Henry Ford & the Nazis

>>> From Who Financed Hitler: The Secret Funding of Hitler's Rise to Power 1919-1933 by James Pool and Suzanne Pool (The Dial Press, 1978), pp 111, 129:

"That Henry Ford, the famous automobile manufacturer gave money to the National Socialists directly or indirectly has never been disputed," said Konrad Heiden, one of the first biographers of Hitler.[87] Novelist Upton Sinclair wrote in The Flivver King, a book about Ford, that the Nazis got forty-thousand dollars from Ford to reprint anti-Jewish pamphlets in German translations, and that an additional $300,00 was later sent to Hitler through a grandson of the ex-Kaiser who acted as an intermediary.[88] The US Ambassador to Germany, William E. Dodd, said in an interview that "certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy."[89] At the time of Dodd's criticisms, the general public was aware that he was speaking of Ford because the press made a direct association between Dodd's statements and other reports of Ford's anti-Semitism.


Henry Ford's reward from Hitler finally came in July 1938, when on his seventy-fifth birthday he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle. Ford was the first American and the fourth person in the world to receive this medal, which was the highest decoration that could be given to any non-German citizen. Benito Mussolini, another of Hitler's financiers, had been decorated with the same honor earlier that year.[128]

The presentation was made in Ford's Dearborn office by the German Counsul on Cleveland, Karl Kapp, and Consul Fritz Hailer of Detroit. Kapp placed the silk red sash over Ford's right shoulder. The sash was worn in a diagonal line from the right shoulder to the left hip where it was clasped with a gold and white cross. Kapp then pinned a large, shining star-shaped medal of Ford's white suit. The decoration was given "in recognition of [Ford's] pioneering in making motor cars available for the masses." Hitler's personal congratulatory message accompanied the award.[129]



87. Konrad Heiden, Hitler: A Biography, p. 221.
88. Upton Sinclair, The Flivver King: The Story of Ford in America (Pasadena, Calif., 1937), p. 109.
89. Georg Seldes, Facts and Fascism (New York, 1943), p. 122.
128. See Chapter 7.
129. Detroit News, July 31, 1938.