These days, the world is expecting the promised sensation after the archives of Pope Pius XII are disclosed. Pius XII is sometimes called "Hitler's Pope" since the Vatican, during the years of the rule of this pope, if not directly cooperated with Hitler, then, in any case, didn't exactly condemn the extermination of the Jews by Hitler. And the newly opened documents can shed light on some other interesting details.
There's intrigue. But the Vatican says that there are thousands of pages of declassified documents and that they need to be processed and prepared for publication, there are few workers in the Vatican, so it won't be anytime soon. They say one doesn't need to rush ahead of time. It looks like they're gaining time. Although interest in who collaborated with Hitler's hateful Reich and how remains unabated. The story itself is instructive and shows how easily Western morality is bought and the value of the current sanctions which are caused only by unscrupulous competition.
Could the U.S., for example, introduce total sanctions against Hitler's Germany? It didn't do it. Or could the U.S., for example, introduce sanctions against U.S. companies collaborating with Hitler's Germany? Against General Motors and Ford, for example, which up to 1939, supplied Hitler with trucks? They supplied 90% of the armored 3-ton trucks and over 70% of the Reich's medium and large trucks. American corporations built even bombers for Hitler at plants in Germany. They were fueled with U.S. gasoline produced by Standard Oil. We're not talking about the American company Kodak, which used prison labor in concentration camps in Germany during the Second World War. Kodak produced not only film but also detonators and other military products.
But the current global computer giant, IBM, has surpassed everyone. The first IBM president, Thomas Watson, personally met with Hitler more than once and simply admired him. For collaborating with fascist Germany, Hitler awarded Watson who accepted the highest award that could be given to a foreigner from Hitler - the Grand Cross of the German Eagle. This is a white Maltese cross with four eagles sitting in the corners on the swastika. But why did IBM's president, Thomas Watson, deserve such respect from Hitler?
In his long life, he wasn't awarded a single American order. But he deserved an award from Hitler. It was because in the years of the Holocaust, the company IBM, run by Thomas Watson, was hired by Hitler to implement the wild plan to exterminate the Jews. In modern terms, IBM provided Hitler's cannibal project with digitalization. Watson is still the pride of IBM. The flagship supercomputer of the corporation was named after him. It's the computer that answers any questions asked by the human voice and, without turning to the internet, beats the champions of any television quiz.
But what the real Watson is known for, the one after whom the supercomputer is named today? Thomas Watson was the first president of IBM. He held this post from 1915 to 1956. On the eve of Hitler's rise to power in 1933, IBM was the world's leading company in the production of tabulators (electromechanical counting machines). Nobody did it better.
And no one in the world had such advanced technology. When Hitler decided to exterminate all of the Jews, Thomas Watson received an offer from the Führer to cooperate. Knowing what was happening in Germany: anti-Jewish pogroms, dismissals of Jews, whether teachers or lawyers, riots by Hitler's thugs, when they dragged Jews out of restaurants, cinemas, or, grabbing them right on the streets, forced them to run the gauntlet, after which the victim's face turned into a bloody mess. The U.S. press wrote about all of it. Newspapers were regularly delivered to IBM's headquarters in New York, right onto President Thomas Watson's desk. He read it, all along with business correspondence from Nazi Germany, and made decisions to continue cooperation with Hitler.
Meanwhile, there was news from Germany about concentration camps, a huge flow of refugees, and the burning of books in squares. On Broadway, in response, there were protest demonstrations demanding that American companies boycott Hitler. The windows of Thomas Watson's office just overlooked Broadway. But his thoughts were with Hitler. And before starting to exterminate millions of Jews, Hitler first had to count them all. Only the technology of IBM allowed them to do it because the company had repeatedly carried out a census in the United States. And Watson began to carry out a census of the Jews for Hitler. The company Dehomag, IBM's branch in Germany, did it. But did Watson have a choice? Yes, he did. And Watson made his choice.
IBM's tabulators used punch cards. These are cards of the size of a dollar bill and with holes, the combination of which created certain codes that made it possible to conduct a multi-aspect search. It was a prototype of a computer. In 1933, IBM, at Hitler's request, began to introduce the Jews' data to punch cards, compiling a database of millions. Each one of them was to be killed.
Moreover, a sophisticated system for recognizing hidden Jews was developed. There was a questionnaire with cross-questions that allowed identifying Jewish blood even in those who hid their ethnicity, who were baptized and adopted into Christianity, changed their last name, and had a family with an Aryan. Thomas Watson's mathematical system made it possible to track Jewish blood for generations into the past.
This was described in detail in the book by American journalist and historian Edwin Black. It was published recently.
"The census revealed the level of penetration of these elements polluting the Aryan race in German culture, commerce, industry, jurisprudence, and medicine, as well as Jewish property that was subject to confiscation: houses, shops, factories."
Thomas Watson knew well how his data was used, because, in the late 30s, he flew to Berlin every six months. After Germany attacked Poland, Hitler's General Reinhard Heydrich, the chief of the Reich Main Security Office, sent his Einsatzgruppen, groups responsible for the elimination of the civilian population, a secret document entitled "The Jewish Question in Occupied Territory".
"I'd like to stress once and for all that the main measures, that is, the ultimate goal, should be kept secret. The first step is to control the population through a census and registration. Then evacuation follows."
They were evacuated to concentration camps in Poland - Auschwitz, and Treblinka. There, was death. In the territory of occupied Europe, the company IBM, run by Thomas Watson, introduced the data of 11 million Jews to the punch cards, to exterminate everyone without exception. Hitler called it the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question". Thus, the IBM punch card became the weapon to kill millions. In some concentration camps, a number was put on the forearms of the prisoners. The same number was recorded on IBM punch cards. It is believed that during the Holocaust, over six million Jews were exterminated. Slavs — Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians — weren't expecting a better fate in the east.
According to the insane theory of racial superiority that Hitler was guided by, Slavs were to empty their territory in order to provide Lebensraum for Germans. It didn't happen. Thanks to the power of the organized resistance in the USSR and winning the Great Patriotic War. It was done at the cost of huge sacrifices. In that huge battle, many more Slavs were killed than Jews. All of the ethnicities of the Soviet Union suffered enormous losses, which took the main blow in that great struggle.
It'll always be remembered. And the interest in who worked on whose side, fought, who simply did it for the sake of money, who turned a blind eye, the interest in of all this will also be eternal.
After the war, the victims of the Holocaust demanded an apology from IBM for the strategic alliance with Hitler. They didn't get it. But in 2001, IBM sent $3 million to the Holocaust Victims Compensation Fund. This isn't much. But as an act of principle, an admission of their guilt, it's important.