Writer Edwin Black claims to have roughly 20,000 pages of documentation proving that American-as-apple-pie tech behemoth IBM embraced and advanced the twisted dreams of der Führer by supplying crucial technology to the Nazis in a book entitled IBM and the Holocaust.
"Hundreds of thousands of human beings were being identified, sorted, assigned and transported by means of [IBM's] card system," Black says.
Hitler's perverse ambitions were "greatly enhanced and energised by the ingenuity of IBM and Thomas J. Watson, its autocratic chairman."
Virtually all the logistics of the Nazi rat-bastard programme -- certainly the best publicised if not the most extensive of mankind's frequent genocidal enterprises -- can be credited to IBM technology, we are told.
"IBM did not invent Germany's anti-Semitism, but when Germany wanted to identify Jews by name, IBM showed it how. When the Reich wanted to use that information to launch programmes of social expulsion and expropriation, IBM provided the means. When the trains had to run on time between concentration camps, IBM offered the solution."
Even as late as 1945, Black says, IBM execs in the US were in constant touch with their Nazi partners, smoothing over the odds and ends of a business alliance which had by that time been illegal for years.
Ghastly stuff, and savagely damming if it should withstand examination.
Which is not to say that Black is entirely objective here. "My parents are Holocaust survivors, uprooted from their homes in Poland. My mother escaped from a cattle truck en route to Treblinka concentration camp, was shot and buried alive in a shallow mass grave. My father, who had run away from a guarded line of Jews, discovered her leg protruding from the snow and dug her out. They lived in the forests for two years," he reveals.
But he reveals it in the first paragraphs of his book, suggesting that he doesn't feel it's anything worth hiding, and so implying that readers ought not to consider it anything worth questioning.
A good deal more questionable, however, is a purported photo of IBM's Watson taking tea with Hitler, offered in evidence, but which looks uncannily like some "Batboy" collage from the Weekly World News.
An excerpt from the book may be found here. ®