But now the holy dollar rules everybody's lives
Gotta make a million, doesn't matter who dies
September 1, 1939. Nazi Blitz trucks crushed the Polish countryside like herds of irate elephants. Comparable to a tireless marathoner, the Opel company was producing these vehicles - as well as land mines and torpedoes - for the Third Reich, at an impressive rate.
All the while, Der Opel Geist - the corporation's internal publication - deified Hitler as though he was Zeus. The Fuhrer's thundering, anti-Semitic declamations bounced off cold walls at Opel headquarters like rubber balls off an NBA court.
Somewhere during the commotion, the leader of the Nazi war machine found time to bestow yet another German Eagle with Cross on yet another foreigner deserved of the award. This outsider-cum-Aryan was James D. Mooney - President of General Motors' Overseas Corporation. Yes, that General Motors.
It was World War II. All appeared to be going as planned. The good guys were gearin' up to save the day, and the bad guys were doin' what bad guys do - killin' folks like cattle in a slaughterhouse. The line between the two was definitive: Either you were on the side of the cavalry, or the assholes who'd given them a reason to fight.
Not so fast. When it comes to anything concerning money - corporations and politicians, let's say - there will always be gray regions. Translation: There will always be lies. Lies, no less, disguised as truth.
Such was the case with General Motors. Yeah, the same GM mass-producing countless cars you see on the highways and byways of what people refer to as "America." In fact, General Motors transformed Germany's horse-drawn military into a modern, mechanized blitzkrieg, capable of destroying its enemies. The three-ton Blitz truck - produced by GM's German affiliate Opel - was specifically developed so the Third Reich could do just that.
General Motors president Alfred P. Sloan tirelessly toiled - years prior to World War II - to ensure Nazi forces were well equipped to wage battle. In truth, GM was the largest producer of cars and trucks in Germany, as well as Europe, at the time. Through Opel, GM manufactured approximately 40 percent of vehicles in this soon-to-be Axis country. Since General Motors was producing roughly 65 percent of Germany's auto exports, they largely funded the Third Reich's military effort.
GM's official publication - General Motors World - boldly declared:
Hitler is a strong man, well fitted to lead the German people out of their former economic distress...He is leading them, not by force or fear, but by intelligent planning and execution of fundamentally sound principles of government.
How wonderful would it be if the above quote was emblazoned on every GM vehicle owner's manual?
You're cruisin' around in your General Motors car, oblivious to these facts, aren't ya'? Ah, the American Dream. It works like clockwork...A Clockwork Orange, that is. Less real than The Bible - Featuring Original Photographs.
Alfred Sloan - a fiery believer corporations, instead of government, should control countries - wasn't a supporter of then-President Roosevelt. Sloan believed GM superseded bureaucracies, and should be making the calls for the United States. Of course, Roosevelt saw things otherwise. As per usual, not a word uttered on behalf of the people, themselves.
Due to Sloan's disdain for good ol' Franky, he aligned himself even more closely with Hitler. Soon, literature written by anyone of Jewish affiliation was expunged from the official library at Opel.
Forty percent more profit was derived from Blitz truck sales to the Wehrmacht - the Third Reich military - than General Motors accumulated in their German civilian division. As such, GM concentrated business with the Nazi war machine.
In 1937, Hitler's armed forces accounted for nearly 17 percent of Blitz truck sales. By 1938, that number rose to 29 percent, as the German military became Opel's best customer. There's no doubt General Motors' Blitz truck was the emblematic vehicle of the Third Reich.
Opel swore support for the National Socialist Motor Corps - a civilian military force in alliance with the Nazi ideal. In addition, Opel donated copious amounts of cash, on a regular basis, to Nazi-related movements. The German subsidiary went so far as to cut ties with Jewish corporations providing resources for their production line. Jewish workers - long-standing or not - were terminated.
Since gas-powered vehicles don't run without fuel, GM employed Standard Oil - another U.S. corporation - to provide Hitler's Wehrmacht with lead-tetraethyl. This additive boosted performance in the Blitz trucks, and allowed Nazi forces further advantage over their opposition. In fact, a seized German document states:
Without lead-tetraethyl, the present method of warfare would be unthinkable.
