WWII & Holocaust Could Never Have Happened Without American Corporations Investing & Joint Venturing with Hitler’s Poor Nazi Germany – Chapter 5

The economic facilitation of a second world war equally came to mean an economic facilitation of a multi-nation Holocaust


This author expects that the reaction of a good many readers to the affirmation that the ‘Holocaust could not have happened without corporate USA rearming Germany to destroy the USSR,’ would be one of protest. Skeptical readers might insist that the elite of American industrialists investing in and joint venturing with the Nazis, could not have imagined or expected Hitler’s 1941 orders for the mass murder of all Jews we have come to call the Holocaust.

 No! This historian agrees. These wealthiest of investors and bankers on Wall Street and eminent CEOs of America’s major corporations could not have foreseen that their empowering Nazi Germany militarily would bring about Hitler’s 1941 orders to kill all Jews in Nazi occupied Europe, however they most certainly did know of the vicious, and often murderous, persecution of Jews in Germany that began immediately upon Hitler’s accession to power in 1933.

In 1933, new German laws forced Jews out of their civil service jobs, university and law court positions, and other areas of public life. In April 1933, laws proclaimed at Nuremberg made Jews second-class citizens.These Nuremberg Laws defined Jews, not by their religion or by how they wanted to identify themselves, but by the religious affiliation of their grandparents. Between 1937 and 1939,  new anti-Jewish regulations segregated Jews further and made daily life very difficult for them. Jews could not attend public schools; go to theaters, cinema, or vacation resorts; or reside or even walk in certain sections of German cities. The Nazis either seized Jewish businesses and properties outright, or forced Jews to sell them at bargain prices. In November 1938, the Nazis organized a riot or pogrom, known as Kristallnacht (the “Night of Broken Glass”). This attack against German and Austrian Jews included the physical destruction of synagogues and Jewish-owned stores, the arrest of Jewish men, the vandalization of homes, and the murder of individuals.[49] (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)

Most Investors in War Pretended to Look the Other Way Regarding Deadly Jewish Persecution Before and Many Even During the Holocaust

JewishHistory.org puts forth a description of European anti-Jewish prejudice: “Ironically, the more assimilated the Jew became, the more this type of anti-Semitism reared its head. To a great degree, the dominant culture was willing to tolerate Jews with long beards, fur hats, a strange language (Yiddish) and who were easily identifiable as Jews. But they were not willing to accept Jews who were clean-shaven, wore no special garb and spoke perfect German or French or English.”[50 ].

The economic elite of capitalist America’s white Anglo-Saxon Protestant ruling rich had to have felt their ruling position threatened as well, and their anti-Jewish reaction trickled down, or rather poured down. As a personal example the first curse words this peoples historian at age seven used when missing a shot playing marbles in the school play-yard was “jew bastard!,” without knowing the meaning of either word.  (This would have been in 1939, well after Kristallnacht.) My first summer job in 1949, was performing in the Breakers, an Atlantic City Beach hotel built by Jews, so Jews would have one hotel there sure to give lodging to Jews.

The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies describes the reaction to Kristallnacht in the US: Kristallnacht, (German: “Crystal Night”), the night of November 9–10, 1938, when German Nazis attacked Jewish persons and property. The name Kristallnacht refers ironically to the litter of broken glass left in the streets after these pogroms.

President Franklin Roosevelt condemned the pogrom, recalled the U.S. ambassador from Germany for ‘consultations,’ and extended the visitors’ visas of the approximately 12,000 German Jewish refugees who were then in the United States.  But at the same time, FDR announced that liberalization of America’s tight immigration quotas was ‘not in contemplation.’  The Christian Science Monitor echoed Roosevelt’s position, telling its readers that prayer, not more immigration, was the best response to the persecution of German Jewry.

