BN.com Gift Guide

IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation

( 37 )

Overview

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

Only after Jews were identified -- a massive and ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (17) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $19.00   
  • Used (11) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$19.00
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:

(325)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Large Print Ed., VG+/Fine LARGE PRINT edition. 1/8" book cover tear foot of spine, o.w. clean, tight & bright. NO ink names, bookplates etc. Price unclipped. ISBN 0375431241

Ships from: Troy, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$31.00
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(17)

Condition: New
New York, New York, U.S.A. 2001 Hard Back New in New jacket New large print hard back in new jacket.

Ships from: Gardiner, OR

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$40.00
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(17)

Condition: New
New York, New York, U.S.A. 2001 Hard Back New in new- jacket New large print hard back in new-jacket(couple small knicks on front)

Ships from: Gardiner, OR

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$51.35
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(310)

Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$80.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(194)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$80.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(194)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

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

Only after Jews were identified -- a massive and complex task that Hitler wanted done immediately -- could they be targeted for efficient asset confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, enslaved labor, and, ultimately, annihilation. It was a cross-tabulation and organizational challenge so monumental, it called for a computer. Of course, in the 1930s no computer existed.

But IBM's Hollerith punch card technology did exist. Aided by the company's custom-designed and constantly updated Hollerith systems, Hitler was able to automate his persecution of the Jews. Historians have always been amazed at the speed and accuracy with which the Nazis were able to identify and locate European Jewry. Until now, the pieces of this puzzle have never been fully assembled. The fact is, IBM technology was used to organize nearly everything in Germany and then Nazi Europe, from the identification of the Jews in censuses, registrations, and ancestral tracing programs to the running of railroads and organizing of concentration camp slave labor.

IBM and its German subsidiary custom-designed complex solutions, one by one, anticipating the Reich's needs. They did not merely sell the machines and walk away. Instead, IBM leased these machines for high fees and becamethe sole source of the billions of punch cards Hitler needed.

IBM and the Holocaust takes you through the carefully crafted corporate collusion with the Third Reich, as well as the structured deniability of oral agreements, undated letters, and the Geneva intermediaries -- all undertaken as the newspapers blazed with accounts of persecution and destruction.

Just as compelling is the human drama of one of our century's greatest minds, IBM founder Thomas Watson, who cooperated with the Nazis for the sake of profit.

Only with IBM's technologic assistance was Hitler able to achieve the staggering numbers of the Holocaust. Edwin Black has now uncovered one of the last great mysteries of Germany's war against the Jews -- how did Hitler get the names?

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Edwin Black, the son of Polish Holocaust survivors and an expert on Third Reich commercial relationships, rips the lid off a stunning historical scandal: the long alliance between one of America's most famous companies, IBM, and Hitler's Third Reich. As the Nazis began their plan of death and destruction, they needed a way to identify and catalogue their targets. In stepped IBM's Dehomag subsidiary, armed with brand-new Hollerith punch card technology perfectly suited to the task. Over the years that followed, Dehomag continually upgraded its Hollerith systems, thus making it possible for Adolf Hitler to automate his persecution and extermination of European Jews! Historians have always wondered how the Third Reich was able to so quickly identify and locate those it wished to eliminate. Now, thanks to Black, the truth is revealed.

How much did the Nazis rely on IBM punch card technology? Black says it was used for everything from identifying Jews through censuses and various ancestral tracing programs to the running of both the slave camp railroads and the camps themselves. In fact, it seems the Hollerith group took pains to anticipate the future needs of the Nazi officials, cannily updating its programs in much the same way that the Microsofts of today's world do.

Most amazingly, the founder of IBM himself -- Thomas Watson, who is revered as one of the 20th century's greatest thinkers -- was directly involved in and profited from this most unholy of alliances. Watson took great pains to hide any trace of the connection, making sure the parent company's name did not appear on any official documents. Meanwhile, as the deception continued, the truth about what was happening in the camps was emerging, and more than 100,000 concerned Americans were taking to the streets to demonstrate in support of a boycott of all companies doing business with Hitler's Germany. Those angry demonstrators had no idea the company that would one day be the legendary "Big Blue" was at that very moment in the vanguard of those U.S. firms consorting with the enemy. (Nicholas Sinisi)

