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No Evidence Ford Used Slave Labor

August 24, 1999

WARSAW, Poland (AP) _ Auschwitz historians have proven that Ford vehicles were used at the Nazi death camp, but have found no evidence that the company used inmates as slave laborers, a museum official said Tuesday.

Ford Motor Co. is among about 500 companies mentioned in Nazi documents the Auschwitz museum recently received from Russia. Soviet troops took part of the camp archive after liberating the camp in 1945.

Barbara Jarosz, head of the Auschwitz museum archives, said Ford is cited once in a report from a meeting of the camp’s transportation section in August 1942. It said that some Ford cars used at the camp needed spare parts from the company’s plant in Cologne, Germany.

Most of the documents still have to be reviewed, Jarosz said. But according to those seen so far, ``it is not true that Ford used slave labor or inmates’ labor,″ she said in a telephone interview.

Auschwitz supplied some companies in Nazi Germany with slave labor during World War II. From 1940-45, some 1.1 million people _ 90 percent of them Jews _ died at the camp.

Ford’s U.S. headquarters has acknowledged that slave labor was used at its Cologne plant during World War II, but says it lost control of its German operations during the war.

Apart from Ford’s German subsidiary, German industrial giants such as Krupp, Siemens, IG Farben and M.A.N. also are named in the newly available documents.

The documents include construction plans, orders for raw materials or services, invoices and reports from work on the death camp that the Nazis set up in 1940. They also include lists of workers, including camp inmates, used by some companies.

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