IBM sued for helping Hitler kill Jews?

WW2 has been over for decades. Over 50 years. Everyone is aware of the horror of the Holocaust and of the efforts and successes of those who hunt for the surviving commanders of the death camps. Sometimes, it seems that the Jewish organizations who do this get somewhat fanatical.

According to articles in the link above, they are now suing IBM for providing Hitler with the technology to figure out how many Jews to kill. IBM admitted that their technology was there, in German owned subsidiary companies, but when those companies were taken over by the Nazis, they basically lost control of what they did. There is a book published which implicates IBM, though it apparently does so on much supposition.

It seems a lot of American companies are or have been sued by former Nazi slaves, claiming the technologies of these companies assisted Hitler.

Now, until Pearl Harbor, America was a neutral company. It did business world wide. We all know how business works: potential buyers = profits, especially during squabbles. Right or wrong, American companies, as well as many foreign ones, sold goods not only to Hitler, but Japan, the British, Italians, French and so on, until Pearl Harbor.

You think some of our allies were not selling the North Koreans arms, materials and goods when we were fighting them? It wasn’t their war. Business has no morals.

You think Switzerland wasn’t getting rich during WW2 off of both sides?

I can understand the rage of the holocaust survivors and their thirst for revenge and justice, but going after everyone or everything that might have unknowingly been involved in assisting the mass murders is ridiculous. Many of the companies which have been sued have successfully defended themselves by pointing out that once the Nazis took control of their factories, what they did with the machinery and technology was out of their hands.

What’s next, to sound cruel, will they go after the companies who made the cans for the rations German Guards ate? Will they go after the Red Cross whose packages were stolen by the concentration camp guards for their own use? What if some of the barbed wire used was sold to Italy from America, and when the ‘Duche’ (Mussolini) allied with Hitler, it was shipped to concentration camps. Will the American maker be brought up on charges of assisting Hitler?

We should never forget what happened, because if we do, it could happen again, but when is going for retribution going too far?

The American army held Gen. Patton up from going into a besieged Italian city until Montgomery could catch up, for political reasons. During that time, the Nazis were busily killing the citizens. Should the survivors file suite against the US Army for allowing this and including the British Army in the action or insisting on it?

What about allied soldiers who, in the heat of battle, accidentally blew each other up? Should their survivors sue their respective militaries for giving them guns?

When is enough, enough?

Mmmm, could you try that again and provide links directly to the stories you mean? That Lycos search page gave me a travelogue, a few items in German, and a a discussion of the 13-year anti-trust suit against IBM by the Feds.

A parallel search on Google also failed to provide a link to your question.

Yes, there is a new book out linking IBM to the Nazis by providing essential punch cards for their machines.

Amazon lists Feb 12 (yesterday) as it’s release date.

Here’s some articles:

I haven’t done enough reading to form an opinion on this matter. What I’d like to address is the tone of your post.
There is no statute of limitations on genocide. Now, don’t get your dander up, I’m not accusing IBM of genocide. Now sometimes people feel like the holcaust gets shoved down their throats. I don’t think that the holocaust should be shoved down people’s throats.

There was a picture in the paper today of the then-chairman of IBM, Thomas Watson, sitting with Adolph Hitler in 1937. OK we weren’t at war yet with Germany, corect. Yet I think that there were plenty of people who knew that this guy was bad news (to say the least) even before that date. He had already written Mein Kampf, for example.

Business does indeed have ethics.

When is enough enough? To answer that question you’d have to step inside the shoes of the victims and their families.

This should help.

Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler

Corporate Watch.

Ford/GM Corporate Watch

US Behavior in NAZI era

USA: Holocaust Survivor Sues Bayer

German Companies Scrambling

Standard Oil and Hitler

“IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation”
by Edwin Black

–Right off the bat a title like that should sell a few copies.
Black says that the IBM punch-card tabulating machine was critical to the first racial censuses conducted by the Nazis. According to Time Magazine these censuses began in 1933 with the Hollerith machine which would also be used to organize Nazi deportations and concentration camps.
Here’s the kernel of Black’s argument: Some other US corporations averted their gaze while European subsidiaries raked in profits from the Nazis. Tho. Watson Sr. designed the machines and punch cards and provided full service satisfaction to satisfy “precise data needs.”
Time does point out that while Watson Sr., must have known through the 30s that their technology was aiding the Nazis’ oppression of the Jews, it is less clear what they knew after America entered the war in December 1941. That was when the extermination began in earnest.

