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Ford Closes Chapter on Historic Anti-Semitism

Henry Ford recieved the Grand Cross of the German Eagle from Adolf Hitler's Third Reich, presented by Karl Kapp, German consul-general of Cleveland (left), and Fritz Hailer, German consul of Detroit (right).

SEE ALSO: Mark Fields To Replace Mulally

Special to The Auto Channel
By John McElroy
Auto Line Daily

Detroit MI May 5, 2014; While covering the auto industry I have always made it a point to never report about the personal lives of the people who work in it.

But I have to make one exception because of its historical importance. And it all has to do with Mark Fields being named CEO of the Ford Motor Company.

This story starts with Henry Ford, who was a complicated man. On one hand he was a genius, on the other he was an ill-educated bigot. Henry was especially anti-Semitic, he bought into all the conspiracy theories of Jews dominating the world. Worse, he even started a newspaper called the Dearborn Independent that went out of its way to vilify Jews. In fact, he was so famously anti-Semitic that he drew the praise and admiration of Adolf Hitler, who even awarded Ford the Grand Cross of the German Eagle. I’ve even met Jewish people over the years who would never buy a Ford because of this.

So fast-forward to last week when Mark Fields was named CEO of the company. Mark is Jewish and for the Ford Motor Company to have a Jewish CEO is a historically important development. To me this finally closes the chapter on what had been a dark stain on both the company and the family.

And I could not let this go by without commenting on it.

The Auto Channel Owner's Note:: Thanks John, we couldn't have said it better ourselves...good luck to Mark!