Ibm and the Nazis

by Hugh Mungus

I create nothing. I own.

- Gordon Gekko

There's a substantial chance you're reading this sentence on a descendant of an IBM computer. Crucial components of hardware within that machine are most likely IBM-based. You probably interact with IBM products at "work," and in the marketplace, every day.

Yet, how many people are aware International Business Machines (IBM) helped exterminate millions of Nazi concentration camp prisoners during World War II? Without IBM's complicity in this genocide, there's no way so many innocent lives could have been extinguished so expeditiously.

Imagine an era before computers. Seems like an epoch previous written language, doesn't it? In truth, the year was 1933 - a time when Adolf Hitler came to power, establishing himself as the voice of a pure Aryan race.

There was no room in Hitler's Germany for anything but an unadulterated bloodline. Jews were despised, and it was determined they need be expunged, in order to racially cleanse Europe. But without computers, this was a daunting task.

Lineage, and nationalist provenance, of such a diverse group were largely unknown. Those of Jewish descent were everywhere. Thanks to Hitler's onslaught, they were typically hiding, having changed their identities to avoid persecution.

The Nazi Party needed an efficient cataloging machine to determine who was Jewish. Enter IBM - now regarded as a corporation with the ability to provide solutions. Throughout World War II, this is exactly what said company did...for Hitler and Nazi Germany.

As computers had yet to be developed in the '30s, their forerunner - punch cards processed via tabulation machines - became the cutting edge technology. According to Edwin Black - author of IBM and the Holocaust - this was the actual beginning of the Information Age.

Thomas Watson - former CEO of IBM - as well as innumerable personages within said company, knowingly created the punch card system employed by the Nazis to categorize and annihilate millions of people. Additionally, IBM deliberately produced, and leased to the Third Reich, machines that codified these cards. International Business Machines trained Nazi employees regarding the use of these contraptions - which were precursors to the modern-day computer.

But all that wouldn't suffice for ol' Tom and his crew. IBM also conducted censuses that allowed the Nazis to conclude who - throughout Europe - was Jewish. International Business Machines developed the punch card system, and apparatuses, that controlled and coordinated the trains transporting concentration camp prisoners to their deaths.

So smile, and feel good about using IBM products! Billions of people do every day.

IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation provides a cavalcade of damning documentation. The aforementioned book contains nearly 75 pages of reference sources to substantiate the preceding facts.

How does this avowedly insidious technology work, and where did it all begin?

Step back in history to 1890. During that year, the United States Census was being undertaken. Herman Hollerith - architect of Tabulating Machine Company, which later became IBM - invented a punch card system that enabled governments to categorize and track mass quantities. Capacious volumes of anything - be it foodstuffs, houses, or train cars - could now be counted and classified. In this instance, the considerable amounts tabulated were people.

Punch cards: Customized strips of card stock are perforated with holes in specific columns. These columns denote certain characteristics of a human being; i.e. country of birth, native language, location, profession, religious affiliation, etc.

When these implements of information are fed through a calibrated tabulation device, they calculate classifications of people. Due to this heightened technology, millions of those the Nazi war machine found deplorable were categorized and executed.

Tens of thousands of these cards were processed hourly through the above IBM machines. From this info, Hitler's Third Reich could now identify who was Jewish, and where they lived.

Because banks in Nazi Germany were also run by IBM's tabulation apparatuses, Jews could be tracked by their assets. The rest was just a matter of abducting these people, and corralling them into ghetto dwellings, soon to be replaced by concentration camps.

Whilst incarcerated in these facilities, prisoners were processed via International Business Machines' punch card technology. Hence, the future of inmates was listed on scraps of card stock signifying whether they would live one day, or die the next.

With this instrument for efficiency, the Third Reich could proficiently eradicate Jews, Gypsies and other undesirables - thus producing an Aryan Europe.

Masturbation! It's an exciting hobby, and one that relieves so much stress. Wouldn't it have been great if Tom Watson, International Business Machines and the Nazis had known this at the time?

Specific IBM code numbers signified the fate of those incarcerated. A1 meant the prisoner was to be released. A2 denoted an inmate to be transferred. A3 described a captive who perished of "natural causes." A4 stood for execution. A5 meant suicide. A6 designated death via gas chamber. A7 indicated a prisoner had escaped.

Imagine being the IBM engineer tasked with developing such a demented system. You'd have to possess a demeanor more callous than the soles of a lifelong, career firewalker.

Each Nazi concentration camp housed an IBM Hollerith Department, where running tallies of incarcerates, and their status, could be monitored and amended. Inmates were assigned their own, personal Hollerith Number - which allowed International Business Machines' tabulators to analyze them. These demarcations - which most of us have seen on the wrists of Auschwitz prisoners - were originally designed by IBM to track captives.

