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Ford Motors' Ties to Nazism

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Ford Motors' Ties to Nazism

New User | Posts: 4 | Joined: 11/07
Posted: 11/21/07
05:14 PM

Was an American Legend was built on Fascism?

The prosperity of the twenties in America was at least partial because of the shift from railroads and expansion to automated assembly lines and emerging technology. American History books like to portray Henry Ford as an innovative and socially forward man. If that was the case why was he supporting Hitler and profiting from slave labor?

Henry Ford did not invent the automobile or the assembly line. The Europeans had already taken the lead in the development of the automobile and the assembly line, and the Duryea brothers of Massachusetts were developing the automobile in America. Ford is often given credit for both, but while technologically capable, he was also an opportunist of the first caliber.

Ford pictured a car that would be accessible to the masses, so adopting the ideas proposed by Fredrick W. Taylor for a moving assembly line, he revolutionized the auto industry and mass produced the Model T. When he produced his first Model T, in 1909, he sold about 11,000 of them, but by 1914 he had manufactured 248,000, producing at one automobile every 24 seconds.

He was making an enormous amount of money and made headlines by paying his workers five dollars a day, which was twice the going rate. While winning great praise for the wage, in reality, he was only trying to keep his workers from quitting, what was essential a tedious and dehumanizing job. He himself was clearing over $25,000 per day.

Henry Ford cared little for social progress. He was dictatorial and oppressive, using gang style tactics to maintain order and keep unions from his plants. Unions were kept out of Ford plants until 1941. Ford's attitude was that workers were unreliable and shiftless, he blamed the Depression on what he considered the workingman's laziness. Ford was once quoted as saying, "The average worker won't do a day's work unless he is caught and can't get out of it."
His stanch conservatism colored his political views. He was in support of the isolationist policy that most Republicans of the day favored, but his plants garnered huge defense jobs during the war. He was a very vocal anti-Semite, using his car dealerships to distribute the hate pamphlet, "The International Jew," from which Hitler later quoted for Mein Kampf, the leading text of Nazism, and he bought the newspaper the Independent which became an anti-Semitic publication. Ford was heavily invested in the German automobile industry during the first decade of Hitler's reign, meaning Ford profited from slave labor during the Holocaust. The company contends now, that it was a separate subsidiary, but for a control freak like Ford it seems unlikely that he did not know exactly what was going on; and endorsed it in the name of profit.

Henry Ford's far right ideals and stubborn streak cost him in the long run. Reluctant to alter his narrow view caused Ford Motors to slip behind their competitors, like General Motors. Still somehow this tyrannical anti-Semite has remained one of America's folk heroes for personifying the rags to riches mythology Americans love. Just don't look too closely or you will see an empire built on wage slaves in America and literal slaves abroad. - government grant

awsomedude awsomedude
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 11/07
Posted: 11/22/07
09:37 PM

looks like he was right..the unions have almost single handedly destroyed the american automotive industry...  

Balboa455 Balboa455
User | Posts: 90 | Joined: 05/07
Posted: 11/26/07
10:57 AM

Not really news that Henry Ford the first openly supported Hitler and the Nazis during that era. My great grandfather owned a Ford dealership in the 1950's and 1960's and used to say "The only good Ford is a dead Ford." And he wasn't talking about the cars. And my grandfather didn't like unionization either, but he still found Henry Ford to be a loathesome character.  

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