I don't mean to offend anyone by this post, but tonight on the National Geographic channel, they had a program about the rise and fall of Adolph Hitler. Now, I'm not a rocket scientist, but I did graduate from college with a Bachelor of Science degree and taught in public schools for 10 years. Either this relationship was intentionally passed over in the high school and college World History textbooks that I read, or its a rarely mentioned fact.
They said Henry Ford was anti-Semitic (which I think that I had heard before) and that he was a friend of Hitler because of their common beliefs. The program showed large wooden crates being unloaded on German docks with Ford stenciled on them. They were presumedly containing Model T's. The program went on to say that Henry gave Adolph, $40K on Adolph's 40th birthday in 1927.
Are these facts common knowledge, or was I asleep in World History class? If this is true (and I assume we have to believe the National Geographic channel), it is ironic the Henry Ford in 1941 through 1944 used his plants to make Jeeps, aircraft, tanks, and more to defeat Adolph.
Hitler would have been 40 in 1929 and wasn't in office until 1933. I heard some of the same that you posted, but never heard it in class. I heard they had a common interest in car racing.
Ford's anti-antisemitism is documented but not much more than that.
Sometimes I'm happy to NOT know everything.......but, no, I don't think you were asleep.
I think it's more a case of being swept under the rug IF it's true.
Terry - You might "PM" Ron Patterson as he has a very extensive Ford library and because much has been written about HF's anti-Semitism, I'm sure Ron could direct you toward much reading material about the subject.
In the meantime, I can't help thinking that most of us, at one time or another have probably befriended someone who we later found out was no good!
As a phonograph and record collector I have a 78 rpm record called Since Henry Ford apologized to me.
It was two fellows, The Happiness Boys singing (in a caricature Jewish accent)that since Henry apologized they would buy a Cou-pay.
In part, the lyrics.
Oyoy gevalt gevalt
Vuts de mattuh, Abram?
Did you see the Yiddishe Joinal this morning Dovid?
No, vut did it say?
Well I don't mind telling you that I'm so happy I could cry
You're looking simply great, why don't you celebrate?
I bought maynself a quart of hooch, a collar mit a tie
Well if I see you making voopie, what's your alibi?
I was sad and I was blue but now I'm just as good as you
Since Henry Ford apologized to me
That's why you threw away your little Chevrolet
And bought yourself a Ford cou-pay.
I told the superintendent that the Dearborn Independent doesn't have to hang up where it used to be
You're happy now because he settled half the case
I'm sorry I cut off my nose to spite mayn race
Are you glad he changed his point of view?
Yes, I like even Edsel too
Since Henry Ford apologized to me
In the late 1950's I read extensively about Henry, including about his anti-semitism. That philosophy of his, I believe, stemmed from, or was tied into his dislike and distrust of banks.
I found no reference to any Hitler association or contact. Prior to 1933, why would a great American industrialist have any reason to be in contact with a little-known ex-corporal, ex house-painter?
As for Ford cars being sold to Germany, as far as I can understand, it was simply business. There was a Ford factory in Germany as part of the Ford spread into Europe via England.
I despair at re-writes of history by pseudo-academics who were not there at the time and who make connections that are highly unlikely if not impossible, just to further their own careers.
Well said, Dane.
If Henry gave Hitler money, it would almost certainly have something to do with the establishment of the German factory.
I think it is also fair to say that Hitler was a fan of Ford, not the other way around.
Similarly, Ford was a pacifist - but he threw open his factories for war manufacturing in the name of peace, when the territory on which that factory was located was threatened by war.
Without seeming dismissive, Terry, Henry Ford was a good man and a man of his time.
Yeah, I can't see that particular connection either, save for their shared view of banks. Hitler's distrust (dislike) stemmed from the fact that most of the financial institutions of Germany were in the hands of (guess who) the Jews as were a lot of business as well. How they got there is a matter of history, but it's safe to say they (Henry and Hitler) both had their reasons for not liking (nor trusting) the banking industry of their day.
Hmmm, seems like the banking industry is the root of the problems of today too.
Henry Ford has the "honour" of the only American mentioned in "Mein Kampf"...Dave C.
Henry Ford recieved the Grand Cross of the German Eagle from Adolf Hitler's Third Reich, presented by Karl Kapp, German consul-general of Cleveland , and Fritz Hailer, German consul of Detroit. The Order of the German Eagle was a diplomatic and honorary award given to prominent foreigners, particularly diplomats, who were considered sympathetic to Nazism. Henry Ford was awarded the Grand Cross of the German Eagle on his 75th birthday, 30 July 1938.