In the wake of Kristallnacht, humanitarian-minded members of Congress introduced legislation to aid German Jewry.  A bill sponsored by Senator Robert F. Wagner (D-NY) and Rep. Edith Rogers (R-Mass) proposed the admission of 20,000 German refugee children outside the quotas.  Nativist and isolationist groups vociferously opposed the Wagner-Rogers bill. Typical of their perspective was a remark by FDR’s cousin, Laura Delano Houghteling, who was the wife of the U.S. Commissioner of Immigration: she warned that ‘20,000 charming children would all too soon grow into 20,000 ugly adults.’  In February, 1939, the Wagner-Rogers bill died in Congress. Roosevelt refused to take a position on it.”

Anyone with half an education can reel off names of the inordinate number of renowned thinkers, philosophers, inventors, composers, physicians, artists, singers, musicians, educators, actors, movie producers and comedians revered as seminal contributors to Western civilization from Maimonides through Einstein and beyond. A student of human history cannot but be amazed at this impressively high proportion of beloved and respected household names being of Jewish descent.  Sociologists tend to attribute this disproportionately high number of geniuses and great achieving stars in the firmament of human development in the West to the emphasis given to study and learning in Jewish religious observance, stressed as an obligatory search for moral intelligence. The root of anti-Jewish talk and discrimination was located in the same void of morals and absence of humanity found in the divide-and-conquer profitable genocide for capital acquisition, economic power and domination championed by the racist, basically white protestant Anglo-Saxon investor community of Wall Street and in the few other centers of investor power that FDR had in confidence noted “owned the government.” 

American Roots of Nazi Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race 

Though the drive for money and capital accumulation within capitalism is always expected to be paramount, the brutally ignorant white racism it engendered throughout the subjugated world of imperialist empires is worth noting for being especially strong in America during the time of Hitler’s rule of Germany and his coming to command the world’s strongest military thanks to the massive investments of Americans.

Quoting from “The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics” By Edwin BlackHistory News Newwork, September 2003. Edwin Black is the author of IBM and the Holocaust and War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race,  from which the following quotes are drawn. [51]

Hitler and his henchmen victimized an entire continent and exterminated millions in his quest for a co-called “Master Race.” But the concept of a white, blond-haired, blue-eyed master Nordic race didn’t originate with Hitler. The idea was created in the United States, and cultivated in California, decades before Hitler came to power.

Eugenics was the racist pseudoscience determined to wipe away all human beings deemed “unfit,” preserving only those who conformed to a Nordic stereotype. Elements of the philosophy were enshrined as national policy by forced sterilization and segregation laws, as well as marriage restrictions, enacted in twenty-seven states. In 1909, California became the third state to adopt such laws. Ultimately, eugenics practitioners coercively sterilized some 60,000 Americans, barred the marriage of thousands, forcibly segregated thousands in “colonies,” and persecuted untold numbers in ways we are still learning about. Before World War II, nearly half of coercive sterilizations were done in California, and even after the war, the state accounted for a third of all such surgeries.

Hitler proudly told his comrades just how closely he followed the progress of the American eugenics movement. “I have studied with great interest,” he told a fellow Nazi, “the laws of several American states concerning prevention of reproduction by people whose progeny would, in all probability, be of no value or be injurious to the racial stock.” Hitler even wrote a fan letter to American eugenic leader Madison Grant calling his race-based eugenics book, The Passing of the Great Race his “bible.”

Eugenics would have been so much bizarre parlor talk had it not been for extensive financing by corporate philanthropies, specifically the Carnegie Institution, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Harriman railroad fortune. They were all in league with some of America’s most respected scientists hailing from such prestigious universities as Stamford, Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. These academicians espoused race theory and race science, and then faked and twisted data to serve eugenics’ racist aims.

In 1904, the Carnegie Institution had established a laboratory complex at Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island that stockpiled millions of index cards on ordinary Americans, as researchers carefully plotted the removal of families, bloodlines and whole peoples. From Cold Spring Harbor, eugenics advocates agitated in the legislatures of America, as well as the nation’s social service agencies and associations. The Rockefeller Foundation helped fund the German eugenics program and even funded the program that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.

