thumping the tub
Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. (from This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant.
Friday, February 24, 2006

Ok, this is hardly topical but I felt like saying it anyway.

"That Henry Ford, the famous automobile manufacturer gave money to the National Socialists directly or indirectly has never been disputed"
- Konrad Heiden, one of the first biographers of Hitler

In school we hear about the great man who invented assembly line production and paid his workers enough to be able to buy the product they were making thus revolutionising capitalism and the world. We don't hear about how this made almost everyone's job insufferably boring. Or how this meant that workers were now 'as replaceable as piston rods'.

We don't hear about this either...

Ford built tanks for the Nazis
And the Nazis used those tanks
To kill off lots of soldiers
In the U.S. Army ranks
Yes, Henry Ford was a fascist
And a nasty one was he
He'd build tanks for anyone
For the proper fee

Henry Ford spoke to his lackeys
And he said, "isn't this great?
"We'll attack our enemies
"And we'll retaliate!"
Henry Ford was a fascist
And a cunning liar, too
A brownshirt with a swastika
Draped in red, white and blue

Henry Ford spoke to his workers
And he said, "you dare not strike!
"You must be patriotic
"And take on my Third Reich!"
Yes, Henry Ford was a fascist
And he had not a care
About the dying soldiers
That made him a billionaire

Ford built tanks for the Nazis
And he built many more
To kill off lots of peasants
In Peru and Salvador
Yes, Henry Ford was a fascist
I heard that when he died
The last words to leave his lips
Was "arbeit macht frei"

The dollar was his icon
On whichever shore
And Henry's only motto
Was "make money and make war"
Yes, Henry Ford was a fascist
That's all I have to say
I will spit on Henry's rotting grave
Until my dying day


Here are some other views...

During World War I, Ford wrote a series of viciously anti-Semitic articles for The Dearborn Independent, which he then published in book form as a hate-filled diatribe against Jews called "The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem", which basically blamed Jews for all of the problems of the world. The International Jew is still reprinted and used and much admired by neo-Nazis and White Supremacists even today.

And another

"When you think of Ford, you think of baseball and apple pie. You don't think of Hitler having a portrait of Henry Ford on his office wall." In fact, the connection etween Henry Ford and the German dictator predates the Nazi seizure of power in Germany in 1933. Among anti-Semites, Henry Ford had distinguished himself by publishing numerous slanders against the Jewish people in a newspaper he owned in Dearborn, Michigan, so that, in 1931, Hitler told the Detroit News, "I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration."

The admiration was apparently mutual. In July 1938, Henry Ford accepted a medal from the German fascist government, the highest award that could be given to a foreigner by the Nazis. A month later, James Mooney, a top GM executive, was also awarded a Nazi medal "for distinguished service to the Reich." British writer Charles Higham quotes Mooney as saying in 1940, "Hitler is in the right, and I'm not going to do anything to make him mad."

Walt Disney is another one with a bit of a chequered past when it comes to this stuff...

Disney animator Art Babbitt claimed his boss had a strong interest in, if not outright sympathy for, the Bund:

In the immediate years before we entered the War there was a small, but fiercely loyal, I suppose legal, following of the Nazi party . . . There were open meetings, anybody could attend and I wanted to see what was going on myself. On more than one occasion I observed Walt Disney and [Disney's lawyer] Gunther Lessing there, along with a lot of prominent Nazi-afflicted Hollywood personalities. Disney was going to meetings all the time.

The German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, whose documentaries in the mid-30s had helped to glorify the Nazis, claimed that "after Kristallnacht [1938], she approached every studio in Hollywood looking for work. No studio head would even screen her movies except Walt Disney. He told her he admired her work but if it became known that he was considering hiring her, it would damage his reputation."

I also heard a great little story about the staff at Eurodisney calling it Mouseschwitz. When they were told to stop it they began calling it Duckhau.

Just keep all this in mind when they start talking about the 'Captains of Industry'.

posted by michael the tubthumper @ 3:06 pm  
  • At 3:22 pm, Blogger Amelopsis said…

    good stuff michael. yet another reminder that we really shouldn't need, but sadly do.

  • At 3:28 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…


    i do think that is a big part of the story. woo hoo he invented assembly line production so a lot the workers are now unskilled and bored shitless

  • At 4:26 pm, Blogger Delescluze said…

    He gets a mention as arch anti-semite in Philip Roth's latest novel 'The Plot Against America.' I knew he was a capitalist bastard but I hadn't realised that he was a Nazi fellow-traveller if not far, far worse. Keep up the good work!

  • At 5:05 pm, Blogger fatrobot said…

    ford cars are crap
    disney is so boring and formula
    beware big money

  • At 7:12 pm, Blogger justacoolcat said…

    Actually, all of those points that you mentioned were talked about when I was in school.

    It just goes to show most great things have both good and bad consequence.

