At the end of the 1918 Henry Ford purchased the Dearborn Independent. He told the readers: "I am very much interested in the future not only of my own country, but of the whole world, and I have definite ideas and ideals that I believe are practical for the good of all and I intend giving them to the public without having them garbled, distorted or misrepresented." He also announced that he was willing to spend $10 million to finance the publication." He told the editor that he did not want any mention of Ford's industrial enterprise. Unlike most newspapers, it carried no advertisements. In 1919 he told the New York World: "International financiers are behind all war. They are what is called the international Jew: German-Jews, French-Jews, English-Jews, American-Jews... a Jew is a threat."
Ford did not write all the articles in the newspaper. The editor, William Cameron, a passionate anti-Semite, is thought to have written most of it. Ford's secretary, Ernest Liebold, stated that "the Dearborn Independent is Henry Ford's own paper and he authorizes every statement occurring therein. Liebold added: "The Jewish question, as every businessman knows, has been festering in silence and suspicion here in the United States for a long time, and none has dared discuss it because the Jewish influence was strong enough to crush the man who attempted it. The Jews are the only race whom it is 'verboten' to discuss frankly and openly, and abusing the fear they have cast over business, the Jewish leaders have gone from one excess of the other until the time has come for a protest or a surrender."
On 22nd May, 1920, the Dearborn Independent included an article with the headline, "The International Jew: The World's Problem". The first paragraph began: "There is a race, a part of humanity which has never yet been received as a welcome part." The article went on to argue that in order to eventually rule the Gentiles, the Jews have long been conspiring to form an "international super-capitalist government." As James Pool, the author of Who Financed Hitler: The Secret Funding of Hitler's Rise to Power (1979), has pointed out: "In subsequent articles, Ford frequently accused the Jews of causing a decline in American culture, values, products, entertainment, and even worse, of being the instigator of World War I."
In another article Henry Ford argued: "The Jew is a race that has no civilization to point to no aspiring religion... no great achievements in any realm... We meet the Jew everywhere where there is no power. And that is where the Jew so habitually... gravitate to the highest places? Who puts him there? What does he do there? In any country, where the Jewish question has come to the forefront as a vital issue, you will discover that the principal cause is the outworking of the Jewish genius to achieve the power of control. Here in the United States is the fact of this remarkable minority attaining in fifty years a degree of control that would be impossible to a ten times larger group of any other race... The finances of the world are in the control of Jews; their decisions and devices are themselves our economic laws."
Ford's biographer, William C. Richards, has argued in The Last Billionaire (1948): "He (Henry Ford) caused to have published a series of articles in which he set up the major postulate that there was a Jewish plot to rule the world by control of the machinery of commerce and exchange - by a super-capitalism based wholly on the fiction that gold was wealth." Professor Norman Cohn, the author of Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World-Conspiracy (1966) has pointed out: "There is no real doubt that Ford knew perfectly well what he was sponsoring. He founded the Dearborn Independent in 1919 as a vehicle for his own 'philosophy' and he took a keen and constant interest in it; much of the contents consisted simply of edited versions of his talk."
By 1923 the Dearborn Independent was a notorious, mass-circulated, anti-Semitic propaganda sheet with a circulation of 500,000. Articles that appeared in the newspaper was published in book form. Entitled The International Jew, it was distributed widely and translated into sixteen different languages. The German edition, printed in Leipzig, was especially popular. Baldur von Schirach, who was later to become the head of the Hitler Youth claimed that he developed anti-Semite views at seventeen after reading the book by Ford. He later recalled: "We saw in Henry Ford the representative of success, also the exponent of a progressive social policy. In the poverty-stricken and wretched Germany of the time, youth looked toward America, and apart from the great benefactor, Herbert Hoover, it was Henry Ford who to us represented America."
Keith Sward, the author of The Legend of Henry Ford (1948) quotes a Jewish attorney who went on a world tour in the mid-1920s, said he saw copies of Ford's book in the "most remote corners of the earth". He maintained that "but for the authority of the Ford name, they would have never seen the light of day and would have never seen the light of day and would have been quite harmless if they had. With the magic name they spread like wildfire and became the Bible of every anti-Semite."
