Published on January 8, 2008
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Did you know that the IBM Corporation helped to organised the Holocaust? Or that the Nuremburg Laws were based on guidelines drafted by a eugenics organization in the United States, and that the idea of a blond, blue-eyed master race was an American one? Did you know that corporate and governmental power in America conspired to dismantle mass-transit systems and addict Americans to internal combustion engine vehicles?
These are not, as they may sound, conspiracy theories, but the exhaustively researched claims of books and articles by award-winning journalist and investigative author Edwin Black.
Black began writing non-fiction in 1984 with The Transfer Agreement, detailing the aforementioned deal between Hitler and the World Zionist Organization. A Jewish-led boycott of German exports, which might have crippled the Third Reich’s economy, was waylaid by a deal to release interred Jews within Germany in proportion to sales of German goods abroad. The book provoked a great deal of controversy on its initial publication, but has since gained the respect of much of the Jewish community.
Black has, since The Transfer Agreement, seriously challenged orthodox views of history. Whereas many might see the Second World War as a struggle between good and evil, a history that is completely written and understood, Black paints a very different and more nuanced picture. His works suggest that Hitler’s Germany was not only appeased by the West, but benefited financially and even ideologically from the United States, Europe and, as we have seen, the Jewish community in Palestine, even as the war was being fought.
Black is, himself, the son of Holocaust survivors. He tells his parent’s story in a later introduction to The Transfer Agreement. His father escaped a forced march to a death camp in Poland. His mother had been shot en route to Treblinka and left for dead in a shallow grave, where Black’s father found his mother’s leg protruding from the snow and rescued her. Both Polish teenagers, they lived in the woods for two years before emerging at the end of the war thinking they were the only Jewish people left in the world. Both of their families were wiped out.
He also relates their story in the introduction to IBM and the Holocaust, which is perhaps Black’s most famous book to date. It tells the story of IBM President Thomas J. Watson’s dealing with the Third Reich, mainly via the IBM sub-company in Germany, Dehomag. According to Black, IBM designed, built and maintained Hollerith computing machines that were used not only for logistics in the war but also for carrying out the Final Solution against European Jewry, all with the full knowledge and consent of IBM President Watson. In fact, Black makes the claim that, “Without IBM’s machinery, continuing upkeep and service, as well as the supply of punch cards, whether located on-site or off-site, Hitler’s camps could never have managed the numbers they did.”
Black speaks about this in the Canadian documentary The Corporation, and shows copied memos from IBM’s own records, followed by a denial from IBM vice-president Irving Wladawski-Berger. Black claims in his book that IBM conspired to hide its records from him during his research for the book and that it continues to deny responsibility for Dehomag to this day.
Perhaps the most disturbing revelations come from Black’s book War Against the Weak, about an American eugenics program that predated the Third Reich by several decades and, Black alleges, is the true source of the Nazi notion of a blond, blue-eyed master race. Such illustrious names as Rockerfeller, Carnegie, Harriman and even Alexander Graham Bell, Woodrow Wilson and Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes were part of the American eugenics movement, according to Black.
The book claims that the movement ultimately resulted in the sterilisation of an estimated 60,000 Americans deemed undesirable by American eugenicists. Foreign offices, Black continues, organised that advocated similar sterilizations abroad. The author claims that these foreign programs influenced Adolph Hitler’s notion of genetic supremacy, that they funded Nazi scientists including Ernst Ruedin, founder of the Society for Racial Hygiene and architect of Nazi racial ideology, and later Joseph Mengele and his experiments on twins in Auschwitz. Perhaps most shocking of all is the book’s claim that American eugenicists continued to sterilize undesirables into the 1970s, well after the extent of the Holocaust was known.
Most recently, Black released Internal Combustion, which tells the story of how corporate and governmental power was used to artificially create the American automobile culture and to actively discourage alternatives to internal combustion engines. Among other things, the American mass-transit system was systematically ruined and dismantled by corporate interests determined to create a more profitable car culture, and that the result has been environmental degradation and the advent of resource wars fought to secure foreign supplies of oil. At the end of the book, Black calls for a “new Manhatten Project” to create and implement alternatives to internal combustion engines before it’s too late.
Black has also written many articles, mostly in conjunction with his books, which can be read for free. Most can be accessed via the Author Articles section of each book website.
Among the most interesting are Hitler’s debt to America, published on The Guardian; Final Solutions: How IBM Helped Automate the Nazi Death Machine in Poland for The Village Voice; How France Sunk the Original Middle East Peace and especially An American War Criminal at Buchenwald , both published on the History News Network. The last tells the incredible story of Dr. Edwin Katzen-Ellenbogen, a founding member of the American Eugenics Research Association, who promoted the creation of a Nordic master race and the forced sterilization of so-called inferior races until he was captured by the Nazis and sent to Buchenwald because of his Jewish ancestry.
Tags: author, book, corporation holocaust, edwin black, hitler, ibm, investigation, journalist, story,
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