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"Charles Patterson's book will go a long way towards righting the terrible wrongs that human beings, throughout history, have perpetrated on non-human animals.  I urge you to read it and think deeply about its important message." -- Dr. Jane Goodall
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Henry Ford: From Slaughterhouse to Death Camp

 Excerpt from Chapter 3 of

Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust

by Charles Patterson, Ph.D.

 (New York: Lantern Books, 2002)    © 2002 Charles Patterson
  All rights reserved.     Used with permission.
Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust by Charles Patterson, Ph.D. "Henry Ford, who was so impressed by the efficient way meat packers killed animals in Chicago, made his own special contribution to the slaughter of people in Europe. Not only did he develop the assembly-line method the Germans used to kill Jews, but he launched a vicious anti-Semitic campaign that helped the Holocaust happen." Charles Patterson, Ph.D.

Part One  |  Part Two  |  Part Three  |  Part Four

Hitler regarded Ford as a comrade-in-arms and kept a life-sized portrait of him on the wall next to his desk in his office at the Nazi Party headquarters in Munich. Hitler spoke of Ford in glowing terms to his followers and frequently bragged to them about Ford's financial support.17 In 1923, when he heard that Ford might run for President of the United States, Hitler told an American reporter that he wanted to help. "I wish that I could send some of my shock troops to Chicago and other big American cities to help in the elections," he said. "We look to Heinrich Ford as the leader of the growing Fascist movement in America. We have just had his anti-Jewish articles translated and published. The book is being circulated in millions throughout Germany."18

Hitler praised Ford in Mein Kampf, the only American to be singled out. The reference had to do with the struggle in America against Jewish bankers and unionists: "It is Jews who govern the stock exchange forces of the American Union. Every year makes them more and more the controlling masters of the producers in a nation of one hundred and twenty millions; only a single great man, Ford, to their fury, still maintains full independence."19 In 1931, when a Detriot News reporter asked Hitler what Ford's portrait on the wall meant to him, Hitler said, "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration."20

In order to uncover the secret Jewish conspiracy alleged in the Protocols and The International Jew, Ford ordered Liebold to set up an investigative bureau in New York to spy on prominent American Jews. Ford's detectives shadowed various Jewish leaders, including Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, in hopes of uncovering their plot to take over the world. "When we get through with the Jews," Liebold said, "there won't be one of them who will dare raise his head in public."21

When the Anti-Defamation League and other Jewish groups in America objected strongly to the ongoing anti-Semitic campaign of the Independent and the publication of The International Jew, Ford ignored their objections. Although there was never a formally declared boycott, many Jewish firms and individuals stopped buying Fords.22 Ford began to have second thoughts about his campaign after a Jewish lawyer, whom the Independent's next series of anti-Semitic articles accused of being part of a Jewish plot to control the wheat market, sued Ford for defamation of character. When the case went to trial in Detroit, Ford settled out of court.23

Ford was also put on the defensive by a statement signed by more than 100 prominent Americans, including former president Taft, Jane Addams, Clarence Darrow, and Robert Frost. The statement attacked the authenticity of the Protocols and defended the Jewish people. Surprised by the strong reaction, concerned about car sales, and eager to clear his name, Ford signed a letter sent in June, 1927, to Louis Marshall, president of the American Jewish Committee. In it, he claimed he had not been aware of what his paper had been printing and denied responsibility for both the anti-Jewish articles in the Independent and The International Jew. To demonstrate his sincerity, Ford stopped publishing the Independent in late 1927 and agreed to withdraw The International Jew from the book market.

In the early 1930s, however, copies of The International Jew began again turning up again in large numbers throughout Europe and Latin America, and in the United States the German-American Bund distributed widely the German edition of The International Jew and English language reprints of the Independent's anti-Semitic articles. In 1933 a congressional committee investigated reports that Ford had contributed heavily to the Nazis in return for Hitler's promise to reprint the Independent's articles. 24

Previous   Part Four

17 Lee, Ford and the Jews, 45. After discussing the question of Ford's alleged financial support of Hitler, Lee concludes that while the issue may never be resolved completely, "enough credible sources express belief and cite plausible reasons to indicate that such contributions were highly likely." Ibid, 52-7.
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18 Cohn, Warrant, 178.
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19 Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1971), 639.
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20 Lee, Ford and the Jews, 46.
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21 Nathan C. Belth, A Promise to Keep: A Narrative of the American Encounter with Anti-Semitism (New York: Times Books, 1979), 76.
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22 Lewis, Public Image, 140.
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23 Charles Patterson, Anti-Semitism: The Road to the Holocaust and Beyond (New York: Walker, 1989), 52.
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24 Lewis, Public Image, 148-9.
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Excerpted from Chapter 3 of Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust, by Charles Patterson, Ph.D. (New York: Lantern Books, 2002) Copyright 2002 Charles Patterson Used with permission For more information about the book visit

* * * * *

Dr. Charles Patterson has a Ph.D. in Religion from Columbia University.
He is the author of:

Anti-Semitism: The Road to the Holocaust and Beyond    Excerpt - Chapter One

Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust    Excerpt from Chapter Three

From Buchenwald to Carnegie Hall (co-author).

Read more about Dr. Charles Patterson

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