"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse
Did you know that Henry Ford, one of the most revered icons of Americana, was a rabid anti-semite? Philly.com has an article about Neil Baldwin, author of Henry Ford and the Jews, summarizing the pathological anti-semitism rampant in Ford's life.
Labeled "the greatest businessman of the 20th century" by Fortune magazine, he became a virulent proselytizer of anti-Jewish hate, paying for publication of Protocols, running the 91 essays [later published as The International Jew] beginning in 1920, and blaming almost all America's problems on Jews.
The compelling part of Baldwin's story is Ford's status as a "role model" for Hitler. Twelve years before he took office, Hitler hung a portrait of Ford in his office in Munich. A copy of The International Jew, in German, greeted visitors.
When Hitler exited prison, the first birthday present he received was Ford's autobiography in German. The only American mentioned in Mein Kampf is Ford. Hitler described him, Baldwin recalls, as the only American "who truly understands what we are trying to accomplish here in Germany." In a 1923 interview, Hitler dubbed Ford "the leader of the growing fascist movement in America."
In 1938, Hitler awarded Ford the Grand Service Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle, a Nazi honor for foreigners.
"It was awarded by the German consul general in Detroit in a big ceremony on Ford's 75th birthday," Baldwin notes. "It was not a surprise. Ford knew the medal was coming; he had a chance to turn it down, and he said absolutely not."
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