Newsweek
Backed by exhaustive research, Black's case is simple and stunning!
Washington Post Book World - Christopher Simpson
BEYOND DISPUTE. Black clearly demonstrates that Nazi Germany employed IBM Hollerith punch-card machines to perform critical tasks in carrying out the Holocaust and the German war effort. He goes on to document that IBM managed to profit from Hitler's state throughout its existence. ...Black establishes beyond dispute that IBM Hollerith machines significantly advanced Nazi efforts to exterminate Jewry. ...IBM and the Holocaust is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the Holocaust.
The Atlantic - Jack Beatty
SHOCKING. Thomas Watson chose to tabulate the Nazi census, to accept Hitler's medal, and to fight for control of Dehomag. And he made other equally indefensible choices in his years of doing a profitable business counting Jews for Hitler-choices that are described in IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black. This is a shocking book. Edwin Black has documented a sordid relationship between this great American company and the Third Reich, one that extended into the war years.
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Karen Sandstrom
EXCRUCIATING. Black makes a case that shames the IBM of the mid-20th Century. ...There will be no question... in the minds of readers that IBM officials had the ability to understand the task their machines were performing. The book succeeds as a piece of excruciatingly documented journalism.
Newsweek - Michael Hirsh
STUNNING. An explosive book... Backed by exhaustive research, Black's case is simple and stunning: that IBM facilitated the identification and roundup of millions of Jews during the 12 years of the Third Reich ... Black's evidence may be the most damning to appear yet against a corporate accomplice.
Miami Herald - Richard Pachter
EXHAUSTIVE. An exhaustively researched, highly detailed look at IBM, its history and business dealings. . . . Black’s book . . . is an ugly story, hidden for years, told by a master craftsman in a compelling way. More than just another Holocaust tale . . . it’s a chilling lesson.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375431241
  • Publisher: Random House Large Print
  • Publication date: 2/20/2001
  • Pages: 992
  • Product dimensions: 6.43 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 1.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Edwin Black is the award-winning, New York Times and international investigative author of 80 bestselling editions in 14 languages in 61 countries, as well as scores of newspaper and magazine articles in the leading publications of the United States, Europe and Israel. With a million books in print, his work focuses on genocide and hate, corporate criminality and corruption, governmental misconduct, academic fraud, philanthropy abuse, oil addiction, alternative energy and historical investigation. Editors have submitted Black's work nine times for Pulitzer Prize nomination, and in recent years he has been the recipient of a series of top editorial awards. He has also contributed to a number of anthologies worldwide. For his work, Black has been interviewed on hundreds of network broadcasts from Oprah, the Today Show, CNN Wolf Blitzer Reports and NBC Dateline in the US to the leading networks of Europe and Latin American. His works have been the subject of numerous documentaries, here and abroad. All of his books have been optioned by Hollywood for film, with three in active production. His latest film is the screen adaptation War Against the Weak, based on his book of the same name. Black's speaking tours include hundreds of events in dozens of cities each year, appearing at prestigious venues from the Library of Congress in Washington to the Simon Wiesenthal Institute in Los Angeles in America, and in Europe from London's British War Museum and Amsterdam's Institute for War Documentation to Munich's Carl Orff Hall. He is the editor of The Cutting Edge News, which receives more than 1.5 million visits monthly.

