The crucial technology was a precursor to the computer, the IBM Hollerith punch card machine, which Black glimpsed on exhibit at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, inspiring his five-year, top-secret book project. The Hollerith was used to tabulate and alphabetize census data. Black says the Hollerith and its punch card data ("hole 3 signified homosexual ... hole 8 designated a Jew") was indispensable in rounding up prisoners, keeping the trains fully packed and on time, tallying the deaths, and organizing the entire war effort. Hitler's regime was fantastically, suicidally chaotic; could IBM have been the cause of its sole competence: mass-murdering civilians? Better scholars than I must sift through and appraise Black's mountainous evidence, but clearly the assessment is overdue.
The moral argument turns on one question: How much did IBM New York know about IBM Germany's work, and when? Black documents a scary game of brinksmanship orchestrated by IBM chief Watson, who walked a fine line between enraging U.S. officials and infuriating Hitler. He shamefully delayed returning the Nazi medal until forced to--and when he did return it, the Nazis almost kicked IBM and its crucial machines out of Germany. (Hitler was prone to self-defeating decisions, as demonstrated in How Hitler Could Have Won World War II.)
Black has created a must-read work of history. But it's also a fascinating business book examining the colliding influences of personality, morality, and cold strategic calculation. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I’ve always heard all the accounts of those famous corporate behemoths that have been around forever, and that have profited from the Holocaust—companies like BMW, Kodak, IG... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Paul Arking
Worked for IBM for over 20 years and Watson was always held up to us as a Father image, someone who put family and the individual above all else. What an eye opener! Read morePublished 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
Author Edwin Black has presented a thorough historical record of IBM and its alliance with Hitler's Nazi Germany. Read morePublished 4 months ago by JM
they should make a movie out of this, an indie. maybe the germans could do it. i think it would be much better in german rather than english. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mark G. Jensen
I had never given any thought to the systems behind the Nazi war and killing machine. This book really fills a knowledge gap. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Bob M.
This unbelievable story shows what happens when evil fanatics meet overpowering greed. IBM's top management were more concerned with profits than how the Hitler government used... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Pauly
This is a case study on how big, international business and political institutions cooperate to pursue their "bottom line" at all costs. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Dr. Huber
Critical reading for Corporations and the maintaining real values . The book is a historical and should be part of high school curriculum.Published 7 months ago by Harriet Levine
If I had known (or if many people had known) the history of the early IBM, I don't think it would be the great techological powerhouse it is today. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Stephen E. Shoesmith