Ford and the Nazis

by Hugh Mungus

We look on Heinrich [Henry] Ford as the leader of the growing Fascist Party in America.

- Adolf Hitler

"I'm a Ford truck man!"

I wonder if that means third generation Ford vehicle owner, and country music icon, Toby Keith is an anti-Semite, ambitious to exploit slave labor and furtively work with Nazis.

Just when you thought it was safe to drive a fuckin' Ford, you discover the namesake of said company blamed Jews for the problems humanity was facing during the 30s and 40s. In addition, Henry Ford dug Adolf Hitler like a backhoe does soft soil.

This appreciation was reciprocated by der Fuhrer, as the leader of the Nazi war machine stated, "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration." The infamous architect of the Third Reich proudly boasted a prodigious portrait of ol' Hank over his desk in Munich.

So smile, Mr. Keith, as you croon with a guitar adorned in a Ford logo. Continue to clarify how Ford is all-American - the only truck you'll ever drive - ignorant a 1945 U.S. Army report classified Ford Motor Company as "the arsenal of Nazism."

As Bill Hicks would say:

Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control. Here's Love Connection. Watch this and get fat and stupid. By the way, keep drinkin' beer, you fuckin' morons!

What the-?! We are talkin' Henry Ford here, right? The guy who's last name is on millions of cars internationally? Founder of Ford Motor Company - humanity's third largest vehicle manufacturer, in terms of sales volume? The dude responsible for at least one auto in countless family garages? That Henry Ford?

The very same.

Lest we forget the Henry Ford who became a national hero for implementing the $5 workday, during an era when it was customary to pay employees half that for a nine hour shift.

The same Henry Ford a considerable faction of the United States populace, at one time, believed should be president.

Hank - master mechanic, and the man so many heralded the greatest industrialist of his epoch.

The prime example of someone with meager beginnings, who managed to build his own empire through hard work.

And who can forget the inventor of the assembly line?

Funny how effective propaganda can be.

In reality, Ford's initiation of the $5 workday had nothing to do with sympathy for his employees. As 1914 dawned, Hank was shittin' his pants. It appears our hero wasn't the best of bosses. Anemic wages, and a substandard working environment, had resulted in almost 380% turnover at Ford Motor Company. Henry was forced to employ roughly 1,000 workers, in order to retain 100 willing to stay on staff.

In a missive to Ford, the wife of an employee wrote:

Are you aware that a man cannot "buck nature" when he has to go to the toilet and yet he is not allowed to go at his work. He has to go before he gets there or after work. The chain system you have is a slave driver! My God! Mr. Ford.

Again, Ford hadn't increased wages, nor curtailed the workday to eight hours, out of empathy. As Henry asserted, he'd lessened the severity of his slave driving to keep workers from quitting, and increase productivity.

As far as Ford becoming president, would you feel safe if the man at the helm - when asked if he could expand on the American Revolution - stated, "I understand there was one in 1812."

The same dude who attested, "I don't like to read books, they muss up my mind."

A true intellectual, fearful of sugar, because he believed the jagged edges of its crystals would shred his stomach, when ingested.

A dipshit one journalist described as, "Outside of business, where he [Ford] is a genius, his mind is that of a child." An icon of intelligence many thought was a moron.

Too bad someone like that isn't around today, itchy trigger finger on the nuclear button-

Oh, wait. He is.

According to Ford's sister Margaret, Henry exaggerated to the point of lying. This great industrialist hadn't been raised destitute, but was actually the son of an affluent father.

In addition, Ford - rather than being a superlative mechanic - had surrounded himself with the best in the business. Henry called on the expertise of others to conceive his vehicles. Contrary to popular fallacy, Ford didn't create the assembly line; he simply improved on the existing design.

Yeah, Hank was a real gem, in the same way a polished, petrified turd might be. Thus, when he began speaking ill of Jews - blaming them for troubles suffered by humans - it wasn't a big stretch for Henry. Suffice it to say, Ford fell into the bullshit quicksand so many bigots do, displaying his one cylinder mind for humanity to see.

Henry went so far as to author a book - The International Jew - berating what he termed "bad" devotees to Judaism. Equally insane douche bags - called Nazis - got their creepy hands on the text, busting that shit-filled pinata wide open.

When the Third Reich took control of Germany, copies of Henry's tome - bedecked with the names Ford and Hitler on their covers - were distributed to schools and Nazi offices across the country.

In the words of the Fuhrer, "The book is being circulated to millions throughout Germany."

