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BERLIN HEARS FORD IS BACKING HITLER

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Henry Ford

BERLIN HEARS FORD IS BACKING HITLER

The New York Times
December 20, 1922


Bavarian Anti-Semitic Chief Has American's Portrait and Book in His Office.

SPENDS MONEY LAVISHLY

One German Paper Appeals to the United States Ambassador to Make Investigation.

Copyright, 1922, by The New York Times Company.
Special Cable to The New York Times.

BERLIN, Dec. 19.—A rumor is current here that Henry Ford, the American automobile manufacturer, is financing Adolph Hitler's nationalist and anti-Semitic movement in Munich. Indeed, the Berlin Tageblatt has made an appeal to the American Ambassador in Berlin to investigate and interfere.

Doubtless there is some ground for suspicion that Hitler is spending foreign money, for the paper marks his admirers throughout Germany contribute toward his movement would hardly suffice to pay for such a large expenditure as his personal and business establishments require. His spacious headquarters in Munich are splendidly furnished and his organization employs a host of highly paid lieutenants and officials.

Last Sunday Hitler reviewed the so-called Storming Battalion attached to his organization, numbering about 1,000 young men in brand new uniforms and all armed with revolvers and blackjacks, which, however, they carry concealed. Naturally, peaceful citizens ask who has paid for these uniforms and arms, who defrayed the heavy expenses of the six meetings Hitler held the same day in all parts of Munich and who paid for the two powerful, brand-new autos in which Hitler and his staff hurried from and to the meetings.

The wall beside his desk in Hitler's private office is decorated with a large picture of Henry Ford. In the antechamber there is a large table covered with books, nearly all of which are translation of a book written and published by Henry Ford. If you ask one of Hitler's underlings for the reason of Ford's popularity in these circles he will smile knowingly but say nothing.

In Nationalist circles in Berlin, too, one often hears Ford's name mentioned by people who would seem the very last in the world with whom an American respecting the Republican Constitution would seek any association.

The New York Times correspondent is in a position to say that certain circles who make Hohenzollern propaganda their business addressed Henry Ford—whose name was given them as being that of a man likely to respond favorably—for financial aid.

It must be admitted that the result was negative. Mr. Ford has not invested in the monarchist propaganda. Indeed, he has made that quite clear to those who long for Wilhelm's return. And this fact may be responsible for the pains Hitler takes at every occasion to state that he is not supporting a monarchist movement, be it for a Hohenzollern, Wittelsbach or any other princeling.

If the Munich Government tolerates his military organization, his excesses against law and order, his speeches inciting his audiences to kill Jews and Socialists, then there is only one explanation, Berlin observers say, namely, that these authorities do not take Hitler's profession of not being interested in either the Wittelsbachs or Hohenzollerns very seriously, despite the picture that is gracing his private office.

It is wondered whether Hitler's surprise parties to North German towns will cease now that the Berlin Nationalist Jew baiters have set up shop for themselves under Reventlow and Von Graefe, as reported yesterday. Reventlow has already opened offices for his new Nationalist Liberty Party.

Special to The New York Times.

DETROIT, Dec. 19.—Henry Ford could not be interviewed today, but his general secretary, E. G. Liebold, says he knows nothing about the reports concerning him current in Berlin.



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