I saw a 2 hour documentary last night (Sunday, 8/19/12) on the National Geographic Channel, entitled "Nazi Underworld", detailing Hitler, his family, his friends and experiences and people that influenced his views in his rise to power.
One segment went into detail about Henry Ford, his anti semitism and the high regard Hitler had for him and his anti-semitic writings.
I did a little research and Henry Ford's anti semitism goes back to 1915 at about the time of Ford's WW I Peace Ship fiasco. From that time on, Ford wrote anti-semitic rants blaming the Jews for every conceivable problem in the world at that time, and published them in his newspaper. These essays were later published in book form, translated into 16 languages and sold worldwide and read by Hitler. see: http://history.hanover.edu/hhr/99/hhr99_2.html.
It is very troubling to me that Henry Ford may bear a great deal of personal responsibility in the fate suffered by the Jews in Europe through the influence his writings had on Hitler who, because he idolized Ford, embraced Ford's anti-semitic views that eventually resulted in a war that cost at least 50 million lives and spawned the Holocaust. The worst crime against humanity in recorded history.
Henry Ford later apologized for his anti-semitic writings, but the damage had been done. Jim Patrick,
Perhaps "Silent Cal" said it best:
"I have never been hurt by anything I didn't say".
30th president of US (1872 - 1933)
I find it a bit harsh to blame Hitlers actions on Ford.. Even if Hitler may have liked what he read of Ford's rants, he probably formed his own ideas long before Ford's rants reached Germany and were translated so Hitler could read them. And thinking foul thoughts - even giving voice to them is one thing, acting them out in disgusting practise ending up in mass murder is something completely different.
Is there any evidence of Ford ever treating his personel differently based on their race, ancestry, beliefs etc?
(I know the $5 day wasn't for all - workers could qualify based on behaviour, but that's social engineering, popular back in those days.. )
Henry Ford was Anti-Semitic
History has determined and documented that.
If that bothers you enough - don't drive a Ford.
I drive a Ford F350 everyday.
I am not Anti-Semitic or a Bigot.
I am, however, Anti-Ignorant.
Not to trivialize it - but that has NOTHING to do with the MTFCA which (to my knowledge) is NOT Anti-Semitic.
Moving on .....
I can only imagine what the world would be like today had Hitler applied his brains and such towards good instead of his evil plans.
His actions lead to the Vw bug and Germany had color tv first.I have even read that perhaps the US stole their jet technology from germany to.
He was very close to success.I have watched a little on tv about the german subs sunk right off our NC coast.
Needless to say, anti-Semitism is a sensitive subject. However, prior to the Holocaust, the subject was discussed more openly and more candidly...
The above is taken from a mainstream NZ newspaper in 1923. Today, it wouldn't be published.
Henry Ford, as did others, held some anti-Semetic views. But I think this related more with his hatred of bankers and anyone offering credit. He did not believe in credit. He would not sell his products on credit.
Hitler was an admirer of Ford, NOT the other way around. Forgetting what happened later, Hitler set out to re-build Germany after the completely unfair reparations that country faced following WW1. His methodolgy left something to be desired, especially with the benefit of hindsight, but Hitler can be credited with some good, including the autobahns and, of course, Germany's own version of a low-cost car for the people - the Volkswagen.
I think it is disturbing that some would so easily try to tar Ford's name by associating it with other aspects of the hideous Hitler regime, without evidence.
There was the famous Sapiro case in 1927...
Which resulted in this news story....
Jim, the early 20th century was a very different time. "Racism" (a word that has been beaten to death, especially in the last 4 years), was part of the culture all over the world. My immigrant grandparents were 'Wops' (Italian), 'Micks' (Irish) and 'Frogs' (French) when they landed at Ellis Island and moved into the slums of NY and were spoken to that way.
Attempting to take Henry Ford's anti-Semitism and link it to Hitler without including the entire context of the early 20th century, is more than just a little harsh. I don't think he made his Jewish workers wear a 'Star of David' on their clothing.
I was under the distinct impression that Ford didn't actually write most of this stuff that appeared in the magazine. In fact, that it was written by others who worked for him and then they put his name on it.
Or is that just revisionist history that came later?
As for being disillusioned, don't get too much so. Huge amounts of products made in Germany came/comes from companies that worked Jews, gays and gypsies to death like slaves during WWII.
Mercedes being one of the more obvious companies.
And don't get me started on all the fine product that comes from Japan that US consumers love to buy...do you know what the Japanese did to the Chinese during the war?
I once read an article written by a physiologist that focused on our "genetic" fears, that is, those fears we inherit and possess as a consequence of our prehistoric ancestors. They include things like fear of snakes and fear of spiders. It went on to say that we still fear these things in spite of the fact that in modern times very few people are seriously injured or killed each year by them. By way of contrast, the writer pointed out that there are thousands of people injured and killed each year in automobiles, but we don't fear them and don't think a thing of jumping into the car and traveling in it. He believed that we just haven't had enough time to develop an inherited fear of automobiles.
