By on August 27, 2020

Continental commissioned an independent researcher to see what it was up to in the 1940s, with the auto parts supplier issuing a press release detailing the results.

“The study shows that Continental was an important part of Hitler’s war machine,” said CEO Dr. Elmar Degenhart, before adding, “We commissioned the study in order to gain more clarity about the darkest chapter in our company’s history. That’s why we specifically included those companies that were not part of Continental at the time. The study is a consciously chosen opportunity and a renewed motive for us to face up to our responsibility and, on the basis of past experiences, to understand our identity more clearly and to create a better future.”

The company has decided to not only “take responsibility” for acts committed 70-plus years ago, but to also include businesses that were complicit with the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP/Nazi) long before they joined its ranks.

While we appreciate anyone taking an active interest in automotive history, any German conglomerate with an industrial history dating back to 1933 or before has a good chance of having an incredibly dark stain on their permanent record.

Daimler, Volkswagen, and BMW all held ties to the Nazi regime and utilized forced labor (slaves) during World War II. While this issue is infrequently brought up, it’s not exactly being hidden from the public either. For example, Daimler has a page devoted to the period on its corporate website and previously offered aid to the surviving workers whose rights it violated via various foundations.

Even though this study could be chalked up to some empty virtue signaling on behalf of Continental, the company said it was about showing how vulnerable businesses are to social and political corruption. Considering how easily firms are swayed by the media or present-day social movements, that’s probably not a bad idea — and extremely timely to boot.

BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and VW were recently accused by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute of using forced labor in Asia after discovering the Chinese Communist Party was transporting thousands of Uighurs out of concentration camps in Xinjiang to work at various facilities. That study also named Adidas, Apple, Gap, Geely Auto, Huawei, Mitsubishi, Nike, Samsung, Sony, and more to prove how widespread the matter had become. Even General Motors and its Chinese partners were said to have connections to the scandal.

Continental’s history lesson, conducted by Prof. Paul Erker of LMU Munich, didn’t mention the China connection, but did name-drop industry partners VDO, Teves, Phoenix, and Semperit — saying they were “the backbone of the National Socialist armaments and war economy” through the last World War:

According to the study, Continental used a total of around 10,000 forced laborers during the Second World War. Their number fluctuated substantially. Their origins were diverse and ranged from Italian “young fascists” to temporary workers from occupied Belgium and French and Russian prisoners of war. Gradually, the nature of their deployment became more and more radical. In the final years of the war, for example, it was concentration camp prisoners who were used in the production of gas masks and in the relocation of production underground. These people were subjected to inhumane living and working conditions. The Continental management was actively involved in this process and contributed to the gradual radicalization of the mobilized workforce. “At Continental there were no ominous signs of a systematic system of repression, but nevertheless there were dynamics of their own on the part of individual functionaries,” comments Erker in the study on the use of forced labor in the company. In this context, he also documents Continental’s involvement in shoe testing tracks, where concentration camp prisoners were exploited and maltreated to the point of debilitation and death.

“This shows how corporate cultures can quickly topple under pressure from political regimes and opposing social influences,” said Dr. Ariane Reinhart, Continental Executive Board member for Human Relations. “For this reason, corporate cultures must be constantly re-examined, strengthened and continuously developed. This includes a healthy culture of remembrance in order to draw from the past the certainty for our identity today and the lessons for the present and future.”

Continental said it wishes to be extremely clear about its own history, noting that some of its current subsidiaries tussled with the Nazi regime more than others. It also stressed that it needed a “starting point for stimulating a debate on corporate social responsibility and for integrating it internally into our corporate strategy.” While we’re not sure how useful (or wise) carrying around a bunch of corporate guilt is going to be for a business that embraced the banality of evil several generations prior, using its historical knowledge to avoid finding itself embracing similar behaviors today is something that’s incredibly easy to endorse.

Western companies currently allow themselves to to be corrupted by totalitarian regimes, and we’re kind of hoping that was Continental’s point here — rather than just trying to score brownie points by reminding everyone that the Nazis were bad. Even though we know the business is having a rough go of it at the moment, we wouldn’t want to be so cynical as to presume this was all in service of gaining media attention. Continental at least has decided to sponsor the new Siegmund Seligmann Scholarship, which promotes research on economic and corporate history during the Nazi era, and create a commemorative plaque with the names of the forced laborers uncovered in the research.

[Images: Continental]

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81 Comments on “Continental Commissions Curious Study About Its Own Nazi History...”


