Author Edwin Black describes the thesis of his book “IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation” in the following way: "[The book] tells the story of IBM's conscious involvement — directly and through its subsidiaries — in the Holocaust, as well as its involvement in the Nazi war machine that murdered millions of others throughout Europe. “Only with IBM's technologic assistance was Hitler able to achieve the staggering numbers of the Holocaust,” writes Black in his 2001 New York Times bestseller that’s now been released in paperback. In turn, Black’s book was honored by the American Society of Journalists and Authors as the winner of the “Best Nonfiction book in 2002.”
How did Hitler get the names of the Jews in Europe, asks author
According to Black, “one of the last great mysteries of Germany's war against the Jews is how did Hitler get the names?”
"Mankind barely noticed when the concept of massively organized information quietly emerged to become a means of social control, a weapon of war, and a roadmap for group destruction. Hitler and his hatred of the Jews was the ironic driving force behind this intellectual turning point. But his quest was greatly enhanced and energized by the ingenuity and craving for profit of a single American company and its legendary, autocratic chairman. That company was International Business machines, and its chairman was Thomas J. Watson,” writes Black in his book about the strategic alliance between Nazi Germany and IBM.
At the same time, CBS “Sunday Morning” recently featured the connection between the Nazis and IBM during a June 12 report for IBM’s 100th anniversary. CBS News noted that IBM’s work for the Nazi’s “stopped after it learned about the Holocaust.”
How will history judge the IBM and Nazi alliance, questions Jewish groups
Still, Black’s book and website – that continues to offer more details about the author’s investigations into the IBM and Nazi alliance -- is more than just disturbing, say various national Jewish groups.
For instance, Black’s book details the business dealings of “the American-based multinational corporation International Business Machines (IBM), and its German and other European subsidiaries with the government of Adolf Hitler during the 1930s and during World War II.” The book offers an overview of the alliance, with Black pointing to IBM’s “tabulation and punch cards” – that were based upon national census data gathering – as the way Hitler was able to identify the Jews he wanted to destroy in Europe during World War II.
Without IBM’s help, states Black, the Nazi “Holocaust” would not have been as efficient as it was in killing about six million Jewish people during World War II.
Oregon is a friend of IBM thanks to providing jobs
When IBM hired an additional 600 new employees last year for its Beaverton, Oregon, campus – at the IBM Linux Technology Center – the locals were overjoyed because this community outside the capital of Salem has been hit hard by the recession.
According to IBM, the company has had a presence in Oregon that dates back to the early 1990s. IBM’s Beaverton campus is currently home to about 650 employees while its Wilshire operation has about 710 employees, stated IBM officials in a local TV news report.
Beaverton locals Paul and wife Cindy said they’re pleased that “IBM is still going strong after 100 years.” As for the Nazi controversy, the couple said “if that’s the case, it’s in the past and now forgotten.”
At the same time, IBM’s web site offered the following tribute to its founder: “In ten years, from 1914 to 1924, Thomas Watson Sr. grew the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (C-T-R) from a $4 million dysfunctional conglomerate into a $11 million company with an operating statement showing occasional flights of double-digit returns. Watson, sitting in his president’s office on Broad Street in Lower Manhattan, started casting about for a new name. He wanted an enduring brand that would clearly signal the company’s ambitions and optimism.”
According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, it granted 219,614 patents in 2010, with IBM topping the list with 5,896 patents, a 20 percent increase over 2009. Among those, Big Blue pointed to patents for monitoring and reporting earthquakes based on data from computer hard-drive accelerometers, for using short-range wireless communication among vehicles to provide traffic information, and for optoelectronic devices with light detectors for silicon photonics chips that communicate using light rather than electrical signals.
Image source of “IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation” book cover: Wikipedia