One of the fears he mentioned that most impressed me is that we do, he wrote, have an inherited fear of people from "other tribes". He hypothesized that this is due to the fact that from prehistoric times on through history it was common practice for one tribe to kill or enslave people from other tribes.
If there is any truth to the notion that we inherently fear other people (people from other "tribes") it would sure go a long way to explain the common use of terms like "Micks", Wops", and "Frogs" as well as anti-Semitism, and all the other racial/religious/national origin/whatever hatred that exists. It also provides, I think, the hope that we will eventually outgrow these fears.
Anyhow, I don't now if it's true or not, but it was a very interesting item that could explain a whole lot.
Were the essays that Jim Patrick writes of that were collated into a book be 'My Life and Work' ? It was hard going reading that book. Regards, Bede.
As Mr. Ford once stated...."History is more or less bunk".
I saw this memorable documentary last year.
"Constantine's Sword": The Church and the Jews – A History (2001) is a book by James Carroll, a former priest, which documents the role of the Roman Catholic Church in the long European history of anti-Semitism. The primary source of anti-Jewish violence is the perennial obsession with converting the Jews to Christianity; an event which some theologians believed would usher in the Second Coming.
Carroll disclaims the notion that Christian anti-Judaism leads inevitably to the Shoah perpetrated by National Socialism, but he argues that Church's long history of "Jew-hatred" (his term) laid the foundation for Hitler's crimes. Carroll also points out the many "turning points," as he labels them, where the Church's attitudes and actions toward Jews could have been shifted. Just one example cited in the book is that of Pierre Abelard (1079–1142), the French theologian and philosopher, whose teachings, had they been accepted, would have radically changed the direction and cast of Christian dogma.
The book also analyzes, in detail, the actions of numerous popes and other prominent figures of Catholic Church history, especially those who advocated anti-Jewish policies and those who tried to reign in official anti-Semitism, including St. Augustine, Bernard of Clairvaux, Nicholas of Cusa, Innocent III, Paul IV, Pius IX, Pius XII, John XXIII and John Paul II.
The book's title refers to Constantine's transformation of the cross, which Carroll points out, was not a symbol used by Christians in the first three centuries of the Church's existence, into a symbolic sword infusing a spirit of violent intolerance into the development of Christianity.
A documentary film based on the book was shown at film festivals in August 2007. Although exploring the same themes as the book, the documentary also focuses on events which occurred subsequent to the book's publication, especially the controversy surrounding evangelical proselytizing at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The movie was directed by Oren Jacoby, who is also listed as a producer, and written by James Carroll and Oren Jacoby. It was released by the production company, Storyville Films.
The Catholic Church in Germany and Rome was complicit with Nazis. The Church gave monsters the likes of Bormann and Mengele passage to Paraguay, where they lived out their lives as free men. That's from another documentary.
Ford built jeeps and B-24s to help defeat Hitler.
I believe there is a lot of credibility to the idea that the Roman Catholic Church had a key role in anti-Semitism, and in particular European anti-Semitisim. However, I also believe there is another aspect of Hitler's particular brand - while he was obviously and certainly total anti-Semitic, the fact of the matter is that anti-Semitism served his political needs. Europe, including Germany, was in terrible economic circumstances. Having someone (Jews) to blame worked for him. All he had to do was say, "These are the bad guys, they are to blame for your problems, and this is what I'm going to do to them to help you!".
I sometimes fear we overlook this aspect of Hitler anti-semitism. It was as much pure politics as it was anti-Semitic. I believe he would have used any minority group in a similar way if he thought it would help his political ambitions. Using a minority group to blame for economic and/or social problems is easy and has been done many times for political gain.
Sometimes right here in the good ol' USA we do the same thing, just not to the same extreme.
I'm as gentile as can be, but Judaism and especially Jewish humor have always fascinated me. When I say "Jewish humor," I am talking about jokes that Jews tell, not jokes that others tell about Jews.
A few examples:
An anti-Semite declares without shame, "All our troubles come from the Jews!" The Jew responds: "Absolutely! From the Jews--and the bicycle riders!" "Bicycle riders? Why the bicycle riders?" asks the anti-Semite. "Why the Jews?" asks the Jew.
A classic Yiddish story makes the following observation: When you tell a peasant a joke, he laughs three times: once, when you tell it, once, when you explain it, and once, when he understands it. When you tell a landowner a joke, he laughs twice: once when you tell it and once when you explain it--he will never understand it. When you tell a military officer a joke, he laughs only once, when you tell it, because he won't let you explain it, and of course, he doesn't understand it. But when you tell a Jew a joke, he tells you that he has heard it before, and that you are telling it all wrong, anyway.
