of pub­lic­i­ty, in rela­tion to that received by most books about the sub­ject of col­lab­o­ra­tion between cor­po­rate Amer­i­ca and inter­na­tion­al fas­cism.

17. The pro­gram con­cludes with dis­cus­sion of the alleged Nazi sym­pa­thies of an Amer­i­can icon, film­mak­er Walt Dis­ney. (Walt Dis­ney: Hol­ly­wood’s Dark Prince; Marc Eliot; Birch Lane Press [Car­ol Pub­lish­ing Group]; Copy­right 1993 [HC]; ISBN 1–55972-174‑X; pp. 120–121.)

18. Dis­ney alleged­ly attend­ed numer­ous meet­ings of the Amer­i­can Nazi par­ty in the years before the attack on Pearl Har­bor. (Idem.) Note that this book received very lit­tle pub­lic­i­ty.


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