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IBM is clearly responsible for aiding Nazi Germany in their mission to eliminate the Jews. They are at fault for providing the Nazis with the technology, teaching them to use it, and helping them maintain these systems. They went above and beyond to aid their client with these solutions, but the only problem was this client was a machine of destruction with no regard for humanity. The CEO of IBM Thomas Watson maintained a friendly relationship with Hitler, and was known to share lunches with him from time to time. The fact that he was able to be in the presence of a blatant evildoer and not only continue their relationship but also actively assist him in his devious missions is inexcusable and IBM must be held responsible for promoting such evil.

The reason that IBM aided the Nazis during the Holocaust was to maximize their profit, just like every other company who took up a relationship with the enemy. Germany was in the midst of overtaking all of Europe and American companies did not want to be boxed out of this market. Ford and GM are examples of such companies who provided products and services to Nazi Germany in an attempt to establish this relationship before Germany had overtaken the continent and it was too late. According to the “Mic” article by Jack Smith, the difference between IBM and said companies is manner in which IBM provided solutions. They played a large role in locating and transporting Jews to concentration camps throughout the lands they would conquer. This was done using punch card machines and advanced technology to keep the trains operating like clockwork. IBM would go the extra mile to teach Germans how to use their new toys and help maintain them with monthly checkups. When IBM’s involvement in the Holocaust was brought to light, they released a public statement that claimed their German office was simply overtaken and out of their control. But findings from Edwin Black in his 2001 book proved that the higher management in New York was aware and actively involved in the entire conspiracy. IBM knew all along exactly who they were dealing with and how their own products would be used, yet still chose to ignore all of that for a few extra coins. No amount of money is worth a human life and we must hold all corporations to the same standard as we do humans. They were extremely unethical by dealing with Germany at all. Granted, times were different during the war. Communication back then is incomparable to how news spreads today, and it is possible that they lost control of their German branch. And it has been said that no one knew the full extent of the destruction and death brought upon by Hitler’s Germany until the very end of the war. That being said, I cannot give IBM a way out by claiming gross negligence the same way Richard Bernstein does in his New York Times article. Any man who is dining with Hitler has a full perspective of the man and his intentions. And if IBM technicians were entering containment camps to perform maintenance on punch card machines, then they saw the brutal conditions where Jews were prisoners. They had a choice to help Hitler for profit, or walk away and make it much harder for the Nazis to accomplish their mission. Unfortunately, IBM made the wrong choice and their hands will be tainted until they accept responsibility and apologize.

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