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Henry Ford, Adolf Hitler and the Jewish Conspiracy Plot

John Simkin

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The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, was published in Russia in 1903. It is believed that the man behind the forgery was Pyotr Ivanovich Rachkovsky, the head of the Paris section of Okhrana. It is argued he commissioned his agent, Matvei Golovinski, to produce the forgery. The plan was to present reformers in Russia, as part of a powerful global Jewish conspiracy and fomented anti-Semitism to deflect public attention from Russia's growing social problems. This was reinforced when several leaders of the 1905 Russian Revolution, such as Leon Trotsky, were Jews. Norman Cohn, the author of Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World-Conspiracy (1966) has argued that the book played an important role in persuading fascists to seek the massacre of the Jewish people.

Two men who believed the book was genuine was Henry Ford and Adolf Hitler. Ford commented: "The only statement I care to make about the Protocols is that they fit in with what is going on... They have fitted the world situation up to this time. They fit it now." Ford also sponsored the printing of 500,000 copies of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion in the United States.

Hitler told Herman Rauschning that he was "appalled" when he first read the Protocols: "The stealthiness of the enemy and his ubiquity! I saw at once we must copy it - in our own way of course." He admitted that the Protocols had convinced him the fight against the Jews was "the critical battle for the fate of the world!" Rauschning commented: "Don't you think you are attributing rather too much importance to the Jews? Hitler responded angrily: "No, No, No! It is impossible to exaggerate the formidable quality of the Jew as an enemy." Rauschning then took another approach: "But the Protocols are a manifest forgery... It couldn't possibly be genuine." Hitler replied that he did not care if it was "historically true" as its "intrinsic truth" was more important: "We must beat the Jew with his own weapon. I saw that the moment I had read the book."

Both Ford and Hitler believed that Jewish capitalists and Jewish communists were partners aiming to gain control over the nations of the world. Ford placed more emphasis on Jewish financiers and bankers, because as an industrialist he naturally came into close contact with them. Hitler, on the other hand, was more concerned with Jews who were members of the Social Democrat Party (SDP) and the German Communist Party (KPD) as they were a powerful opposition force in Germany in the 1920s.

Ford was especially worried by the Russian Revolution. If the ideas of Karl Marx established itself in America he would obviously be one of the first to suffer. In his book, My Life and Work (1922), he wrote: "We learned from Russia that it is the minority and not the majority who determine destructive action... There is in this country a sinister element that desires to creep in between the men who work with their hands and the men who think and plan... The same influence that drove the brains, experience, and ability out of Russia is busily engaged in raising prejudice here. We must not suffer the stranger, the destroyer, the hater of happy humanity to divide our people. In unity is America's strength - and freedom."

According to Norman Cohn, the author of Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World-Conspiracy (1966) Ford deplored "the lack of moral standards" in modern commerce and blamed this on the Jews. Ford told one reporter: "When there's wrong in a country you'll find Jews... The Jew is a huckster who doesn't want to produce but to make something of what somebody else produces." In the Dearborn Independent Ford wrote: "A Jew has no attachment for the things he makes, for he doesn't make any; he deals in the things which other men make and regards them solely on the side of their money-making value."

According to James Pool, the author of Who Financed Hitler: The Secret Funding of Hitler's Rise to Power (1979): "In the minds of Ford and Hitler, Communism was a completely Jewish creation. Not only was its founder, Karl Marx, the grandson of a rabbi, but more importantly Jews held leading positions, as well as a high percentage of the membership, in the Communist parties throughout the world. The International Jew stated that since the time of the French Revolution Jews had been involved in numerous movements to overthrow ruling regimes." In Mein Kampf Hitler pointed out: "In Russian bolshevism we must see Jewry's twentieth-century effort to take world domination unto itself."

Both Hitler and Ford contended that 75% of the Communists in Russia were Jews. This is not supported by the facts. At the time of the Russian Revolution there were only seven million Jews among the total Russian population of 136 million. Although police statistics showed the ratio of Jews participating in the revolutionary movement to the total Jewish population was six times that of the other nationalities in Russia, they were no way near the figures suggested by Hitler and Ford. Lenin admitted that "Jews provided a particularly high percentage of leaders of the revolutionary movement". He explained this by arguing "to their credit that today Jews provide a relatively high percentage of representatives of internationalism compared with other nations."

Of the 350 delegates at the Social Democratic Party in London in 1903, 25 out of 55 delegates were Jews. Of the 350 delegates in the 1907 congress, nearly a third were Jews. However, an important point which the anti-Semites overlooked is that of the Jewish delegates supported the Mensheviks, whereas only 10% supported the Bolsheviks, who led the revolution in 1917. According to a party census carried out in 1922, Jews made up 7.1% of members who had joined before the revolution. Jewish leaders of the revolutionary period, Leon Trotsky, Gregory Zinoviev, Lev Kamenev, Karl Radek, Grigori Sokolnikov and Genrikh Yagoda were all purged by Joseph Stalin in the 1930s.

Hitler and Ford also believed that the Jews had been responsible for Germany losing the First World War. The German historian, Joachim Riecker, believes that the core of Hitler's hatred was based on the belief that the Jews were responsible for Germany's defeat. Ford said in The International Jew that "the Jews were not German patriots during the war". They lost the war because "i) the spirit of Bolshevism which masqueraded under the name of German Socialism, ii) Jewish ownership and control of the Press, iii) Jewish control of the food supply and the industrial machinery of the country."

