London, Jul 20: According to a new book by historian, Ralf Georg Reuth, Henry Ford's automobile production techniques did not only revolutionize the car industry, but his methods and beliefs also had a huge effect on the infamous Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, a new book has revealed.
In 1920, Hitler's staff was astonished to see Ford's portrait hanging at the Nazi Party headquarters in Munich. Many couldn't digest the fact that an American was object of affection for the self idolatrous Fuhrer (leader).
Ford is the only American mentioned in Hitler's Mein Kampf, because this American was different, the Daily Express reports.
The compelling new book by Reuth, 'Hitler's Jewish Hatred: Cliche And Reality', explores in detail the spell that the entrepreneur, visionary and committed anti-Semite weaved over the Nazi leader.
In Ford, Hitler saw a man who shared his own hatreds, but who possessed the genius of the technocrat that he would later come to value so much in war.
"With his inexpensive car the Model T he inspired the world and also -Hitler. Hitler saw in him a visionary and in many ways the -feeling was mutual," writes Reuth,
According to the book, Ford wrote a virulent anti-semitic book in 1920 which accused Jewish people of being the driving force behind communism, striving for "world domination" and bent on destroying Germany: all crazed themes which Hitler would cannibalize and reproduce in his autobiography Mein Kampf.
From the earliest days of the Nazi Party, Reuth recalls how its leader bored comrades with talk of this 'great man'.
Hitler used to tell friends, "I shall do my best to put his theories into practice in Germany, and modelling the Volkswagen, the people's car, on the Model T. I regard Henry Ford as my inspiration."
It was in 1922, Reuth writes, that Ford began channelling funds to the Nazi Party, having almost -certainly been "tapped up" as a prominent donor by either Hitler or one of his closest henchmen.
In 1938, five years after the Nazis rose to power, Ford received a special birthday present from Hitler. The Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle was the highest -honour the Reich could bestow on a foreigner.
Ford proudly accepted it and never relinquished it - not even after Germany started the Second World War, not after America was attacked by Japan and Germany declared war on the US, not even after the full scale of the Holocaust was known, the book says.