There are the salient details on famous brands/organizations’ dealing with Nazi Germany during the Second World War. After all, they had to work with both sides in the war, to prepare for yet-to-be-written history’s judgment…
Siemens Telecommunications had factories near Auschwitz and Buchenwald, where it used slave workers to build the German military machine. By the end of the war, Siemens was in total control of Germany’s rail infrastructure, communications and power generation.
Hugo Boss clothings started out as the manufacturer of uniforms for Hitler’s the SS. The uniforms were at times by Prisoners of War.
Volkswagen, founded by Ferdinand Porsche, who worked closely with Hitler. The Volkswagen Beetle rolled off Germania’s factories by the thousands, thanks to slave labor. Designed as a tool for everyday life in the always-cheerful Third Reich, Volkswagen was ironically built by diseased slaves in dark, dank factories of Stuttgart.
In 2001, Edwin Black noted in his book IBM and the Holocaust that IBM provided the Third Reich with punch card machines that could help the Nazis to track down the Jews. Anti-corporate documentary The Corporation shows actual footage of IBM punch cards used in prison camps. Other American corporations, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Institute, directly funded Nazi eugenics in the early ’30s.
Bayer, the producer of Aspirin, was once called IG Farben, the same IG Farben that produced Zyklon-B gas, which is the poison that killed millions in the concentration camps. The gas was invented by misguided genius Fritz Haber, who gave the world Haber’s process for manufacturing ammonia as well.
In 1929, before Nazis came to power, Du Pont’s GM bought Adam Opel, Germany’s largest car manufacturer. In 1935, GM opened an Opel factory to supply the Nazi’s with “Blitz” military trucks. Du Pont’s GM and Rockefeller’s Standard Oil collaborated with said I.G. Farben, to form Ethyl GmbH. This GmbH built the factories to give the Nazis leaded gas fuel (synthetic tetraethyl fuel) for their military vehicles.
Farben also built I.G. Auschwitz, a huge industrial complex designed to produce synthetic rubber and oil. This installation used as much electricity as the entire city of Berlin, and more than 25,000 camp inmates died during its construction. I.G. Farben eventually built its own concentration camp, known as Monowitz.
Coca-Cola didn’t want its brand to be associated with the Nazi party during WWII; wartime restrictions on shipping between Germany and the United States caused the German bottling plant not to be able get Coca-Cola syrup. However, Coca-Cola didn’t want to miss out on emerging markets, so it created the Fanta brand to market in Germany. In 1940, Fanta was created by the German chemist Schetelig in Essen.
Solingen steels manufactured all the knives that the Nazi army carried. Once shaving equipment and razors are produced by Merkur Solingen, but the brand is discontinued out of stigma and modern straight razors are produced under the DOVO brand.
The list is endless. After the war, Karl Sommer, the Head of the Economic and Administrative Main Office (responsible for giving companies access to prisoners for slave labor) was interviewed by the US Chief of Counsel on his activities under the Nazi regime.
Sommer’s first name is BMW, which eventually admits to using to using 25,000 – 30,000 slave laborers, POWs and concentration camp inmates.
Krupp, makers of washing machines, coffee makers, and the Nazi gas chambers, used over 70,000 people as slave labor in factories making armaments for the Nazis. It even operated a plant inside the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp which manufactured fuses, and another at the Ravensbreuck camp. Records show that in September 1944 Krupp concerns were working 54,990 foreign workers and 18,902 prisoners of war.
Daimler-Benz started using foreign workers and Soviet & French POWs as forced labor in early 1941. When they strike, Daimler-Benz sent the “ring-leaders” of these strikes to concentration camps. In December of 1944, Daimler-Benz was using 26,958 forced foreign workers, 4,887 POWs, and thousands of concentration camp inmates to assemble the Luftwaffe.
Like GM, Ford claims to have lost control of its German division, Fordwerke, before it started using forced labor. However, it was known that Henry Ford was a Nazi sympathizer.
When the war is over, America practiced ‘forgive and forget’ policy and extracted Nazi geniuses, such as Werner Von Braun and Hans Ziegler, through a plan called Operation Paperclip for their own ‘military-industrial complexes’. Denazification began as Marshall Plan bankrolled Europe. It is time for us to forgive and forget too.