Unfolding at this area of the website is one of the great behind the scenes stories of American Business...on Harley Earlís ardent passion towards quelling his No. 1 Detroit nemesis: Henry Ford was a giant anti-Semite who partnered with Adolf Hitler's deranged pre WW II vision of how the world should unfold in the future. This enormous subplot is one of the reasons Harley Earl's story remains untold today. While Henry Ford went on to drive his company to the brink of bankruptcy directly following the war years (Ford died in 1947 at the age of 83), Earl was guiding General Motors to the top during the 1950s.
The bitter rivalry between Ford and Earl was as
much about religion, politics and personal style as it was about cars. Ford's
anti-Semitism versus Earl's loyalty towards his early Hollywood mentors and
largest clients (many of which were Jewish);
Fordís utilitarian machines versus Earlís colorful, ever-evolving
confections; Ford's farm-boy aesthetic versus Earl's Hollywood flair; Ford's nasty anti-labor union sentiments versus
Earl's effortless movement through the stratospheres of big business and show
Essentially, Ford was so caught up by the idea of Jewish financiers plotting to undermine the United States prior to World War Two he became a proselytizer for "The Protocols" in his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent. Adolph Hitler, an admirer of Ford, was introduced to "The Protocols" by the Nazi ideologue Alfred Rosenberg, and cited it in "Mein Kampf." More than 23 editions of the The Protocols were published by the Nazi party.
This 34-page 1939 newspaper, illustrated above, was dedicated to exposing how warped and un-American this powerful businessman had become prior to World War Two (Ford's rant against the Jews had been going on for nearly 20 years up to this time). Anyway, fast forward to the mid-1990s to find out how the minds running Detroit's auto industry decided it would be a good idea to simply prop "old master" Henry Ford up as the quintessential "great American auto pioneer of the 20th century." Regardless of Ford's checkered past, all the top leaders of GM, Ford and Chrysler's chose to go along with further canonizing Ford so the public could embrace him before, during and after the American auto industry's centennial celebration in 1996. Little did these leaders know, but they had just pined Detroit's future hopes on the wrong man to represent America's auto industry going forward into the twenty-first century.
Henry Ford's beliefs and core values around his movement of "Jews being the world's foremost problem" was an extreme negative proposition. By the late 1930s, Ford knew he was being used by Fascist groups all over the world and that reprints of his writings on "The Jewish Question" in his Dearborn Independent magazine had become a "best seller" among the Nazis. L.M. Birkhead headed the FRIENDS OF DEMOCRACY, INC. that printed all the supporting evidence in this 33-page newspaper, above. Being the national director, Birkhead's organization called "upon Henry Ford, as a loyal and liberty-loving American, to do the following: Recant his beliefs on Jews being the world's foremost problem and for Ford to stop further publication and circulation of pamphlets and books containing copies of or extracts from the The Dearborn Independent articles." The main goal of the Friends of Democracy organization was to publicly divulge Ford's dramatic role of being in bed with Adolph Hitler and his deranged Nazism beliefs for a new world order. Thankfully this group of patriots [Friends of Democracy, Inc.] were successful in exposing Ford's bodyguard of lies and eventually made him publicly recant. If Ford hadn't recanted, he might well have been asked to leave American soil in 1941 -- when the United States entered WW II.
America's auto capital could sure use a new metaphorical leader to help drive Detroit upward and onward further into the 21st century. A lot can be learned on how America's auto capital blazed the trail for the rest of the players of the global automobile industry to become dependant on design.
Baldwin says why Ford will never be a good role model to future generations of Americans, "Poison injected into the system by the doctor of medicine or the doctor of public opinion is not wiped out by merely admitting the mistake and saying one is sorry."