  • avatar
    James2

    “Continental at least has decided to sponsor the new Siegmund Seligmann Scholarship”

    Maybe a subtle rename might be appropriate.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    People, companies, organizations, and countries do Bad Things to others.

    Reparations and apologies are never enough to end the matter – especially generations later – which is my gripe about the discussion about race relations in the US.

    Even if payments are made and policies change, etc, everyone knows this will not satisfy the debt of historical misdeeds.

    But it’s worth noting that Communism has wrought more death, oppression, and destruction than the Nazis ever did, and it continues to this day.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @SCE to AUX – Any social system isn’t supposed to oppress the populace. It becomes a convenient backdrop and/or excuse to justify corrupt actions. Any regime that oppresses its populace is totalitarian in nature. Most of those regimes have used communism as a means to power. We’ve seen suffering and death and also oppression under capitalistic regimes as well.

      Continental’s research into its past hopefully shows how easily it can be for people let alone those in companies to succumb to the darker side of human nature. Humans have an unfortunate ability to rationalize “inhuman’ treatment of their fellow man for the weakest of reasons.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You’re right about the communism versus Nazism butcher’s bill, but the commies have had over 100 years’ practice. The Nazis unleashed an unreal amount of mayhem and death in only 12 years’ time.

      And agreed on historical misdeeds, particularly when it comes to race in America. It’s one thing to provide renumeration to people for things like the Holocaust – there are still victims walking the Earth. Slavery in America is another matter. The best thing we can do is change the system to (finally) make it work for everyone.

      • 0 avatar

        “The Nazis unleashed an unreal amount of mayhem and death in only 12 years’ time.”

        Because Nazis were Germans who are good and effective in what they do. Russia was a total mess. Stalin executed leading scientists and army officers just before the war. He also made it super easy for Germans to win the war because he was a fool with unlimited power. First weeks of war he was hiding in basement like Joe Biden. If not unusually cold winter Germans were destined to win the war at least in short term. Sooner or later they would be overwhelmed with Russia but they would have resources to defeat England and unite Europe against USA.

  • avatar
    Old_WRX

    “Considering how easily firms are swayed by the media”

    This statement seems a bit odd seeing that the media are owned by the corporations.

    Whenever anyone starts up with all this neo-PC language my eyes glaze over.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      What’s “neo-PC language?”

      • 0 avatar
        Old_WRX

        New Politically Correct language. Stuff like: “starting point for stimulating a debate on corporate social responsibility and for integrating it internally into our corporate strategy.” Which sounds so sensitive, but really says nothing. Or, “This includes a healthy culture of remembrance in order to draw from the past the certainty for our identity today and the lessons for the present and future.” Which uses a lot of words to say something, but I’m not quite sure what. Sounds real impressive, tho.

        • 0 avatar
          Matt Posky

          Ah, so just the modern politically correct parlance. I was getting worried I’d have to learn new euphemisms to decode the latest empty language.

        • 0 avatar
          jkross22

          Not sure how ‘new’ the PC language is so much as it continues to say less and less.

          When I worked for a large corporate entity, people actually talked like this. And they were in leadership roles.

          Disgusting.

          • 0 avatar
            Old_WRX

            Yeah, I remember when the “Culture Change” thing was going through where I worked. We were supposed to listen and offer empathy (?). And, told to be “Sincere.” One of my coworkers asked me, “But, what if you don’t give a f**k?”

            But, you gotta join the conversation on the employee experience of inclusiveness and empowerment…

      • 0 avatar

        “What’s “neo-PC language?””

        Phyton? C#? Ruby?

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @Inside Looking Out: “What’s “neo-PC language?”

          C++20! C# is 20 years old, python is 30. C++20 is sort-of the Porsche 911 992 Series of languages. Almost as old too if you want to go back to preceding languages like C & CPL. But, like the 992 it’s been totally modernized. Lots of comparisons can be made.

          • 0 avatar

            I started with FORTRAN. That’s I call old!

          • 0 avatar
            3SpeedAutomatic

            I started with punch cards and RPG. Does that make me “Neo-PC language”

          • 0 avatar

            First time I found punch card when I was 5 y.o. I asked my mom “Mom what is it”? She did not know.

            Yeah, I used CDC-6500 that required punch cards. But I preferred Tektronix graphic terminal to the convenience of punch cards even though to get free access to terminals you had to come to late evening. But it was close to dorm and I studied late night anyway.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    “The study is a consciously chosen opportunity and a renewed motive for us to face up to our responsibility and, on the basis of past experiences, to understand our identity…”

    I don’t think a Harvard profressor could draft more self-loathing, politically correct drivel.