The United States Supreme Court endorsed aspects of eugenics. In its infamous 1927 decision, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind”. Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”… This decision opened the floodgates for thousands to be coercively sterilized or otherwise persecuted as subhuman. Years later, the Nazis at the Nuremberg trials quoted Holmes’s words in their own defense.

Given all the above documentation, readers may decide for themselves which adjectives best describe America’s capitalists investing in, and joint venturing with the Nazis and Hitler. What was this acceptance of the murderous treatment of German Jews which would intensify into the Holocaust? Was it collaboration, collusion, co-conspiring, consorting or ‘merely’ cooperating with the Nazis and Hitler in order to facilitate war against communist Russia?

A shocking account of IBM’s complicity with the Nazis is a reminder that people bear moral responsibility for the actions of corporations. IBM founder Thomas Watson was in Berlin in July, 1935, when Black Shirts rampaged through the streets smashing the windows of Jewish stores, and forcing his Jewish friends to sell their department store for next to nothing, and escape to Sweden. Watson had seen the broken windows, taken tea with a German official at a fine home that he told Watson was once the property of a Jew who had fled Germany, but still, Watson accepted a medal from Hitler “in recognition of his services to the Third Reich.” [52]

Edwin Black, in his IBM and the Holocaust raises the important question of whether Hitler’s destruction of the Jews would have happened as rapidly and claimed as many victims without the harvest of deadly information recorded by the Hollerith machines, on IBM punch cards, made by IBM/Dehomag employees working for the Nazi death bureaucracy.  In 1933, International Business Machines began providing Germany with punchcard machines that functioned as precursors to modern computers and databases. Documents have since been uncovered that show that as late as 1941, IBM was working in tandem with the Reich to liquidate Jews from Holland. IBM employees were training SS personnel how to use their machines to record the movement, sorting, and mass execution of large numbers of undesirables, at times right in the headquarters of death camps.

Similar to IBM and GM’s automotive rivals, General Motors was sued by Holocaust survivors for assisting the Nazi war machine. During the trials at Nuremberg after the war it came out in testimony that the German translation of Henry Ford’s The International Jew was required reading for the Hitler Youth.

If the facts concerning the involvement of American Corporations in funding the Nazi machinery of war had been included in high school history textbooks since WWII, how many Americans would feel uncomfortable and ashamed or at least disappointed with this travesty of humanity by their fellow Americans in the past. Would it have made Americans and their admirers less gullible about what they were told by monopolized mainstream media to justify USA’s post Second World War anti-communist genocidal bombings, invasions, covert violence and brutal sanctions?

The Chase Manhattan Bank’s form of colluding with the Reich was especially  heinous. While it functioned as the bank for foreign transactions for fascist Vichy France, Carlos Niedermann, Chase’s representative in Paris, had very good personal relations with the Nazis, and he agreed to their requests that the bank seize the assets of at least one hundred Parisian Jews that were considered especially worth pursuing by the Reich. This doubtless helped the Gestapo capture those people. [19]

Chase Manhattan was hardly alone in this, though. In 1998, the Chase was part of a suit demanding reparations from J.P. Morgan and Citibank for the millions of dollars stolen. Would the customers of these banks have been comfortable investing their money in these companies after the war, had they known of their monstrous collaboration with the Third Reich?

In 1995, Helge Wehmeier, then CEO of Bayer, offered a public apology to Elie Wiesel for that company’s actions during World War II (1939–1945) and the Holocaust.[53] IG Farben, Bayer’s parent company, used slave labour in factories it built in German concentration camps, particularly in the Monowitz concentration camp (known as Auschwitz III), part of the Auschwitz camp complex in German-occupied Poland. [54]By 1943 nearly half of IG Farben’s 330,000-strong workforce consisted of slave labour or conscripts, including 30,000 Auschwitz prisoners. [55]Helmuth Vetter, an Auschwitz camp physician, SS captain and employee of the Bayer group within IG Farben ran medical experiments on inmates at Auschwitz and at the Mauthausen concentration camp.[56] For experiments of an an-aesthetic, the company paid RM 170 per person for the use of 150 female inmates of Auschwitz.[57] A Bayer employee wrote to Rudolf Höss, the Auschwitz commandant: “The transport of 150 women arrived in good condition. However, we were unable to obtain conclusive results because they died during the experiments. We would kindly request that you send us another group of women to the same number and at the same price.”[58] (Laurence Rees (2006) Auschwitz: A New History)

Holocaust. Let us hold our breath and consider what the Holocaust was statistically.