Black's ten award-winning bestselling books are IBM and the Holocaust (2001), British Petroleum and the Redline Agreement (2011), The Farhud (2010), Nazi Nexus (2009), The Plan (2008), Internal Combustion (2006), Banking on Baghdad (2004), War Against the Weak (2003), The Transfer Agreement (1984), and a 1999 novel, Format C:. His enterprise and investigative writings have appeared in scores of newspapers from the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune to the Sunday Times of London, Frankfurter Zeitung and the Jerusalem Post, as well as scores of magazines as diverse as Playboy, Sports Illustrated, Reform Judaism, Der Spiegel, L'Express, BusinessWeek and American Bar Association Journal. Black's articles are syndicated worldwide by Los Angeles Times Syndicate International, Los Angeles Times-Washington Post Syndicate, JTA and Feature Group News Service.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Introduction
This book will be profoundly uncomfortable to read. It was profoundly uncomfortable to write. It tells the story of IBM's conscious involvement--directly and through its subsidiaries--in the Holocaust, as well as its involvement in the Nazi war machine that murdered millions of others throughout Europe.
Mankind barely noticed when the concept of massively organized information quietly emerged to become a means of social control, a weapon of war, and a roadmap for group destruction. The unique igniting event was the most fateful day of the last century, January 30, 1933, the day Adolf Hitler came to power. Hitler and his hatred of the Jews was the ironic driving force behind this intellectual turning point. But his quest was greatly enhanced and energized by the ingenuity and craving for profit of a single American company and its legendary, autocratic chairman. That company was International Business Machines, and its chairman was Thomas J. Watson.
Der Führer's obsession with Jewish destruction was hardly original. There had been czars and tyrants before him. But for the first time in history, an anti-Semite had automation on his side. Hitler didn't do it alone. He had help.
In the upside-down world of the Holocaust, dignified professionals were Hitler's advance troops. Police officials disregarded their duty in favor of protecting villains and persecuting victims. Lawyers perverted concepts of justice to create anti-Jewish laws. Doctors defiled the art of medicine to perpetrate ghastly experiments and even choose who was healthy enough to be worked to death--and who could be cost-effectively sent to the gas chamber. Scientists and engineersdebased their higher calling to devise the instruments and rationales of destruction. And statisticians used their little known but powerful discipline to identify the victims, project and rationalize the benefits of their destruction, organize their persecution, and even audit the efficiency of genocide. Enter IBM and its overseas subsidiaries.
Solipsistic and dazzled by its own swirling universe of technical possibilities, IBM was self-gripped by a special amoral corporate mantra: if it can be done, it should be done. To the blind technocrat, the means were more important than the ends. The destruction of the Jewish people became even less important because the invigorating nature of IBM's technical achievement was only heightened by the fantastical profits to be made at a time when bread lines stretched across the world.
So how did it work?
When Hitler came to power, a central Nazi goal was to identify and destroy Germany's 600,000 Jews. To Nazis, Jews were not just those who practiced Judaism, but those of Jewish blood, regardless of their assimilation, intermarriage, religious activity, or even conversion to Christianity. Only after Jews were identified could they be targeted for asset confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, and ultimately extermination. To search generations of communal, church, and governmental records all across Germany--and later throughout Europe--was a cross-indexing task so monumental, it called for a computer. But in 1933, no computer existed.
When the Reich needed to mount a systematic campaign of Jewish economic disenfranchisement and later began the massive movement of European Jews out of their homes and into ghettos, once again, the task was so prodigious it called for a computer. But in 1933, no computer existed.
When the Final Solution sought to efficiently transport Jews out of European ghettos along railroad lines and into death camps, with timing so precise the victims were able to walk right out of the boxcar and into a waiting gas chamber, the coordination was so complex a task, this too called for a computer. But in 1933, no computer existed.
However, another invention did exist: the IBM punch card and card sorting system--a precursor to the computer. IBM, primarily through its German subsidiary, made Hitler's program of Jewish destruction a technologic mission the company pursued with chilling success. IBM Germany, using its own staff and equipment, designed, executed, and supplied the indispensable technologic assistance Hitler's Third Reich needed to accomplish what had never been done before--the automation of human destruction. More than 2,000 such multi-machine sets were dispatched throughout Germany, and thousands more throughout German-dominated Europe. Card sorting operations were established in every major concentration camp. People were moved from place to place, systematically worked to death, and their remains cataloged with icy automation.
IBM Germany, known in those days as Deutsche Hollerith Maschinen Gesellschaft, or Dehomag, did not simply sell the Reich machines and then walk away. IBM's subsidiary, with the knowledge of its New York headquarters, enthusiastically custom-designed the complex devices and specialized applications as an official corporate undertaking. Dehomag's top management was comprised of openly rabid Nazis who were arrested after the war for their Party affiliation. IBM NY always understood--from the outset in 1933--that it was courting and doing business with the upper echelon of the Nazi Party. The company leveraged its Nazi Party connections to continuously enhance its business relationship with Hitler's Reich, in Germany and throughout Nazi-dominated Europe.
Dehomag and other IBM subsidiaries custom-designed the applications. Its technicians sent mock-ups of punch cards back and forth to Reich offices until the data columns were acceptable, much as any software designer would today. Punch cards could only be designed, printed, and purchased from one source: IBM. The machines were not sold, they were leased, and regularly maintained and upgraded by only one source: IBM. IBM subsidiaries trained the Nazi officers and their surrogates throughout Europe, set up branch offices and local dealerships throughout Nazi Europe staffed by a revolving door of IBM employees, and scoured paper mills to produce as many as 1.5 billion punch cards a year in Germany alone. Moreover, the fragile machines were serviced on site about once per month, even when that site was in or near a concentration camp. IBM Germany's headquarters in Berlin maintained duplicates of many code books, much as any IBM service bureau today would maintain data backups for computers.
I was haunted by a question whose answer has long eluded historians. The Germans always had the lists of Jewish names. Suddenly, a squadron of grim-faced SS would burst into a city square and post a notice demanding those listed assemble the next day at the train station for deportation to the East. But how did the Nazis get the lists? For decades, no one has known. Few have asked.
The answer: IBM Germany's census operations and similar advanced people counting and registration technologies. IBM was founded in 1898 by German inventor Herman Hollerith as a census tabulating company. Census was its business. But when IBM Germany formed its philosophical and technologic alliance with Nazi Germany, census and registration took on a new mission. IBM Germany invented the racial census--listing not just religious affiliation, but bloodline going back generations. This was the Nazi data lust. Not just to count the Jews--but to identify them.
People and asset registration was only one of the many uses Nazi Germany found for high-speed data sorters. Food allocation was organized around databases, allowing Germany to starve the Jews. Slave labor was identified, tracked, and managed largely through punch cards. Punch cards even made the trains run on time and cataloged their human cargo. German Railway, the Reichsbahn, Dehomag's biggest customer, dealt directly with senior management in Berlin. Dehomag maintained punch card installations at train depots across Germany, and eventually across all Europe.