Ford received the "Grand Cross of the German Eagle" award from the German Consul in July of 1938. It was awarded to prominent foreigners who were thought to be sympathetic to Nazism. Ford "appeared" to be because of the material published in "The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem", a series of articles from the Dearborn Independent. Although Ford didn't write them, he allowed his name to be associated with them. The articles expressed condemnation of the violence against Jews but explicitly stated that violence done to them was because they provoked it.
Germany at that time had an extremely active propoganda machine. Anyone even remotely sympathetic to anything they would have deemed appropriate would have been praised and awarded. Nazi Germany had awards for anything and everything. People were either a hero or zero.
Once it became apparent what Hitler's machine was all about, nobody wanted to be a part of it save for some really insane people.
Unfortunately, today people like to bring up the connection between Nazi Germany and other people for their own political agenda, which includes showing just how bad the United States is. I cannot understand that but the news is full of it. Note how nobody talks about how great this country is anymore or the possibilities for doing good. Try to make that a part of your daily life!
If I was in a class where a teacher just HAD to bring up the Ford/Germany connection, I would mention things like the B24, Jeep, and countless other vehicles produced by the Ford Motor Company for use by the Arsenal of Democracy which crushed Nazism and blasted Hitler's Germany (which was supposed to last 1000 years) into dust for the betterment of mankind. THAT is the important Ford/Germany connection, PERIOD.
Ford was full of contradictions. He was an anti-semite yet worked closely with several Jews, Albert Kahn being the most famous of them.
He published "The International Jew"(I have both leather bound and paper bound volumes in my 1300+ volume Ford library) that were later translated into many languages and can still be bought today.
As for the Grand Cross, it's worth noting Henry Ford's secretary Ernest Liebold is thought to have been the one that got Henry's name in to Hitler for the award. Liebold was a larger anti-semite and racist than Ford was.
There's a couple books on the topic, "An American Axis" by Max Wallace, "Henry Ford and the Jews" by Neil Baldwin. Also "The Public Image of Henry Ford" by David Lewis, "Henry Ford wayward capitalist" by Carol Gelderman, "Ford an American Dynasty" by Collier & Horowitz, "Ford the Man & the Machine" by Robert Lacey, all have some detailed info on the topic. I'm sure there are others but I'm going off memory and caffeine depravation.
A couple of historical tidbits:
The Happiness Boys were Billy Jones and Ernie Hare, a very popular act on radio in the twenties. In those days ethnic humor and stereotypes were not yet politically incorrect.
Adolf (not Adolph) Hitler was born April 20, 1889 in Braunau, Austria. He was never a paper hanger or house painter, as is popularly believed. The young Hitler aspired to be an artist. I believe the "house painter" story arose from the fact that Hitler was not very good at drawing people, but his pictures of buildings were pretty good. If he had not been rejected by the art institute in Vienna, perhaps history would have been different. For a time his job was painting decorative cherubs on fancy furniture, but after the Great War he went into a different line of work, bloviating and ranting. His fiftieth birthday in 1939 was a big deal, with lots of strutting and seig heiling all over the fatherland.
Great men are human too, and Henry Ford is a prime example of a great man with regrettable flaws. He was gifted with admirable qualities, but his loony notions on Jews are well documented in his own publications.
I have heard or read somewhere that Henry Ford either assisted Hitler or Hitler used Ford as a model when the Volkwagon was developed. I can't remember where I heard this and have no idea if it's true. Anyone have any real information?
Forgot to add, both the Wallace and Baldwin books I mentioned above were written by Jewish authors. Not trying to sound anti-semitic, but their bias definitely shows in their respective works with the Wallace book being the worse of the two.
I'm not so sure we'll ever see an impartial book on the subject.
Wow! I never expected this response. The program hasn't changed my view or fondness of Henry Ford and the cars he built. I was just pointing out facts presented on the program. I, too, expect Ford's relationship with any pre-WWII leader was just "good business" for business sake. Yes, I am sure Ford did have a German factory. It was impossible to tell what was inside the crates on the docks, but they were Model T sized, although they could have contained parts. As for the $40K that Ford was to have given Hitler on his 40th birthday, I might have had the year (1927) wrong, although I think that was what was said in the program, but the program made it seem like a personal gift, saying "that was a lot of money in those times" (and if you consider the price of a new Model T, it was). No mention was made of the gift being connected to business, such as for a plant, a bribe, or anything business related. It really doesn't matter to me. History is history. Lets just pray it doesn't ever happen again.
Not knowing how is around you and what there realy like I'm afraid is very common. I have two friends that don't know each other , but one went to school with Gary Ridgeway "The Green River Killer" and there lockers were next to each other. The other worked with him at PACAR for meny years. Neither could have guessed this about him.
