Adolf Hitler and Henry Ford had something of a bromance. Yes, you read that right. In 1938, Ford received the Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle from the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP), or the Nazi Party, on his 75th birthday. The Cross, an honor created by Hitler the year prior to celebrate foreign diplomats, represented the esteem Hitler and his party held for Ford.
The Ford Motor Company was making automobiles long before WWII and continued to do so long after. During the NSDAP rise to power and the conflict itself, Ford and his company built for the Allied and Axis powers alike, despite later claims to the contrary. The connections between Ford and the NSDAP is an uncomfortable one for modern observers. Historians debate what Ford himself may or may not have known, but Ford's support of the Third Reich remains a little-known chapter of industrial history.
The Ford Motor Company Had Factories Around The World, And The Germans Were Fascinated By Ford Himself
During WWI, The Ford Motor Company Built Things For The US Military, Even Though Ford Opposed Conflict
Ford Was No Stranger To Anti-Semitism, As His Writings Inspired The Third Reich
Hitler Mentioned Ford In 'Mein Kampf' And Had A Picture Of Him Hanging On His Wall
Hitler Used Ford's Ideas In His Economic Policy
Ford Manipulated Sales To Funnel Money Into Its German Factory