    Continental is a German company. Of course it aided in Germany’s war effort, just as Goodyear aided in American efforts, and Mitsubishi did for Japan.

    I really don’t understand how, or why, contemporary Westerners feel so compelled look back in history with a judgemental eye. To evaluate historical figures with a contemporary moral sense is as ridiculous as evaluating a 1940 Ford against contemporary engineering standards and materials! It makes no sense whatsoever, and serves no meaningful purpose.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      ” It makes no sense whatsoever, and serves no meaningful purpose.”

      Being half German from my mom’s side, this whole exercise by Continental seems to shed light on why so many German nationals fled Germany for, among other nations, England and the US, during the 1920s and 1930s.

      They didn’t like what was happening to their beloved country – just like America’s conservatives don’t like what the Looney Lefties are doing to America today with their riots and anarchy.

      Not everyone agreed with the rising nationalism in Germany after the end of WWI and the Versailles Treaty which humbled Germany to its core. But the Fascist Lefties got into power in Germany, and the rest is history.

      Even so, many of the German companies and people who cooperated with the Nazi War machine did so reluctantly because they had nowhere else to go.

      My mom’s people were deeply grateful to have America accept them as the humble potato farmers they were, and for decades they operated highly successful potato farms in New England, handed down from father to son.

      None of that world exists anymore of course since Big Agribusiness has bought up all those farms and converted them to niche suppliers of french fries for McDonald’s, Burger King, Carl’s Jr, Wendy’s, and a host of other food industry giants.

      A little introspect at times is good for the soul.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        My family has origins in Germany too. The Treaty of Versailles left most of Germany destitute and hungry after WWI. In 1928, my grandmother was starving in Hamburg. Her “rich” Uncle Willie, who was a successful German moonshiner and brewer in San Francisco paid for her passage and sponsored her. Yes, my life here was made possible by illicit alcohol sales in San Francisco! Curiously, my grandma fell in love with a San Fran police officer a year after arrival…and the rest is history.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “Yes, my life here was made possible by illicit alcohol sales in San Francisco! ”

          Brought a smile to my face since my mom’s people also made alcohol (moonshine) from potatoes, sugar and yeast, in a still (for their own consumption).

          Then they took a bunch of chopped-up fresh fruit, put it in a tall wide mouth giant jar, added the potato alcohol, let it decompose, and Rumtopf was made.

          Just smelling that stuff as a kid would get me high.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        I will quibble with only one point, which for some reason many Americans do not realize. The NAZI Party (and all Fascist Parties) is by definition rightist. And Hitler was funded by industrialists, such as Krupp and Thyssen. The NAZIs engaged in street fights and other actions against the parties that represented the left in German politics.

        Hitler was regarded by the business interests and some members of the clergy, and members of the military as someone who would eliminate the influence of the left, bring back ‘law and order’, reduce corporate taxes, and re-establish German pride and international prestige.

        The Communist Party was declared illegal. The SDP (Social Democrat Party) had its elected members harassed by members of the SS and SA. Many were jailed or went into exile. Hitler brokered a deal with the Priest who led the centralist Centre Party. Thus Hitler was legally given ‘dictatorial’ power by a vote of the Reichstag (the Enabling Act).

        Ironically one of Hitler’s actions during his first year of power was to have a tax department ruling overturned, making himself exempt from having to file tax returns or pay taxes.

        • 0 avatar
          Crosley

          No, the NAZI party was leftist, NAZI was a contraction for “National SOCIALIST German Workers Party” , you’ll have to explain to me why a “rightist” party would have “socialist” in its title.

          The NAZI platform was the nationalization of major industries, with the government having full control of the means of production.

          The Nazi Platform of 1925 included:

          The abolition of unearned income
          Nationalization of trusts
          Inclusion into profit-sharing
          Increase in old-age pensions
          Seizing of agrarian land without compensation
          State control of education
          State control of the press

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Crosley – please stop propagating the usual “right wing” mythology that the Nazi party was socialist. It is an easy mistake to make since “socialist” is in the name.
            “The right needs to stop falsely claiming that the Nazis were socialists”
            https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/02/05/right-needs-stop-falsely-claiming-that-nazis-were-socialists/

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Crosley, you or I can call ourselves anything we want. Does that make it true? Do you believe that the Democratic Party is the only party fighting to save democracy in the USA?

            The NAZIs were funded by German industrialists to fight in elections and on the streets against German left wing parties, groups and supporters.

            Hitler and his party were viewed as supportive of the aims of these industrialists and being able to return ‘law and order’ to the streets of Germany.