You just never know.
A thread from the 2010 Forum morphed into a discussion of Ford/Hilter etc. See http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/151103.html
Ford gave Hitler 50k on his 50th birthday, according to the documentary.
The dark side of many of our heros often comes out with time. How history writes it is a differant story.
Wonder if Eisenhower had not forced a German town to walk through a death camp how that history might have been written.
Guess Germany has a law that you can not deny what happened.
Agree with you Bob.
those are common known facts to anyone who looks beyond the propaganda fed by those in power.
History is written by the winner and had Hitler not tried to take on Russia, but stopped in his efforts to reunite the German nations while he was ahead in the game, today's history books would have portrayed him and his fight in a totally different light.
Needless to mention, we also would have never had a Middle East crisis which is fueled by Israel's presence only and has sucked more money out of the U.S. koffers than anything else.
Henry was his own man. He was a non-conformist, and he was very strongly outspoken on his own personal viewpoints. He was against war, but in both the First World War and the Second World War, when it came down to the United States participation, Henry Ford went full scale to support our country.
There is some good in everyone, and some bad in everyone. Ford had problems with Jewish bankers when he was starting his company, which he never forgot or forgave.
He also set up factorys in Germany, and the Soviet Union. This was a business venture, not political. Ford had to be convinced of something himself. It was not enough to be persuaded by someone else. When he made up his mind, it was hard to stop him.
Ford certainly wasn't vilified for his acceptance of the medal the way Lindberg was after he accepted his. I believe this was due to FDR. The president was angry with Lindberg for his pre-Pearl Harbor anti war efforts. He toured Germany and in effect spied on their aircraft advances and reported on every thing he saw to the Government. His association with "let's not get involved" groups angered FDR and the medal was repeatedly thrown in his face. This didn't happen to Ford. He was needed too much by Franklin. Tough call with Henry though. He left his shoes under alot of beds that he was probably sorry for later on. Except for the apology business though he never backed off on any of his convictions. At least publicly.
Read this: http://chaplain1.tripod.com/ford.html
It's an exerpt from the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary in 1974
I believe prejudice, racism and intolerance are all syptoms of ignorance. While Hitler and Ford were both genius's in their own right, they were both largely uneducated narcissists (self love) with a world view based upon their life experiences and prejudices of the day, instead of on history, common sense and intellectualism. Ford is famous for saying "history is bunk", so I doubt if he read much that did not reinforce his narrow beliefs, since, like Hitler, he was surrounded by yes men and was so high up in the heirarchy that there was nobody who could tell him any different than the world view he had adopted on his own. There is nothing so dangerous than a powerful, ignorant man with a pen or a microphone and Ford and Hitler were no exception. Jim Patrick
Ford was widely admired by many progressives, communists, fascists & socialists, not just Hitler's National Socialists. These folks wanted to run entire societies the way Ford ran his factories. Ford shared none of these beliefs but probably thought it wise not to say so.
Wonder what stories or books our Europian friends who lived through Hitler could inform us? There must be some who know more hands on information then we have from the American end.
I had read in the past that Henry Ford was intrigued by German industry. Workers that showed up on time, meticulous detail in engineering, train schedules that were held to the minute etc. Sounds like a great "mass production/assembly line" interest.
Somewhere else I read that Henry Ford's biggest interest, in the late 1930 era, was building a truck factory in Germany. That evidently didn't happen.
Like all of us, Henry had some good ideas, the Model T for example, and some bad ideas: Hiring a gangster to run his service department who killed union organizers and his association with Hitler. None of us can walk on water.
Right now I'm reading "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." One thing they had in common is they both wanted to put their country on wheels. About an hour ago I was reading of the development of the Volkswagen where Hitler was said to have said that his factory when complete would build more cars a year than Ford. He also had a wierd system of assuring all the employees got a car, they were forced to give up X amount of their wages until they got one paid off. Then you got the car. It also said none of them ever got a car, but who knows if everything you read in books is true?
I expect Mr. Shirer got it right. He was there as a reporter for Columbia, spoke German, and was a pretty sharp guy.
For those of us who are regularly interviewed about Mr. Ford and the early years of the Ford Motor Company, it seems that unless we include a criticism of Mr.Ford's anti-semitic views, regardless of the real topic of the interview, we can expect to be accused of supporting or defending Mr. Ford's anti-semeticism. I have really tried in my research to take an
independent critical view of Mr. Ford. Unlike most other authors I have hands on experience with Mr. Ford's office Papers. My 1997 sabbatical was spent re-organizing Mr. Ford's Office Papers in to the form of a searchable electronic database. (You can't imagine some of the things I found while doing the item level inventory?).
