Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle
Awarded to Henry Ford by Adolph Hitler – 1938
So it’s the 1930s and Hitler and Mussolini, not to mention Franco have established nazism / fascism in Europe. Hitler has already opened the first concentration camp at Dachau and Mussolini has crushed any organized political opposition in Italy.
So where are America’s elite industrial barons?
Exactly where you think; getting cozy with the fascists in order to make money. After all Hitler and Mussolini were anti-communist and that was all our gilded elites needed to know.
William E, Dodd, the US Ambassador to Germany, gave important insight into German and American economic alliances. He wrote of the situation in general that:
“A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime. Certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there.”
– William E. Dodd, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, 1937
Some of the primary and more famous Americans with fascist sympathies included William Randolph Hearst, Joseph E. Kennedy (President Kennedy’s father), Charles Lindbergh, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Mellon (head of Alcoa, and Secretary of the Treasury), Dupont, General Motors, Ford, ITT, Prescott Bush (grandfather of Dubya), National City Bank (now Citibank), Coca cola and General Electric.
All in all, American investment in Germany grew by 50% between 1929 – 1940 while declining in the rest of Europe.
In 1940 Graeme K. Howard, head of General Motors overseas operations, published America and the New World Order, in which he advised that America give full cooperation to the Nazi regime. In his book he blames FDR for causing the war in Europe and goes on to say that the fascists should be supported as the better alternative to the spread of Communism.
Hearst’s newspapers published a constant stream of red-baiting and anti-Soviet articles while praising Hitler and portraying him as an able bourgeois German burgher who had no intention of going to war but was preoccupied with internal problems. No mention of the camps in his articles.
In 1937 Fortune Magazine, a Hearst publication, stated that:
“The good journalist must recognize in Fascism certain ancient virtues of the race, whether or not they happen to be momentarily fashionable in his own country. Among these are Discipline, Duty, Courage, Glory, Sacrifice.”
In a 1938 article published In Hearst’s Better Homes and Gardens, Hitler is portray as a humble, personable man of taste. The concentration camps were already in full swing.
Hitler (back to camera, Goering (left) and Field Marshall von Blomberg
After the Wermacht invasion of the Soviet Union Hearst’s papers attacked FDR’s Lend/Lease policy:
“Is our free country piling up deficits, bleeding its citizens white with confiscatory taxation, rushing headlong into national bankruptcy, shoveling out our wealth abroad, and shipping our war materials to alien nations to bolster up Bolshevism in Russia to spread it over all of Europe, including Britain, and to breed it and broadcast it in our own America?”
Henry Ford’s anti-semitic newspaper, “The Dearborn Independnt.” published a series of articles entitled “The International Jew” which were later turned into pamphlets circulated world-wide, especially in Germany.
Ford and the other writers of Dearborn Publishing promoted the view of superiority built on race with Jews and other minorities as racially and culturally inferior. According to this view the ideas of socialism, liberalism and Marxism were plots used by inferior races to promote equality and thereby elevate themselves to the level of the superior Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Can’t have that now, can we?
Henry Ford was by no means the only one to put such ideas in writing, but his publications were popular and served to spread the ideology. In fact he was very popular among the Nazis and received The Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle from Hitler for his birthday in 1938. Nice.
Henry Ford is presented with the Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle – 1938
Tom Watson of IBM invested heavily in Germany and supplied them with American made punch card counting computer machines which were used for the German census, locating and tracking the whereabouts of every “undesirable” in Germany. The machines were not only used by the government but in the concentration camps to keep track of the thousands of prisoners.
IBM’s punch-card system for census and categorization of citizens was a critical element in the Nazi system for racial and genetic analysis of the population. The Nazi program was based on the American eugenics programs, but taken to a higher level. Everyone in Germany filled out a highly detailed census card, including a “family tree” in duplicate. The census card was officially stamped and a portion given back to the person who had filled it out. These were “your papers” which everyone had to have. No papers and you go to a camp. Meanwhile IBM’s technology was checking and crosschecking, performing analysis on family trees. Virtually every jew or gypsy in Germany was identified, located and processed for ghettoization and eventual deportation thanks to IBM.
Watson visited Germany frequently as it was IBM’s biggest foreign market and he was quite aware of what was going on. After the conquest of Poland, IBM’s German subsidiary was given the license to operate in Poland by IBM’s head office in America. which was necessary in order to move punch card operations to Warsaw in order to find every Polish jew. IBM cooperated with Nazi Germany right up until America’s entry into the war. Multi-nationalism at its finest.
Charles Lindbergh while claiming he was an America Firster spent plenty of time hob nobbing with Nazi officials, was regularly praised in the Nazi press and had no qualms over having his picture taken with high ranking Nazis officials. While he spoke neutrality out of one side of his mouth it was very obvious to anyone where his sympathies lay. Even the Nazis knew.
Charles Lindbergh at a Nazi party in Berlin -1935
There was plenty of sympathy for fascism among the American ruling class – but hey after all those fascists were anti-red. Nothing else mattered. Anti red. Anti Bolshevik. Anti liberal. Anti socialist. Anti-pinko. Anti-FDR. Anti immigrant.
Why are you not surprised?
Believe it or not, I first learned about US corporate support for the Hitler regime in 1968 in a novel by Taylor Caldwell.
Reality that shatters the myth.Great article..Jalal
Jalal – Glad you liked. Regards
Very interesting and very thorough! Thanks for sharing!!
Patrick – many thanks. Glad you enjoyed. Regards