            During Weimar, Germany was one of the most ‘decadent’ of all cultures/societies. The German right wing including the industrialists, and clergy looked to the NAZIs to end this. They believed that they could ‘control’ Hitler. Thus his legal ascent to power and gradual increase in control of the government until he assumed dictatorial powers and replaced oaths of allegiance to the Constitution with oats of allegiance to himself.

            He also staged mass rallies, and closed down the free/independent media declaring it to be an enemy of the state.

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            You read too much Dinesh “Jailbird” D’Souza.

            “No, the NAZI party was leftist, NAZI was a contraction for “National SOCIALIST German Workers Party” , you’ll have to explain to me why a “rightist” party would have “socialist” in its title.”

            Simple, as soon as you can explain how the former German Democratic Republic and current Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea are/were democracies.

            The Nazis were a fascist regime. Hard Right. Hitler hunted and killed Communists in his own country.

            Typical nonsense—blame every evil in history on the left.

            Edit: Forgot the ‘P’ in DPRK.

      • 0 avatar
        blppt

        “They didn’t like what was happening to their beloved country – just like America’s conservatives don’t like what the Looney Lefties are doing to America today with their riots and anarchy.”

        Oh here we go again. This is all happening under Trump’s watch.

        We had one riot (baltimore, 2015) under the prior administration, and it was like a campfire compared to the mess Trump continues to show no ability to resolve.

        Why? Because he shows exactly no ability to lead or empathize, which is CRUCIAL to being POTUS. And he actually goes in the OPPOSITE direction by taunting and inciting the civil unrest.

        But please, keep living in this dreamworld where everybody BUT the man in charge is responsible for the current state of the country.

        In his own words:

        https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/398887965302091776?lang=en

        But yeah, its all a vast, deep conspiracy necessary to take down a man who is so stupid that he didn’t know that Finland was its own county.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          blppt, you’ll be in apoplectic shock when President Trump gets re-elected by a HUGE margin in November.

          Yeah, there’s a chance that there will be lots of cheating by the ‘crats and the ne’er Trumpers with their push for Universal Mail-In ballots, so it may have to go to the SCOTUS for determination like it did in Bush v Gore.

          But ultimately President Trump will be re-elected barring Divine Intervention.

          OTOH, Divine Intervention got Trump elected in the first place in 2016.

          No, I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, but I will in 2020 along with a few million extra voters he won over with his accomplishments.

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            Wow, so much insanity there.

            “Yeah, there’s a chance that there will be lots of cheating by the ‘crats and the ne’er Trumpers with their push for Universal Mail-In ballots, so it may have to go to the SCOTUS for determination like it did in Bush v Gore.”

            Trump’s own shady Postmaster General won’t even support his cries of ‘mass voter fraud through mail”. Now, if that isn’t an epic fail, I don’t know what is!

            “blppt, you’ll be in apoplectic shock when President Trump gets re-elected by a HUGE margin in November.”

            Literally nothing we have in terms of evidence at the present remotely supports that. Matter of fact, after last night’s clown show, his approval rating actually went DOWN.

            On Monday, August 24th, the first day of the RNC, Trump was at 51% in Rasmussen’s daily tracking approval poll. On Friday, August 28th, he’s at 46% approval.

            LOL! And that’s RASMUSSEN, a typically GOP-friendly poll.

            “But ultimately President Trump will be re-elected barring Divine Intervention.”

            Its nice that you have such blind faith, but all the actual evidence we have ATM points to Biden wiping the floor with Trump. Sounds like you are the one who needs “Divine Intervention”.

            “OTOH, Divine Intervention got Trump elected in the first place in 2016.”

            And now we come to the silliest statement of your post. God wanted a serial philanderer, liar, and grifter to be President.

            Not one thing you said there made a lick of sense. No wonder you support Trump.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I’m an Independent and have voted for both sides over the decades, but this time President Trump has my vote.

            I didn’t have a chance to watch any of the RNC, but have last night’s recorded and will watch President Trump’s speech later today.

            I love it when it’s a lively, spirited election season.

            But the biggest surprise for me was in 2016 when we learned that Hillary was defeated. We were in Germany at that time, visiting relatives, so we were a day late, and a dollar short in getting the news.

            I love the insanity on the part of the ne’er Trumpers!!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “I love the insanity on the part of the ne’er Trumpers!!!!”

            Drop the “in” part and your statement is correct.

            Biden has gotten more endorsements from conservatives than the “one hit wonder”.

            Gerrymandering and voter suppression favour “one hit wonder”.