With regard to the second one, I can't recall ever telling a Jew a Jewish joke that he had not already heard before....
William Cameron wrote most if not all of the articles comprised of "Mr. Ford's Page" in the Dearborn Independent. These articles were very loosely based on conversations between Cameron & Ford.
He later took full responsibility for the Jewish Question articles.
Like others have posted above, it was commonplace to talk about Jewish folks during Henry Ford's time, most everyone done this and traces of this still survive.
There are a couple of books published about Henry Ford & the Jewish Question. I haven't read either well enough to form an opinion on them tho.
Henry Ford & The Jews- by Neil Baldwin
The American Axis by Max Wallace.
To be fair both are written by Jewish folks so they're biased from the start- IMO.
So what's the verdict. Am I supposed to hate Ford, the jews, the catholics, the wops, micks or frogs, Adolph Hitler or this offensive thread.
Mike, Ford and Hitler are both dead. The other six are all alive. If you want to go the trouble of hating anyone, go with Hitler first. I can't see hating Ford, but 65 years after his death, he probably won't care a lot. As far as the Jews, oy! the Catholics, saints be praised! the Wops, Mamma mia! the Micks, begorrah! the Frogs, sacré bleu! This thread, hey, you're reading it, aren't you?
Dick, this thread is horribly offensive because of all the terrible things that have been said about Saint Henry. I could give a rat's ass about the wops, micks, frogs, kikes, jews or the rest of those subspecies. And just in case you're wondering, I like this thread. It's just that it's so damned offensive.
I got to thinking about my post above about Jewish humor, and remembered something. I read at one point about Colin Powell that he had grown up in Queens and worked during his high school years in a Jewish-owned company. That led to his learning Yiddish, not a common achievement in children of Jamaican immigrants. (It was said that, during a visit to Israel as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he blew Menachem Begin's mind when he addressed him in Yiddish!) In any case, there was a classic Jewish joke that I thought Powell might be uniquely equipped to appreciate, and I sent it to him in a letter (this was pre-email). The joke is this:
A Jew is in the subway in New York. He sees a black man reading the Forward, a Yiddish-language newspaper. He is surprised, and sidles over to the man. He leans down and asks, "Ir zeit a Yid?" (You're a Jew?) The black man looks up at him and answers, "Dos darf ik noch? Es iz genug ich bin a shwartze!" (I need that also? It's enough I'm black!).
Pretty cool, I thought at the time....
That's pretty cool, Dick. Much more palatable than the letter I received from Charlie Manson 5 years ago.
Mike - I'm offended by your offendment!
I agree, very cool.
Danial, you got a letter from Chuck? You lucky dog!
Mr Lodge, very interesting and extremely impressive. However, did Mr Powell realize, he's black? I know, lousy joke.
Actually as a combat veteran I'm impressed because Colin Powell was in the position he was. The man should have become our president. With his guts you can be sure the veterans wouldn't have to fight as hard as we do to get our benefits. And we certainly wouldn't have any worries when it comes to our 2nd amendment rights.
I don't see the discussion so far as offensive, but mostly as a rational discussion of our uncomfortable history. Younger folks often are unaware of the ubiquitous, casual, and blatant intolerance that some of us remember. I vividly recall the contempt some of my older relatives born around and before 1900 had for Jews, Catholics, and especially blacks. These were otherwise good and admirable people, but they were blind to the nastiness of their attitude toward "other tribes". Due to my bad experience in a public school in primary grades, my folks got me out of there and into an Assembly of God school, which I attended from third grade through ninth grade. The attitude there, among teachers mostly from Arkansas and Texas, was one of easy superiority and condescension toward minorities. As that school went only to ninth grade, I spent tenth grade in a Catholic high school. This was an interesting cultural shift. After six years of Catholics being The Enemy, now they were us. Most minorities got a pass, but the vitriol directed at Jews was endemic and pronounced, especially among the students. Attending a public high school for eleventh and twelfth grades was a welcome relief. Now, half a century later, I would say that while some of the changes of recent decades rub me the wrong way, our tribal attitudes have improved considerably.
Mike, I assume someone has told him along the way. I have read and enjoyed both of his books. I have to say that I had kind of forgotten that I had written the letter (remember, this was before e-mail and snail mail back and forth took a long time). When the response arrived, the front of the envelope was just my name and address and nothing else. When I turned it over to open it, the return address on the flap was identical to the two lines at the top of the letter. My first thought was, "Whoa!"
I would have voted for him. (Powell)
Mike, I forgot to add the disclaimer about the Manson letter. I'm no fan of the guy or people of that type. The whole thing started out as a 3-way Skype conversation me a couple of childhood friends were having.
How we got on the subject, I have no idea, (beer maybe) but we ended up all three of us, writing him to see who would get a response back first.