I have handled the responses to his Mr.Ford's Page in the Dearborn Independent that came into and out of his offices, mostly under the authorization of Ernst Liebold. I have delt with copies of "The International Jew" and the Dearborn Independent - and am thankful that I was wearing gloves at the time. I think I have a pretty good idea of how Mr. Ford thought, but in the case of Henry Ford and the Jews I really don't understand his motivation. My only consolation is that I am not convinced that Mr. Ford understood his own motivation in his treatment of the Jews.
But when I need support to defend my interpretation, or when I seek further illumination of the man, I turn to David Lewis' the Public Image of Henry Ford., Chapter 9, "Chronicle of the Neglected Truth". In this scholar's opinion, this is the best, unbiased view of Mr.Ford's Jewish defamation activities in the Dearborn Independent. It is thoroughly documented and all sources identified.
I had the opportunity to compliment Dr. Lewis on that chapter a year ago. The entire book is based on his Ph.D.dissertation. After telling Dr. Lewis how much I thought of that chapter, he replied to me that it had stood up well over time. Then he explained why he knew when he was writing it that it had to be both fair and completely accurate - his dissertation advisor was in fact Jewish.
Without reservation I recommend The Public Image of Henry Ford to you.
No mention of how it was mostly William Cameron ghost writing for "Mr. Ford's page" in the Dearborn Independent?
Liebold & Cameron did most of the legwork on the Jewish stuff while Henry Ford was out playing with the Wayside Inn, Vagabond camping trips, etc etc. Looking at the copies of Dearborn Independent in my personal collection, it's very evident it was Cameron who did the writing. It compares nicely with Cameron's writing style.
I doubt Henry Ford wrote more than 5 pages of material for the Independent or the subsequent 'International Jew' volumes that were merely a source of collected articles from the Independent.
I've only had the pleasure to look thru portions of the Ford archives(I'm far from retired and over 1000 miles away from Dearborn) so I'm envious that you get the chance to spend vast amounts of time at the Archives.
I'm not defending Henry Ford, he certainly had his faults like we all do, Ford just had the money, notoriety and nonchalant attitude to make his opinions front page news for many years.
I agree with you Luke. Because Ford does not impress me as a very intelligent person over all. His answers to the news papers lawyers during that libel trial (in the '20's I believe) show this clearly. Of course their aim was to show this lack of knowledge off, (especially in history), to prove their case but they did a good job. Ford came out very poorly in this exchange. The trial ended in his favor but the judge awarded him only $1.00. I cannot see him writing these articles. I don't think he had it in him. Frankly I can't even see him reading them. It only deepens the mystery of his anti semitism. In cases like this I always ask myself why bother? I mean, really, why? What could he possibly expect to gain? He could be vindictive. His actions regarding Edsel and just about every one else that worked for him prove this. He died as alone as Howard Hughes or Michael Jackson because of it. Sure the ghouls turn up at the funeral. Maybe to get photographed or for a free meal, but friends? Bet you could count them on the fingers of one hand on that last ride. Too many toes stepped on.
Henry had his own little Gestapo working for him.......spying on his employees to make sure they were living up to the agreement to live their lives as prescribed by Henry.......perhaps a case of "Do as I say, not as I do"?
The impression I get from having read Charles Sorensen's book, "My Forty Years with Ford," Steven Watt's "The People's Tycoon" and a few others, is that Ford was luckier than he was smart and that nothing beats being in the right place at the right time.
The man's personal life was a train wreck. He kept a mistress for thirty years, fathered a child with her and pretty much disowned the kid. He certainly treated Edsel, the legitimate son he had with his wife, Clara, shamefully and some folks wonder whether Henry Ford was the reason Edsel went to an early grave.
Apparently, Henry was an intuitive mechanic with a lot of holes in his engineering education. For instance, he couldn't read a blueprint, but he could look at Charles Sorensen's 3-dimensional patterns and know instinctively whether they would work (It also didn't hurt that he had József Galamb, C. Harold Wills and Spider Huff working for him).
Ford ran the factory and James Couzens ran the business, pulling his hair out most of the way because he couldn't get Henry to do simple things like deposit checks instead of chucking them into a desk drawer and forgetting about them. Couzens ran the business until 1915, when he and Mr. Ford went their separate ways. By then, Couzens had Ford Motor Company so solidly established, it would take Henry several years to mess things up.