Adolf Hitler was another one who read The International Jew. He also Ford's autobiography, My Life and Work (1922). In 1923 Hitler heard that Ford was considering running for President. He told the Chicago Tribune, "I wish that I could send some of my shock troops to Chicago and other big American cities to help in the elections... We look to Heinrich Ford as the leader of the growing Fascist movement in America... We have just had his anti-Jewish articles translated and published. The book is being circulated to millions throughout Germany." The New York Times reported that there was a large picture of Henry Ford on the wall beside Hitler's desk in the Brown House.
Ford also sponsored the printing of 500,000 copies of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion in the United States. Adolf Hitler told Herman Rauschning that he was "appalled" when he first read the Protocols: "The stealthiness of the enemy and his ubiquity! I saw at once we must copy it - in our own way of course." He admitted that the Protocols had convinced him the fight against the Jews was "the critical battle for the fate of the world!" Rauschning commented: "Don't you think you are attributing rather too much importance to the Jews? Hitler responded angrily: "No, No, No! It is impossible to exaggerate the formidable quality of the Jew as an enemy." Rauschning then took another approach: "But the Protocols are a manifest forgery... It couldn't possibly be genuine." Hitler replied that he did not care if it was "historically true" as its "intrinsic truth" was more important: "We must beat the Jew with his own weapon. I saw that the moment I had read the book."
Henry Ford was especially worried by the Russian Revolution. If the ideas of Karl Marx established itself in America he would obviously be one of the first to suffer. In his book, My Life and Work (1922), he wrote: "We learned from Russia that it is the minority and not the majority who determine destructive action... There is in this country a sinister element that desires to creep in between the men who work with their hands and the men who think and plan... The same influence that drove the brains, experience, and ability out of Russia is busily engaged in raising prejudice here. We must not suffer the stranger, the destroyer, the hater of happy humanity to divide our people. In unity is America's strength - and freedom."
According to Norman Cohn, the author of Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World-Conspiracy (1966) Ford deplored "the lack of moral standards" in modern commerce and blamed this on the Jews. Ford told one reporter: "When there's wrong in a country you'll find Jews... The Jew is a huckster who doesn't want to produce but to make something of what somebody else produces." In the Dearborn Independent Ford wrote: "A Jew has no attachment for the things he makes, for he doesn't make any; he deals in the things which other men make and regards them solely on the side of their money-making value."
According to James Pool, the author of Who Financed Hitler: The Secret Funding of Hitler's Rise to Power (1979): "In the minds of Ford and Hitler, Communism was a completely Jewish creation. Not only was its founder, Karl Marx, the grandson of a rabbi, but more importantly Jews held leading positions, as well as a high percentage of the membership, in the Communist parties throughout the world. The International Jew stated that since the time of the French Revolution Jews had been involved in numerous movements to overthrow ruling regimes." In Mein Kampf Hitler pointed out: "In Russian bolshevism we must see Jewry's twentieth-century effort to take world domination unto itself."
Henry Ford was highly critical of the democratic system in the United States. According to Ford, democracy is nothing but a "levelling down of ability" Ford wrote in the Dearborn Independent that there could be "no greater absurdity and no greater disservice to humanity in general than to insist that all men are equal." Ford went on to argue that the Jews had used democracy to raise themselves up in society. He quotes the The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion as claiming the Jews stated: "We were the first to shout the words, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, among the people. These words have been repeated many times since by unconscious poll-parrots, flocking from all sides to this bait with which they have been ruined.... The presumably clever Gentiles did not understand the symbolism of the uttered words. Did not notice that in nature there is no equality."
