This revelation is made by British writer Edwin Black, who is about to confront the American giant with a terrible secret from its past. Black’s book “IBM and the Holocaust” is to be published later today. IBM (International Business Machines) was born in Germany in the 1880s, using technology invented by Herman Hollerith, a German-American. American businessman Thomas Watson bought the company in 1911 and under his leadership, IBM ‘s German subsidiary achieved remarkable success. IBM adapted its strategy to cater for its employer. In the USA, in the 1930s. it targeted consultation projects for Roosevelt’s interventionist policies and in Germany, in the years when Hitler led the country on its manic path to destruction, IBM developed tools to aid governmental control of citizens. It is claimed in this book that IBM ‘s primary computer system, at the time reduced to machines which could read punch-cards, was made available to Hitler’s Nazi regime to classify and categorise the system’s “undesirables” for future “processing” in concentration camps. The process started in Prussia, when IBM was contracted to analyse the 1933 census. Special “Jewish counting cards” were processed separately from the cards belonging to “ordinary” German citizens. Special treatment of the new information technology categorization of the citizens allowed the Nazi regime to find out who were the Jews, from which area of Europe, which language they spoke, and so on. It was the first programme of mass classification ever used in the world. So long as Hitler’s Nazi regime paid, IBM was ready to offer its services. It is claimed that IBM was ruthlessly effective in every contract that was offered to it in Nazi Germany, be it classification of election results, preparation of lists for deportment to concentration camps or handling of prisoners within concentration camps. The link between an American multi-national company to the Hitler regime may come as a surprise to some, but not to those who know how to read a history book.
TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON
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