I was the only one who did.
I put the letter, envelope and additional contents he sent (a letter written to him by a lawyer!) in separate large zip-locs. I used to pull them out as conversation pieces but haven't in years. They're in the "infamous junk box" in the shop.
Sorry for the long OT, but I do like to explain why I came into having it. It has genuinely offended some folks over the years, I think.
Mr Lodge, I can only imagine. We really have had some heroes in our lifetime, haven't we. To think I was old enough to remember Ike. He came into office at the right time and stood behind his veterans. John Kennedy, though his morals were suspect he had some kahunas and wasn't afraid to stand against the world for his country. And then the long list of losers came into play, Nixon, Ford, et al. I really believe Colin Powell would have brought a great degree of respect back to the office.
I sometimes feel blessed for the increase in senility I'm experiencing. I asked a Nurse Practitioner who works with Alzheimers patients if she thought the victims of such a horrible disease knew they had it so terrible. Her answer was only when they remember their life. It sounds like a very simple very obvious answer. But when I think of all the world events I've lived through and all the attempts made to educate me, I'm still surprised I can be so darn ignorant about things such as bias and bigotry. Maybe might senility will lead to alzhiemers and I'll die a happy man.
But I was exposed to bias and bigotry by my father and neighbors and even my teachers. I remember the Native American kids at school had to sit all along one side of the classroom because the teacher was afraid to let them mix in with the rest of the class. It kept her out of trouble with our parents and she was able to watch them a lot easier. I recall meeting my first black man when I was in my teens. I stared at him and wondered how he was able to get by. And what was he doing in Northern Minnesota. And you cannot believe how disgusted the people up and down the road were when he married one of our neighbor women. And I remember what her kids went through too.
My father hated jews. I don't know if he ever knew a jew, I never did. But he hated them. Where did he learn it? He was a WW2 veteran. Is that where he learned to hate jews. He thought blacks were ignorant and he never said anything good about the ones he met in the military. Hispanic people were dangerous and couldn't be trusted. His own sister married a Native American who held the title of chief within his group of people around Sartell MN (even though the govt wouldn't allow him to use the title) His name was Edward and they called him Sonny, my dad called him all kinds of thing behind his back. He never had to worry about calling him anything to his face. He quit talking to his sister, much less his brother in law.
But when I think that my Dad had a 6th grade education and lived in shacks with dirt floors until he went into the CCC's I guess I can understand how he could believe such bad things. He was a victim of his background too.
We've been teaching contempt and hate since there were more than 2 people on earth. And it all comes about as a result of ignorance.
Am I offended, no. This is a thread about Henry Ford and what he believed in. And though I might be off the wall here I respected everything Henry Ford accomplished. Adolph Hitler was a mad man. They met and discovered a common belief. Does that make Ford a mad man. I don't think so. And remember for years we sent goods to the Germans and helped them after WW1. When Hitler came in to power we thought Germany was going to be a strong ally. Did Henry know that? I doubt it. So did Hitler make Henry dislike jews. No! I believe his environment and experiences made him dislike them.
Operation Odessa was the documentary I mentioned above. A novel, the "Odessa File" was written about it.
The Odessa File is a thriller by Frederick Forsyth, first published in 1972, about the adventures of a young German reporter attempting to discover the location of a former SS concentration-camp commander.
The name ODESSA is an acronym for the German phrase "Organisation der Ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen", which translates as “Organization of Former Members of the SS”. The novel alleges that ODESSA is an international Nazi organization established before the defeat of Nazi Germany for the purpose of protecting former members of the SS after the war instead of a war veterans' group.
High value Nazis and SS walked over part of the Alps and into Florence where they met a priest in a church who gave them fake passports and passage to South America. This went on into the early 1960s, sponsored by certain German industrialists.
Mercedes was Hitler's favorite car. Little did he know Mercedes was the daughter of an Austrian Jew.
That was a great movie Ralph. I remember seeing it back in the seventies. A real nail biter. I believe John Voight played the lead character who worked for a Nazi hunter organization dedicated to bringing escaped former Nazis to justice for their crimes. I believe the plot had something to do with capturing ODESSA's list of all the Nazi's that ODESSA helped escape following the war, where they all were, who they had been and what their new identities were. Even with their new identities, they were depicted as still devoted to Hitler and just as vicious and dangerous, 30 years later, as they were during the war, managing to meet in secret meetings to drink and celebrate the glory days.