Ford believed the motion picture industry "is exclusively under the control, moral and financial, of the Jewish manipulators of the public mind." According to Ford the Jews used the movies and the theatre to poison the American people with sensuality, indecency, appalling illiteracy, and endless liberal platitudes. Ford, like Hitler, did not like popular music. "Monkey talk, jungle squeals, grunts and squeaks camouflaged by a few feverish notes". It was not really "popular" but rather an artificial popularity was created for it by high-pressured advertising. Ford argued that the Jews had created the popularity of the African style to destroy the moral fabric of the white race.
Representatives of almost all national Jewish organizations and religious bodies issued a common declaration denouncing the Ford campaign. One hundred and nineteen prominent Christians, including Woodrow Wilson, called upon Ford to stop his "vicious propaganda". President Warren Harding privately asked Ford to halt the attacks. William Fox, president of Fox Film Corporation, threatened to show footage of Model T accidents in his newsreels, if Ford persisted in attacking the character of Jewish film executives and their motion pictures.
Soon most Jewish firms and individual Jews boycotted Ford products and Gentile firms who did business with Jewish concerns and were dependent on their good will followed suit to please their best customers. Although sales of Ford cars continued to grow. For example, in 1925, the company was producing 10,000 cars every 24 hours. This was 60 per cent of America's total output of cars. However, Henry Ford's campaign against the Jews, hurt the company in the eastern metropolitan centres. Senior executives later admitted that during the run of the anti-Semitic articles the company lost business which was never regained.
A prominent American Jew, Isaac Landman, challenged Ford to prove that a Jewish plot existed. Landman said he would guarantee to provide sufficient money to hire the world's leading detectives and would agree to print their findings, whatever they might be, in at least one hundred leading newspapers. Ford accepted the challenge but insisted on employing his own detectives. He established headquarters in New York City and hired a group of agents to "unmask the operation of the Secret World Government". His team included former senior members of the U.S. Secret Service.
Henry Ford believed that Bernard Baruch, one of America's richest men, was one of the main leaders of this conspiracy. He and other prominent Jews were investigated. So also was Justice Louis Brandeis, a Jewish member of the Supreme Court (One of the justices, James McReynolds, hostility towards Jews was so strong he always refused to sit next to Brandeis during meetings.) Woodrow Wilson and Colonel Edward House were also investigated as they were considered by Ford as "Gentile fronts" for the "Secret World Government". Despite spending a great deal of money on the operation, Ford was unable to prove that a Jewish plot existed.
In 1927, Aaron Sapiro, a prominent Chicago attorney, accused Ford with libel for saying that he was involved in a plot with other Jewish middlemen to gain control of American agriculture. The case was settled out of court when Ford published a personal apology to Sapiro and a formal retraction of his attacks against the Jews. Ford asked for the forgiveness of the Jewish people and made a humble apology for the injustices done to them through his publications. He also announced that he was closing Dearborn Independent down. The reason for this change of heart was that Ford was told that the Jewish boycott of his cars was having a serious impact on sales. Ford was told that his proposed launch of the new Model A car would end in failure unless he ended his campaign against the Jews.
The Jew is a race that has no civilization to point to no aspiring religion... no great achievements in any realm... We meet the Jew everywhere where there is no power. And that is where the Jew so habitually... gravitate to the highest places? Who puts him there? What does he do there? In any country, where the Jewish question has come to the forefront as a vital issue, you will discover that the principal cause is the outworking of the Jewish genius to achieve the power of control. Here in the United States is the fact of this remarkable minority attaining in fifty years a degree of control that would be impossible to a ten times larger group of any other race... The finances of the world are in the control of Jews; their decisions and devices are themselves our economic laws.
Not only did Hitler specifically praise Henry Ford in Mein Kampf, but many of Hitler's ideas were also a direct reflection of Ford's racist philosophy. There is a great similarity between The International Jew and Hitler's Mein Kampf, and some passages are so identical that it has been said Hitler copies directly from Ford's publication. Hitler also read Ford's autobiography, My Life and Work, which was published in 1922 and was a best seller in Germany, as well as Ford's book entitled Today and Tomorrow. There can be no doubt as to the influence of Henry Ford's ideas on Hitler.