Fortunately, for Henry Ford, there were guys like Charles Sorensen, who could forestall the inevitable (and who could also build tractors and take charge of the production of over 8,000 B-24 Bombers at Ford's Willow Run facility). Henry Ford was pigheaded about producing the obsolete Model T until Judgement Day—obviously a big mistake. Edsel saw the problem and, while his Dad way away on a protracted trip, had a much improved prototype built that should have superceded the Model T. Mr. Ford's response to his son's initiative was to humiliate him by throwing a fit and destroying the prototype with his bare hands. By the time the Model A came out, it was almost too little too late. The transition from Model T to Model A, which should have taken place smoothly, didn't—everything closed down to retool and Ford workers were laid off for a protracted period. The man didn't plan ahead—at least, not that time.
Then there was Harry Bennett, the personification of Mr. Ford's questionable judgement. What he did to Edsel under the approving eye of Ford was a tragedy. Then, there were the riots and gunplay. Nuff said.
The Peace Ship, The Dearborn Independent, The International Jew, the regularly scheduled dances that Ford hosted and his execs were coerced to attend, the fact that Ford betrayed virtually all of his investors, and his policy of encouraging his highest-ranking execs (including his son) to engage in a game of survival of the fittest, were also indicative of the man's profound eccentricity and narcissism.
Charles Sorensen said, in so many words, that the reason he lasted as long as he did with Ford was because he always avoided the limelight and gave Mr. Ford the credit for anything he (Sorensen) did.
Ford didn't lack intelligence, but he was shrewder than he was smart and above all else, he happened to be in the right place at the right time—that and he was very, very lucky.
He also made one hell of a damn good car, put the world on wheels and changed, for the better, just about everything in the civilized world.
Two comments : #1 - " ...history is bunk... " is an incomplete quote from Ford`s testimony at a trial in the late teens . Ford went on to say that the content of the history you read depends on who wrote it . Very true , especially today . The misquote was used to slander Ford for the rest of his life . Would a man that loved history so much that he spent a good part of his life and fortune collecting antiques , and setting up the Greenfield Village / Edison Institute , say that silly line without a followup explanation ?? Of Course Not !!! #2 - Remember , Ford borrowed 95 MILLION DOLLARS ( A BILLION $ + today !! ) , pledging his Ford Motor Co. stock in 1919 to buy out his other stockholders . Then , in 1921 , when the loan was due , there was a bad recession on , the inflated prices of the immediate post-war years dropped badly . and Ford was told " ...NO EXTENSION , We`ll foreclose ... " by the bankers that held his notes . So , in Ford`s eyes , the Bankers were trying to STEAL the Ford Motor Co. from him , for 1/2 of what it was worth . Remember , the loan money was used to buy the rest of the outstanding stock in the Ford Motor Co. , so the Banker`s got the WHOLE ENCHILADA !! Ford used some drastic measures to shift the burden of the debt to his dealer`s shoulders , not a very ethical move on Ford`s part . But , maybe , in Ford`s mind , HE had made them successful , so they could help HIM out this time . Besides , when the overstock was sold , the dealers would be repaid , and the Ford Motor Co. would go on with Henry at the rudder . Unlike General Motors , saddled with a Banker`s Committee that didn`t understand car manufacturing , and almost killed the company . Want to bet that the Bankers that Ford had his run in with in 1921 were Jewish ?? Please notice that Ford`s anti-semitism really only seems to became evident after WW1 . I`ve never seen a Quote from Ford that was anti-semite that he made before the 1920`s . Have you ?? I`m NOT trying to excuse the inexcusable , just explain the probable causes there .
Regarding bankers.....Charles Hart, of the Hart Parr Company, Charles City, IA, wound up having the same feelings toward them after a pair of local bankers who held a great deal of Hart Parr debt decided THEY wanted to run the company at a time when Hart Parr tractors were selling like hotcakes and their debt would not be a risk. Nevertheless the bankers prevailed and Hart not only hated bankers but left the company. HE was NOT going to work for THEM.
I have a good old friend too whose VERY successful company was straining a bit but the light at the end of the tunnel was bright. They too, called in some of the debt and the bankers forced him into either selling a large portion of "a collection" to pay off some debt or foreclosing. He did what they wanted but will die hating bankers and bean counters.
Having some unbiased insight makes all the difference in the world....... ;)
Hitler and Mussolini were seen as successful politicians in the mid 1930's by most people around the world.
Business men and political leaders often make bad decisions on who to associate with. Ford (both man and company) did business with Hitler and Nazi Germany because the only way to sell cars there was to play ball with the home team. Of course Henry later devoted the entire company's might to the defeat of Adolf Hitler.
The same thing happens today. Business men and politicians do what is expedient.
Did Ford have a choice makeing war products?
Or would his hero immage go away with the military running Ford with out him?
We do what we must to keep the oil flowing.
Including an American president bowing to a Saudi King.
Whether you like some things or not there are some things in society that must be done.