How much did IBM know? Some of it IBM knew on a daily basis throughout the 12-year Reich. The worst of it IBM preferred not to know--"don't ask, don't tell" was the order of the day. Yet IBM NY officials, and frequently Watson's personal representatives, Harrison Chauncey and Werner Lier, were almost constantly in Berlin or Geneva, monitoring activities, ensuring that the parent company in New York was not cut out of any of the profits or business opportunities Nazism presented. When U.S. law made such direct contact illegal, IBM's Swiss office became the nexus, providing the New York office continuous information and credible deniability.
Certainly, the dynamics and context of IBM's alliance with Nazi Germany changed throughout the twelve-year Reich. I want the full story understood in context. Skipping around in the book will only lead to flawed and erroneous conclusions. So if you intend to skim, or rely on selected sections, please do not read the book at all. Make no mistake. The Holocaust would still have occurred without IBM. To think otherwise is more than wrong. The Holocaust would have proceeded--and often did proceed--with simple bullets, death marches, and massacres based on pen and paper persecution. But there is reason to examine the fantastical numbers Hitler achieved in murdering so many millions so swiftly, and identify the crucial role of automation and technology. Accountability is needed.
What made me demand answers to the unasked questions about IBM and the Holocaust? I confronted the reality of IBM's involvement one day in 1993 in Washington at the United States Holocaust Museum. There, in the very first exhibit, an IBM Hollerith D-11 card sorting machine--riddled with circuits, slots, and wires--was prominently displayed. Clearly affixed to the machine's front panel glistened an IBM nameplate. It has since been replaced with a smaller IBM machine because so many people congregated around it, creating a bottleneck. The exhibit explained little more than that IBM was responsible for organizing the census of 1933 that first identified the Jews. IBM had been tight-lipped about its involvement with Nazi Germany. So although 15 million people, including most major Holocaust experts, have seen the display, and in spite of the best efforts of leading Museum historians, little more was understood about this provocative display other than the brief curator's description at the exhibit and a few pages of supportive research.
I still remember the moment, staring at the machine for an hour. I turned to my mother and father who accompanied me to the museum that day and promised I would discover more.
My parents are Holocaust survivors, uprooted from their homes in Poland. My mother escaped from a boxcar en route to Treblinka, was shot, and then buried in a shallow mass grave. My father had already run away from a guarded line of Jews and discovered her leg protruding from the snow. By moonlight and by courage, these two escapees survived against the cold, the hunger, and the Reich. Standing next to me five decades later, their image within the reflection of the exhibit glass, shrapnel and bullet fragments permanently embedded in their bodies, my parents could only express confusion.
But I had other questions. The Nazis had my parents' names. How?
What was the connection of this gleaming black, beige and silver machine, squatting silently in this dimly lit museum, to the millions of Jews and other Europeans who were murdered--and murdered not just in a chaotic split-second as a casualty of war, but in a grotesque and protracted twelve-year campaign of highly organized humiliation, dehumanization, and then ultimately extermination.
For years after that chance discovery, I was shadowed by the realization that IBM was somehow involved in the Holocaust in technologic ways that had not yet been pieced together. Dots were everywhere. The dots needed to be connected.
Knowing that International Business Machines has always billed itself as a "solutions" company, I understood that IBM does not merely wait for governmental customers to call. IBM has amassed its fortune and reputation precisely because it generally anticipates governmental and corporate needs even before they develop, and then offers, designs, and delivers customized solutions--even if it must execute those technologic solutions with its own staff and equipment. IBM has done so for countless government agencies, corporate giants, and industrial associations.
For years I promised myself I would one day answer the question: how many solutions did IBM provide to Nazi Germany? I knew about the initial solution: the census. Just how far did the solutions go?
In 1998, I began an obsessive quest for answers. Proceeding without any foundation funds, organizational grants, or publisher dollars behind me, I began recruiting a team of researchers, interns, translators and assistants, all on my own dime.
Soon a network developed throughout the United States, as well as in Germany, Israel, England, Holland, Poland, and France. This network continued to grow as time went on. Holocaust survivors, children of survivors, retirees, and students with no connection to the Holocaust--as well as professional researchers, distinguished archivists and historians, and even former Nuremberg Trial investigators--all began a search for documentation. Ultimately, more than 100 people participated, some for months at a time, some for just a few hours searching obscure Polish documents for key phrases. Not knowing the story, they searched for key words: census, statistics, lists, registrations, railroads, punch cards, and a roster of other topics. When they found them, the material was copied and sent. For many weeks, documents were flowing in at the rate of 100 per day.
Most of my team was volunteers. All of them were sworn to secrecy. Each was shocked and saddened by the implications of the project and intensely motivated. A few said they could not sleep well for days after learning of the connection. I was often sustained by their words of encouragement.
Ultimately, I assembled more than 20,000 pages of documentation from 50 archives, library manuscript collections, museum files, and other repositories. In the process, I accessed thousands of formerly classified State Department, OSS, or other previously restricted government papers. Other obscure documents from European holdings had never been translated or connected to such an inquiry. All these were organized in my own central archive mirroring the original archival source files. We also scanned and translated more than 50 general books and memoirs, as well as contemporary technical and scientific journals covering punch cards and statistics, Nazi publications, and newspapers of the era. All of this material--primary documents, journal articles, newsclips, and book extracts--were cross-indexed by month. We created one manila folder for every month from 1933 to 1950. If a document referred to numerous dates, it was cross-filed in the numerous monthly folders. Then all contents of monthly folders were further cross-indexed into narrow topic threads, such as Warsaw Ghetto, German Census, Bulgarian Railroads, Watson in Germany, Auschwitz, and so on.
Stacks of documents organized into topics were arrayed across my basement floor. As many as six people at a time busily shuttled copies of documents from one topic stack to another from morning until midnight. One document might be copied into five or six topic stacks. A high-speed copier with a 20-bin sorter was installed. Just moving from place to place in the basement involved hopscotching around document piles.
None of the 20,000 documents were flash cards. It was much more complex. Examined singly, none revealed their story. Indeed, most of them were profoundly misleading as standalone papers. They only assumed their true meaning when juxtaposed with numerous other related documents, often from totally unrelated sources. In other words, the documents were all puzzle pieces--the picture could not be constructed until all the fragments were put together. For example, one IBM report fleetingly referred to a "Mr. Hendricks" as fetching an IBM machine from Dachau. Not until I juxtaposed that document with an obscure military statistics report discovered at the Public Record Office in London did I learn who Sgt. Hendricks really was.
