I am aware that IBM has designed the tabulator machines to calculate information dealing with the extermination of Jews, but are there any other currently existing corporations which have helped Nazi Germany or Fascist Italy.

Note: I am specifically interested in the corporations which have done something to help, not mearly existed on those territories during that time.

  • 4
    Quite a few, I would imagine. Are you after specifically IT corporations or would businesses like Siemens fit?
    – Kobunite
    Mar 5, 2014 at 16:27
  • 6
    I rather doubt that IBM (and a fair number of other companies, German or otherwise) would have designed machinery specifically for the task as stated. In the case of tabulating machines, most were probably custom or semi-custom designed, and would have been the marketed to large businesses or governments - Nazi Germany would have been just a "regular customer". Should answers then take this type of behavior into account? What about technology that also ended up being sold somewhere else (either not specifically developed solely for Germany, or also marketed to them)? Mar 6, 2014 at 13:56
  • 3
    What I meant was that your question currently implies that IBM had specific knowledge of the way the information was going to be used - that it was intended for exterminating Jews and other ethnic populations. That's the claim I was doubting. I'm not disputing that IBM provided them machines, or even machines whose data could be used to help - there's a number of legitimate uses for ethnic history data, for example. And in the case of IBM, they had subsidiaries, which are often locally controlled - and I rather doubt the main (US) company was allowed to sell them anything during the war Mar 7, 2014 at 0:17
  • 2
    Siemens was probably the most active, and, more importantly, informed collaborator. Siemens family actively supported Nazies from the very beginning and helped to install the to power. Siemens the company built crematoriums for extermination and user slave labour from concentration camps. Many currently existing companies were involved in war effort or were uninformed participants of crimes; Siemens is know to be an active and fully informed participant of crimes. If "corportations are people" were to be taken seriously Siemens the corportation would be executed in Nuremberg.
    – Michael
    Mar 7, 2014 at 21:55
  • 1
    I've found a fair amount of information about IBM's involvement and it sounds more like their machines were used by the Nazi's rather than designed or edited for. That said, In Dec 1941 IBM reported that they had no control over their German subsidiary, Dehomag. But as you said, you want examples other than IBM so it isn't an answer.
    – Kobunite
    Apr 25, 2014 at 13:14

3 Answers 3


IT didn't exist at the time, so technically the answer is zero, none.

If you mean companies that are currently IT companies, and created and sold equipment explicitly for the purpose of use in the holocaust, that'd exclude any company outside German occupied Europe, Spain, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland, as there simply was no trade during the holocaust years with Germany from anywhere else.

Of German companies, no doubt many if not most supplied items that found their way into the bureacracies and organisations responsible. Therefore a list of German IT companies, filtered for date of establishment prior to 1945, would be a good start.
For the others it's much harder as there's no doubt no records of export to Germany during the war left, those would long ago have been destroyed because they'd be too embarrassing for the countries and companies involved to retain.

IBM and other American companies (and many around Europe) certainly traded with Germany before the war, and some of that equipment made its way into the SS, SA, Organisation Todt, Gestapo, etc. etc.. But that wasn't delivered for the purpose of being used as it ended up.
And if you count equipment captured by the Germans in their conquest of Europe, the list of companies gets even longer. Would you count the manufacturer of every train and truck used to transport people to the camps? Every tractor and farm implement used to grow the food that fed the local police forces and troops in the Netherlands, France, Denmark, and elsewhere? Every clothing manufacturer that created the uniforms for those people?
Quite obviously at some point you'd find that every company in every country that ever traded pre-1945 with any country that formed part of the Reich could be implicated. And quite a few of those (if they still exist) are today (or have today) IT companies. Think British Aerospace, Dassault, Boeing, Saab, the list goes on and on.

  • I think that there is a big difference between being 'implicated' and knowingly doing business with. The former is clearly not what i was after. But i am quite sceptical with "we didn't know" answer, when there are specific optimisations made to make tools more useful for extermination (an optimisation that did not exist as an "off-the-shelf product").
    – v010dya
    Apr 26, 2014 at 18:14
  • 5
    @Volodya and how do you make a mechanical calculator "optimised for extermination"? That's the kind of device we're talking about. It's not as if they were making software for computers with input dialogs reading "number of Jews to gas: X number of Jews to shoot: Y" or things like that.
    – jwenting
    Apr 28, 2014 at 6:17

General Electric which was the majority shareholder in AEG was a large corporate donor to the Nazi party up to and including 1942. They also funneled laundered money through Lisbon to the Nazi regime after 1942 as royalties from their subsidiary Union Carbide.

GEC was prosecuted and convicted for this after the war.

In July 1943 the Nazis could not afford to continue development of the V2 rocket, thus privatised the project selling rights to manufacture the weapon to AEG. This German company raised capital on Wall Street to pay for Mittelwerke ostensibly as a loan to GEC for the establishment of an Osram Lamp factory in Brazil. Most of the funds were diverted from Lisbon to Switzerland where it was used to pay for the missiles which later rained down on London

  • Sources please?
    – DVK
    Jul 10, 2014 at 15:20
  • Given that V2 development was a purely military operation, which never took place at Dora Mittelwerk, your assertion is pure nonsense. Dora Mittelwerk performed some V2 production, as well as manufacturing among other things Me262 jet fighters. It was a factory, not a research establishment.
    – jwenting
    May 21, 2015 at 9:24

I saw an article about this on www.europeanknightsproject.org Subhas Bose had links to several firms in Austria. I will do a little research and edit my post later. This is an interesting topic certainly

  • 3
    Welcome to History Stack Exchange! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – Luke_0
    Apr 25, 2014 at 13:23
  • 4
    don't use conspiracy theory sites as if they were historical references.
    – jwenting
    Apr 25, 2014 at 13:30
  • If you don't yet have an answer, don't post one! Mar 12, 2017 at 15:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.