Anti-Semitism was reasonably widespread is the 19th and first half of the 20th century.
I realise that is possibly an inflammatory statement , but I make it so as to show that Henry Ford was by no means alone with those thoughts.
Much of the unrest and many atrocities in Europe in the 19th century were attributable to this thinking. It was a commonly-held belief that the Jews were attempting to take secure control over the world by controlling banks and finance.
It is not just an inflamatory statement. It is an outright lie, and a racist slur. Jewish people are just people like you and me who happen to practice a different religion.
Henry Ford was a genius, but that fact did not prevent him from being a stupid insensitive bigot.
Ditto. I agree with Royce.
Well said Royce, I had the gift of being a very good friend of a Jewish lady who spent the second world war in Germany.
By the way that photoshopped picture of President Bush is something fabricated by a liberal moron. It is a propoganda picture for idiots to email to each other.
I noticed that too, Royce. Good call.
I believe most emails circulated to promote a political agenda are exercises in fakery. They range from partially true with generous doses of flim-flam added, to total baloney. They fool the naive and unsuspecting, and totally discredit their cause with those who recognize the sham.
This one wasn't photoshopped, just captioned:
To add to the above, oil was $27/bbl when Bush took office, and peaked at $147/bbl in June, 2008, while he was still in office. It's now around $100.
Ralph, does every thread on the forum have to be about how much you dislike George Bush?
You want hatred? Read that website name at the bottom of that captioned picture the way it was intended to be read. No accident there. By the way: what's inflamitory about Johns statement? Except that he got the number of years wrong. The Jewish people have been the scape goat of every moron, yutz and wrong headed person from the pharaoh's to the present day. To ignore it gives it strength. It shouldn't be denied it should be faced and stopped.
I thought I'd be best to let the subject go, but Charlie is right. I did not intend to stir up a hornet's nest with the 'inflammatory' statement above, and it may need clarification.
Anti-Semitism can be traced back to medieval times. Generally this has been driven by Christians, usually fanatical Christians. Much of the discrimination was caused because the Jews were scattered all over Europe during Roman Empire times, as they had been made stateless. That is no lie.
Much of the worldwide movement of peoples during the 19th century (ie 1800-1899) related to colonialism and Empire building, which in turn inspired nationalism. The movement of the stateless Jews was no exception. Many looked to find a home in Britain, France and Germany. Many had already settled in western Russia and Poland, were they were terribly persecuted (for nationalistic reasons). The French became terribly anti-Jews, with awful attrocities occurring there about the turn of the century. Many Jews also went to the US (along with Italians, Greeks, Irish and others who moved for political reasons). This is no lie.
In my view, anti-Semitism reached a peak in the mid-20th century. This was not it's only peak, but it is the peak that contemporary society is most sensitive about. The pre-war anti-Jew policies of nationalistic governments in Europe, run by fanatical dictators, was well reported at the time. The next step - the death camps - was not. This is no lie.
Of course the Jews are just like any other who practices a religion. The question is, are they really stateless? They feel Israel or Palestine is their natural home (and please let's not get into that debate!). I guess an analogy to that is the Roman Catholic sense of belonging to the territory known as the Vatican, in Rome.
In spite of people becoming more educated and informed over the last century, sadly this issue has not gone away. It is a very complex one. We must not forget what has gone before - and we must learn from it.
Back to Henry Ford.
I have developed a very great sense of respect for Henry Ford, and I have a tendency to want to protect his reputation. I won't bury my head in the sand in doing so - I understand he had his faults. Show me someone who doesn't? My point is that, sadly, he was not alone in his anti-Semitic thinking. My comment was not a lie, and nor was it a racist slur.
A democrat's only defense of Obama's buffoonery is to demonize former President Bush. They can't seem to think of anything nice to say about the current president, or any accomplishment of his administration worthy of praise.
I don't often start these political disagreements, Dick, and didn't this time, either.
We Americans will never stop the hatred of the Jewish people, much as we would like to. I remember an article in the WS Journal about 30 years ago saying the Poles hated the Jews so much it must have been in their mothers' milk. Although there were very few identifiable Jews in Poland at the time, there was belief that their government was controlled by secret Jews. In fact, some of the most hateful people toward Jews I know are staunch Catholics.
What did Jesus teach about the Jews? Does any prejudice stem from there, or has it just been subsequent interpretations?
Operation Odessa moved Nazi criminals to South America after the war, up until about 1962. They crossed the Alps on foot to northern Italy, then given false passports through a local priest, and passage on a ship. It was the likes of Bormann and Mengele.
Maybe we will never stop irrational hatred of the Jews until the other major Western religions are reformed.