Complicating the task, many of the IBM papers and notes were unsigned or undated carbons, employing deliberate vagueness, code words, catch phrases, or transient corporate short hand. I had to learn the contemporaneous lexicon of the company to decipher their content. I would study and stare at some individual documents for months until their meaning finally became clear through some other discovered document. For example, I encountered an IBM reference to accumulating "points." Eventually, I discovered that "points" referred to making sales quotas for inclusion in IBM's Hundred Percent Club. IBM maintained sales quotas for all its subsidiaries during the Hitler-era.
Sometimes a key revelation did not occur until we tracked a source back three and four stages. For example, I reviewed the English version of the well-known volume Destruction of the Dutch Jews by Jacob Presser. I found nothing on my subject. I then asked my researchers in Holland to check the Dutch edition. They found a single unfootnoted reference to a punch card system. Only by checking Presser's original typescript did we discover a marginal notation that referenced a Dutch archival document that led to a cascade of information on the Netherlands. In reviewing the Romanian census, I commissioned the translation of a German statistician's 20-page memoir to discover a single sentence confirming that punch cards were used in Romania. That information was juxtaposed against an IBM letter confirming the company was moving machinery from war-torn Poland into Romania to aid Romanian census operations.
In the truest sense, the story of IBM and the Holocaust has been shattered into thousands of shards. Only by piecing them all together did I erect a towering picture window permitting me to view what really occurred. That verified account is retold in this book.
In my pursuit, I received extraordinary cooperation from every private, public, and governmental source in every country. Sadly, the only refusal came from IBM itself, which rebuffed my requests for access to documents and interviews. I was not alone. Since WWII, the company has steadfastly refused to cooperate with outside authors. Virtually every recent book on IBM, whether written by esteemed business historians or ex-IBM employees, includes a reference to the company's refusal to cooperate with the author in any way. Ultimately, I was able to arrange proper access. Hundreds of IBM documents were placed at my disposal. I read them all.
Behind every text footnote is a file folder with all the hardcopy documentation needed to document every sentence in this book at a moment's notice. Moreover, I assembled a team of hair-splitting, nitpicking, adversarial researchers and archivists to review each and every sentence, collectively ensuring that each fact and fragment of a fact was backed up with the necessary black and white documents.
In reconstructing the facts, I was guided on every page by two principles: context and consequences. For instance, although I enjoyed access to volumes of diplomatic and intelligence information, I was careful to concentrate on what was known publicly in the media about atrocities and anti-Jewish conditions in Europe. For this reason, readers will notice an extraordinary reliance on articles in the New York Times. I quote the New York Times not because it was the newspaper of record in America, but because IBM executives, including Thomas Watson, were headquartered in New York. Had they lived in Chicago, I would have quoted the Chicago Tribune. Had they lived in Cleveland, I would have quoted the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Readers will also notice that I frequently relied upon reproducing the exact words the principals themselves used in telegrams, letters, or telephone transcripts. Readers can judge for themselves exactly what was said in what context.
With few exceptions (see Bibliographical Note), the Holocaust literature is virtually devoid of mention of the Hollerith machines--in spite of its high profile display at the United States Holocaust Museum. Historians should not be defensive about the absence of even a mention. The public documents were all there, but there are literally millions of frames and pages of Holocaust documents in the leading archives of the world. Many of these materials had simply never been accessed, many have not been available, and some are based on false chronologies or appear to be corporate minutia. Others were well known, such as Heydrich's 1939 instruction on concentrating Jewish communities near railroad tracks, but the repeated references to census operations were simply overlooked.
More than the obscurity of the documents, such an investigation would require expertise in the history of the Holocaust before and after the war began, the history of post-Industrial Revolution mechanization, the history of technology, and more specifically the archaic punch card system, as well as an understanding of Reich economics, multi-national corporations, and a grasp of financial collusion. In addition, one would need to juxtapose the information for numerous countries before assembling the complete picture. Just as important is the fact that until I examined the IBM documents, that half of the screen was totally obscured. Again, the documents do not speak by themselves, only in ensemble. I was fortunate to have an understanding of Reich economics and multinational commerce from my earlier book, The Transfer Agreement, as well as a background in the computer industry, and years of experience as an investigative journalist specializing in corporate misconduct. I approached this project as a typical if not grandiose investigation of corporate conduct with one dramatic difference: the conduct impacted on the lives and deaths of millions.
Gathering my pre-publication expert reviewers was a process in itself. I sought not only the leading historians of the Holocaust, but niche experts on such topics as Vichy France, Romania, and census and persecution. But I also consulted business historians, technical specialists, accountants, legal sources on reparations and corporate war crimes, an investigator from the original Nuremberg prosecution team, a wartime military intelligence technology expert, and even an ex-FBI special agent with expertise in financial crimes. I wanted the prismatic view of all.
Changing perspective was perhaps the dominant reason why the relationship between IBM and the Holocaust has never been explored. When I first wrote The Transfer Agreement in 1984, no one wanted to focus on assets. Now everyone talks about the assets. The formative years for most Holocaust scholarship was before the computer age, and well before the Age of Information. Everyone now possesses an understanding of how technology can be utilized in the affairs of war and peace. We can now go back and look at the same documentation in a new light.
Many of us have become enraptured by the Age of Computerization and the Age of Information. I know I have. But now I am consumed with a new awareness that, for me, as the son of Holocaust survivors, brings me to a whole new consciousness. I call it the Age of Realization, as we look back and examine technology's wake. Unless we understand how the Nazis acquired the names, more lists will be compiled against more people.
The story of IBM and the Holocaust is just a beginning. I could have written 20 books with the documents I uncovered, one for every country in Europe. I estimate there are 100,000 more documents scattered in basements and corporate archives around the United States and Europe. Corporate archivists should take note: these documents are related to a crime and must not be moved, tampered with, or destroyed. They must be transferred to those appropriate archival institutions that can assure immediate and undelayed access to scholars and war crimes prosecutors so the accountability process can continue (see Note on Sources).
Only through exposing and examining what really occurred can the world of technology finally adopt the well-worn motto: Never Again.
Edwin Black
Washington DC
October 2000
From the Hardcover edition.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 1
Introduction 7
Part 1
I Numbered People 19
II The IBM-Hitler Intersection 23
III Identifying the Jews 52
IV The IBM-Nazi Alliance 75
V A Nazi Medal for Watson 105
Part 2
VI War Cards 137
VII Deadly Count 169
VIII With Blitzkrieg Efficiency 199
IX The Dehomag Revolt 218
Part 3
X The Struggle to Stay in the Axis 269
XI France and Holland 292
XII IBM and the War 333
XIII Extermination 351
XIV The Spoils of Genocide 375
XV The Spoils of Genocide, II 398
Notes 427
Major Sources 489
Index 501
Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