This system eventually became what we now know as the bar code; something we currently employ ubiquitously. Today, this symbol - a number of vertical lines scanned by computers - graces almost every product sold via retail, from soup to laxatives.

IBM may meekly deny the above indictments. However, with explosive proof to substantiate this corporation's collusion, there isn't much they can do except work continuously to keep this topic out of the public eye.

Let's examine portions of that evidence. The following is the reason International Business Machines will never sue writer Edwin Black for his expose. IBM comprehends Mr. Black possesses an overabundance of substantiation they can't refute. Take, for instance, the following personal correspondence:

July 5, 1937

Your Excellency

Adolf Hitler


Before leaving Berlin, I wish to express my pride in and deep gratitude for the high honor I received through the order with which you honored me. Valuing fully the spirit of friendship which underlay this honor, I assure you that in the future as in the past, I will endeavor to do all in my power to create more intimate bonds between our two great nations.

My wife and family join in best wishes for you.

Thomas J. Watson [CEO & Chairman] International Business Machines

Not only would Thomas Watson consult intimately with Adolf Hitler, but the head of IBM also became the beneficiary of the Nazi Merit Cross of the German Eagle with Star. This medal - created for Watson - was bestowed upon foreigners proving themselves worthy of inclusion into the Third Reich. Said commemoration was second in esteem solely to Adolf Hitler's German Grand Cross.

As if providing Nazi Germany with the technology to determine, wrangle and annihilate non-Aryans wasn't enough, Watson worked personally with Japan to improve its air force and aircraft carriers. In addition, the CEO of IBM conferred in secret with Benito Mussolini, in order to assist Italy in its war designs.

All the while, Watson and his wife were treated like royalty in Germany - entertained in lavish style - by the likes of Josef Goebbels and Hermann Goering. This, even after it was viewed as treasonous - via the U.S. Trading with the Enemy Act - for American corporations to conduct business with the Third Reich.

Edwin Black has accessed, and photocopied, numerous punch cards with the name of the IBM German affiliate - Dehomag - emblazoned on them. Mr. Black exhibits death lists from concentration camps, proudly boasting International Business Machines' logo.

Regarding contracts, Thomas Watson was cautious not to leave a paper trail. Transactions with Hitler's minions were conducted via verbal agreements.

The Nazis, however, didn't trust IBM's CEO, and did produce evidence of business, in the form of typewritten memos. These missives often addressed Watson, describing negotiations undertaken, as well as products and services provided.

On top of this, IBM's leader did respond - at least once - with written confirmation to a Nazi business deal, thus implicating himself. The dispatch in question showcases a proud International Business Machines Corporation letterhead. What follows is a portion of the message, personally drafted in October, 1941, by Thomas Watson:

On the occasion of my visit to Berlin, I also settled a few pending matters, such as the machines blocked in Poland, the Romanian Census, the bold patents and other minor subjects on which I'm addressing separate reports to the executive concern in New York [IBM's head office].

Following World War II, Dr. Georg Schneider - director of IBM's Czechoslovakian affiliate - sent a letter addressed to Watson, signifying:

I beg to give you my report about the IBM office in Prague, Czechoslovakia. All the interests of the IBM were in good hands.

The $-rentals were transferred to the account of IBM in Geneva, after begin [sic] of war with U.S. All $-rentals must be converted at the rate of exchange of K25.02 Crowns = $1 and stored on the blocked account of IBM in Prague.

Schneider asserted after U.S. entrance into the war, he met with Harrison K. Chauncey - IBM's foremost attorney. It was agreed German punch card apparatuses be guised as Czech, and sold or re-rented. "From each machine," Schneider purported, "we had to pay a license-tax [royalty] to the IBM."

Edwin Black went so far as to obtain a copy of the Auschwitz phone book, in which Dehomag is listed, as well as the two members who ran said office.

In order to publish IBM and the Holocaust, Mr. Black employed in excess of 100 investigators, who researched over 20,000 primary source documents.

As astutely predicated by the above author:

When you ask IBM - as many people have - why they did it, the Information Company says, "We have no information. We've lost it all." [...]

Will IBM ever be brought to justice? The answer is, "No."

The fact is that many people have sued IBM around the world. They were never called to account during the Holocaust; never called to account after the Holocaust; and they will not be called to account today. They are, indeed, bigger than nations, bigger than genocides, bigger than the justice system, itself.

It was IBM that both calculated the weather for the Normandy invasion - for the United States and Allied forces - and the strength of the German defenses for the German high command.

During World War II, IBM profited at the expense of millions of human lives. All the while, its CEO sported a shit-eating grin. Let's face it, only a psychopath would smile at the prospect of devouring fecal matter.

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