Fortune 500 Companies and the Third Reich

8 01 2008 has an interesting piece titled, “Third Reich to Fortune 500: Five Popular Brands the Nazis gave Us.”  It talks about, you guessed it, five companies that had significant dealings with the Third Reich during WWII.  The companies are:  IBM, Hugo Boss, Volkswagen, Bayer, and Siemens.  Here’s a little sample:

At the height of the Nazi terror during the 1940s, it was not atypical for a slave worker to build electrical switches for Siemens in the morning and be snuffed out in a Siemens-made gas chamber in the afternoon.

. . .These days Siemens is being forced to pay due to a series of lawsuits from survivors. So, at least they own up to it, right?

Well, a few years ago, in an act of insensitive fuckery so colossal it could blot out the sun, Siemens tried to trademark the name “Zyklon” with the intent of marketing a series of products under the name. Including gas ovens.

Zyklon, as you may know, was the name of the gas used in the gas chambers, coincidentally invented at Bayer.  It is a relatively short article but worth a read.

The issue that interests me is the issue of how this information should or should not inform our decision to do business with these companies.  I am one to think that we can’t hold children responsible for the crimes of their fathers.  Nonetheless, I don’t think it would be a bad idea for each of the companies to reconcile the past and make amends.

What do you think?

One of Bayer’s contributions to the world.  It makes you feel ‘heroic’.




6 responses

8 01 2008 » Fortune 500 Companies and the Third Reich « Fear of Ignorance

[…] Fortune 500 Companies and the Third Reich « Fear of Ignorance […]

8 01 2008

I am from Austria, a country that was peacefully conquered by the Nazis in 1938.
Hitler was born in Austria and brought us home to the Reich. Almost everyone was involved in Nationalsozialismus, apart from very few rebels risking their lives. My grandparents were one of those . They survived and , being christians, quickly forgave. Reconciliation was a matter of post war survival and even then it would have been ridiculous to boycott the collabourating companies.
It is the more weird after seventy years.
We had ” kaufe nicht bei Juden” , dont buy at the Jews, we were not willing to just turn around the sword and persecute the Nazi- Collaborateure.
If you are interested in boycotting a wicked people, try the palestinians.

9 01 2008

I agree that if people boycotted everyone who has ever done anything wrong there would be nobody left to deal with. As stated in the post, I’m certainly not proposing any sort of boycott.

Why do you feel that way about the Palestinians? Has each and every Palestinian personally killed someone you know? If not, your position concerning them seems ridiculous.

9 01 2008

It was sarcastic.
Palestinian people live under a despotic regime of terrorists and their human rights are badly neglected, the kids in kindergarten are trained to hate jews.
Teenagers are abused and manipulated to use arms and to be ready to die in suicide terror attacks. and whatever sort of evil they are under.

15 01 2008 » Fortune 500 Companies and the Third Reich « Fear of Ignorance

[…] . . Fortune 500 Companies and the Third Reich « Fear of Ignorance […]

17 03 2008
m threadgold

cough* occupation 101 * cough google it watch it,looks like peoples opinions can still be manipulated by mass media – just as the nazis did,isnt that right arabella?

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