Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “IBM and the Holocaust” as Want to Read:
IBM and the Holocaust
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

IBM and the Holocaust

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,064 Ratings  ·  139 Reviews
IBM & the Holocaust tells of IBM's strategic alliance with Nazi Germany--beginning in 1933 in the 1st weeks that Hitler came to power & continuing well into WWII. As the 3rd Reich embarked upon its plan of conquest & genocide, IBM & its subsidiaries helped create enabling technologies, step-by-step, from the identification & cataloging programs of the 3 ...more
592 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Lewis Weinstein
This is truly a shocking book, dealing with indisputable facts that IBM (and Tom Watson specifically) knowingly helped Hitler prepare for war and identify Jews for annihilation, in return for enormous profits. These actions will be dealt with in the sequel to A FLOOD OF EVIL. So far, I have read the portion of the book to the year 1937. Much more to follow.

NOTES from IBM and the Holocaust ...

... When Hitler came to power, a central Nazi goal was to identify and destroy Germany's 600,000-member J
...more
Muhammad Shakhawat Hossain
"পরতিটি ঐশবরযযের পেছনেই রয়েছে একটি বড় অপরাধ"
-অনার দি বালজাক


ইনটারনযাশনাল বিজনেস মেশিন (আইবিএম) করপোরেশনের নাম শোনেননি এমন মানুষ আজকের দিনে পাওয়া দুষকর। আইবিএম পৃথিবীর শীরষসথানীয় পরযুকতি উদভাবনকারী পরতিষঠান। আইবিএম এর মতো অনয কেউই সমভবত পৃথিবীকে পরযুকতিগতভাবে এতটা সমৃদধশালী করতে পারেনি। ২০১৩ সাল পরযনত টানা ২২ বছর সবচেয়ে বেশী উদভাবনের পযাটেনটের রেকরড আইবিএমের দখলে ছিলো। আজকের বহুল পরচলিত এটিএম মেশিন, হারডডরাইভ, সিডি-ডিভিডির পূরবসুরী ফলপি ডিসক, ইতযাদি সবই আইবিএমের অবদান। পরায় সাড়ে ৪ লকষ করমী নিয়ে ব
...more
Erik Graff
Mar 22, 2008 Erik Graff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Recommended to Erik by: Erik Flindt Badger
Shelves: history
This was not a fun book. Following the substantiation of the claim that IBM and subsidiaries knowingly facilitated the murder of millions of Jews, Socialists, Communists, pacifists, prisoners of war, gypsies, homosexuals and other "deviants" as part of their normal business practices is almost too much to take--not because it is difficult or because the proofs are obscure--they are not, but because this is too much the way of the corporate world, our American world. Similar practices are going o ...more
Natalie Zarowny
Jan 29, 2010 Natalie Zarowny rated it really liked it
This book is incredibly important as the first comprehensive work on the subject of IBM and its unfortunate involvement in the Holocaust.
In the introduction to the novel, Black warns us that, “Skipping around in this book will only lead to flawed and erroneous conclusions. So if you intend to skim, or rely on selected sections, please do not read the book at all.” (11) This is good advice in an ideal world. However, it would take a normal person such a very long time to read this, and that’s get
...more
Siobhan
May 20, 2008 Siobhan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
The first time I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, I was struck by an IBM tabulating machine. So that's how they did it, I thought. That's how they kept track of everyone.

Edwin Black visited the same museum, stood before the display of the same machine, and did a very different thing: he used that incident to write this book. As the son of Holocoaust survivors, it's not surprising that Black's reaction was strong. He recalled standing in front of the display for quite a long time,
...more
Gabriel Schoenfeld
May 11, 2013 Gabriel Schoenfeld rated it did not like it
Edwin Black greatly exaggerates the significance of I.B.M.'s contribution to the Holocaust. A case in point: he asserts that, as World War II progressed, "eventually, every Nazi combat order, bullet and troop movement was tracked on an I.B.M. punch card system." Every bullet? It is, moreover, simply not meaningful to declare, as Black does, that by 1939 or thereabouts, Germany, using IBM's Hollerith machines, ''had automated virtually its entire economy.'' One would not say such a thing even abo ...more
Bree
Jun 05, 2008 Bree rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone especially those with an interest in the holocaust
omg i might never buy another IBM product again...truely terrifying and appalling.

This book actually made me physically ill. The thought that the Nazi extermination machine was powered by one of the most influential men of that era, not only in the US but abroad, by a man who not just communicated and recieved a medal from Hilter but also supported the Nazi (German ppl)regime and knew what was going on to the Jewish people, played both sides of the ocean (American being his number 1 customer and
...more
Niklas Pivic
Aug 16, 2011 Niklas Pivic rated it it was amazing
From the beginning of this book, two paragraphs spring to mind to not only contrast the mind of what I deem as the psychopathology behind major corporations, but what also separates murderous decisions from having to be the one at the end of the whip, so to speak:

Quickly, Cheim learned the method. Every day, transports of slave laborers were received. Prisoners were identified by descriptive Hollerith cards, each with columns and punched holes detailing nationality, date of birth, marital status
...more
Bettie☯
Mar 01, 2009 Bettie☯ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"In using statistics [the punch cards:] the government now has the road map from information to deed."