            Old scared white guys are more likely to go out and vote which also favours “one hit wonder”.

            Oh and “From Russian with Love” is more than a Bond movie when it comes to “one hit wonder”.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            If Divine Intervention is involved, so far this year prior to a presidential election in which the incumbent is an adulterer, liar, cheat, and bully the USA has experienced multiple national disasters (fires, floods and hurricanes), plague (COVID), rioting & looting, a massive economic retraction, and the exposure of a false prophet (Falwell Jr).

            If anything a Believer should realize that those are signs of Divine Intervention telling the American public to dump the incumbent.

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            @highdesert

            “I love the insanity on the part of the ne’er Trumpers!!!!”

            Really, thats funny, because you are the one who had the post full of insanity.

            “I didn’t have a chance to watch any of the RNC, but have last night’s recorded and will watch President Trump’s speech later today.”

            Speaking of things that REALLY matter to Trump, he got beat in the TV ratings by Biden. That is an incredibly bad sign for your hero—Trump has always been expected to win the TV battle since his train-wreck word salads and theatrics are more entertaining to watch than Bidens.

            Another sign you’re going to be very disappointed this November.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Ha Ha! You guys are funnnnny! I have visions of the lot of you on your knees howling NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO when Trump gets re-elected.

            Nevertheless, President Trump will be re-elected, and by a HUGE margin this time.

            Count on it. Plan to live your lives accordingly.

            His re-election will be good for the US auto industry. More cars and stuff being built in America.

            But for other nations, not so good. Especially China.

            I forecast a de-coupling from China. Serves them right!

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            “Nevertheless, President Trump will be re-elected, and by a HUGE margin this time.

            Count on it. Plan to live your lives accordingly.”

            Yes, its always good to hedge your bets on a guy who is trailing by a significant margin in even GOP-biased polls, winning by a HUGE margin. LOLOLOL

            BTW, he had yet another chance to try and calm/unite the country the other day, but as usual, he went to his standard “attack” mode.

            “But for other nations, not so good. Especially China.”

            Trump already got played once by China, by crippling our own economy for a year then eventually folding, getting almost nothing guaranteed.

            Ivanka and Don themselves also have extensive business dealings in China.

            Perhaps you should be looking for another candidate if you want to actually “stick it to China”.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            Well the betting odds are definitely closing….

            https://www.realclearpolitics.com/elections/betting_odds/2020_president/

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            The odds are closing because of the RNC bump, not for any other reason.Check the days, on August 20, the final night of the DNC, Biden was the 14 points favorite.

            Standard RNC bump for the incumbent.

            Trump isn’t getting re-elected. And he certainly isn’t winning by a “Huge margin” like HDC suggested. You don’t screw up a pandemic response and continuously fumble handling of a nation in protests and win a 2nd term.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            I thought you just said Biden beat him in the TV ratings? And if you look at the RCP graph, the odds started closing before the RNC last week. Actually Biden hit his peak around August 4 and the gap started closing after that. Biden got no DNC bump.

            I think it has more to do with the rioting and looting, which the Democrats can’t condemn because that risks hacking off the radical part of the party who they need to stay on board.

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            “I thought you just said Biden beat him in the TV ratings? ”

            What does that have to do with anything? The RNC gives the Republican candidate a boost, no matter how many people tune in or not (in this case, not!). Maybe if Trump had some kind of epic failure during the week it wouldn’t have helped him.

            “Biden got no DNC bump.”

            He didn’t get one because his approval is already at the max its going to get—nothing that happened during the DNC changed that.

            Trump has been circling the drain for months now—he had nowhere to go but up. And since he stuck to his tried and true method of theatrics and piles of lies, he managed to get a bump before the fact checkers could debunk him.

            “I think it has more to do with the rioting and looting, which the Democrats can’t condemn because that risks hacking off the radical part of the party who they need to stay on board.”

            Once again, another false narrative. Biden has always maintained that the violence and looting is not acceptable. Go back and read his speech from early June.

            https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/02/politics/biden-philadelphia-transcript/index.html

            And, if your memory doesn’t go back that far, he just reiterated that the other day, quite clearly.

            https://nypost.com/2020/08/26/biden-condemns-needless-violence-amid-jacob-blake-shooting/

            See, this is what happens when you get your news solely from Fox News, Breitbart, OANN, and Newsmax.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            Sounds like you’re worried. You probably should be. A month ago, I would have never thought Trump could have closed the gap. Biden is still ahead but I could see that lead continuing to shrink as the violence continues and Biden’s hands are tied on condemning it.