Ford was highly critical of the democratic system in the United States. According to Ford, democracy is nothing but a "levelling down of ability" Ford wrote in the Dearborn Independent that there could be "no greater absurdity and no greater disservice to humanity in general than to insist that all men are equal." Ford went on to argue that the Jews had used democracy to raise themselves up in society. He quotes the The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion as claiming the Jews stated: "We were the first to shout the words, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, among the people. These words have been repeated many times since by unconscious poll-parrots, flocking from all sides to this bait with which they have been ruined.... The presumably clever Gentiles did not understand the symbolism of the uttered words. Did not notice that in nature there is no equality."



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In 1933 Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. Henry Ford's The International Jew became a stock item of Nazi Germany propaganda. It has been claimed that "every school child in Germany came into contact with it many times during his education." The manager of the Ford Company in Germany in the mid-1930s, Edmund C. Heine, explained that the book had the backing of the German government and was an important factor in educating the nation "to understand the Jewish problem as it should be understood."

Carl Krauch claimed that he arranged for the Ford Company to retain its independence during Hitler's rule in the 1930s: "I myself knew Henry Ford and admired him. I went to see Goring personally about that. I told Goring that I myself knew his son Edsel, too, and I told Goring that if we took the Ford independence away from them in Germany, it would aggrieve friendly relations with American industry in the future. I counted on a lot of success for the adaptation of American methods in Germany's industries, but that could be done only in friendly cooperation. Goring listened to me and then he said: 'I agree. I shall see to it that the German Ford Company will not be incorporated in the Hermann Goring Company.' So I participated regularly in the supervisory board meetings to inform myself about the business processes of Henry Ford and, if possible, to take a stand for the Henry Ford Works after the war had begun. Thus, we succeeded in keeping the Ford Works working and operating independently of our government's seizure."

In the 1930s Ford opposed Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. He was especially opposed to the National Labor Relations Act which established the rights of workers to join trade unions and to bargain collectively with their employers through representatives of their own choosing. Workers were now protected from their employers and as a result union membership grew rapidly. Ford refused to recognize the United Auto Workers and used armed police to deal with industrial unrest. Ford told a journalist from Collier's Weekly that left-wing unions "are organized by Jewish financiers, not labor". He added that "a union is a neat thing for a Jew to have on hand when he comes around to get his clutches on an industry."

In 1938 Adolf Hitler awarded Ford the Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle. Ford was the first American and only the fourth person in the world to receive this medal. Benito Mussolini, another of Hitler's financiers, had been granted the same award earlier that year. Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, denounced Ford and other Americans "who obsequiously have accepted tokens of contemptuous distinction at a time when the bestower of them counts that day lost when he can commit no new crime against humanity." Ford was also criticized by the Jewish entertainer, Eddie Cantor, who called Ford "a damn fool for permitting the world's greatest gangster to give him a citation." Cantor then added "the more men like Ford we have, the more we must organize and fight."

According to Charles Higham, the author of Trading with the Enemy (1983), Ford was more willing to help Nazi Germany than the British during the early stages of the Second World War: "Edsel and his father, following their meetings with Gerhardt Westrick at Dearborn in 1940, refused to build aircraft engines for England and instead built supplies of the 5-ton military trucks that were the backbone of German army transportation. They arranged to ship tires to Germany despite the shortages; 30 percent of the shipments went to Nazi-controlled territories abroad."

In 1940 Ford built a new automobile factory at Poissy in the German Occupied Zone. The plant began making airplane engines for the German government. It also built trucks for the German Army. Ford arranged for Nazi war criminal, Carl Krauch and Maurice Dollfus, to run the factory. It made a profit of 50 million francs in the first year of trading. When the plant was bombed by the Royal Air Force, Dollfus arranged for the German government to pay for compensation for the damage done.

On 16th February 1941, Henry Ford delivered a bitter attack on the Jews to The Manchester Guardian saying that the United States should make Britain and Germany fight until they both collapsed. To show his commitment to the America First Committee, Ford employed Charles Lindbergh as a member of his executive staff. This caused great controversy when on 17th December, 1941, ten days after Pearl Harbour, Lindbergh made a speech where he argued: "There is only one danger in the world-that is the yellow danger. China and Japan are really bound together against the white race. There could only have been one efficient weapon against this alliance.... Germany.... the ideal setup would have been to have had Germany take over Poland and Russia, in collaboration with the British, as a bloc against the yellow people and Bolshevism. But instead, the British and the fools in Washington had to interfere. The British envied the Germans and wanted to rule the world forever. Britain is the real cause of all the trouble in the world today."

The Ford plant at Willow Run produced over 8,000 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers during the war. However, he continued to supply the German Army with trucks and armored from its plant in Poissy and Oran in Algeria. In April 1943, Henry Morgenthau and Lauchlin Currie conducted a lengthy investigation into the Ford subsidiaries in French territory. The report concluded that "their production is solely for the benefit of Germany and the countries under its occupation" and the Germans have "shown clearly their wish to protect the Ford interests". Despite the report nothing was done about the matter.

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