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Holocaust Authors: David Weinberger

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Holocaust: Article

IBM Ordered Tried for Nazi Complicity

IBM Ordered Tried for Nazi Complicity

It's almost 60 years since the end of World War II and half the people now alive are only dimly aware that it was even fought, let alone who won, but IBM may finally have to answer for its actions under the Nazis in court.

It has been alleged since 2001 on the strength of a book called IBM and the Holocaust that IBM's punch card machines were instrumental in helping the Nazi death squads process their victims and send them to the concentration camps more efficiently.

In response, IBM has claimed that its European operations were confiscated by the Nazis and out of its control.

Historians, however, have dredged up documents suggesting the company was actively complicit with the SS.

Now a Geneva appeals court has cleared the way for representatives of the Gypsies, who the Nazis decimated in the camps, to sue IBM for "moral reparations."

Geneva is allegedly where IBM set up its wartime European headquarters in 1936, which acted on instructions from Armonk.

The court's ruling said, "It does not appear inconsistent to conclude that the respondent facilitated the task of the Nazis in their committing of crimes against humanity - acts which were counted and codified by IBM machines."

Doubtless IBM will appeal the decision to Switzerland's supreme court.

Meanwhile, IBM has settled the batch of some 50 US cases charging that its manufacturing processes caused cancer on undisclosed terms.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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