ODESSA was the brain child of Otto Skorzeny. Hitler's go to man for impossible missions. The Nazi equivalent of James Bond. He is the one that planned and executed the impossible rescue of the former Italian dictator and Hitler friend and ally, Benito Mussolini from a mountain top prison in Italy. He flew Mussolini out in a storch airplane from a small, impossibly short meadow near the prison. Everyone was shocked when the massive Skorzeny got into the tiny observation plane to fly out with the pilot and Mussolini so he could personally present Mussolini to Hitler and get the glory and praise he was due. Everyone, except Skorzeny, just knew they were too heavy to make it into the air in the short distance to the cliff's edge and when the Storch disappeared over the cliff's edge they assumed they were right... until several seconds later, when the plane came into view. It must have been a harrowing takeoff for Mussolini and the pilot, but Skorzeny knew no fear and miraculously survived the war. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Skorzeny. Jim Patrick
Quite a story on Skorzeny, Jim, thanks.
I never saw the movie, just the documentary last year, where they discovered Martin Bormann's grave in Paraguay, and learned that he had been under the care of Josef Mengele, the Doctor of Death, who had performed bizarre experiments on Jews.
Somewhere up above in this interesting thread is a statement about the US getting jet technology from Germany. That's both true and untrue. Early jet engine technology was being worked on at the same time in both Germany and the UK/US and led to the first centrifical flow engines which were in the first practical jet engined airplanes, the Heinkle He-178 and the Gloster Whittle Jet, followed shortly by the Bell P-59 Airacomet. We did borrow heavily from German jet technology after the war, in particular swept wing design pioneered by the first operational jet fighter, the Me-262, which resulted in the F-86 and the Mig-15 in Russia, and axial flow turbojets which powered the Me-262's. Germany had a number of very advanced jet projects at the end of the war which could have thrown a real wrench in the works if they hadn't been too late with no gas or pilots to fly them, e.g., the Gotha-229 Flying Wing and P-1101 swept wing fighter.
I don't think the German people has any idea of what they were getting into. They just voted against the people in power. A lot like we did here in the last election. Not comparing the elected men just the voters. As for Fords articles Luke is correct. He believed them but he didn't have the brains/education to write them. Some contribute his hatred to the backers of his company trying to tell him what to do but I think they weren't all Jewish any way so I'm not going to settle on that excuse. Two facts about the situation are simple. First, that blind (I can't explain it but I believe it) hatred was "out there" much more back then and second: Quite a few prominent people got suckered by hitler early on. Lindberg comes to mind.
Werner Von Braun, the world's greatest rocket engineer and scientist was in charge of Hitler's Vengeance weapons program that launched thousands of V-1 buzz bombs and and V-2 ballistic missiles into London. Not wanting them to fall into Russian hands, he surrendered to the Americans at the end of the war and turned over a treasure trove of the Vengeance program's rocket assets, parts and research to the Americans. He eventually headed the US space program and was instrumental in advancing the U.S. rocket technology enabling America to stay years ahead of the Russians in the arms race and helped America be the first to land a man on the moon. Jim Patrick
I Aim at the Stars is a 1960 biographical film which tells the story of the life of Wernher von Braun. The film covers his life from his early days in Germany, through Peenemünde, up until his work with the U.S. Army, NASA, and the American space program. Satirist Mort Sahl and others are often credited with suggesting the subtitle "(But Sometimes I Hit London)", but in fact the line appears in the film itself, spoken by actor James Daly, who plays the cynical American press officer. ~ Wiki
Blaming Catholicism or the Christian religion for what happened in Nazi Germany is historically inaccurate. Go do some research...there was a separate area in Dachau for parsons and priests. Over half of the imprisoned clergypersons died.
Karl Barth, leader of Germany's "confessing church" was exiled for refusing an oath to Hitler. German Christians (Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Moravian - among others) drafted the Barmen Declaration, which denounced Naziism. Pope Pius issued an "encyclical" which condemned Nazi racism as "an idolatrous perversion of the order of the world created and planned by God."
It is well known that the German National Socialists sought to replace Christianity with their own puppet church "the Reich Church". Go read the 30 goals of the National Reich Church and tell me their goals were Christian.
-The National Reich Church claims exclusive right and control over all Churches.
-The National Church is determined to exterminate foreign Christian faiths imported into Germany in the ill-omened year 800.
-The National Church demands immediate cessation of the publishing and dissemination of the Bible.
-The National Church will clear away from its altars all Crucifixes, Bibles and pictures of Saints.
-On the altars there must be nothing but Mein Kampf and to the left of the altar a sword
In light of the above evidence, asserting that the church was wholly and organizationally complicit with Nazism is a gross misrepresentation of history.
Here is another interesting article, which attempts to trace the source of Ford's anti-semitism, again, mentioning that the Peace Ship debacle, could have spawned it, since he didn't ever write about it until 1915, after the Peace Ship made him a laughing stock. www.history.ucsb.edu/faculty/marcuse/classes/133d/essays/Baldwin2001OConnell083. htm. Jim Patrick
The guy was stubborn. Some would say to the point of insanity. The peace ship is just another example along with refusing to scrap the T and signing on with the unions. The latter 2, I understand, were forced on him by family (stock holder) pressure. The peace ship fell apart even before it sailed. Every body slated to go dropped out except guess who. Any prejudicial ideas Ford had he took to his grave with him. He just learned to keep his trap shut. You weren't going to change this guy's mind.
