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IBM and the Holocaust

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,130 Ratings  ·  147 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
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by Little, Brown (London) (first published 1999)
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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
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
Erik Graff
Mar 22, 2008 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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
Jun 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Gabriel Schoenfeld
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
Niklas Pivic
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
Mar 01, 2009 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

From - 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
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
Mar 01, 2011 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
David Buccola
Nov 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
Mar 13, 2016 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
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Dan Sharber
Feb 20, 2013 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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Per chi non avesse ancora letto questo libro, ne “L’IBM e l’olocausto” Edwin Black descrive come questa potente compagnia diventò famosa in seguito al suo rapporto con Hitler attraverso l’approvigionamento ai nemici dell’America, i tedeschi, nella seconda guerra mondiale, di apparecchiature meccaniche in grado di elaborare , codificare e catalogare dati per il censimento delle persone in base a razza , condizione sociale e posizione economica."

dal blog
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.
Very sad true about how the most powerful American corporation contributed to the plans of a sicko only for a profit....
Benjamin baschinsky
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.
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: usati, 2gm-olocausto
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an exhaustively researched and written book. We are lucky to have an author expose this story as best available to him. Edwin Black's tireless research into this story is inspiring. Of course IBM's obstructiveness makes it difficult for him to get the total picture.

What is clear is that IBM definitely greased the wheels of Germany's holocaust machine, and built its future on the profits they made during the Third Reich and WWII. Without the Hollerith punch card machines Germany's genoci
Tom Morck
Interesting book detailing the link between Watson (IBM) and the Nazi war efforts and the Jewish persecution. This book had numerous footnotes, and detailed meeting and correspondence to buttress claims that Watson profiteered from the war and close ties with Germany. The book bogged down with too much detail, and I resorted to skimming some chapters.
Keith Shubert
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent. Very well written and researched. It describes a view of international business concerns in WW II that I could not have imagined.
Dereck  Lammers
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An obscure subject that brings a lot of theories to the surface. As always, money seems to be the supreme result between life and death.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long and gets dry in places. The true story of IBM and how it hid itself to do work in Nazi Germany and make a ton of money.

Feb 21, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
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World, Writing, W...: Has anyone read the book IBM and the Holocaust? 1 2 Sep 16, 2017 11:41AM  
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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...
“Behind every text footnote is a file folder with all the hardcopy documentation needed to document every sentence in this book at a moment’s notice. Moreover, I assembled a team of hair-splitting, nitpicking, adversarial researchers and archivists to review each and every sentence, collectively ensuring that each fact and fragment of a fact was backed up with the necessary black and white documents.” 0 likes
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