This order was created a year ago, in 1937 by Adolf Hitler himself and its idea was to represent the highest honor that can be granted to the foreigner by the Third Reich. In case of Henry Ford it was also Hitler’s personal passion to the success of the US car industry icon.
At a ceremony in Dearborn, Michigan, Henry Ford is presented with the Grand Cross of the Supreme Order of the German Eagle on his 75th birthday. The order was presented by Karl Kapp, German consul in Cleveland, and Fritz Heller, German consular representative in Detroit.
The connection between Henry Ford can easily be explained by antisemitic views of US industry icon and the antesimitic politic which was dominant in the Third Reich. Ford is that the sole American mentioned favorably in Mein Kampf, although he’s only mentioned once: Hitler wrote: “only one great man, Ford, [who], to [the Jews’] fury, still maintains full independence…[from] the controlling masters of the producers during a nation of 1 hundred and twenty millions”.
There’re several historical theories for Ford-Nazi connection. Some have offered muckraking indictments of the American industrialist as a Nazi sympathizer and war profiteer. For others, the connection exhibited Nazi “reactionary modernism”, that paradoxical Fusion of technological zeal and anti-modern romanticism supposedly characteristic of Nazism. Others again have suggested a structural nexus between Fordism and Fascism. during this vein, Fordism is really understood as a tool of capitalist control over economic manpower . In Germany, it’s asserted, Fordism only became dominant under Nazism.
“My acceptance of a medal from the German people doesn’t , as some people seem to think, involve any sympathy for my spare Nazism”
Interestingly, Ford was both extremely anti-Semitic, and anti-war personality. He was known for a theory according to which jews were the main reason of the WWI. Here’s why you’ll never find any support from Ford to the German’s war preparations that were held in the 1930s. He said “My acceptance of a medal from the German people doesn’t , as some people seem to think, involve any sympathy for my spare Nazism. people who have known me for several years realize that anything that breeds hate is repulsive to me”. While Ford didn’t turn down the award, he also didn’t visit Germany to receive it, so it had been awarded to him in Michigan instead.