I recently saw a 1993 movie on TV called "Swing Kids", which did a good job of following a group of kids who, before the war enjoyed listening to, playing and dancing to the Swing music of the American Big Bands like Glenn Miller, Harry James and the Dorsey Brothers.
The Nazi's considered this music decadent and, as they grew more powerful and their tentacles began to snake deeper and deeper into society and into the private lives of Germans, one can watch the evolution of how the Nazis gained control through propaganda and against the various scapegoats. This persecution occurred at all levels. Even Jehovah's Witnesses were sent to concentration camps beside the equally harmless Swing Kids that did not denounce their music and join to fight and die in Hitler's Armies of conquest. Jim Patrick
The architect who designed the Highland plant, I believe it is, was a Jew.
My family are all descended from Eastern Eurpopean Jews. My grandparents and parents never purchased a Ford product due to Ford anti-semitism. A lot of American Jews felt that way.
It was noted that Ford made a lot of his program hiring ex-convicts. I have heard it stated that Ford did not hire Jews.
"I don't think he made his Jewish workers wear a 'Star of David' on their clothing."
A reason may be, as I've heard it reported, there weren't any openly Jewish employees there.
Back in the twenties anti-semitism was very real and very common in our country. In the 1920's my grandfather drove an armored truck in Chicago for a famous company which still exists. He was selected as the only Jew hired by that company so they could say they even hired Jews (he was what you call a "token", he didn't mind that, his family was able to eat and pay rent right through the depression... all his co-workers called him "Rab"... short for Rabbi, not a fond moniker). I don't remember hearing that Ford even had an intentional token Jew.
I hadn't heard RD's comment about the designer of Highland Park Plant before. I guess that is as well supported as my comments!
Henry's "mea culpa" on the anti-semetic articles in the Independent were a classic example of "self interest rightly understood" when it was pointed out to him that there were a lot of Jews and none were buying Fords. John
That sure hasn't kept them from buying Mercedes.
Henry Ford is human and he had his failings as well as his successes. Getting the world on wheels is to his credit. Some of his other ideas and actions are pretty troubling, though I don't think we can blame the holocaust on him.
Albert Kahn, who was Jewish, designed the Highland Park Plant.
That's him, Daniel. They say memory is the second thing to go. I don't remember what's first.
Not sure if this is true but I read that the Dodge Bothers adopted the star of david as part of their logo to appeal to the jewish people. Anyone know if this is true?
Here is another angle which I hope you'll consider.
I think Henry Ford loved people. All people.
I think he genuinely believed that he was helping society when he developed his Ford motor car, for the masses "to enjoy God's great open spaces".
Whilst the $5 day was "one of the best cost-cutting measures we ever made", this ran parallel with his efforts to improve the life and well-being of the families whose breadwinners were employed in his factory.
I believe he genuinely thought he could bring an end to the war that had developed in Europe with the peace ship mission of 1915, by negotiating rather than killing.
These are just some very quick examples of the man's outlook on life. He clearly had the resources to help mankind, and I believe he felt that he was putting those resources to good use.
But he also wanted people to stand on their own two feet, and not be beholden to any other man or organisation.
That is why he hated bankers, and credit. He would not allow his product to be sold on credit. Interest-earning savings plans yes, credit no. And Jews were, frankly, very involved in finance all over the world. They had no homeland - because of this they were truly the international people, not just the international Jew.
For the same reason he got rid of the parasites in his own organisation - the shareholders. Possibly the Dodge Brothers were the worse offenders, using profits from Ford to build their own car to compete with the Ford.
Yes, Albert Kahn was a Jew. He was also a long time personal friend of the Fords. He was Ford's architect - Highland Park was only the first industrial project he undertook for Ford. He also designed The Rouge, as well as the assembly plants around the world (including here in New Zealand in 1936). He also designed Fair Lane.
It is obvious from the foregoing that I think Ford was a good man who did much for society. I become disappointed when I see items such as Jonathan O’Connell's article (link provided by Jim Patrick above). In itself, it is a fascinating read - I enjoyed it. I note, however, that the only photo accompanying the text is one of Ford (looking bewildered, I might add - and there's a reason for that) receiving the award from the Third Reich. I see that as an attempt to influence the reader from the outset.
As Ford once said, 'Peace is such a precious jewel that I would give anything for it. Except truth'.
OT. I have sent you a couple of PMs but have received no replies. Can you please contact me. My email address is in my profile.
Ford had a neighbor who was a Rabbi. For many years he would provide the Rabbi with a new Model T. Even while the Dearborn Independent articles were being published. Finally, the Rabbi declined Ford's offer of another Model T, citing the anti-semetic articles and Ford's views. Henry was a little shocked and apparently never connected the Rabbi's feelings with what had been published.
