Edwin Black’s account of how one of America’s most powerful corporations helped Nazi Germany systematically keep track of Jews, run trains and operate death camps will be examined when the acclaimed journalist-historian visits SMU Wednesday, Nov. 7, to discuss his New York Times-bestselling book, IBM and the Holocaust.
The free public talk and book signing, sponsored by SMU’s Embrey Human Rights Program in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, will begin at 7 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom East.
Black writes of a secret alliance between the Third Reich and IBM, and the company’s subsequent “structured deniability.” The 2001 book, set to become a motion picture produced by Brad Pitt, also addresses U.S. corporate ethics and responsibility during one of the world’s darkest chapters, in which 11 million people were killed.
“IBM and its subsidiaries helped create enabling technologies, step-by-step, from the identification and cataloging programs of the 1930s to the selections of the 1940s,” Black says. Though computers as we know them did not exist, Black notes, IBM’s Hollerith punch-card technology helped facilitate the Nazis’ “Final Solution.”
“Edwin Black shatters the myth that powerful U.S. corporations, including Ford and Chrysler, had few dealings with Nazi Germany,” says Embrey Human Rights Program Director Rick Halperin. “In fact, his findings raise disturbing questions about America’s profits from the murder of millions of people across Europe.”
Black’s books include British Petroleum and the Redline Agreement (2011), The Farhud (2010), Nazi Nexus (2009), The Plan (2008), Internal Combustion (2006), Banking on Baghdad (2004), War Against the Weak (2003 and 2012), The Transfer Agreement (1984 and 2009) and the novel Format C: (1999).
For more information, call 214-768-8347 or visit smu.edu/humanrights.
Written by Denise Gee