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Old 29-06-2012, 09:23 PM   #173
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Arrow Order of the German Eagle

Watson's merger of diplomacy and business was not always lauded. During the 1930s, IBM's German subsidiary was its most profitable foreign operation, and a 2001 book, IBM and the Holocaust by Edwin Black, argues that Watson's pursuit of profit led him to personally approve and spearhead IBM's strategic technological relationship with the Third Reich. In particular, critics point to the coveted Order of the German Eagle medal that Watson received at the Berlin ICC meeting in 1937, as evidence that he was being honored for the help that IBM's German subsidiary Dehomag (Deutsche Hollerith-Maschinen Gesellschaft mbH) and its punch card machines provided the Nazi regime, particularly in the tabulation of census data. The most recent study of the matter, however, argues that Watson believed, perhaps naively, that the medal was in recognition of his years of labor on behalf of global commerce and international peace. Watson soon began second-guessing himself for accepting the medal, and eventually returned the medal to the German government in June 1940. German Chancellor Adolf Hitler was furious at the slight, and he declared that Watson would never step on German-controlled soil again. As anticipated, Dehomag went into revolt, its management decrying Watson's stupidity and openly wondering whether or not it would be best if the firm separated from its American owner. The debate ended when Germany declared war on the United States in December 1941, and the German shareholders took custody of the Dehomag operation. But during World War II, IBM subsidiaries in occupied Europe never stopped delivery of punch cards to Dehomag, and documents uncovered show that senior executives at IBM world headquarters in New York took great pains to maintain legal authority over Dehomag's operations and assets through the personal intervention of IBM managers in neutral Switzerland, directed via personal communications and private letters. Whether this was with or without Watson's direct involvement is unclear.

A unique Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle in Gold with Diamonds (Grosskreuz des Deutschen Adlerordens in Gold und Brillanten) was also awarded to Benito Mussolini on 25 September 1937.

On 27 December 1943 the Order was reorganised into nine classes...

Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle in Gold with Star (Goldenes Grosskreuz des Deutschen Adlerordens)
Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle with Star (Grosskreuz des Deutschen Adlerordens)
Order of the German Eagle 1st Class (Deutscher Adlerorden, Erste Stufe)
Order of the German Eagle 2nd Class (Deutscher Adlerorden, Zweite Stufe)
Order of the German Eagle 3rd Class (Deutscher Adlerorden, Dritte Stufe)
Order of the German Eagle 4th Class (Deutscher Adlerorden, Vierte Stufe)
Order of the German Eagle 5th Class (Deutscher Adlerorden, Fünfte Stufe)
Silver Medal of Merit (Silberne Verdienstmedaille)
Bronze Medal of Merit (Bronzene Verdienstmedaille)

The Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle in Gold was awarded fourteen times...

Ion Antonescu, Chief-of-staff of the Romanian army
King Boris III of Bulgaria
Galeazzo Ciano Conte di Cortelazzo, Italy
Francisco Franco, Spanish politician (defacto Regent of Spain and general (last holder of the Grand Cross at the time of his death in 1975).
Dr. Wilhelm Frick, Reichsminister
Admiral Miklós Horthy, Hungary
Field Marshal Carl Gustav Emil Mannerheim, Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish armed forces
General Hiroshi Ōshima, Japanese ambassador
Risto Ryti, President of Finland
Constantin Freiherr von Neurath, Reich Foreign Minister
Joachim von Ribbentrop, Reich Foreign Minister
Jozef Tiso, Slovak president 1939-1945 awarded twice: for war with Poland 1939 and for invading into the USSR 1942
Alessandro Pirzio Biroli, Italian general

Number awarded unknown...

Emil Kirdof, director of the Gelsenkirchen industrial consortium (awarded by Hitler on 8 April 1937).
Thomas J. Watson, chairman of IBM, 1937. Watson was also president of the International Chamber of Commerce in 1937; the medal was awarded while the ICC was meeting in Germany that year.
Henry Ford was awarded the Grand Cross of the German Eagle on his 75th birthday, 30 July 1938.
General Olof Thörnell, Supreme Commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, was awarded the Grand Cross of the German Eagle 7 October 1940.
Charles Lindbergh was awarded the Order of the German Eagle with Star 19 October 1938.
James Mooney, General Motors' chief executive for overseas operations, was awarded Order of the German Eagle 1st Class.
Ing. Ugo Conte (1884–1951), Rome Chief Engineer, was awarded Order of German Eagle 2nd Class on 16 December 1938 for leading team in the construction of first German motorway.
Swedish explorer Sven Hedin was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle on his 75th birthday on 19 February 1940.
Finnish Minister of Defence Rudolf Walden was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle.
Finnish leader of the Lotta Svärd organization Fanni Luukkonen was awarded the Order of the German Eagle with Star on May 19, 1943. She was the only non-German woman to receive the medal.

After World War II, Watson began work to further the extent of IBM's influence abroad and in 1949, the year he stepped down, created the IBM World Trade Corporation in order to oversee IBM's foreign business...Watson was named chairman emeritus of IBM in 1956. A month before his death, Watson handed over the reins of the company to his oldest son, Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Thomas Watson Sr. was interred in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York.

The Apple slogan "Think Different" has been widely taken as a response to IBM's "Think."

Last edited by lightgiver; 29-06-2012 at 09:27 PM.
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