What the hell does the price of gas in today's economy and photos of modern day politicians have to do with the original subject?
If Henry Ford was an anti-Semite and embraced Hitler's views then he was a fool... If a person is an anti-Semite at this point in history then he is a bigger fool.
I apologize if I offended anyone. Some times the subject becomes off topic but its a good world wide cross section of lots of smart folks with one mutual interest.
Well said Paul - and thank you.
To John Semprez - remember that Adolf Hitler took a whole nation of followers with him (sadly).
Co-incidentally, today is the 70th anniversary of Nazi Germany declaring war on the USA. This photo is of him addressing (or fanatical yelling at?) the Reichstag after the declaration.
Let's all remember: Henry Ford was human. Like all of us he had faults, prejudices, mores, and such that make him human both good and bad. However, being in the spotlight so to speak makes his faults and foibles all the easier to dissect. We on the other hand, are veritable "nobodies" and can keep such things secret.
To what Paul Vitko said on Dec 9th about our European friends who lived through the war. I've talked about it with my grandma. She grew up in Nazi Germany, was a member of the Hitler youth and her daddy died in Poland fighting the Russians. She will be quick to tell you that there was no unemployment, and I know why after reading "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich". She told me though that she remembers her daddy refusing to salute the flag once and being beaten down. She lived in Fritzlar, south of Kassel, a larger town and she said the sky was red when they were bombing it (Kassel). She said she remembered walking over dead bodies in the streets but never once knew or heard of a concentracion camp. I know this has nothing to do with Ford but saw that post and thought I'd add a few bits of what she told me. She married an American GI and moved here in 55.
My German Jewish friend worked for a German officer when her father was going to be taken to a death camp. She begged the officer for help he told her if she slept with him he would see what he could do. She did and her father was saved. At the end of the war the officer told her where to go and what to do the information likely saved her life. Oviously many Germans did not know what Hitler, Himler, and the SS were doing, even if they did there is little they could likely do without killing them selves. Along with Einstein my friend did not believe in God after seeing Jewish babys thrown in the air for target practice. The German government gave her money until she passed away.
It really erks me listening to the rants in the debates of some folks runing for office on what they did or will do. It reminds me of Hitler.
Ricks - Jesus didn`t teach about the Jews , He WAS , at that time , a Jewish Rabbi teaching primarily OTHER Jews , as well as Gentiles . Christianity started AFTER Jesus was crucified on the cross , and was raised from the dead . He , therefore , couldn`t teach ABOUT Jews to Christians . The early Followers of Christ were a new sect of the Greater Jewish Religion , and celebrated all Jewish Religious Holy Days . I have never understood how any REAL Christian could be anti-semitic when the Son Of God sprang from the Jewish Race , was a Rabbi ( Teacher ) of that Religion , and lead Jewish Disciples that spread the word of a new Jewish-Based Religious sect !! I hope I have not offended anyone with this statement , BUT it`s MY belief !!
Well said Doug. People can scratch their head and wonder all day day long about the Jewish people and their history when all they have to do is to go to the source and READ AND STUDY the BIBLE. If you dont want to thats your choice. It amazing what you can learn, but then again thats if you want to believe it.
I like Fords invention of the Model T but the rest I wouldnt touch.
Your last line says it all for me john.
At the hazard of continuing the OT drift, I had to share this I just received from the internets.
The Teacher asked young Patrick Murphy: "What do you do at Christmas time?
Patrick addressed the class: "Well Ms. Jones, me and my twelve brothers and sisters go to midnight mass and we sing hymns; then we come home in the back of our old Model T truck very late and we put mince pies by the back door and hang up our stockings. Then all excited, we go to bed and wait for Father Christmas to come with all our toys.
"Very nice Patrick," she said. "Now Jimmy Brown, what do you do at Christmas?"
"Well, Ms. Jones, me and my sister also go to church with Mom and Dad and we sing carols and we get home ever so late in our old Chevy. We put cookies and milk by the chimney and we hang up our stockings. We hardly sleep, waiting for Santa Claus to bring our presents.
Realizing there was a Jewish boy in the class and not wanting to leave him out of the discussion, she asked, "Now, Isaac Cohen, what do you do at Christmas?"
Isaac said, "Well, it's the same thing every year...Dad comes home from the office. We all pile into the Rolls Royce; then we drive to Dad's toy factory. When we get inside, we look at all the empty shelves... And begin to sing: "What A Friend We Have in Jesus."
Then we all go to the Bahamas ."
Thank you Doug!!! You saved me some typing.
"In fact, some of the most hateful people toward Jews I know are staunch Catholics. "
No, they're not, they're just hateful. Does it give you some joy to bring Catholics into the fray?
