Berlin, February 23, 2001
[The last line
says it all]
Author Denies Claims
By BURT HERMAN,
Associated Press Writer
BERLIN (AP) -- The
author of a book about IBM and the
Holocaust shrugged off accusations by the
company that it was part of a coordinated
campaign including a new lawsuit filed by
wish all these lawsuits would disappear;
I'm not here to help out any lawsuits,"
Edwin Black said Thursday at a
Berlin news conference
German-language version of "IBM and the
Holocaust," published earlier this month
in the United States.
The new class-action lawsuit filed
earlier this month in New York accuses IBM
of being an accomplice in the Holocaust
because it was aware its machines were
used at death camps. It is seeking to
force IBM to open its archives and to pay
In a statement after it was filed, IBM
said the lawsuit was "apparently timed to
coincide with the publication of the book.
The lawsuit appears largely to be based on
the claims contained in the book."
In the book, Black cites documents
showing IBM's German subsidiary provided
and serviced punch-card machines used to
keep records on Nazi prisoners. The cards
kept track of whether they were Jewish,
homosexual or communist, also listing
their eventual fate, from escape to
"special handling" - a euphemism for
anything from torture to execution.
But even the lead attorney in the IBM
lawsuit, Michael Hausfeld of
Washington, has said that he doesn't yet
have the documents proving IBM in the
United States knew its machines were being
used in Nazi death camps.
Black acknowledged he hadn't yet found
documents directly linking IBM to
participating in the Holocaust, and has
also called on the company to open
archives. But he alleges they would have
known how the machines were being
"While most people didn't understand
the technology behind this, I think some
did," he said.
has said the subsidiary, Deutsche
Hollerith Maschinen GmbH, was taken over
by the Nazis before World War II, like
other companies operating in Germany, and
the use of the machines is well-known. One
of the punch-card counters is on display
at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in
The company also acknowledges that the
head of IBM at the time, Thomas J.
Watson, was awarded a medal by Hitler
for his role in global economic relations,
which he later returned.
But Black said documents from archives
in Germany and the United States show IBM
maintained further contact with its
subsidiary in Germany through other
European branches and didn't lose
administrative control of Hollerith until
"It was never about anti-Semitism, it
was never about Nazis,
it was always about
the money," Black said. "We've gone
after the men in the camps, we've gone
after the German companies," he said. "The
final frontier of Holocaust accountability
is the United States. Yes, German
efficiency -- American inventiveness."
items on this website:
Holocaust Industry: Norman Finkelstein
The real reason
why Edwin Black targets IBM: nothing to
do with the Holocaust?
expert denies IBM hardware ran