1. As president of the International Chamber of Commerce, highly visible big business guru, social luminary, and personal chum of President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Watson had a newsworthy face. How did his honorary decoration by Hitler fly below the radar at a time when Nazi collaboration was considered both subversive and un-American? What other amazing feats of invisibility did the influential, temperamental Watson seem to pull off effortlessly? How?

2. Referring to IBM’s constantly growing, solutions-based technology, Black writes: “Like any technologic evolution, each new solution powered a new level of sinister expectation and cruel capability.” Do you agree with his view of technology? What recent technological advances do you think carry the potential for “a new level of sinister expectation and cruel capability?”

3. In his introduction to IBM and the Holocaust, Edwin Black makes much of the fact that every sentence in the book can be backed up by “hardcopy documentation…at a moment’s notice, ” and that he quotes very exactly the words from telegrams, letters, and telephone transcripts. Why do you think he adopts this stance so particularly? How did it affect your reading of the book?

4. In describing the increasingly tense partnership between Watson in New York and Willy Heidinger in Germany, Black writes: “each man had to cooperate in an international campaign of corporate schizophrenia designed to achieve maximum deniability for both Dehomag and IBM.” Describe this “schizophrenia.” Which man was more successful at it? The book includes detailedportraits of both Watson and Heidinger, including fragments of correspondence that illuminate their larger-than-life personalities. To what extent is IBM and the Holocaust a story of corrupt individuals, and to what extent is it about the corrupting machinery of capitalism?

5. Black makes it clear that from Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 to Germany’s surrender in 1945, the horrifying situation of Europe’s Jews was writ large in every major newspaper in the Western world. Other recent books on the Holocaust have stressed the same point: that from the New York Times to local papers in small German hamlets, news publications did not veil the increasingly dire climate radiating outward from Germany. Why do you think a common perception that non-Jewish citizens in Europe and the United States were ignorant of Nazi activity lingers?

6. It could be argued that Watson and his company had the power to create and provide jobs to countless Americans who were struggling during the wartime effort. Instead, he continued to build his overseas empire, to disastrous results. What, if any, is a corporation’s patriotic responsibility? Is it different during peacetime than during a war? Do you think the historic events of September 11, 2001, will impact the attitudes of American corporations today?

7. What do you make of Black’s assertion that “to a supranational company, making money is equal parts commercial Darwinism, corporate ecclesiastics, dynastic chauvinism, and solipsistic greed?”

8. Once the United States had entered the war, why was Watson unfazed by the threat of a hostile German takeover of IBM’s subsidiaries in Germany? Why was Germany’s Alien Property Custodian Law actually financially advantageous for Watson?

9. To what extent is IBM and the Holocaust a cautionary tale about unchecked technology wed to greed? Black writes: “Unless we understand how the Nazis acquired the names, more lists will be compiled against more people.” Do you think the dissemination of knowledge about history is an effective deterrent of future human rights disasters?

10. By 1940, IBM subsidiaries in Europe had gained insider access to sensitive German military information which enabled IBM’s engineers to design punch card applications tailored for war use. That year, J. W. Schotte, IBM’s general manager for Europe, dispatched a report to senior IBM executives in New York in which he drew “a fine theoretical distinction, ” as Black describes it, “between IBM possessing specific knowledge of the facts about a military operation, such as the number of people to be counted or a list of German bombing raids, and the actions themselves.” Discuss this theoretical distinction. Can you think of any current or recent world events in which a similar distinction has been drawn by either world leaders or the media?

11. How did the business principles Watson formed during his National Cash Register days inform his response to the Dehomag revolt of 1940? What aspects of the Hollerith technology did he control even after the machines themselves were out of his grasp and the entire Dehomag board of directors had been replaced against his wishes? How was the revolt resolved?

12. Why did Holland and France each provide a unique problem for the Third Reich? How did the response of their citizenry to the Nazi takeover differ from that in other European countries? What do the final Jewish death tolls in these two nations reveal about IBM’s role in the roundup?

13. In what ways did IBM have help in reclaiming its property in Europe after the war? To what do you attribute the loyalty and zeal of latecomers Fellinger, Garbrecht, and Kuczek in facilitating IBM’s smooth operation and ongoing productivity, at times even against the wishes of the Reich? Why did Watson welcome the help of these foreign custodians, while finding the similar zeal of IBM soldier Lt. Col. Lawrence G. Flick, an American, a case of “interference?”

14. What was the Roosevelt administration’s General Ruling 11, and why did it slow down IBM? Why did it fail to grind IBM to a halt altogether?

15. What role did IBM play in American war reparations, corporate trials, and military analysis after 1946? What did the United States’ War Department conclude about Hollerith machinery at the end of the war?

16. Should IBM be held accountable today for its vital role in the Holocaust? How should it be penalized? What would it take to investigate what reperations would be appropriate?

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2001

    Cannot recommend this highly enough!

    This is well researched exhaustively detailed account of how IBM actively and willingly participated in the clockword precision of Third Reich as it attempted what most would have thought an impossible task the elimination of all European Jewry. this is must reading for any intelligent person who has the slightest interest in History or technology. It is an important book a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat that will alternately horrify and rivet you from the first page to the last. We all owe much to this dedicated and hard working author for his long hours of hard work

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2001

    I am Shocked!!

    I was declined for further employment by IBM, and in my tiring search for future employment elsewhere, I decided to again pick up one of my so called habits again, and that was to read. While visiting Barnes & Noble, I fell upon this book! I have this on my list as a high priority to read thoroughly. I brisked through it, and am excited to read it in completion. Thank you for revealing this to us, Mr. Black. Here is a very good incident where America needs to wake up!! I cannot believe it, all these years, and never knowing, and now I wonder with real curiosity how much more is out there that we Americans do not know!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2001

    IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation

    Our understanding of the Holocaust will never be the same after this book. Edwin Black writes passionately and with proof of IBM and Watson's twelve-year business relationship with Nazi Germany. That relationship ignored every newspaper headline and newsreel depicting the persectution and destruction of the Jews. Instead the company raced forward with punch card solutions that expedited the Reich's war against the Jews and against all of mankind. The fact that IBM refuses to rebut any of the assertions in this book only demonstrates how rock-solid the proof is.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2001

    Where would Technology be without Philosophy?

