How many of you know the origin of IBM? How and why it was created? Why are there so many legal cases against IBM accusing the company of genocide and facilitating the Holocaust? Was IBM really involved in the Holocaust? Did IBM started laying groundwork for the Holocaust even before Hitler came to power? What was the exact nature of IBM’s role in the Holocaust? Why the same IBM involved in the Holocaust is also behind Aadhaar? Why did the Indian Government choose IBM for such a program that facilitated the Holocaust? Did not the Indian Government know the history and the numerous legal cases going on against IBM in the International courts?
Mankind barely noticed when the concept of massively organized information quietly emerged to become a means of social control, a weapon of war, and a roadmap for group destruction. The unique igniting event was the alliance between the Nazis and one of today’s top most multinational technology company. That company was International Business Machines (IBM).
Hitler’s obsession with Jewish destruction was hardly original. There had been czars and tyrants before him. But for the first time in history, an anti-Semite had automation on his side. Hitler didn’t do it alone. He had help. Almost 50 years before Hitler came to power the wheels of this technology driven destruction was already set in motion. Ironically, Nazi fascism resonated more with certain men of ‘great vision’ – like Prescott Bush (George Bush’s grandfather) – and presidents of America’s most prestigious companies – such as Henry Ford and others at Wall Street who financed Hitler’s war machine. The world has already seen glimpses of that ‘great vision.’ It could be argued that Hitler was just a catalyst, strategically utilized by these Titans of Technology.
Origin of IBM
In the early 1880s, Herman Hollerith, a young employee at the U.S. Census Bureau, conceived of the idea of creating readable cards with standardized perforations, each representing specific individual traits such as gender, nationality, and occupation. The millions of punched cards created for the population counted in the national census could then be sorted on the basis of specific bits of information they contained—thereby providing a quantified portrait of the nation and its citizens. In 1910, the German licensee Willy Heidinger established the Deutsche Hollerith Maschinen Gesellschaft (German Hollerith Machine Corporation), known by the acronym “Dehomag.” The next year, Hollerith sold his American business to industrialist Charles Flint for $1.41 million ($34 million in 2012 dollars). The counting machine operation was made part of a new conglomerate called the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR). Flint chose Thomas J. Watson, the star salesman of the National Cash Register Corporation, to head the new operation. The German licensee Dehomag later became a direct subsidiary of the American corporation CTR. In 1924, Watson assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of CTR and renamed the company International Business Machines (IBM).
IBM – Nazi Alliance
IBM’s strategic alliance with Nazi Germany – began in 1933 in the first weeks that Hitler came to power and continued well into World War II. As the Third Reich embarked upon its war plan, IBM and its subsidiaries helped create enabling technologies, step-by-step, from the identification and cataloging programs of the 1930s to the selections of the 1940s. Only after Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and other minority and ethnic groups deemed undesirable by the regime were identified – a massive and complex task – could they be targeted for efficient asset confiscation, ghettoization, deportation, enslaved Iabor, and, ultimately, annihilation. It was a cross-tabulation and organizational challenge so monumental, it called for a computer. Of course, in the 1930s no computer existed.
But IBM’s Hollerith punch card technology did exist. Aided by the company’s custom-designed and constantly updated Hollerith systems, they were able to automate the persecution of minorities. Historians have always been amazed at the speed and accuracy with which the Nazis were able to identify and locate European minorities. The pieces of this puzzle have never been fully assembled. One of the last great mysteries of the Holocaust – how did Hitler get the names? The fact is, IBM technology was used to organize nearly everything in Germany and then Nazi Europe, from the identification of the Jews, Gypsies and others in censuses, registrations, and ancestral tracing programs to the running of railroads and organizing of concentration camp slave labor.
IBM and its German subsidiary custom-designed complex solutions, one by one, anticipating the Reich’s needs. They did not merely sell the machines and walk away. Instead, IBM leased these machines for high fees and became the sole source of the billions of punch cards the Nazis needed.
Legal Cases Against IBM
In February 2001, an Alien Tort Claims Act claim was filed in U.S. federal court against IBM for allegedly providing the punched card technology that facilitated the Holocaust, and for covering up German IBM subsidiary Dehomag’s activities. In April 2001, the lawsuit was dropped. Lawyers said they feared proceeding with the suit would slow down payments from a special German Holocaust fund created to compensate forced laborers and others who had suffered due to the Nazi persecution. IBM’s German division paid $3 million into the fund, although the corporation made clear that it was not admitting liability with its contribution.
In 2004, the human rights organization Gypsy International Recognition and Compensation Action (GIRCA) filed suit against IBM in Switzerland. However, the case was dismissed in 2006 due to an expiration of time under the statute of limitations.
IBM & Aadhaar
During 1967 IBM was kicked out of India owing to a power struggle with the government. With a market share of 80 per cent, IBM was able to dictate the industry’s growth rate in size as well as sophistication by deciding which products to market in India. The troubles for IBM began when the Electronics Committee, headed by the father of India’s space programme Vikram Sarabhai, wanted it to end its business practice of bringing in old machines to India, refurbishing and leasing them out at inflated rates to government departments. In reply IBM said it wanted India to grow step-by-step in computer technology and thereby created a culture of dependence and hindered natural growth of engineering and programming skills among users.
In 2011 the Government of India had shortlisted IBM for the implementation of the 20 billion Rs Aadhaar project. However owing to protest from the public and hostilities from other companies like EMC and Cisco there was a scuffle at the very top-level that forced IBM to back off. Later however IBM enters through the backdoor via the project for Aadhaar Enrolment awarded to Virgo Softech Limited in alliance with IBM. The exact nature of the relation between IBM & VSL is a matter of investigation. Apart from Aadhaar there are numerous other critical services of national importance for which Government of India has contracted IBM.
It has been known that the entire Aadhaar exercise has provided market for biometric and surveillance technology companies. It is noteworthy that the World Bank has launched eTransform Initiative with partners like IBM, Gemalto, Intel, Safran Group, Microsoft, and Pfizer. There is an extraordinary dependence of Aadhaar on such corporations; many of whom have close links with foreign intelligence agencies who can access Aadhaar data. There is a lawsuit filed against FBI for information about the agency’s plans to transfer biometric data to the Department of Defense. It is now commonly known that American firms with links to CIA were given contract for Aadhaar and acknowledged by the Ministry of External Affairs itself, which has prompted a growing concern that will Aadhaar database than also be transferred to the US Department of Defense?
The concerns of security with Aadhaar project was correctly assessed by the BJP when it was in opposition dubbing it as a fraud scheme. “This is a dangerous programme to regularise the illegal stay of migrants in the country. Is Bharat Mata so open to illegal migrants? The Aadhaar is also in contravention of Supreme Court directives. The entire biometric data of people enrolled has been stored outside the country,” BJP’s national spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi had slammed Aadhaar in 2012.
We ask this question again in national interest as we have against the Central Bankers taking over of Indian rivers – Can the current self-proclaimed nationalist Government stand up to its words and take action against the forceful and covert implementation of Aadhaar by foreign multinational companies and intelligence agencies involved in the Holocaust?