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            The only thing that worries me about the election is that people like yourself lap up the misinformation from the right wing news agencies, and never bother to research it.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Well Biden hit Trump where it hurts him the most, TV ratings.

            The Democratic Convention recorded higher TV ratings than the Republican Convention.

            https://www.npr.org/2020/08/28/907289022/democrats-beat-republicans-in-convention-television-ratings

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I like to listen/watch CSPAN coverage of the political goings-on, and the number of angry ‘crats calling in to offer their comments on their displeasure with the ‘crats embracing riots and violence is staggering.

            In fact, so many angry ‘crats called in AFTER the RNC final night that CSPAN had to open up another phone number for them, in addition to the existing phone numbers for the Repugs and Indies.

            Look up what Michael Moore (the film director and Hollywood insider) had to say.

            So, I believe that all the commentary offered here overlooks the vast unheard, unspoken, silent majority within all aspects of the political spectrum in the US of A.

            BTW, Americans residing outside the US also vote, and have done so successfully my ABSENTEE ballot. My wife and I did when we were in Germany in 2016.

            One thing we can all agree on, the ‘crats want a return to power in the US at any costs, through any ways, means or method, even by overwhelming the system as part of their manifest.

            I think there are enough combined votes from all political factions to assure that President Trump wins handily on Nov 3, and by a HUGE margin, like in the 2016 Electoral vote.

            I also see the ‘crats morphing from Russia, Russia, Russia, to Contest, Contest, Contest.

            The record is clear, Trump has accomplished more in four years than Biden has in over 47 years of residency in the swamp.

            Hey, a Trump win is great for the US auto industry. A Biden win means outsourcing jobs, jobs, jobs to China et al.

            Be American. Buy American. Made in America by Americans for Americans.

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            “The record is clear, Trump has accomplished more in four years than Biden has in over 47 years of residency in the swamp.”

            Once again, the laughable fallacy of making grandiose claims with no proof. Typical Trump supporter.

            “Look up what Michael Moore (the film director and Hollywood insider) had to say.”

            Michael Moore makes a lot more money when a GOP president is in charge. Nobody pays him any attention with a Dem in office.

            “One thing we can all agree on, the ‘crats want a return to power in the US at any costs, through any ways, means or method, even by overwhelming the system as part of their manifest.”

            I mean, irony is completely lost on you Trump supporters. Trump is trying to hold onto power at all costs, and you’re accusing the Dems of doing it. Self-awareness is not your strong suit.

            And do you know WHY he’s desperate to stay in power? Because due to his lifetime of shady and corrupt business practices, the SDNY and state governments are waiting to drag him into court.

            “I think there are enough combined votes from all political factions to assure that President Trump wins handily on Nov 3, and by a HUGE margin, like in the 2016 Electoral vote.”

            Republicans are lining up behind Biden in droves, and you still cling to the insanity that Trump is going to win a landslide.

            LOLOLOL, I mean, the delusion is strong with this one.

            “Hey, a Trump win is great for the US auto industry. A Biden win means outsourcing jobs, jobs, jobs to China et al.”

            No, it doesn’t. And no it doesn’t. I love how the Trump fan takes a parroted talking point and does no research on it.

            The Auto industry has been fighting back against Donald’s emissions and fuel economy loosening for his entire term, because they don’t believe he’s going to hold onto power, and then the regulations come back.

            Secondly, there is absolutely nothing in Biden’s plans that will send jobs to China. And the absolutely hilarious thing about your ignorance is that TRUMP and his family have significant business ties to China!

            LOLOLOL—oh, I wish I could feel sorry for you on November 4th, but your willful ignorance makes that difficult to swallow.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yeah, we’ll all have a good laugh about all this political stuff and there’ll be dancin’ in the streets when he gets sworn in for his second term.

            That’s what makes America so great, we can have political discourse. But most of all, we have a choice.

            America always gets exactly what it deserves, because we vote for it!

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            “Yeah, we’ll all have a good laugh about all this political stuff and there’ll be dancin’ in the streets when he gets sworn in for his second term.”

            Nah, after Trump loses by a big margin, you’ll never mention your ‘undying support’ for Trump ever again.

            “America always gets exactly what it deserves, because we vote for it!”

            Except we didn’t—individual American votes said that Hillary Clinton beat Trump by 3 million last time. So nice to know that your own vote gets devalued based on where you live.

            And actually, this applies to Republicans in huge Blue states like California and NY as well. You have virtually no say in this election, as those states are going for Biden no matter who you vote for.

