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View our latest video, Hitler’s American Fan Club.
Prior to World War II, Adolf Hitler benefitted from the support of a great many wealthy, powerful and famous Americans. The entry of the United States in the war was severely delayed by these forces. Although many of these supporters later “renounced” their support, many American companies continued to have ties to the Nazi regime through their German subsidiaries.
Script with References
The early 20th century was the time of the All American Hero. Lucky Lindy flew across the Atlantic, teaching the world how to fly. Henry Ford was changing the way cars were made, putting the entire world on wheels. And Thomas Watson was building IBM, helping to start the computer revolution.
All these American Heroes had one thing in common, they were big fans of this guy…this is the Scandalous History of Hitler’s American Fan Club.
The story goes, Henry Ford was not just rich and powerful he was also an outspoken anti-Semitic racist. He bought a newspaper so he could publish articles about an imaginary international Jewish conspiracy. To make sure he got the word out, he gathered the articles in a book that was included free with new Ford automobiles.1,2
Adolph Hitler greatly admired Ford for his writings and his industrial innovation. When asked why he had a life-size portrait of Ford in his office, Hitler replied “I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration.”3 Ford is the only American to be mentioned by name in Hitler’s book Mein Kampf.4
For Hitler’s 50th birthday, Ford personally gave him 35,000 Reichsmarks.5
Charles Lindbergh became the most famous man in the world when he flew solo across the Atlantic in 1927. This American Hero was convinced that everyone of European descent would be overrun by “a pressing sea of yellow, black and brown”.6 To see how to handle this threat, he and his wife toured Nazi Germany and were even the special guests of Field Marshal Hermann Goering at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.7
Lindberg was so enthusiastic about the Nazi regime he became a major promoter of Germany in the U.S.. He did it so well, President Roosevelt said he was convinced Lindbergh had become a Nazi.8
Those other races presented Hitler with a dilemma, how could he get rid of them if he didn’t know where they were. Thomas Watson and IBM had a solution, their punch card technology could automate the German census and keep track of people by their race and ethnicity.9
Their system worked so well it identified 2 million German Jews for targeting, five times as many as the Germans thought there were.10
IBM’s German subsidiary supplied and maintained IBM technology in every concentration camp the Germans built. The punch cards had codes for tracking which prisoners died from starvation and which were gassed.11 Watson received a one percent commission on all Nazi punch card business.12
To show his appreciation Hitler awarded each of our American heroes the Order of the German Eagle for their special services to Nazi Germany.13, 14
But Hitler’s American Fan Club didn’t have just three members. There was Joe Kennedy, the father of this president, who when told about Nazi attacks on Jews said the Jews brought it on themselves.15
Prescott Bush, father of this president and grandfather of this one, had his company’s assets seized for trading with the enemy. 16
Irenee du Pont, president of the DuPont company, financed the Liberty League and the Black Legion17, which were American terrorist groups that promoted Nazism and and fought so-called socialism by murdering union workers.
After he struck a deal to receive $400,000 a year from the Nazi government, William Randolph Hearst ordered his 19 newspapers to support Adolph Hitler and print German propaganda.18
The list is quite long. To find more famous American Hitler fans check out Nazi Nexus by Edwin Black, available at your local library. So we hope you press the like button, check out our other videos and subscribe to the Scandalous History Channel.
1. Bill Bryson, One Summer America 1927 (New York: Doubleday, 2013), 239.
2. American Experience: Henry Ford, Interview with Hasia Diner, PBS, (2012) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/interview/henryford-antisemitism/.
3. Michael Dobbs, “Ford and GM Scrutinized for Alleged Nazi Collaboration,” Washington Post, (November 30, 1998) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/daily/nov98/nazicars30.htm.
4. Bryson, One Summer, 240.
5. Dobbs, “Ford and GM Scrutinized for Alleged Nazi Collaboration,” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/daily/nov98/nazicars30.htm.
6. Paul Callan, “Charles Lindbergh: Hitler’s all-American hero,” Express, http://www.express.co.uk/expressyourself/201613/Charles-Lindbergh-Hitler-s-all-American-hero.
7. American Experience: Lindberg, PBS, (1999) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/lindbergh/sfeature/fallen.html.
8. Cole, Wayne S. Charles A. Lindbergh and the Battle Against American Intervention in World War II. (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974), 131.
9. Edwin Black, Nazi Nexus America’s Corporate Connections to Hitler’s Holocaust (Washington D. C., Dialog Press, 2009), 128 – 129.
10. Edwin Black, IBM and the Holocaust, Second paperback edition, (Washington D. C., Crown Books, 2001), 110.
11. Black, Nazi Nexus, 141.
12. Edwin Black, “IBM’s Role in the Holocaust — What the New Documents Reveal” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/edwin-black/ibm-holocaust_b_1301691.html.
14 Bryson, One Summer, 242.
15 Leamer, Laurence. The Kennedy Men: 1901–1963. (New York, Harper, 2002), 115.
16 Ben Aris and Duncan Campbell “How Bush’s grandfather helped Hitler’s rise to power”, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar.
17 Glen Yeadon and John Hawkins, The Nazi Hydra in America: Suppressed History of a Century (Joshua Tree, CA, Progressive Press, 2008), 182.
18 Ibid., 145.