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Business and the Holocaust
Articles | Excerpts | Government Resources | Historical Media Reports | Media Reports | Organizations | Restitution | War Crimes Trials
©2000 - 2001 Edwin Black.   Used by permission.
Chapter One 1 |  2 |  3   Chapter Two 1 |  2 |  3 |  4 |  5 |  6 |  7   Chapter Three 1 |  2 |  3 |  4 |  5 |  6 |  7 |  8

The Transfer Agreement:
The Dramatic Story of the Pact Between the Third Reich and Jewish Palestine
  by Edwin Black
Excerpts from Three Chapters

~ Chapter Three - 6 ~

The Weapon Hitler Feared

The Transfer Agreement: The Pact Between the Third Reich & Jewish Palestine

I have given consideration to the series of articles concerning Jews which have since 1920 appeared in The Dearborn Independent... and in pamphlet form under the title "The International Jew"... To my great regret I have learned that Jews generally, and particularly those of this country, not only resent these publications as promoting anti-Semitism, but regard me as their enemy... I am deeply mortified... I deem it to be my duty as an honorable man to make amends for the wrongs done to the Jews as fellowmen and brothers, by asking their forgiveness for the harm I have unintentionally committed, by retracting as far as lies within my power the offensive charges laid at their door by these publications, and by giving them the unqualified assurance that hence forth they may look to me for friendship and goodwill.(35)

Within weeks the retraction appeared in The Dearborn Independent itself. Shortly thereafter, Ford's advertising agencies were instructed to spend about 12 percent of the Model A's $1.3 million introductory advertisement in Yiddish and Anglo-Jewish newspaper-the only minority press included in the campaign. Ford also directed that five truckloads of "The International Jew" be burned, and ordered overseas publishers to cease publication as well.(36)

Ford's capitulation was taken hardest in Germany among Nazi circles. Nazi boycotter Theodore Fritsch wrote to Ford lamenting the loss of both book sales and "the inestimable mental goods" Ford had bestowed upon civilization. "The publication of this book remains the most important action of your life." Yet now, as Fritsch put it, Ford was capitulating to the financial might of the Jews.(37)

Adolph Hitler, when informed of the retraction, tried to avoid comment. Henry Ford was the man the Nazi party and der Fuhrer had himself lionized as the quintessential fighter of the so-called Jewish economic conspiracy. Hitler had once told reporters in Germany that "the struggles of international Jewish finance against Ford... has only strengthened [Nazi] sympathies... for Ford." In Mein Kampf, Hitler had declared that "only a single great man, Ford," was able to stand up to Jewish economic power.(38)

Ford's unexpected surrender was so powerful a loss to Hitler's movement that the Nazi's preferred to ignore the retraction as a mere expediency. Fritsch continued printing "The International Jew." Nonetheless, the tribute to Ford in Mein Kampf was changed in its second edition. The words "only a single great man, Ford," was replaced with the phrase "only a very few." (39)

A lesson had been learned by Hitler and the Nazis. Jewish boycotts and economic influence, in the Nazi view, held the power not only to subvert governments, but silence the most indomitable challengers.

Presidential candidate Norman Thomas declared, "Ford's backdown was good evidence of what a consumers' boycott and a lawyer's million dollar libel suit can do in the way of educating a man who has heretofore been impervious to history." The New York Telegram editorialized, "If one of the richest men in the world cannot get away with an anti-Semitic movement in this country, nobody else will have the nerve to try it, and of that we can all be thankful, gentiles as well as Jews." But perhaps the most poignant summing up was uttered by Will Rogers: "Ford used to have it in for Jewish people -until he saw them in Chevrolets."(40)

Jews also believed in the power of Jewish boycotts. It mattered little whether the real might of the boycott was statistical business harm or simply the perception of it. Boycott was a weapon the Jews were ready and willing to use in emergencies to dissuade the forces of anti-Semitism.

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NOTES

35. Ibid. RETURN TO TEXT

36. Rosenstock, pp. 197-98; Lewis, 147. RETURN TO TEXT

37. Gelderman, 235. RETURN TO TEXT

38. Lewis, 143; Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, trans. Ralph Manheim (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1943), 639. RETURN TO TEXT

39. Hitler, 639, n. 1. RETURN TO TEXT

40. Rosenstock, 193; Lee 84-85. RETURN TO TEXT

©2000 - 2001 Edwin Black   Used by permission.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyright hereon may be used in any form or by any means--graphic, electronic or
mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or information storage and retrieval systems--without the permission of the publisher.


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