Overwritten and fanatically read this is nevertheless chilling stuff.

---

IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation

ISBN: 0609607995

http://www.amazon.com/IBM-Holocaust-S...

From Amazon.com - Was IBM, "The Solutions Company," partly responsible for the Final Solution? That's the question raised by Edwin Black's IBM and the Holocaust, t
...more
Jessie
How did the Nazis know where to go to find the Jews? It wasn’t luck—it was technology. IBM provided the technology that enabled the Nazi regime to slaughter millions of people. Would the Holocaust still have happened if IBM hadn’t provided their tabulators to the Third Reich? Certainly. But to such a massive scale? Maybe. If the trains had not been so impeccably scheduled, and the minorities so rapidly censused and processed, the Nazis might have been slowed down a bit. This was a heavy read for ...more
Erwin
Mar 01, 2011 Erwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
IBM and the Hollocast

Very interesting story. I would not typically choose to read something that sounds so sensationalized, and though there are some overly dramatic sections, it is a very interesting read.

IBMs first large customer was the US census - IBM supplied "Hollerith" punch card reading/sorting machines to the census bureau.

During the holocaust, the Nazi's would walk into a town and know the names of all the Jewish people they were supposed to intern. The names came from various versions
...more
David Buccola
Nov 17, 2013 David Buccola rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating book on so many levels. It has long been known that IBM and many other American companies did business with the NAZIS. But I had no idea they were so instrumental in providing the technology needed to carry out the Holocaust. Edwin Black does a superb job of weaving this tale.

My biggest problem with the book is Black's naiveté. At one point he writes, "Ironically, Hitler's fascism resonated with men of great vision, such as Henry Ford." There was nothing ironic here. Ford,
...more
Raven
Mar 13, 2016 Raven rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An incredibly well documented, intensively footnoted condemnation of IBM's rise as a multinational conglomerate right before World War II, and the cascading effects of their prioritization of profits. Chilling to reflect on what "don't ask, don't tell" can get you in the use of technology... I'm sure many of the IBM worker bees of the era were unaware of the human cost being paid by the victims of the Holocaust for their delivered efficiency, but many of the IBM employees were not only involved, ...more
Marek
Oct 04, 2014 Marek rated it it was ok
It took me almost a year to go through about 500 (e-)pages.

Topic of the book got my attention straight away. How one of the biggest IT services companies indirectly helped Nazis in exterminating the Jews through World War I I. What's even more interesting is how Holleriths machines helped to form and grow early use of machines in statistics and analytics.

While this is interesting and indeed discussed in the book, 95% content of the book is dedicated to business operations of Watson's and Hitle
...more
Dan Sharber
Feb 20, 2013 Dan Sharber rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book was written for skeptics. because of that it is meticulously documented and everything down to personal correspondence is painstakingly recreated. and if you are a skeptic, you should be convinced. if you already believed though and were not at all surprised that corporations made money with the nazis then this book can become tedious. to me what was most interesting was not that ibm colluded with the nazis but rather that high tech was used in the total destruction of a people. the sh ...more
David Bales
Feb 24, 2012 David Bales rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
A rather chilling and exahaustingly-researched book about how I.B.M. aided the Nazi regime in Germany from 1933 on, reaping gigantic profits from its sale of tabulation machines and cardboard punch cards that were used in everything from racial censuses to coordinating the movements and whereabouts of millions of prisoners in the concentration camp system. After 1941, I.B.M.'s German subsidiaries funnelled the proftis to the corporation via Switzerland, all the while I.B.M.'s chairman served as ...more
aaron
May 01, 2007 aaron added it
Another fun one. Amazing amount of research, and while it certainly criticizes IBM, the presentation is more historical than political or emotional.

I *did* leave this book convinced that IBM had a dark, dirty beginning, which only played into my generally negative view of most multinational corporations, and my disappointment and the crap people will do for money. Nevertheless, it's a really fascinating book; one way in particular being just getting a really detailed description of the machinat
...more
Melita
It is important that this book was written so that the truth about IBM's actions in Nazi Germany are revealed. However, the book veered into dangerous territory when it tried to make eugenics look like a Nazi Germany phenomenon when it was in fact a significant movement in various other countries too.
Nerio
Very sad true about how the most powerful American corporation contributed to the plans of a sicko only for a profit....
Benjamin baschinsky
Feb 07, 2008 Benjamin baschinsky rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece, how author Edwin Black links the Corp giant with the Nazi's.
Kirk Smith
Mind blowing historical information delivered in the most belabored and tedious fashion. The Goodreads review has the entire story in a nutshell. Punch card computing! Bloody fucking efficiencies.
Quratulain
Mar 11, 2017 Quratulain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent
Chris
Feb 21, 2008 Chris rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015
I am finally, finally, *finally* done reading this darn book. After years of it sitting on my "currently reading" shelf, half read, I decided to make a big push and finish it. And I did. And boy, did I remember why I put it down in the first place. I firmly believe that the only way you can read this book is to read it for a few hours every single day until you're done. Otherwise you'll put it down and never pick it up again.