            That should make you very angry.

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            “Right or not, it certainly seems like good campaign strategy…”

            Really? An opinion article?

            You can find hundreds of those who claimed that Biden ‘has no chance’ in the election, even before the surge of violence in this country.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            blppt, it doesn’t make me angry at all because voters will vote however they will vote, and the Electoral system in the US is in place for just that reason – to keep the biggest states from determining the outcome of national elections based on their size.

            Most voters are driven by what a current President has done for them and for America, and vote accordingly.

            I like it. I love it. I want EIGHT more years of it!

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            “Most voters are driven by what a current President has done for them and for America, and vote accordingly.”

            No, Trump lies to their faces and for some reason, they still vote for him. Thats why he’s so dangerous.

            And, predictably, he’ll be going to Kenosha to stir up protests again tomorrow. His speech outline has already been analyzed by the press—just tonight he defended Rittenhouse, and tomorrow he plans on yelling ‘law and order’ again. This is the guy you’re voting for.

            (which is also comical considering just about everybody he associates with ends up in legal trouble, and he breaks the Hatch Act all the time, yet he screams ‘law and order’) LOLOLOL


            blppt, it doesn’t make me angry at all because voters will vote however they will vote, and the Electoral system in the US is in place for just that reason – to keep the biggest states from determining the outcome of national elections based on their size.”

            If that is your reason for liking the electoral college, that doesn’t work either.

            Why? Because the biggest states STILL determine the outcome. Swing states like Florida and Ohio are the ones crucial to winning, and they have tens of millions of people. So once again, you are basing your beliefs on a fallacy.

            So congrats, the big states still win, AND your vote literally doesn’t matter if you live in a state that is solid red or blue.

            Maybe its about time you start reconsidering your beliefs on Trump, since you’ve been so misguided on everything else so far.

        • 0 avatar
          Superdessucke

          “The only thing that worries me about the election is that people like yourself lap up the misinformation from the right wing news agencies, and never bother to research it.”

          Says the guy who posts a CNN link :-) How is that “Fiery but Mostly Peaceful Protest” in Kenosha working out for your side? My guess is that also gave Trump another bump in addition to the one from his speech at the RNC!

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            “Says the guy who posts a CNN link :-)”

            Really. You can get that transcript from ANY site. It was just the first link that popped up.

            And the SECOND link was to the Rupert Murdoch owned NY Post.

            “How is that “Fiery but Mostly Peaceful Protest” in Kenosha working out for your side? My guess is that also gave Trump another bump in addition to the one from his speech at the RNC!”

            And here is the absolute insanity of Trump–he’s going there on Tuesday to stir up more trouble. He will make precisely zero effort to calm the situation like he always does. And the cycle continues.

            Yet, you Trump supporters cheer him on. Does that seem right to you?

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            Right or not, it certainly seems like good campaign strategy…

            https://www.express.co.uk/comment/expresscomment/1329000/US-presidential-election-2020-joe-biden-donald-trump-patrick-basham

          • 0 avatar
            blppt

            “Right or not, it certainly seems like good campaign strategy…”

            Really? An opinion article?

            You can find hundreds of those who claimed that Biden ‘has no chance’ in the election, even before the surge of violence in this country.

          • 0 avatar
            barksdale

            No point in trying to convince people who are all-in on a failed casino owner who talked in public about having sex with his daughter (and that’s just the tip, no pun intended). DJT is straight up creepy and abnormal but people just don’t care. Sad state of affairs.

            I guess I get it. Decades of low-information echo chambers like F– News have totally worked. There are so many things people are looking the other way on to “get their team’s judges.”

            He’s not law and order at all. He’s good at creating chaos and felons. And just on a purely base physical level (which is where DJT loves to critique others), trusting a guy that thinks that massive combover and spray tan looks good seems like a bad idea.

    • 0 avatar
      Old_WRX

      R Henry,

      “I don’t think a Harvard professor could draft more self-loathing, politically correct drivel.” Excellent way of putting it.

      I, too, don’t understand this modern obsession with sackcloth and ashes and the endless repition of mea culpa mea culpe…

      It’s all so phony and more than a bit creepy.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Since Trump lost the popular vote last time, and HRC was a terrible campaigner and candidate, then I doubt that if he wins his victory will be ‘huge’. In fact he may have lost the support of many of the moderates who voted for him last time.

        Despite having a majority in the House and Senate for 2 years he has accomplished very little of his previous promises.

        Add in the 200,000 American lives that will probably be lost by November due to COVID or its complications and his performance has been nothing to brag about. Which is why his campaign is depending upon attacking Biden rather than campaigning on his accomplishments.

