Is Wikipedia Whitewashed?

Most large companies, that have been around for a long time, have done things which they should not be proud of today. Some of the acts can be put down to ignorance of the effects but many are just companies doing what they do best – making money.

One such example is the role of IBM in Nazi Germany. Edwin Black argues in his fascinating and well researched book IBM and the Holocaust that IBM not only provided the technology that made the holocaust possible but also ensured that it ran effectively. Without the data processing power provided by IBM the amount of people found, rounded up, transported and killed would have been substantially less than it was.

Recently I came across a list entitled 10 Global Businesses that Worked With the Nazis. It’s an interesting read where Hugo Boss designed uniforms for the military, Chase Bank froze Jewish accounts, Ford built military trucks, Random House published propaganda, Kodak made miscellaneous military merchandise, Coca Cola developed Fanta exclusively for Germany, Allianz stole insurance money from Jewish customers, Novartis made Zyklon B gas, NestlĂ© manufactured and sold chocolate, BMW made engines, General Electric manufactured material and profiteered.

In addition to the ethics of money over humanity many of these companies used forced laborers during the war (POWs, slave laborers and inmates of concentration camps).

All this is important history that is sometimes forgotten but my interest was whether these facts were mentioned on Wikipedia?

IBM – Not mentioned

Hugo Boss – Mentioned

Chase Bank – Not mentioned

Ford – Not mentioned

Random House – Not mentioned

Kodak – Not mentioned

Coca Cola – Mentioned

Allianz – Mentioned

Novartis – Not mentioned

NestlĂ© – Not mentioned

BMW – Not mentioned

General Electric – Not mentioned

OK, so it’s difficult to know what a lack of information can depend on. But: If a large companies, that have been around for a long time, does not have negative information on its Wikipedia page – then it is reasonable to suspect that the page has been whitewashed.

If this information is missing, then what else has been erased and how could we find out?