Approximate Holocaust Deaths Country by Country:

Of Jews: in total, approximately nearly 6 million, nearly 2/3rds of the Jewish population of Europe!

Austria 50,000, Belgium 25,000, Belorussia 245,000, Bohemia/Moravia 80,000, Bulgaria 11,400, Denmark 60, Estonia 1500, Finland 7, France 90,000, Germany 130,000, Great Britain 130, Greece 65,000, Hungary 450,000, Italy 7500, Latvia 70,000, Lithuania 220,000, Luxembourg 1,950, The Netherlands 106,000, Norway 870, Poland 2,900,000, Russia 107,000, Romania 270,000, Slovakia 71,000, Ukraine 900,000, Yugoslavia 60,000.

Soviet civilians: around 7 million (including 1.3 Soviet Jewish civilians, who are included in the 6 million figure for Jews),

Soviet prisoners of war: around 3 million (including about 50,000 Jewish soldiers), Non-Jewish Polish civilians: around 1.8 million (including between 50,000 and 100,000 members of the Polish elite), Serb civilians (on the territory of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina): 312,000, People with disabilities living in institutions: up to 250,000, Roma (Gypsies): 196,000–220,000, Jehovah’s Witnesses: around 1,900, Repeat criminal offenders and so-called asocials: at least 70,000, German political opponents and resistance activists in Axis-occupied territory: undetermined, homosexuals: hundreds, possibly thousands also counted in part under the 70,000 repeat criminal offenders and so-called asocials noted above.(source: Holocaust Encyclopedia, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC) The above figures are only for the Nazi extermination program.

On May 13, 1939, the German transatlantic liner St. Louis sailed from Hamburg, Germany, for Havana, Cuba, with 937 passengers. Almost all were Jews fleeing from the Third Reich. 743 had been waiting to receive US visas. The Cuban government refused to admit them. Some passengers on the St. Louis cabled President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking for refuge. Roosevelt never responded. 254 of the passengers returned to Europe would perish in the Holocaust.

Four months before Kristallnacht, the Roosevelt administration had organized a conference in Evian, France, and invited delegates from 32 countries to discuss the Jewish refugee problem. The delegates reaffirmed their unwillingness to liberalize their immigration quotas, and the British refused to even discuss Palestine as a possible haven. One German newspaper’s comment on Evian stands out:  ‘We can see that one likes to pity the Jews…but no state is prepared to … accept a few thousand Jews.  Thus, the conference serves to justify Germany’s policy against Jewry.’’ [58A]

On May 18, 1942 – The New York Times reported, but on an inside page, that Nazis had machine-gunned over 100,000 Jews in the Baltic states, 100,000 in Poland and twice as many in western Russia.  By this date, millions had been gassed.

In the June 10, 44 issue of Nation Magazine, Editor I. F. Stone wrote For the Jews – Life or Death?” – regarding a weak proposal to make so called ‘free ports’ of army camps in the US for refugee Jews. The longer we delay the fewer Jews  there will be left to rescue, the slimmer the chances to get them out. Between 4,000,000 and 5,000,000 European Jews have been killed since August, 1942, when the Nazi extermination campaign began.”

These most violent persecutions, brutal arrests and internment had been done openly in a world basically run by the ‘democratically’ elected legislatures of white industrialized nations, nations that had earlier used their edge in arms manufacture to conquer, colonize and exploit the whole non white population of planet Earth.