This is as told by a friend of mine who probably knows more about Henry Ford, and the Ford family, as anyone I can imagine.
To John Stokes,
I don't necessarily disagree with your statements but, am left to wonder how Harry Bennett fits into "Henry Ford: Benefactor of Mankind".
I believe James Couzens was the brains behind the $5 day, and the virtuous man in the whole scene.
Gavin - I'm sorry but I've not received any PMs from you. I shall send you one as the next thing that I do.
Jerry - I've not heard that story before. I like it.
And yes, Harry Bennett leaves me wondering too. I can only speculate - he was particularly useful when the Ford was being pressured by the UAWU - Henry hated unions and felt slighted that there was any suggestion of a need for union counselling in his works, where he felt he was looking after his men so well. And Bennett the thug did was he was told, at least by Henry anyway.
I wonder what Luke would say about this? Luke?
Ralph - I believe the $5 day came out of a conversation between three men, in which Percival Perry (Ford - England) initiated the idea to Henry and James Couzens, and it developed from there. Believe it or not! Perry then introduced it in England about a year after the US.
Ralph - as an aside, the B-24 that you've shown above has flown 43 missions - quite a record, I'd imagine? I wonder what the operational life expectancy of a B-17 or B-24 was?
More Kamikaze survived the war than B-24 crews.
By More, I meant a higher percentage.
“That is why he hated bankers, and credit. He would not allow his product to be sold on credit. Interest-earning savings plans yes, credit no.”
contradicts the last paragraph here.....
Best I recall without digging into the stacks of stuff in my office, the Rabbi Jerry refers to was named Leo Franklin. He was 'based' at the Temple Bethel in Detroit. Another Albert Kahn design.
As for Albert Kahn, he was indeed a close friend of Henry Ford's, going back many years. They were both members of the Detroit Athletic Club, where Henry Ford had coat hook no. 1.
He didn't design Fair Lane, but he did design Edsel & Eleanor Ford's home out in Grosse Pointe.
A couple of good books on Kahn are - "Albert Kahn Architect of Ford" by Bucci and "Legacy of Albert Kahn" by Hawkins Ferry. Both show seldom seen views of the Ford properties, pulled from Albert Kahn Associates Inc. archives.
The star of David icon on some Ford employee badges has nothing to do with the wearer being a Jew. It was simply a way to spot foremen on the plant floor. This icon wasn't used until the 1930s when the badge design was changed to the common Rouge backdrop design as opposed to the older Model T radiator shell design.
I'm not really sure where Harry Bennett fits into all this aside from being Henry's lap dog (as was Charles Sorensen),but I think he's beyond the scope of this thread.
He was big in 'investigating' the accident that caused Henry Ford to not appear at the Sapiro trial in 1927. Ray Dahlinger was also involved in this. I think there really needs to be a book published on Harry Bennett. From my understanding, a man was working on a Harry Bennett book, but I have heard no news about it.
Henry Ford had Jewish friends, but popular media seems to overlook this. Izzy Capizzi(No relation to Ford's personal counsel Capizzi) who owned a small country store was a Jew and one of Henry's good friends.
It was a different time with a different set of morals/opinions as John very well pointed out in his post @ 4.16p.
To Rob Patterson - the Weekly Purchase Plan was a savings plan, more like Lay-By than Hire Purchase. The buyer didn't get the car until it was paid for, and he got interest on his savings too!
Thank you Luke.
My apologies that I got the designer of Fair Lane incorrect. I was aware that Kahn also designed Edsel's home.
You said "Henry Ford had Jewish friends, but popular media seems to overlook this." This is the unfortunate aspect of many in the media - don't let the truth get in the way of a good story!
It says "A Small down payment- convenient easy terms, OR a still easier way to by is through the NEW Ford Weekly purchase plan".
Indicating there was an operative hire purchase plan in existence earlier.
BUT, I'm probably reading it wrong.....so I'll pull my head in.
HF was very much against "purchase by credit" and the Ford Motor Co had no credit system but that did not stop the Ford Dealers offering their own credit purchase facilities.
Rob, you may be quite right. However, I believe the first time the Ford Motor Co offered credit was in the Model A era, as the effects of the Depression took hold. With time it became a big part of the business - Ford Credit.
Here in NZ, credit was definitely available during the Model T era, through The Colonial Motor Coy. In the US, there was nothing to stop a buyer going to a bank for a loan, and I believe some Ford dealers there even had their own plans.
Presumably the brochure you've scanned is a US brochure? If so, it must be around a 1922 production, so this surprises me, Maybe you have uncovered something new?
