The following correspondence originally took place on my Facebook wall, upon my post, “IBM Collaborated with Nazis, Used Technology to Process Concentration-Camp-Victim Data During WWII“…
International Business Machines (IBM) was founded in 1896 in Endicott, NY, under the name, “Tabulated Machines Company.” In 1911, it was incorporated under the name “Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation.” In 1924, it was given its current title by then-CEO Thomas J. Watson, who oversaw the company during its collaboration with Nazi Germany before and during World War II.
From 1933 to 1945, IBM was hired by the Third Reich to provide them with punch-cards, and custom-configured punch-card reading machines, that would allow the Nazis to quickly and efficiently process concentration camp victim data. With the punch-card machines requiring constant service, and the gathered victim information stored within, IBM housed customer sites in almost every concentration camp, so that the company could keep their operation running smoothly, and quickly tabulate the results of data for their fascist employers. Incidentally, even the infamous Auschwitz arm tattoo began as an IBM number!
Before U.S. involvement in WWII, then-CEO of IBM, Thomas J. Watson, made numerous arguments to the international community to lift sanctions against Germany (though, he was already knowingly working for the Nazis). In 1937, during the same year that he became president of the International Chamber of Commerce, Watson received the Cross of Merit of the Decoration of the German Eagle with a Star medal, the second-highest honor bestowed upon foreigners by Nazi Germany. However, after receiving much criticism for accepting the medal, in 1940, he returned it.
Kenny C.: i love technology.
Rayn: This sort of information puts a whole new meaning to the catchphrase, “Isn’t technology wonderful?”