America’s Corporate Connections to Hitler: Ford, General Motors, Rockefeller Foundation & IBM – Edwin Black | The Film Archives (Video)

A presentation made on Apr 26, 2009 by the author Edwin Black about his book: Nazi Nexus – America’s Corporate Connections to Hitler’s Holocaust.
Content Source:
The Film Archives
1 hr 30 min

Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr. (May 23, 1875 – February 17, 1966) was an American business executive in the automotive industry. He was a long-time president, chairman and CEO of General Motors Corporation. Sloan, first as a senior executive and later as the head of the organization, helped GM grow from the 1920s through the 1950s, decades when concepts such as the annual model change, brand architecture, industrial engineering, automotive design (styling), and planned obsolescence transformed the industry, and when the industry changed lifestyles and the built environment in America and throughout the world.
Sloan wrote his memoir, My Years with General Motors, in the 1950s.
Like Henry Ford, the other “head man” of an automotive colossus, Sloan is remembered today with a complex mixture of admiration for his accomplishments, appreciation for his philanthropy, and unease or reproach regarding his attitudes during the interwar period and World War II.
In August 1938, a senior executive for General Motors, James D. Mooney, received the Grand Cross of the German Eagle for his distinguished service to the Reich. “Nazi armaments chief Albert Speer told a congressional investigator that Germany could not have attempted its September 1939 blitzkrieg of Poland without the performance-boosting additive technology provided by Alfred P. Sloan and General Motors”. During the war, GM’s Opel Brandenburg facilities produced bombers Ju 88, trucks, land mines and torpedo detonators for Nazi Germany.[26] Charles Levinson, formerly deputy director of the European office of the CIO, alleged that Sloan remained on the board of Opel.
Sloan’s memoir presents a different picture of Opel’s wartime role.[29] According to Sloan, Opel was nationalized, along with most other industrial activity owned or co-owned by foreign interests, by the German state soon after the outbreak of war. Sloan presents Opel at the end of the war as a black box to GM’s American management, an organization with which the Americans had had no contact for five years. According to Sloan, GM in Detroit debated whether to even try to run Opel in the postwar era, or to leave to the interim West German government the question of who would pick up the pieces. But Opel was never factually nationalized and the GM-appointed directors and management remained unchanged throughout the Nazi period including the war, dealing with other GM companies in Axis and Allied countries including the United States.
Defending the German investment strategy as “highly profitable”, Sloan told shareholders in 1939 that GM’s continued industrial production for the Nazi government was merely sound business practice. In a letter to a concerned shareholder, Sloan said that the manner in which the Nazi government ran Germany “should not be considered the business of the management of General Motors. … We must conduct ourselves as a German organization. … We have no right to shut down the plant.”
Beginning in 1930, the Rockefeller Foundation provided financial support to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics, which later inspired and conducted eugenics experiments in Nazi Germany.
The Rockefeller Foundation funded Nazi racial studies even after it was clear that this research was being used to rationalize the demonizing of Jews and other groups. Up until 1939, the Rockefeller Foundation was funding research used to support Nazi racial science studies at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity, and Eugenics (KWIA.) Reports submitted to Rockefeller did not hide what these studies were being used to justify. Still, Rockefeller continued the funding and refrained from criticizing this research so closely derived from Nazi ideology. The Rockefeller Foundation did not alert “the world to the nature of German science and the racist folly” that German anthropology promulgated. Rockefeller funded for years after the passage of the 1935 Nuremberg racial laws.
The Rockefeller Foundation, along with the Carnegie Institution, was the primary financier for the Eugenics Record Office, until 1939.
During the Second World War, Ford Werke employed slave laborers although not required by the Nazi regime. The deployment of slave labor began before the Ford-Werke was separated from the Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, while America had not yet entered the war.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *