Henry Ford, an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production, was a pacifist who opposed World War I and believed that Jews were responsible for starting wars in order to profit from them. Ford also believed Jews, in their role as financiers, did not contribute anything of value to society.
In his own words, Ford stated that:
“International financiers are behind all war. They are what is called the International Jew: German Jews, French Jews, English Jews, American Jews. I believe that in all those countries except our own the Jewish financier is supreme . . . here the Jew is a threat”.
In 1915, during World War I, Ford blamed Jews for instigating the war, saying “I know who caused the war: German-Jewish bankers.”
Later, in 1925, Ford said “What I oppose most is the international Jewish money power that is met in every war. That is what I oppose – a power that has no country and that can order the young men of all countries out to death”.
Ford in the early 1920s sponsored a weekly newspaper that published (among many non-controversial articles) strongly anti-Semitic views. At the same time Ford had a reputation as one of the few major corporations actively hiring black workers; he was not accused of discrimination against Jewish workers or suppliers.
In 1918, Ford’s closest aide and private secretary, Ernest G. Liebold, purchased an obscure weekly newspaper for Ford, The Dearborn Independent. The Independent ran for eight years, from 1920 until 1927, during which Liebold was editor. Every Ford franchise nation-wide had to carry the paper and distribute it to its customers.
The newspaper published The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which was discredited by The Times of London as a forgery during the Independent’s publishing run. The American Jewish Historical Society described the ideas presented in the magazine as “anti-immigrant, anti-labor, anti-liquor, and anti-Semitic.” In February 1921, the New York World published an interview with Ford, in which he said: “The only statement I care to make about the Protocols is that they fit in with what is going on.” During this period, Ford emerged as “a respected spokesman for right-wing extremism and religious prejudice,” reaching around 700,000 readers through his newspaper. The 2010 documentary film Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story (written by Pulitzer Prize winner Ira Berkow) noted that Ford wrote on May 22, 1920: “If fans wish to know the trouble with American baseball they have it in three words—too much Jew.”