Well, there's a blow to starving artists who've been poundin' away at the keyboard for the past 25 years, relegated to self-publishing. I - and others like me - distribute truths for the betterment of humans, and nobody reads the material. Along comes some psycho with cash, and millions gorge on the lunacy he's propagating.

According to Baldur von Schirach - leader of the Hitler Youth, and notorious Nazi governor of Vienna:

The decisive anti-Semitic book which I read at that time, and the book which influenced my comrades was Henry Ford's book, The International Jew. I read it and became anti-Semitic.

This book made in those days a great impression on my friends and myself, because we saw in Henry Ford the representative of success, also the representative of a progressive social policy. In the poverty-stricken and wretched Germany of the time, youth looked toward America, and...it was Henry Ford who, to us, represented America...If he said the Jews were to blame, naturally we believed him.

Being an idiot isn't a crime. If it were, there wouldn't be enough prison cells to hold all the violators. There is, however, impropriety associated with forcing people into slave labor, and working them amid concentration camp conditions. One can easily assign malfeasance to those who assist in the slaughter of millions of humans. Of these two transgressions, Henry Ford is guilty.

Envision armadas of Ford trucks descending upon Europe and the USSR during World War II. Picture the occupants of these vehicles kidnapping innocents. Visualize these victims being taken to the Ford-Werke plant - Ford's German affiliate in Cologne - forced to build trucks for the Third Reich.

For Elsa Iwanowa - one of multitudinous innocents abducted by Ford and the Nazis in this fashion - it wasn't necessary to imagine anything, since she lived it.

They took us by truck to the Ford plant in Cologne. We were just children, we were frightened, calling out for our mothers, crying all the time. At first, they told us it would only be for a few months and then we would go home, but they lied to us, they never let us go.

At Ford, we were treated like dogs, thrown into a barracks without any heat, running water or sewage. It was freezing in the winter, terrible, just terrible. The bunks had no mattresses, just wooden planks with a little straw and they only fed us a bowl of cabbage and water broth twice a day with a slice of bread.

We were always hungry. I sat all day dreaming about food. If you asked for seconds, they would beat you.

I was forced to work from seven in the morning until seven at night drilling holes in engine blocks while the foremen, who were like animals, supervised us. We had no names, only numbers. Whenever a worker got sick, they took them away. We later heard they were shot. If we didn't meet our quota, we were beaten.

Robert Schmidt - company manager of the Ford-Werke plant in 1942 - asserted:

It depends upon our work whether the front can be supplied with its necessities...therefore, we too are soldiers of the Fuhrer.

That's not distressing, nor the type of quote you'd expect to hear from somebody working on Toby Keith's pickup. Maybe the Ford Truck Man video should feature assembly line prisoners being executed, and a swastika replacing the Ford logo on Mr. Keith's guitar.

Nazi armaments minister Albert Speer promised to provide 12,000 concentration camp prisoners for the German auto industry, which he asserted was crucial to the success of the Third Reich. As such, Buchenwald - an infamous incarceration facility - sent a continuous cascade of detainees to Ford-Werke throughout the war.

One may squabble Ford was coerced by the Third Reich to use slave laborers. They'd be wrong. Ford purchased these incarcerates by choice.

What's more, Ford employees could have treated these captives any way they desired. As it was, they decided to abuse them. When Allied military finally overran the Ford-Werke plant, it was ascertained most of the Russian female slaves had contracted venereal diseases, indicating they'd been raped by the Ford employees.

Keep singin', Toby!

Imagine how shocked American soldiers must have been, hitting the battlefield, only to be met by Third Reich battalions driving Ford vehicles. More than 30% of the Nazi regime's trucks had been produced by Ford.

According to a 1945 U.S. Army report:

Ford increasingly resorted to use of prisoners of war and other slave labor...The foreigners employed rose to over 40 percent of its labor supply in 1944. The usual Nazi discriminations in wages and working conditions were practiced.

Even though other American corporations in Germany were seized by Hitler's Third Reich after the U.S. entered the war, Ford-Werke was left to continue operations unhindered. In fact, profits were safeguarded in private accounts, so Ford could collect them following the culmination of the bloodshed.

Henry, himself, was awarded the Nazi Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle - reserved for "foreigners who have been of special service to the Reich."

And what did Elsa Iwanowa receive? According to this kidnapped slave laborer, she was never paid by Ford-Werke. Rather, in 1995, she was provided a free tour of the plant as it stood then, and given a small Ford commemorative pin as compensation.

As an addendum, Ford-Werke produced the turbines used in Nazi V-2 rockets - which were responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent, British civilians. The V-2 was invented, and developed, by Wernher von Braun - who subsequently became the head of NASA, and the Father of the U.S. Space Program.

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