During the time of Hitler, the general business attitude was more is never enough. Rockefeller capitalized on the depression by buying up valuable NYC land and hiring labor at slave wages. Joe Kennedy agreed with Hitler and was an American Ambassador. Ford was quoted as saying that depression is good for the country because it weeds out the deadwood. Well, until suddenly the dead wood was no longer able to buy his cars and he had to close plants.

The average American wanted nothing to do with the increasing war in Europe. Major companies were happily selling war materials to Allies at a good profit.

Big business took advantage of consumers so badly that after WW2, the consumer protection agency arose and consumer laws were enacted.

Debeers, the diamond merchant international, restricted the flow of his huge diamond stocks to the USA when we geared up for war to gain huge profits and tried to get the US to drop price fixing in the States so he could sell his diamonds at inflated war prices to the US companies needing industrial diamonds. The US had to threaten the UK to stop sending them war planes unless DeBeers, located there, go his fat butt off of the several tons of diamonds he had stashed there.

So, attitudes were different.

I mean, regardless of the US being neutral, it was a poor choice to park most of the US fleet in Pearl Harbor knowing the Axis Powers growing hostilities towards the nation.

Plus, early in the war, the US turned back an entire ship of Jewish refugees due to some growing anti-Semitism of the time.

Times have changed.

Rockefeller is no longer a major power. Hurst has lost his iron grip on most of the news media. A few of the then major oil companies have been broken up. Plus secrets are coming out, like the car companies being so afraid of having excess military vehicles on the market after WW2 that they persuaded congress to dump hundreds of thousands of jeeps, trucks, ambulances and cars over the side of transport ships into the ocean – a waste of billions in bucks.

Then the coal miners strike initiated during the war that was put down by federal troops. A real stupid time to strike, when the nation was on war footing, rationing, and shipping out troops to fight.

Different attitudes reign today. These companies get sued. They’ll pass the cost on to us. Do we all need to pay for what other people did? Maybe instead of giving the survivors billions, they should order the companies to reduce prices of goods, which would hurt them more.

Sue a drug company and it pays out 100 million. It ups the price of your heart medication by $1 and within a year not only has the $100,000 back, but is on it’s way to making a profit. So, who won? Who lost?

Cars are over priced as it is.

Suing the individuals responsible for wartime profiteering is something else entirely, but they don’t do that.

America invented the airplane and automobile about the same time as the tabulating machine. The nahzis used planes and autos to help them persecute the jews, too. Without those transportation advances, it would have been very difficult to operate the camps and develop the German economy.
How did Germany get that transportation technology? Must have been some business deals with US companies, right? Should those companies be sued, too.

Likewise, I believe MicroSoft software is sold to China, which is persecuting Tibet. Tibet should sue Microsoft.

Didn’t Hitler and Ford admire each other, and correspond by letters?

The sad thing is, a lot of people were fooled by Hitler. He was a sick, sick bastard.

For a fascinating glimpse into these sordid affairs read:

“The Sovereign State of ITT”

Sosthenes Behn (sp), the founder of ITT (who named it that on purpose to create intentional product confusion with ATT), had entire factories moved out of the Russian zone of East Germany at the last minute, using POW labor. He collected damages from the US government for his factories in Germany that were bombed, even though they supplied the Nazi war machine.

ITT had gobbled up many small pre-WW II telephone companies, especially those with Trans-Atlantic cables. Behn routinely sold Nazi signal traffic to the Americans and American signal traffic to the Nazis and received compensation when his German telephone exchanges were bombed as well.

Sheesh, makes IBM look like a bunch of schoolboys.