March 16, 2001 at 05:00 AM EST

IBM and the Holocaust

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Edwin Black
genre
Nonfiction
We gave it an A-

This damning chronicle of IBM’s collusion with the Nazis exposes, in horrific detail, the corporation’s opportunistic ride on Hitler’s tail. The punch-card technology that the company maintained for the Third Reich ”virtually put the ‘blitz’ in the krieg for Nazi Germany,” facilitating Germany’s racial census to identify European Jews with deadly speed and precision. In IBM and the Holocaust Black draws chilling parallels between the Nazi occupation of Europe and IBM’s expansion — and mercilessly portrays the ”war tactics” of IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, who not only socialized with der Fuhrer but commanded near-fascist devotion from a staff that attended ”revival-style meetings” and sang corporate anthems in his honor.

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