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An amazing and damning revelation to a lifelong computer programmer
on June 17, 2017
As a lifelong computer programmer raised in Silicon Valley, user of several punch-card-based IBM computers,
and aware of IBM's general history, I was very surprised when I first heard that the tattooed numbers on holocaust
victims' arms were ID numbers used in IBM data bases (based on punched cards, not full-purpose computers).
That revelation eventually led me to this book, which is THE book on the subject; no others even come close.
The author of this book - himself the son of two holocaust survivors - was also unaware of this connection as a boy
when his parents took him to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in New York City, where a German IBM card punch
machine was positioned at the entrance to the museum, with no indication of its far-reaching usage by the Third Reich.
As an adult, Black researched this connection and found an amazing absence of information everywhere about it,
even among organizations and individuals who had done deep research into all aspects of the holocaust.
Black decided to expose the whole intimate complicity of IBM's revered president J D Watson with the Third Reich,
assisting Hitler in carrying out the business end of his mass imprisonments, slave-laboring and exterminations.
Despite the complete lack of cooperation from IBM in opening their files (to this date), Black went to other sources,
scattered all over Europe and the USA, to root out and correlate 20000 documents that, individually, seem almost routine,
but when arranged chronologically and correlated together, constitute an unassailable, damning testimony against Watson.
The unbelievable amount of time, travel, correspondence, and volunteer work involved spanned several years.
The author is painstakingly careful about quoting directly from actual source documents, so that denial is utterly futile.
It worked - IBM has never attempted to sue Black for libel, slander, fraud, etc, and avoided public comments as much as possible..
I now mention the topic and the book whenever I meet any other tech people in the SF area, who are still uniformly unaware of it.
I perceive that IBM could offer a valid justification that IBM punch cards were just that ("international business machines"),
and that prosecuting IBM for war crimes would be as unjust as prosecuting Underwood for selling typewriters to the Third Reich.
IBM was not selling Zyklon B, or secrets. or munitions materials - what's the problem?
But IBM knows that its deafening silence is its best strategy - if people start asking questions, Black's book is waiting for them.
Having recently read Black's entire book, I can offer my personal assessment of three relevant Wikipedia articles as of 06/17/2017.
Wikipedia article "IBM and the Holocaust" is a good summary of Black's book, but still hedges at several places, with phrases like
"Black argues", "Black asserts", "Black demonstrates", "Black reports", and "Black charges".
The Wikipedia article on "History of IBM" paints an innocent picture of Watson, but does close with a paragraph on Black's book,
although the final sentence deceptively implies Black says that IBM's complicity ended with the US declaration of war. He doesn't.
The Wikipedia article on "IBM" reduces IBM's involvement with the Third Reich to half of one sentence.
IBM's involvement in the holocaust is a towering example of the dark side of "business as usual" in America. Read it.