    This book brings to mind the old saying, 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions.' It opens your eyes and mind to realize that any invention, no matter how great, is a power. Just as fire, guns, and the atom were all designed with good intentions, without the proper controls these powers have caused as much destruction as they have done good. Reading this book will make you learn the importance of the question, 'Why?'.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2001

    IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation

    Reading Mr. Black's book, I was shocked as much by his revelations of IBM's voluntary complicity in the murder of six million Jews as the fact that in the hundreds of thousands of book on the Holocaust, this topic has never been mentioned.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2001

    The Shame of making deals with the devil for profit

    Who ever worked with Hitler should roll over in thier grave if they heard about this book. Im in high school and the holocaust fascinates me. This book escalated my facination with the genocide of 6 million innocent people. Mr. Black has shed light on the evils of American corporation. This book should be read by every person at IBM. IBM should be shamed for making a deal with the devil to make a profit. Mr. Black has given us a insight into the greed and corruption of IBM then, and the makings of a deal that killed 6 million people. Infinite number of thumbs up for Mr. Black

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2001

    IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation

    Mr. Black's gripping book uses IBM's own records to prove the case that the company collaborated with Adolf Hitler both in the destruction of the Jews and the conquest of Europe. Even after the war, IBM waged another struggle to recapture all its profits. The IBM empire of today was built on its black legacy of aiding and abetting genocide as well as aggression against all humanity. How can the company remain silent? Every MBA should read this book as a guide for future conduct. And they should watch IBM's actions today as a lesson in how not to respond.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2001

    IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation

    I found IBM and the Holocaust a book I could not put down. IBM and its preisdent T. J. Watson understood everything their punch card solutions were doing for Germany's campaign of persecution and extermination. The documentation and the detail are compelling. The book reads like a thriller. Yet IBM remains silent about all the reveals.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2001

    Morality, Responsibility & Accountability

    Edwin Black's IBM and the HOLOCAUST a must read for anyone interested in issues of morality, responsibility,and accountability in the world of business & technology and its global implications. The silence emanating from IBM headquarters worldwide and its PR spin doctors speak volumes to their guilt!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2001

    Accesory to Genocide

    After reading this well-documented and shocking tale of Big Blue's greed while millions of Jews were being persecuted and then slaughtered, I ask why it has taken so long for the story to be exposed? The author is to be commended for his detailed documentation showing how IBM created system after system for Germany designed to destroy Jewish people. This book is must reading for every student of the Holocaust, every employee of IBM, and every war crimes prosecutor. Is accessory to genocide on the books? It should be.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2001

    Important Questions Unraised Before Now

    This book is the most important new work on the Nazi era in the last two decades. The book is even more significant for the questions it raises about what the purpose of a corporation is and should be, what role companies and governments should play in directing cutting edge technology, and the danger that misuses of advanced information technology bring to individuals. The core of the story is how a key IBM technology, the Hollerith-based card tabulating machines, became available for the Nazi war and Holocaust efforts. Although the details are murky (and may remain so), it is fairly clear that the use of this technology was sustained during the war years in part by shipments of customized (for each end user) tabulating cards from IBM in neutral countries for everything from blitzkriegs to slave camp scheduling to transportation to the death camps. There was not enough paper capacity to make the cards in Europe (that the Nazi and IBM records show were used), and there is no evidence that Nazis created substitutes for these essential supplies. As Mr. Black warns, 'This book will be profoundly uncomfortable to read.' I agree. My sleep will not be the same for some time after experiencing this powerful story. Mr. Black makes an even stronger statement. 'So if you intend to skim, or rely on selected sections, do not read the book at all.' I took him at his word, and did not even read the book quickly. I also arranged to read it in several sittings, so I could think about what I had read in between. I recommend that you do the same. The reason for my recommendation is that your thinking will change very fundamentally through reading the book. Having read dozens of books by fine historians about the Nazi period, and knowing a great deal about the history of data processing, I assumed that there would be little new to the story here. But the title intrigued me. By the fourth time I saw the book, I could no longer resist it. What I found inside the book surprised, shocked, and amazed me. First, many authors claim that it was not clear in the United States that Jews were losing their lives in Europe during the Nazi years until just before the end of the war. This book documents many articles that appeared in the New York Times that certainly seemed to be saying that this systematic killing was going on from very near the time when it began. Anyone w

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2001

    Powerful Indictment of IBM

    Edwin Black has constructed a powerful indictment of IBM's dealings with Hitler, an arrangement that clearly intensified the killing rate. As one who has read numerous Holocaust books--I find Black's book an extraordinary accomplishment on any level.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2001

    Courageous Revelation of Holocaust History

    The author and the book had the courage to take on the most powerful corporation of all time, unmasking its conscious involvement with the Hitler regime. I was gripped by the tense storyline and the detail as IBM willing provides Nazi Germany with darker and darker solutions. Clearly, it only begins with census. Eventually, even the Auschwitz tattoo was an IBM-compatible number. This book is a must for those who want to go beyond the atrocities and understand the bureaucratic solutions that made the Final Solution the efficient crime that it was.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2001

    The Ball Is In IBM's Court

    Of late, my library has been richly enhanced with new works dealing with the Holocaust. Everything from 'Hitler's Willing Executioners' to 'The Witness' a poignant anthology of personal experiences, brings to the modern reader the overwhelming humanity / inhumanity of the attempted genocide. Some readers point to a single-sided slant presented by Mr. Black in his new book, 'IBM and the Holocaust.' I think, given he is the son of surviving victims and likely related to many murdered ones, we can let slide any bias presented. Mr. Black has put much at stake to take on one of the industries that has played an integral part in making America the power she is. If the mysteries of the Holocaust are of any importance, then this book provides a 'bay window' into the gear box of Nazi success in so quickly amassing 6 million people of basically a single ethnic group. Fifty-something years after the fact, this new title (copyright 2001) is on display in major bookstores all over the country. The ball has been squarely served onto IBM's court. We shall now see how IBM attempts to balance human morality and 'the bottom line.' Mr. Black has turned the attention of the world on one of America's most esteemed corporations. Who shoulders the most weight within IBM, Public Relations or Accounting? And how will that be presented to the world, as well as to millions of Edwin Black(s)--people who have felt every punch in Mr. Hollerith's cards?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2001