Someone must have had a credit system in play as early as the 1915's if we are to believe the story of the 5000 surplus T's that flooded Australia, I don't believe for a minute that the distributors and dealer ships could carry that sort of a debt when forced to take extra orders for the WW1 years with out help, with no petrol and people with no money to buy them, every one that anything to do with the import of new Fords in Australia would have been bank-rupt.
I don't believe the Star of David on the Dodge Bros logo has anything to do with Judaism. My understanding is the Star of David wasn't so strongly associated with Judaism until the establishment of Israel in 1948.
I think the twin triangles in the Dodge Bros logo are stylized "D"s (Greek letter Delta) indicating the two brothers as partners. As long as the two brothers were alive, it was always "Dodge Brothers", never just "Dodge".
Before World War II there were a lot of symbols used by the auto companies. The Krit used a swastika as their emblem.
The Dodge Bros. were Methodist. Could the DB star be a masonic symbol?
Gary, it could be. I found this, but don't know how authoritative it is: "The 6-pointed 'Solomon's seal' on the Dodge Brothers radiator emblem is an indication of their active involvement in the Masons."
Henry Ford and Walter Chrysler were Masons, but I can't find any reference anywhere to the Dodge Brothers' being Masons. I did read in hunting around that both brothers were hard drinkers and became aggressive when they had had too much. That would be pretty un-Masonic....
Pretty un-Methodist as well! As few as 40 years ago, people joining the Methodist Episcopal Church were expected to pledge to abstain from alcohol consumption.
Sending this thread hurtling in yet another direction, or perhaps one where it went a while ago...
I was putting the Colin Powell letter back in the box I keep general "cool stuff" in and came across this. It is probably the first "cool" letter I ever received. The background is this. In the fall of 1952, I was in Mrs. Bellows's sixth grade at Hudson School in Rock Hill, MO. Fifth grade was when we all did state reports, i.e. we each chose a state and presented a report on it. (I did North Carolina, since I had been born there.) Sixth grade was country reports. One girl in the class chose England, and I chose Scotland. We were supposed to write for information on the country involved, so we joined forces and wrote a letter to the Queen asking for brochures and other information. I'm not sure what we expected to get, but what we got was this.
We were, as you might expect, impressed. So was Mrs. Bellows.
Young Master Lodge - that is very cool indeed! It is also from the time between when her father King George 6th died (Feb, 1952) and her coronation ((June 1953).
I bet your 'cool box' is very big?
John, actually the box isn't very big, which makes the stuff in it all the more important to me. It's hard to believe that I was about three weeks away from turning eleven when the letter was written. I'm now about two months away from turning 71! Time flies when you're having fun....
I think the use of "Master" in that context is completely unknown now. I don't remember the age at which "Master" changed to "Mister." Sixteen or eighteen, perhaps? I'll have to check my 1940's edition of Emily Post's etiquette book.
Google answered the question for me.
"After its replacement in common speech by Mister, Master was retained as a form of address only for boys who have not yet entered society. By the late 19th century, etiquette dictated that men be addressed as Mister, and boys as Master.
The title "Mr." is usually used when addressing boys today. The distinct title Master is mostly restricted to the address of young boys in formal correspondence, such as in written invitations to formal events. The age at which the use of Master ceases is not strictly observed, though approximately the beginning of high school for those who still observe the distinction."
Thanks for that explanation Dick, but I bet your mum would still call you 'Master Richard Lodge' when she got mad at you, even if you are nearly 71! "You're not too old for me to tan your backside" I hear her say!
I am Lutheran.
"Our" Martin Luther was also anti-semitic........but I'm still Lutheran.
I suppose everyone in their time had reasons for everything, right or wrong.
I don't see that changing any time soon.
So at least HF hired friends who were Jewish for special projects. It still remains to determine if the plant hired Jews, and for that matter any other commonly shunned minorities for positions filled from the general public.
He indeed hated to deal with bankers. In the recession of 1920 I hear that in order to keep his cash flowing he sent stock, cars and parts, to dealers and demanded payment. The dealers had to pony up for this non-ordered stock if they wanted to stay a dealer. Henry would not borrow from banks because he didn't like the interest and the indebtedness, but he had no qualms in extorting from his dealers.
HF is a study in a lot of good, but not all good!
"Ford, the men and the Machine" by Robert Lacey p 219,
" There were never fewer than 3,000 Jews employed in the Ford work force through any of these years. Henry Ford seems to have got on well with every Jew he met in life, in fact."
Ford hired Jews, blacks, mexicans, etc etc etc. He didn't care what color you were as long as you did your job. Archive photos show this to be true.
To backtrack a bit Henry Ford was not an active Mason. He mainly became one to beat Walter Winchell at something. Winchell talked bad about Ford, so Ford decided to outdo Winchell who was also a Mason. Henry Ford became a 33rd degree Mason before Winchell did and in Ford's mind. He won the battle against Winchell.