Thursday, June 04, 2009

General Motors, Opel and the Nazi War Machine.

1908 Cadillac produced the year General Motors was formed

General Motors Corp's bankruptcy ends an 80-year history with the German Opel unit, a relationship that played a crucial role to the Nazi war machine, both during pre-war military production and throughout the course of the war.

As I stated previously, General Motors, though its German subsidiary, Opel, took Hitler off the horse and motorized the Third Reich.

In 1935, GM opened a new truck plant in Brandenburg, producing the "Opel Blitz", a truck produced exclusively for Nazi military forces. Hitler's minister for armaments, Albert Speer, later admitted that Germany would never have considered invading Poland if not for General Motors technology.

In in a letter to a concerned shareholder dated April 6, 1939, General Motors President Alfred P. Sloan the political ideologies or policies of the Third Reich "should not be considered the business of the management of General Motors. We must conduct ourselves [in Germany] as a German organization. . . . We have no right to shut down the plant.", and adopted a "business as usual" attitude toward the Third Reich.

"For Sloan, motorizing the fascist regime that was expected to wage a bloody war in Europe was the next big thing and a spigot of limitless profits for GM. But unlike many commercial collaborators with the Nazis who were driven strictly by the icy quest for profits, Sloan also harbored a political motivation. Sloan despised the emerging American way of life being crafted by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Sloan hated Roosevelt´s New Deal, and admired the strength, irrepressible determination and sheer magnitude of Hitler´s vision." -- Edwin Black
The General Motors Time Line


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