    Chilling, incredibly well documented case

    This book answered a question I don't think many of us have ever considered: how exactly did Hitler round up so many Jews, so quickly and efficiently? It turns out he went to the 'Solution Company'--IBM--to create, customize, and maintain machines that made the job infinitely easier. Since I finished reading IBM and the Holocaust, I've been walking around in a bit of a daze--it's as if I've been punched in the stomach. Corporate greed is an accepted fact of life in America, but Ed Black proves here that Watson, the head of IBM, absolutely knew what his machines were being used for--the tracking, deportation, and murder of millions of jews and other 'undesirables.' Not only did he know, but he also went to some lengths to hide IBM's continued business dealings with the Nazis after the US joined the war, when it was illegal for US companies to have business ties to Nazi Germany. It's truly frightening to read this book, both for the irrefutable, black-and-white proof that all Americans weren't necessarily the good guys, and for the notion that as technology becomes ever more refined, such a thing could happen on an even larger scale today. I urge you to read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2001

    Disturbing

    As I sit and type this on my IBM computer, I cannot help but feel a little sad. However if I were to really thing about it, the things I buy everyday probably have some adverse effect on peoples lives. So I did not find this to be as troblesome to the soul as some may have, but it was a great historical detective work. Excellent Job!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2001

    Black's black book

    As a serious academic scholar of the Holocaust, I find that Black's book posts many potential problems for IBM. True, IBM was not at the Wannsee conference that organized the Final Solution, but the Hollerith machines did exist at the camps, with the German subsidiaries name printed on the electronic punchcard. At Mauthausen, they were called 'Haeftlingkarten', or prisoner cards. IBM main tried to buy out Dehomag because they were making money hand over fist, but that is not the crime. The crime exists when Dehomag WENT TO THE CAMPS TO SERVICE THE MACHINES AND DELIVER MORE PUNCHCARDS. There is no way not to know what is going on in a concentration camp that is fully operational. The stench of burning bodies is a bit difficult to miss. No, IBM is probably not criminally liable for participating in the murder of Jews and others, but like other companies that worked with the German government (such as Ford, Bayer, Krupp, Daimler-Benz and Volkswagen)that used forced labor they surely profited off of the treatment of enemies of the Reich. Yes, IBM knew what was going on, but they were making too much money, yet they didnt want to cause trouble with the Americans or the Nazis by saying something. It was simply convenient for them to continue to sell millions of punchcards to the German government, and not ask what they were used for, knowing fully well what they used them for when they saw the same cards when the technicians serviced the Hollerith machines at the camps. Black goes a bit far in trying to prove that IBM was a willing participant in the murder of the Jews. We can not look back and say that IBM knew what would happen when they introduced this technology. But they did produce it for the German government in fast order, and they chose to be silent when they found out what it was being used for....because it was financially worth it to be silent. IBM did not create the gun, but they created the better ammunition that helped to make a system of killing more efficient. If you doubt this, research IBM in Europe from 1900-present, as virtually every book that discusses it does not talk at all about the war years.....IBM has done well in wiping out that part of its history. Black has documented his information thoroughly, but IBM is not as guilty of murder, but they are accomplices to the crime. Oh, and by the way to the earlier reviewer that finds this a bit of a stretch that we cant blame Ford for drunk drivers....The OWNER of Ford kept a picture of Adolf Hitler on his desk, passed out copies of the anti-Semitic work The International Jew through his dealerships, and used forced labor at its German plants. IBM chose to work for Hitler, not the other way around.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2001

    Great, but what about Ford Motor Company?

    A great and shocking book. But what other companies were involved? It is widely know that Henry Ford was a virulent anti-Semite. Was there a Ford connection to the Nazis too? I don¿t know, but a visit to the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan shocked me. The Henry Ford Museum in Michigan displays some of the technology and history of the U.S. including that of the Ford Motor Company. One display consisted of an oven/kiln used to make Ford auto parts. When I saw the device, I immediately thought of the ovens in the nazi crematoriums. The Ford device was a dead ringer! It was shaped the same way, and one could slide a body right into it. ¿Very Creepy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2001

    A must read!!!

    An exceptional book!!! Hidden profits, endless patent infringement litigation, inappropriate dealings with government officials, and ultimate re-assimilation of subsidiaries and their blood-tainted earnings from blocked accounts all combine to portray a company that not only destroyed its competition, but actively assisted the Nazis in automating their establishments (census bureaus, railroads, SS offices, and concentration camps, to name a few) which colluded in the extermination of millions of Jews, gypsies, and social undesirables. Moreover, unlike such companies as Ford and Standard Oil that simply sold a product, IBM leased its Holleriths and had a vested interest in keeping the equipment functioning and the royalties flowing, providing the Nazis with on-site service and maintenance visits as well as specially-tailored punch card supplies via their Swiss and Swedish subsidiaries throughout much of the war. A must read for anyone who is interested in the tragic consequences that occur when corporate and national self-interest collide.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2001

    A bit of a Stretch

    This book made too many 'assumptions' to win me over. One could say if the Ford Motor Company Sold someone a car and they drove drunk and kill someone then it was Ford trying to profit over Murder. Somehow I fine it a bit of a stretch.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)