You’re most likely familiar with IBM. It’s one of the world leaders in computer manufacturing.
Now though, it has been revealed that IBM had links to the Nazi party during the Second World War.
IBM shareholders are understandably unimpressed with this revelation.
The enormous New York based tech-company operates all around the world and has an annual revenue of $US81 BILLION, with over 380,000 employees.
IBM has become one of the world’s most respected businesses for many years now, with Nobel Prize winners and technological breakthroughs, however this new information now puts the company’s reputation at risk.
During the 1930s, IBM was instrumental in providing technology for the Nazi regime to identify and hunt down Jews, before sending them to concentration camps.
As a result, it is possible that IBM’s involvement with the Nazi party in the Second World War assisted with the loss over 80 million lives.
Most investors wouldn’t know about this past, with IBM certainly not bragging about their history, however, one of IBM’s machines has been put on display at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, with the IBM logo being clearly visible.
This machine was designed to help process large amounts of information, such as a census or major operation.
In addition, the mechanism was used while organising the German census of 1933, which was the first time a record was constructed to highlight the amount of Jews in Germany.
It was also used to record each death in German concentration camps, as well as their cause of death.
American investigative author Edwin Black was mystified about the links between IBM America and the Nazi party, which resulted in the most evil act humanity has seen to date.
What makes matters worse is that according to Black, there are over 20,000 documents that reveal IBM’s role in the war. Black also revealed that the IBM headquarters in New York knew what the Germans were using the technology for and yet they continued to supply them with the equipment.
‘IBM NY always understood from the outset in 1933 that it was courting and doing business with the upper echelon of the Nazi Party,’ Black said.
The story doesn’t end there, Black discovered that IBM boss Thomas Watson, was a supporter of the Nazis since the early days of Hitler.
The world must extend ‘a sympathetic understanding to the German people and their aims under the leadership of Adolf Hitler,’ wrote Watson in a letter to Nazi Economics Minister Hjalmer Schacht in 1937.
With Hitler later awarding Watson a special Swastika-bedecked medal, in honour for his and IBM’s services to the Third Reich.
However, in 1940 Watson was forced to return the medal after the American public was outraged that such a prominent business man could have such a medal awarded to him. Watson still received 1% of all business profits derived from Nazi deals during the war.
Meanwhile, IBM continued to visit Germany to service the machines, deliver new blank cards and reconfigure information requested by the SS or Gestapo.
Even worse is that the machines weren’t sold to the Nazis, they were leased, which meant that IBM continued to receive funds from the monster army throughout the war.
In addition, Watson even cut the cost of rent for Germany by 10% in 1941, which resulted in them saving roughly 1,500,000 Reichsmarks annually.
However, that very same year IBM started to manufacture technology to assist the US, who had only just joined the war, which meant that IBM was fuelling both sides.
By 1945, IBM was making $140 million renting this technology from the US alone. As the German lines continued to roll back, IBM worked tirelessly recovering every file and every piece of tech they had given to the Germans in an attempt to cover it up, however, they ultimately failed with the information only being revealed 50 years after Watson’s death.
When the information was released in 2001, IBM’s share price fell to record lows
It has since recovered, but investors should know the history of every company that they are investing in, no matter how dark it may be.