  • At 9:00 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    fair enough

    they were mentioned in my school to a point but the emphasis was always placed on the positives. i think in this case the negatives far outweigh the positives

  • At 9:06 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    then again, i don't think assembly line production is a great thing for the reasons i mentioned

  • At 10:10 pm, Anonymous Mickey Z. said…

    I guess I must be old because when I was in school, I learned none of this. That's why in my WWII book, I gave a lot of space to the pro-Nazi stances of men like Ford, Lindbergh, etc.

  • At 10:36 pm, Blogger Nölff said…

    Americas history iosn't as pollished as people believe

  • At 1:43 am, Anonymous sk said…

    Enzo Traverso, author of 'Nazi Violence: A European Genealogy' has many interesting things to say about the "wider historical context" in which Nazism emerged (things that have been relegated to the memory hole by Western victors of WWII):

  • At 2:29 am, Blogger That Damned Jezebel said…

    Many companies provided for the Nazis, and of coruse we don't hear about it. We don't hear much about the Bush family and theor ties to nazi Germany either. You must have gone to more permissive schools, because we were NEVER taught anything other than Ford was great and helped everyone get a car. They enver said he also helped Hitler, or that cars led to the suburbs which led to generations of land abuse. They teach that the Civil War was started because Lincoln wanted to free the slaves which is crap. They teach that jefferson beleived in the rights and dignity of all citizens, they don't mention his slaves. They teach that Vietnam was to stop evil torturous communism, not because we wanted markets to revive post war economies. And so is the first step in the fucking sodomizing that is the american life.

  • At 2:30 am, Blogger That Damned Jezebel said…

    Damn my typing sucks, I'm contrite and self loathing right about now, man. Sorry.

  • At 3:33 am, Anonymous peacechick Mary said…

    Excellent post. You never see this in American textbooks. Very few know of it. The other outstanding link to Hitler were some well known and well-publisized clergy who gave Hitler the moral authority to kill Jews. We have those same type of religious here givng Bush the blessings of their God. BTW, FORD means Found On Road Dead.

  • At 4:21 am, Blogger Neil Shakespeare said…

    LOL! Henry Ford WAS a fascist. Well, and a Nazi. He was gonna have his thugs kill all the strikers and his wife finally had to squeeze his head hard with both hands and scream at him: "Enough, Henry!! Enough!!!" And Disney. A morphine addict as well, I hear. "Magic Kingdom" indeed!

  • At 8:03 am, Blogger GraemeAnfinson said…

    that proves that business people will do anything, even support fascism, to stay in power

  • At 10:55 am, Blogger Keir said…

    Maybe it's an obvious point....we all know about the deplorable British and American and German companies helping the Third Reich to hum along. Oh, look, there's a war going on now too! What's changed, then?

  • At 12:47 pm, Blogger a rose is a rose said…

    i knew ford was an anti-semite (of course i learned it OUT of school mr fosco) and i knew disney was a notorious anti-homosexual (methinks thou doth protest too much always comes to mind) but i didn't know to what extent both of these dudes beliefs went. at any rate, i would have never have invited them to have a drink with me

  • At 1:07 pm, Blogger michael the tubthumper said…

    thanks sk

    mickey - i will get that book from you when i can afford it!

    fosco - its the same in the UK believe me. we get told all sorts of shit about how 'great' a man winston churchill was. we don't hear anything about his getting the army to beat up strikers, suffragettes etc. or about his intentional gas bombing of civilians've guessed it...Iraq.

    robot - ford cars are crap

    nice one mary

    neil - got a link for the morphine story??

    keir and graeme - nothing much has changed

    rose - i don't invite fascists out for a drink either

  • At 1:11 pm, Blogger AJ said…

    great post Tubthumper!

    I heard that Ford was quite angry at the Powerful Jews trying to vye into his business, I was not aware of this.

  • At 12:19 am, Blogger Lew Scannon said…

    Ford had plants operating in Nazi Germany. Allied pilots were told not to bomb them, so the local people started using them as bomb shelters.

  • At 3:36 pm, Blogger Rhino-itall said…

    Never heard most of this stuff, but the Ford foundation is one of the largest contributors to socialist organizations in America right now. Look it up, it's disgusting.

  • At 12:05 am, Blogger Lew Scannon said…

    And Rino owns nothing made in China, right?

  • At 12:32 am, Blogger Left of Center said…

    nice one Michael histroy has a way of poking up it's dirty nose once in awhile.

  • At 8:52 pm, Blogger punkirebel said…

  • At 2:16 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Henry ford was awesome!! Of course you delete this because it doesn't fit in your bull socialists ideals but he was a great American. Spit on his grave and a hundred million people like me will spit on yours terrible article poorly written and well just give it up, he wanted to end the bankers (mostly Jewish) hold on every American citizens banks and monetary systems it was a way to kick out the bankers from the USA. Research it and you'll see, he did not sell Nazis tanks what a joke your an idiot!!!!

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Name: michael the tubthumper
Home: Glasgow, Scotland
About Me: Tub-Thumper - 1. A speaker or preacher who for emphasis thumps the pulpit; a violent or declamatory preacher or orator; a ranter. This blog will be a combination of reasoned posting somedays and an occasional rant. 28 years old, I write and research for a couple of websites and also do my own stuff.
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