        However he may still win. Either way I think that it will be close. And unfortunately will only further divide the USA.

        As to ‘decoupling’ the economy from China, I am all for it. But it requires long term strategy and finesse. Something this administration has not been capable of. Perhaps due to the turnover among the staff?

        For example what happens to GM if China retaliates? Could they survive? And would the European nations remain loyal to the USA or to the Chinese markets/suppliers, with Trump as president?

  • avatar
    jkross22

    If Continental would like to draw a line in the sand and become a corporate entity known for fighting against the kinds of abuses it is now disavowing, they should lead by example.

    How about leading the effort to clean up German industry from using slave labor in China? It would seem some companies – even German companies – need help with it.

    That would be a principled way to demonstrate words can connect with actions.

    Now let me hold my breath for that. Turning blue…. seeing stars.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @jkross22 – corporations are made up of individuals but those individuals hide withing the corporate structure. Any analysis of past behaviour must be accompanied by an assessment of current behaviour.

      “Looking the other way” is common and easy when you are just another face in the crowd. The perfect metaphor for this is the phenomenon of rape occurring in public. Studies show that a person will get raped without attempts to stop the act despite plea’s for help if a large group is present. That’s because everyone waits for someone else to intervene.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I want to know GM and Ford, did they also used forced labor in their German factories?

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Yeah…Everybody knows that Ford had a B-24 Plant in Cologne during the war and they were using forced labor. GM and Chrysler were doing the same outside of Berlin.

      what kind of sense does that even make? Yeah, the Germans were loaning their forced labor to the US War effort.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    I am a *huge* fan of controlled access highways. Gulp – does this make me a fan of Hitler? Perhaps I should commission a study…

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    My old company, an auto OEM coatings plant, was based in Germany and was the original founding member of the IG Farben consortium. An older and close to retirement engineer that my company gained after buying up the local chemical plant was invited to the corporate headquarters in Ludwigshafen back in der Vaterland and asked if he’d ever been to the main facility before. The old engineer said, “Why, yes I have and it was some time ago. I imagine that it may look a bit different now. When I was there, I was looking at it from 28,000 feet through a Norden bombsight.”

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    The importance of such studies is to determine how such things happen and how to prevent them from re-occurring.

    Allowing corporations to influence politicians is problematic because corporations have no loyalty to a nation. Their only goal is to maximize their profits.

    Hitler achieved power through legal means. There were many opportunities to prevent this or to overthrow him. But too many people or organizations looked the other way, believed that he was ‘better than the alternative’ or hoped that they would profit from his leadership/rule.

    Some refused to collaborate. J-P Boulanger with Citroen was an example of this. Bugatti tried to ship much of his tooling and equipment to where the NAZIs could not use them. Louis Renault however collaborated. As did Ford’s European management.

    Most famous of all is Oskar Schindler, whose munitions factory purposely sabotaged its output.

  • avatar
    Sceptic

    We are seeing history repeating itself today in the vast corporate support of terrorist groups such as BLM. There is nothing new under the sun.

    • 0 avatar
      barksdale

      We’re definitely seeing some echoes of history right now for sure – just not in the ways I think you’re hoping/dreaming/wishing. Arthur Dailey’s post above covers it.

      “I will quibble with only one point, which for some reason many Americans do not realize. The NAZI Party (and all Fascist Parties) is by definition rightist. And Hitler was funded by industrialists, such as Krupp and Thyssen. The NAZIs engaged in street fights and other actions against the parties that represented the left in German politics.

      Hitler was regarded by the business interests and some members of the clergy, and members of the military as someone who would eliminate the influence of the left, bring back ‘law and order’, reduce corporate taxes, and re-establish German pride and international prestige.

      The Communist Party was declared illegal. The SDP (Social Democrat Party) had its elected members harassed by members of the SS and SA. Many were jailed or went into exile. Hitler brokered a deal with the Priest who led the centralist Centre Party. Thus Hitler was legally given ‘dictatorial’ power by a vote of the Reichstag (the Enabling Act).

      Ironically one of Hitler’s actions during his first year of power was to have a tax department ruling overturned, making himself exempt from having to file tax returns or pay taxes.”

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      First BLM is accused of being Marxist. Then in the same breath they are accused of being financed by corporations. The inability to use critical thinking and logic is staggering.

      The past 2 years are a searing indictment of the entire American educational system.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    @Sceptic:

    Care to elaborate how did you reach the conclusion that corporate interests are supporting terrorist groups?

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