Working for the Enemy: Ford, General Motors, and Forced Labor in Germany During the Second World War
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Working for the Enemy: Ford, General Motors, and Forced Labor in Germany During the Second World War

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""By carefully examining the automotive companies' collaboration with the Reich and placing it in an international context, the book is indispensable reading for all who are interested in the moral implications of capitalist economies under totalitarian conditions."" · The International History Review (Hans Mommsen) ""... comprehensive ... a plethora of information and moving first-person testimonies... underscores the myriad human rights implications of today's corporate policies in a global economy."" · The Nation During the war, the Nazi Reich used millions of POWs, civilians from German-occupied countries, and concentration camp prisoners as forced laborers in the German homefront economy. Starting in 1940, Ford Werke and Opel also made use of thousands of forced laborers. POWs and civilian detainees, deported to Germany by the Nazi authorities, were kept at private camps owned and managed by the companies. In the longest section of the book, ten people who were forced to work at Ford Werke recall their experiences in oral testimonies. For more than fifty years, legal and political obstacles frustrated efforts to gain compensation for Nazi-era forced labor. In 1998, former forced laborers filed dozens of class action lawsuits against German corporations in U.S. courts. The concluding chapter reviews the subsequent, immensely complex negotiations towards a settlement. Reinhold Billstein is a historian of industry and urban life and heads the International Office at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg. Karola Fings is a historian and has participated in organizing the City of Cologne's visitor's program for former forced laborers since its inception in 1989. Anita Kugler is a well-known journalist with die tageszeitung in Berlin and a historian of the automotive industry. Nicholas Levis is a writer specializing in international political issues.

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