This author completely lost the forest for the trees. I mean, he decide
...more
Héctor
Mar 31, 2007 Héctor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
HOLLERITH

Casi todos los campos de concentración nazis tenían un departamento para el sistema Hollerith conocido como el Hollerith Abteilung. En algunos campos, como Dachau y Storkow, se instalaron hasta dos docenas de clasificadoras, tabuladoras e impresoras de IBM. En otros sólo trabajaban con perforadoras y sometían a sus tarjetas a sedes centrales, como Mauthausen o Berlín. Casi siempre el equipo de IBM estaba localizado dentro del campo mismo, consignado a un departamento especial llamado Of
...more
Ido
May 27, 2015 Ido rated it really liked it
Overall a very good book. I found Edwin Black's research to be thorough and very detailed. I did have some issues with the fact that he sometimes used the same facts/quotes to support different (although parallel) conclusions and statements but other than that he did an amazing job.

The book is pretty damning about IBM. It's clear that Thomas Watson was a Capitalist through and through. Nothing stood in his way of making money and a profit. I feel, given the information in the book, that he was a
...more
Erwin
Aug 16, 2012 Erwin rated it really liked it
IBM and the Hollocast

Very interesting story. I would not typically choose to read something that sounds so sensationalized, and though there are some overly dramatic sections, it is a very interesting read.

IBMs first large customer was the US census - IBM supplied "Hollerith" punch card reading/sorting machines to the census bureau.

During the holocaust, the Nazi's would walk into a town and know the names of all the Jewish people they were supposed to intern. The names came from various versions
...more
Karen
Sep 28, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
This is another hard read from Edwin Black, but it is a very important topic. It is a troubling topic in so many ways. First and formost, to know that corporations you grew up with aided the Nazi extermination of Jews, Jehovah's Witnesses, Gypsies, and others borders on the unfathomable. To see such raw greed, with a complete lack of any moral fiber, is alarming.
Thomas Watson was such a person. He was the president of IBM, and continued operations in Nazi Germany, throughout the war, using decep
...more
Simon Eastman
Nov 10, 2015 Simon Eastman rated it really liked it
A powerful and disturbing book Edwin Black reveals a chunk of World War 2 history that is never an easy read. IBM's involvement in supplying administrative equipment to Nazi Germany is a little known chapter of history largely because IBM does not wnat it known. This book is meticulously, almost obsessively well documented and makes it point with blunt uncompromising clarity. It shows clearly that IBM under the leadership of Watson were able to help speed the Jewish Holocaust from the collecting ...more
Paul
Aug 26, 2014 Paul rated it really liked it
I’ve always heard all the accounts of those famous corporate behemoths that have been around forever, and that have profited from the Holocaust—companies like BMW, Kodak, IG Farben/Bayer, and our own American company, Ford. To this day, there are still many people who boycott those companies for their part in what is probably the most heinous chapter in the history of humanity.

One company, though, that I’ve never associated with that list was IBM. Reading this book was, therefore, quite the eye
...more
Paul Bailey
Jun 19, 2015 Paul Bailey rated it it was amazing
One of the top five most important books i have ever read along with the bible, speeches of martin luther king, writings of martin luther, and rules for radicals by alinsky and definately the most timely. I've only read the first few chapters so far, my mind is blown. How did something this big get covered up for so long? how is this not taught in every history class?

Although the text of this is only historical in nature the modern parallels are stunning and earthshaking. All the major laws we
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Master Plan: Himmler's Scholars and the Holocaust
  • Hitler's Pope: The Secret History of Pius XII
  • What We Knew: Terror, Mass Murder, and Everyday Life in Nazi Germany
  • After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation
  • Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust
  • First Into Nagasaki: The Censored Eyewitness Dispatches on Post-Atomic Japan and Its Prisoners of War
  • Hitler's Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State
  • Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944
  • The Good Old Days: The Holocaust as Seen by Its Perpetrators and Bystanders
  • Blowback: America's Recruitment of Nazis and Its Destructive Impact on Our Domestic and Foreign Policy
  • The Theory and Practice of Hell: The German Concentration Camps and the System Behind Them
  • Germans Into Nazis
  • Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust
  • The Long Road Home: The Aftermath of the Second World War
  • The Fall of Berlin
  • The Myth of Hitler's Pope: Pope Pius XII And His Secret War Against Nazi Germany
  • Goering
  • Perpetrators Victims Bystanders: The Jewish Catastrophe 1933-1945
27423
Is an American syndicated columnist and journalist. He specializes in human rights, the historical interplay between economics and politics in the Middle East, petroleum policy, the abuses practiced by corporations, and the financial underpinnings of Nazi Germany.
More about Edwin Black...

Share This Book