Presently, all of the companies operate globally and their reputation is immaculate, but a quick check up on their past reveals a dark and hidden side
Established in 1921 by the German designer Hugo Ferdinand Boss, the company faced serious obstacles to survive on the market until 1931, when Hugo Boss became a member of SS. A quick reminder, SS (Schutzstaffel) is the German military organisation, directly responsible for the violent death of millions of people during World War II. By 1932 the firm was one of the main suppliers of the black uniforms to SS. The development of the organisation increased Boss’s sales dramatically and the company had to bring slaves labourers from France and Poland to support the manufactory.
Asked about the dark past of the company from the Austrian newspaper Profil the son of Hugo Boss, Siegfried said ”Of course my father belonged to the Nazi Party, but who didn’t belong back then? The whole industry worked for the Nazi Army.” (Source: The New York Times)
Hitler was obsessed with the idea to create a pure nation of Aryans but to accomplish this purpose he needed a huge database with personal information about every non-Aryan, especially in the newly acquired territories. Therefore, in 1933 Germany conducted a deal with IBM for supplying and educating cadres with punch card technologies and apparatuses for collecting data. The machines could be called predecessors of the modern computers, their usage had a vital responsibility for identifying and transporting millions of victims to the concentration camps. (Source: JVL)
Siemens was the main corporate partner of the German Nazis during Holocaust, the company owned slave labor factories in Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Flossenberg, Gross Rosen, Mauthausen, Neuengamme, Ravensbruck, & Sachsenhausen, over 50 000 people were forced to work, some of them to death, against their will in conditions of extreme explatation. Another sin of the firm from that time is the direct support for building the gas cameras in the death camps. Furthermore, the general director of Siemens at that time Rudolf Bingel was a personal advisor to Hitler and a fervent Nazi supporter. (Source: BBC)
Henry Ford, the founder of the company, was passionate anti-Semitic and supporter of the Nazi’s regime. In his book ‘Mein Kampf’, Hitler admired the notable industrialist, an additional fact for the strong relationship between both is that the Führer kept a portrait of Ford on his desk for inspiration.
Ford Motor Company officially declared that the European division was not under the control of the headquarter in the US, and deny to accept responsibilities about the thousands of slaves who worked in the European factories of the company. (Source: Independent)
The automotive company is established in 1937 by the German Labour Force. In that period of time, the cars were considered as luxury goods for the wealthy part of the society in Germany. In order to provide affordable for the average German vehicle, Hitler ran the project Volkswagen (The People’s Car).
For the full accomplishment of the plan, he called the well known automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche and together designed the new car. So far nothing bad, but 4 out of 5 labours in its factories were slaves and there was something called the ‘dying rooms’ where female forced labourers who gave birth had to leave their babies to die. (Source: The guardian)