When the difficult to watch newsreels and newspaper photos of the indescribably inhuman conditions inside the Nazi concentration camps, of heaps of hundreds of naked bodies and of the cremation ovens were seen, they did still not awaken a change in the of the long standing fierce antipathy and prejudice toward Jews, which sustained an attitude of opposition to the entry of Jews into the USA, even as survivors of the Holocaust, and in spite of the wide open spaces America contained. This then prevailing attitude within the United States of America is an indictment of Americans wholly apart from the indictment of Germans and other Europeans for the Holocaust.

J. Jankovsky-Novak alias Jay Janson , spent eight years as Assistant Conductor of the Vietnam Symphony Orchestra in Hanoi and also toured, including with Dan Tai-son, who practiced in a Hanoi bomb shelter. The orchestra was founded by Ho Chi Minh,and it plays most of its concerts in the Opera House, a diminutive copy of the Paris Opera. In 1945, our ally Ho, from a balcony overlooking the large square and flanked by an American Major and a British Colonel, declared Vietnam independent. Everyone in the orchestra lost family, “killed by the Americans” they would mention simply, with Buddhist un-accusing acceptance. Jay can be reached at: [email protected].

Chapter Five End Notes

  1. “Nazi Germany 1933-1939: Early Stages of Persecution How Hitler laid the groundwork for genocide” My Jewish Learninghttps://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/1933-1939-early-stages-of-persecution/ United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)
  2. Berel Wein, “The Dreyfus Affair,” JewishHistory.org. 
  3. Edwin Black, “The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics” (George Washington University, Columbia College of Arts and Sciences),History News Newwork), (September 2003) [http://hnn.us/articles/1796.html] The text is drawn from Edwin Black’s War Against the Weak: Eugenics and America’s Campaign to Create a Master Race, (Dialong Press, 2018)
  4. “Hitler’s Willing Business Partners” 4/2001, Jack Beatty, a senior editor at The Atlantic Monthly
  5. “Bayer’s CEO Helge Wehmeier Faces Past and Fights for Future”. CNN. 26 January 2002


By Associated Press  Dec 20, 1995

When Nobel Prize laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel spoke in Pittsburgh last week, the head of Pittsburgh-based Bayer Corp. introduced him. Helge Wehmeier, a native of Germany, apologized to Wiesel for the deaths caused by his corporation’s predecessor during World War II.”I have sorrow and regret and apologize for the inhumanity in my country and for what I.G. Farben did to your people,” he said as the audience of 1,800 sat in rapt silence.

  1. The Holocaust[4 volumes]: (An Encyclopedia and Document Collection Volume 1 Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO) pp. 439–440

https://www.amazon.com/Holocaust-volumes…Paul RBartrop, PhD, is professor of history and director of the Center for Judaic, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies at Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, FL. Michael Dickerman is adjunct professor of Holocaust and genocide studies at Stockton University, Galloway, NJ;

Dickerman, Michael (2017). “Monowitz”. In Bartrop, Paul R.; Dickerman, Michael (eds.). The Holocaust: An Encyclopedia and Document CollectionVolume 1. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. pp. 439–440][“I.G. Auschwitz”. Frankfurt: Wollheim Memorial, Fritz Bauer Institute;

  1. Hayes, Peter (2001) [1987]. Industry and Ideology: IG Farben in the Nazi Era. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press)
  2. Robert Jay Lifton and Amy Hackett, “Nazi Doctors,” Anatomy of the Auschwitz Death Campedited by Y. Gutman and M. Berenbaum (Indiana University Press), p. 310
  3. Strzelecka, Irena (2000). “Experiments”. In Długoborski, Wacław; Piper, Franciszek (eds.). Auschwitz, 1940–1945. Central Issues in the History of the Camp. Volume 2: The Prisoners, their Life and Work. Oświęcim: (Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum), p. 362
  4. Laurence Rees (2006) [2005]Auschwitz: A New History.(New York: PublicAffairs), p.278-279


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