Henry Ford and The Dearborn Independent

Industrialist Henry Ford pioneered mass production and the dissemination of antisemitic literature in America.

Industrialist Henry Ford pioneered mass production and the dissemination of antisemitic literature in America.

The only statement I care to make about the Protocols is that they fit in with what is going on...[I am] only trying to awake the Gentile world to an understanding of what is going on. The Jew is a mere huckster, a trader who doesn't want to produce, but to make something out of what someone else produces.

- Henry Ford, when asked why he published The International Jew

1924 Yiddish language book by David Meckler that exposes the antisemitism of Henry Ford. The title is <i>The Truth about Henry Ford.

1924 Yiddish language book by David Meckler that exposes the antisemitism of Henry Ford. The title is The Truth about Henry Ford.

Automobile manufacturer Henry Ford’s belief that Jews were the source of international and domestic problems was reflected in the "news" and opinions expressed in his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent. In 1919, the paper began running a two-year long series of articles on the "International Jew," which detailed Ford's belief in an international Jewish conspiracy. Ford was influenced by a book entitled The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

This monograph claimed to be the minutes of a meeting of Jewish communists and bankers who detailed their plans of world domination. In reality, the Protocols were the creation of various members of the Okhrana (the Russian Czarist secret police), who plagarized it from a nineteenth century French novel. Ford was so influenced by The Protocols that he printed 500,000 English language copies of the book for an American audience, thus becoming the person responsible for bringing the forgery to the United States. To ensure that the text recieved as large an audience as possible, excerpts were published in The Dearborn Independent.

In addition to publishing Protocols, Ford was also responsible for the series of antisemitic articles known as The International Jew that ran in The Dearborn Independence. The editorials originated in Ford's own rambling thoughts and were transcribed and edited by an assistant. The Dearborn Independent's International Jew series was so popular that Ford received thousands of letters from Americans from all walks of life who praised him for his views. The International Jew was also popular overseas; one fan included a then unknown Adolf Hitler, who kept a life-sized photograph of Ford in his Munich office.

Sources Cited

The Anti-Defamation League. "Anti-Semitic Myths: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." The Anti-Defamation League Home Page. http://www.adl.org/special_reports/protocols/protocols_intro.asp (accessed June 3, 2008).

Dinnerstein, Lenonard. Antisemitism in America. Oxford University Press: New York, 1994.

Greear, Wesley P. "American Immigration Policy and Public Opinion on European Jews from 1933 to 1945." Master's Thesis. http://etd-submit.etsu.edu/etd/theses/.../unrestricted/Greear040102.pdf#search='charles%20coughlin%20Jews'(accessed May 29, 2008).