The absurd book "IBM and the Holocaust"
One reviewer said,
Is Mr. Black really correct in his assumption that without I.B.M.'s technology, which consisted mainly of punch cards and the machines to tabulate them, the Germans wouldn't have figured out a way to do what they did anyway? Would the country that devised the Messerschmitt and the V-2 missile have been unable to devise the necessary means to slaughter millions of victims without I.B.M. at its disposal?
BTW, the above review incorrectly states that Herman Hollerith
was a German immigrant. He was born in the USA to German immigrant parents.
Also, another reviewer said,
The key question, in any case, is not whether I.B.M. sold Germany its equipment but whether, as alleged, it made the Final Solution part of its "mission" and whether its relationship with Germany in any way "energized" or significantly "enhanced" Hitler's efforts to destroy world Jewry. On the first point, Black never even attempts to substantiate his accusation -- a scandalous omission considering the gravity of the charge.
The first point above refers to the following statement in the book's introduction:
IBM, primarily through its German subsidiary, made Hitler's program of Jewish destruction a technologic mission the company pursued with chilling success. (emphasis added)
This book is a blood libel against IBM USA.
An article titled "A Secret, Not Too Secret" discusses the unusual secrecy about the book prior to release for sale.
The introduction to the book said,
With few exceptions (see Bibliographical Note), the Holocaust literature is virtually devoid of mention of the Hollerith machines—in spite of its high profile display at the United States Holocaust Museum.
However, I found an article titled "Counted for Persecution, IBM's Role in the Holocaust" that predates release of the book and that contradicts the book's claims. The article quotes Sybil Milton, former senior historian of the research institute of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, as saying, "We have no proof that the Hollerith was ever used to target individuals for deportation lists."
How could something that seems so central to the Holocaust -- the question of how the Nazis identified the Jews -- have been virtually ignored for decades? The holocaust is usually defined as being "systematic," but to have a "systematic" holocaust of Jews, there's got to be a reliable way of distinguishing Jews from non-Jews -- there are no two ways about it.
Also, none of the book's reviewers seem to have any understanding of how primitive the IBM Hollerith machines were as data-processing devices. All the machines could do was just read and sort a few punched cards at a time. The machines were not programmable, they could not store data, they could not search large databases, they could not network with other IBM machines, and by the standards of modern computers the machines were as slow as molasses at the South Pole in the dead of winter. The data storage medium, punched cards, was extremely bulky. In summary, these machines were completely incapable of doing what the book claims they did. The book says, "Jews could not hide from millions of punch cards thudding through Hollerith machines, comparing names across generations, address changes across regions, family trees and personal data across unending registries." LOL What a joke. The Hollerith machines were a tremendous improvement over hand methods but were nonetheless prehistoric so far as modern data processing is concerned.
Also, the book's claims that the IBM cards had to be custom-designed for the Nazis' purposes and that the cards "could only be designed, printed, and purchased from one source: IBM" are utterly false. A standard general-purpose Hollerith card -- with 80 columns and 12 rows of punch locations --- was introduced in 1928 and can be used for any data recording purpose. The Nazis did not need IBM's assistance or permission to use the Hollerith machines for any purpose. IBM USA had a German subsidiary that was perfectly capable of handling any details. And census-taking is a legitimate function for any government, though the Nazis overemphasized the Jewish data thing. It is not as though IBM had sold Zyklon B poison gas to the Nazis, for example.
I will not concede that the Nazis could have carried out a "systematic" Jewish holocaust even with modern electronic technology like modern computers and the Internet. A great deal of the data that the Nazis needed was simply either not available or was too hard to find. In many cases, the fact that many people had the same names would have created confusion. It was simply a case of GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) --- the quality of the output cannot be better than the quality of the input. I will concede that with DNA testing the Nazis would have been able to identify people with a common ancestry (DNA testing is used to test for American Indian ancestry to determine eligibility for tribal membership and associated benefits), but that issue is moot because DNA testing was not available to the Nazis. Also, I cannot understand why the Nazis did not immediately tattoo all Jews that they found so that those Jews would need to be identified only once --- apparently only concentration camp inmates were tattooed. There is an awful lot about official holocaust history that does not make any sense at all.
Here is the one book that claims to have solved the great mystery of how the Nazis identified the Jews -- and it fell flat on its face.
Labels: Holocaust revisionism (1 of 2)