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American companies in Nazi Germany - Essay Example

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Organising a government democratic or dictatorial is a very tasking job. There is a lot of data to sift through in the process of governance including, birth records to trace ancestry, census documentation and other official planning documents. …
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Download file to see previous pages The need for automation of records plagued Hitler upon his ascent to power in early 1933. Hitler had a dream, to eliminate all Jews from Germany but he also needed to come up with a way to keep track of their deportation or their numbers in enslavement camps. International Business Machines (IBM)’s current technology had initially been produced for only one cause: to count. Whether it was people or company products, IBM had come up with a method to classify and enumerate (Black, Pp 23). It wasn’t long before IBM realized that the technology they had just given the world could do more than just count people or things. It could document data, process it, recover it and the most important part, it could analyze it. IBM had a subsidiary in Germany and the managers came up with an ingenious plan to customise these machines to tap into the furher’s needs; they had the Hollerith punch card technology and all they had to do was input the data that the third Reich wanted. In order to cash in on this opportunity they decided not to sell the machines but rather lease them to Hitler, making billions in the process. IBM knew that their products were being used for illegal purposes, and so to absolve themselves of any blame they would deny any collusion with the third Reich through structured denial of any oral agreements, contracts that were carefully crafted and using letters that had no dates on them (Black, Pp 35). It is important to note that Hitler persecuted and killed over 6 million Jews and that these numbers would not have been achieved had it not been for IBM’s technology. Upon achieving his dream of leading the Nazi, he made it his goal to identify and obliterate the country’s 6 million strong Jewish society. To everyone who followed Hitler, Jews were not just those who were practicing Judaism, but even those who had Jewish blood, in spite of their integration, whether it was due to them intermarrying, or even whether they had converted to Christianity. The first humane solution was to transport Jews out of the country’s ghettos using rail road lines. The next step was using the same to take them into death camps. They needed to do this with accurate timing such that the victims were able to be packed into a train and taken to execution facilities right on schedule. The coordination was such a multifaceted task, that it called for a computer Computers being nonexistent at that time, IBM had to use whatever technology they had at the time which happened to be the IBM punch card and card sorting system—a predecessor to the computer. IBM, primarily through its IBM’s subsidiary, made it their mission in life to make Hitler's program and dream of Jewish annihilation a technologic reality. The company knew people and companies the world over were in financial quagmires and with lots of profits in sight, they pursued this venture with unsettling success. IBM, using its own resources, designed, executed, and supplied this technology to Hitler's Third Reich. This was an under-taking that had never accomplished in the past the automation of human annihilation. IBM built more than 2,000 such machines that were sent off throughout Germany, and even more undocumented thousands throughout German-dominated Europe. At first the machines were used for subtle reasons of manipulation: food allocation for every location was organized in the order of databases, this allowed the Nazi to systematically starve the Jews. Where they required slaves for their factories such as ammunition companies, slave labour was easily identified, followed, and supervised largely through punch cards. Punch cards were so effective during that time that it is said that they even made the human ferrying trains run on ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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