Albert Speer - the Reich's armaments chief - stated Germany wouldn't have perpetrated their 1939 blitzkrieg on Poland, had they not been provided this additive by Standard Oil.
So intense was Alfred Sloan's belief in racial superiority, he assisted in foundation of the American Liberty League - which promoted racism and anti-Semitism. Hatred for anyone non-Caucasian reached an apogee with the group, when they expressed desire to align themselves with the KKK.
The American Liberty League financially supported a myriad of bigoted organizations, like the Southern Committee. This fellowship distributed what were known as "nigger pictures" - photos of Eleanor Roosevelt in the company of blacks.
Just press cruise control on your new General Motors vehicle and glide, my friend. Feel the ease with which she handles?
By 1938, Hitler was so overjoyed with the job GM was doing, he pinned a German Eagle with Cross on James Mooney. Again, this medal was akin to a blowjob, and a lifetime supply of free beer, to any foreign individual der Fuhrer felt was worthy of inclusion into the Nazi brotherhood.
General Motors knew exactly when Germany would initiate World War II, and invade Poland. How could they not? They had insider information from Hitler, himself.
Hence, when the Third Reich demanded parts for Blitz trucks be shipped to facilities near the Polish border - in August of '39 - GM had a view to imminent events. Days afterward, when almost 3,000 Opel workers were conscripted into the Wehrmacht, it seemed obvious what was about to transpire. Around that point, U.S. employees at Opel were evacuated to the Netherlands for safety; and on September 1st, Germany deployed its offensive against Poland. A blitzkrieg delivered on the axles of General Motors vehicles.
The evening prior the outbreak of war, Sloan alerted GM investors his corporation was "too big" to be obstructed by "petty international squabbles."
It was only a matter of time before Opel engaged in manufacture of aircraft engines for the Luftwaffe - Nazi Germany's Air Force. Subsequent that, Opel produced land mines, as well as torpedo detonators, for Hitler's war machine.
In a letter to an associate, Sloan stated:
It seems clear that the Allies are outclassed on mechanical equipment and it is foolish to talk about modernizing their Armies in times like these, they ought to have thought of that five years ago. There is no excuse for them not thinking of that except for the unintelligent, in fact, stupid, narrow-minded and selfish leadership which the democracies of the world are cursed with.
But when some other system develops stronger leadership, works hard and long, and intelligently and aggressively - which are good traits - and, superimposed upon that, develops the instinct of a racketeer, there is nothing for the democracies to do but fold up. And that is about what it looks as if they are going to do.
Oddly enough, it wasn't as if GM's complicity in Germany's war effort was that secret. According to a New York Times article, dated August 27, 1944, Opel was the prime target for a monumental bombing run by Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF). The RAF had determined the facility - with 35,000 employees - was not only supplying a bulk of Nazi military vehicles, but also in the process of developing rocket weaponry.
Like the Ford-Werke plant, GM used prisoners to achieve their production goals at Opel. It wasn't unusual for inmates to be tortured after they failed to reach expected demands.
But the above wasn't the only similarity General Motors had with Ford, regarding the Third Reich. Profits accumulated by both corporations were saved by the Nazi war machine, and bequeathed to these companies following the conflict. In addition, General Motors was recompensed $33 million after the war, since Allied forces had bombed its Opel production plant.
Do you feel like delivering an onslaught of karate kicks to the dashboard of your GM vehicle? Is a shower in order every time you touch the steering wheel? Realize General Motors now produces all automobiles for Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and GMC. Thus, chances are pretty strong you're driving a GM product on a daily basis.
According to Edwin Black - author of Nazi Nexus: America's Corporate Connections to Hitler's Holocaust:
Unquestionably, GM's impact during the Hitler era, both in the United States and the Third Reich, was monumental. Without GM, Hitler would have never had the motorized ability to conquer Europe and mechanize the dispossession and destruction of numberless Jewish communities.
Keep in mind, naive U.S. soldiers were having their limbs blown off, while General Motors was profiting at their expense.