Ricks : That`s NOT a joke , I didn`t laugh , and I`m sorry I wasted my time reading it !! Grow Up .
Hello to all:
As a Jew, I did not want to participate in this disscussion, but regarding Ricks Joke and Doug´s comment:
We Jews have learn to laugh at and from ourselves a very long time ago, and we are the source of almost all of the jewish jokes, so....no offence taken whatsoever from Rick and to add up to his joke: little Isaac said also: "We had eight days of presents!"
Now, If we can go back to the original thread....
I don't have a fireplug to find in any of the thread shift (my own maternal grandparents were Prussian...the paternal side all Irish Catholics )
To help sort out some of the early questions of this thread from a purely historical record...you have to break that relationship into sections. In the beginning, it WAS a mutual admiration society between the two. There is no secret that as idealogues to a belief (rightly or wrongly) they held the exact same views in the early years and yes there is outright evidence that Ford supported the early Bavarian movement. We have to put our hat on to the era of the Geat Depression start, where in spite of all else, the Ford Euro subs were still making fantactic profits. And pardon the use of the words, Hitler was seen as 'the peoples person' in his early years.
The second chapter to me is when it became more financial rather than moral and the burden for this participation has to shift to Edsel. Ford partially or fully owned subsidiaries in Europe were still making profits and for a while there was a strong Ford-Farber AG business with Edsel as the head of Farber USA. Ford in essence was playing BOTH sides of the fence for financial gain. None of this is conspiracy theory, its all in the minutes of a USA governement investigation at the end of the war and is public record.
Quite frankly, the record found Ford 'culpable with fact' yet the real war machine of Europe had been taken over by the Third Reicht at some point and the lines were concluded 'gray' as to just how culpable Ford Motor was. The US government then just decided to let it all go as there was some 'gray', Ford had been a super supplier to the American War effort once war was declared, so all returned to business as usual.
Historians are split however on the actual government decision. Was it a 'rug'? An agruement could be made in that direction, as some find looking at the evidence presented in the hearings that would have NEVER survived a McCarthy type hearing that would happen just a few years later. Others hold that the 'gray' line was enough to hold sway, and the governement needed the return to industrial production and Ford was just too big to take out at the kneecaps and the Government would have itself been accused of 'anarchy' in bringing them down as for the previous 5 years Ford had been lauded as a good and model Corporate American that had served above and beyond in the war effort for the USA. There is a 3rd view that government had let the 'small fish' swim in order to go for the bigger fish in that Ford may have overcharged on all of its government contracts, there was apparently a further investigation into this and my understanding of the history is that Ford cost records for those contracts was in fact a little loose, but again not enough to hold the thumbtack in the wall.
No personal bones to pick, no looking for a fireplug, no revisionist view, just sharing what is available in the governments own records for those that were curious.
George, was it Farber AG, or IG Farben, the chemical conglomerate? IG Farben was tied into DuPont and Standard Oil, I've been told.
I did a search on Google a few days ago, entering the following keywords: "Ford German war production." Some of the results made for interesting reading and tended to support George's "second chapter." neil
IG Farben was the manufacturer of Zyklon B, which was marketed as a rat killer. Very dangerous stuff that came in pellet form and turned into a lethal gas when exposed to the air. Zyclon B was incorporated by the Nazis for gassing their millions of victims in "Hitler's Final Solution". Jim Patrick
Thanks Ralph for that correction. I go off the top of my head on these things and I'm now a becoming a firm believer that the less hair you have the less all your recollection brain cells fire.
Sorry...let me restate that, I had to go and look.
Thanks Ralph for that question...it WAS I.G. Farben
Boy I missed a bunch by not reading this thread!
On Dec 12 at 4:32 Doug Langevin stated the truth about Christianity.
This morning - before reading this I had an interesting discussion about socialism with a co-worker that spent the first 30 years of his life in Poland.
One of the things he said was that most people don’t know how good they have it until they lose their freedom and the loss is not instantaneous – it disappears a little at a time until suddenly people wake up and it is gone. It is happening in the US.
He also said - most dictators and socialistic leaders strive to get their people aligned against another group of people. It happened in Germany and is happening in the US with the class warfare comments that is coming from Washington.
Another thing he said - socialist governments work to get the population dependent upon them so they can’t survive without government help. It is happening here!
There was a lot more, but I'm getting depressed just thinking about it --
OH ya -- Read the Marxist, and Lenin manifestos, and Solenzky.
History repeats itself to those that don’t pay attention and learn.
Incredible that the below cartoon appeared in the Chicago Tribune in 1934. Reminds me of the saying: "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it". Jim Patrick