Boycotting Companies

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  • #1997984
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetsky wrote an interesting article in the Ami Magazine about the long list of unfriendly companies and how people no longer have sensitivity for other people pain in the rush for consumerism.
    Ellie Weisel refused to speak at a forum when he learned the Bayer was one of the the sponsors, my Rosh Yeshiva ztl was an American born and raised whos almost the entire family came to the shores in the early 1900s and hardly affected on a familial basis by the holocaust yet never rode in a Geman car.

    Frankly I get sick when I see someone with a Yalmuka wearing Hugo Boss clothing, a company the used slave labor to produce Nazi uniforms, Chasidisher Yingerlate whos grandparents survived the camps proudly driving BMW, Audi, Benzs and VWs, aboslutly disgusting.

    I personaly refuse to fly Lufthansa and walked from a deal when I found out the Reinsurer is Allianz

    #1998019
    MadeAliyah
    Participant

    The article brought up some great points and I agree with him on every one of them.
    However, the most important company he spoke about was the Antisemitic Press (AP). The AP is the only company on the list that still promotes antisemitism and works with Hamas, yet the largest frum newsite still uses them as their primary source of articles.

    #1998026

    Common, agree in general. Case for modern Germany is somewhat complicated: on 1 hand, emotionally, they are all responsible, on 2 hand, they are educated for several generations about the crimes their elders committed, on 3rd hand, who knows what they continue thinking…

    A less emotional case can be made for countries that did/do a lot of evil and did not try to mend their ways, even when they did not targets Jews, or target them together with others (which Germans also did): think Chinese solar panels, Cuban cigars, Russian vodka, Iranian carpets …

    #1998028
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @AAQ, just one question, do you have any close family memebers who were in the camps or lost family members during the war?

    #1998030

    yes, from Germans during WW2 and from Russians during WW1 and WW2. As I said, I fully understand your emotions an do not disagree. Still, not all Germans, Russians and even more Poles or Hungarians were involved in atrocities … Would you hold, for example, Frau Merkel accountable – when she went to such length protecting Syrian refugees (I am not touching here on the wisdom of her policy, just on her sentiment here)

    #1998038
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @AAQ, who was in the Nazi concentration camps that was related to you?

    @Made Aliya, I don’t have direct finanical control of the AP wire, wereas I have direct control on buying a Audi, Bayer asprin or Hugo Boss clothing

    #1998047
    lakewhut
    Participant

    Is there a Halacha that you have to buy an inferior product because one type of goyim were worse to Jews? Japan fought with with the Nazis and Ford supported them. Maybe ride a horse and buggy.

    #1998043
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    Didn’t the Japanese help the Germans?

    Does that mean you don’t drive Japanese cars either

    #1998046
    Abba_S
    Participant

    I can’t understand why Jews still go to Ukrane & Poland two countries that to this day still hate Jews. Thousands of Jews go there every year subsidizing the economy.

    #1998065
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @coffee addict and lakwhut, read up on history and see where Mir yeshiva spent two years unmolested during the war? want the answer Kobe Japan
    Lakewhut, sorry but your comment ranks pretty high up in the dumb comments catergory, these companies were not “one type of goyim that is worse for Jews” rather these firms took an active part in killing Jews, from mfg of Zyklon B by Bayer and Audi to VW trucks being used to transport yidden to the camps to Hugo Boss making the uniforms in the camps each one of these has Jewish blood on its hand.
    Let me take a wild guess you are one of these young snooks who made a few Dollars and feel compelled to drive around with a high end German car to show off

    #1998057
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    My mother was in Aushwitz and lost family members and father was in Mauthausen and lost family members. I would say if you get personel benefit from the merchandise. you are not supporting them but yourself.

    #1998056
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    As time goes on, it gets more problematic to link certain German-owned companies that had a direct and active role in Shoah-era atrocities with their modern ownership. In many cases, multiple change in control transactions have diluted the original ownership to a point where its really not the same company. In other cases the assets have been purchased and the original legal entity no longer exists. I would not drive a BMW or Mercedes but should I stop turning on the lights or opening the faucets if I live in a city whose electricity/water is supplied by utilities where German companies are the ultimate upstream owner? Should I not purchase an American-made electric vehicle i more than 50 percent of the value is sourced from German battery and motor companies. What about a German company listed as an ADR and the majority of its shareholders are American and other non-German investment funds. Its really an individual choice of where you draw the line and how “pure” you want to be

    #1998079
    rightwriter
    Participant

    Gadol you can’t boycott everyone and most likely most companies/people hate or dislike Jews whether they make it known or not.

    However these companies who directly assisted in the Holocaust or profited by it probably should be avoided. Such as IBM who set up machinery and systems to track down Jews and keep track of the systematic killings and operation of the Holocaust, which btw have not apologized till this day. So what does that tell you about how they feel towards what they’ve done.
    Bayer directly produced the Zyklon-B gas for the chambers.
    Volkswagen especially the beetle was a design produced by Porsche and Hitler yimach shemam. The name as well was thought of by him, “people’s car”.
    When the Germans ran out of coca cola, coca cola Germany created Fanta Orange which was known as the Nazi drink.
    The list goes on and on such as Chase Bank freezing Jewish accounts, Kodak, Hugo Boss who made uniforms for the soldiers and was a Nazi member himself, even GE who used Jewish slaves to build Gas Chambers and the list goes on and on.
    Avoid what you can. There’s a difference between a company/people who dislike Jews and companies that actually aided and profited in the extermination of Jews.

    #1998080
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @Reb E, Did either of your parents knowing buy products from a company that was know to have an active part in the Holocaust such as VW or Boss?

    #1998167
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Rightwriter: Per my post, I agree with your distinction between legal entities who directly participated in the atrocities, and those that were simply facilitators or stood by with their implicit anti-semitic beliefs. The issue I was trying to raise was for the first group of companies, who were directly involved, when (if ever) does the dilution in their upstream ownership, changes in domicile and control reach a point where the “zachor” element becomes moot as a practical matter. Otherwise, I have a very long memory and trying to convey that memory to the next several generations.

    #1998175
    1a2b3c
    Participant

    I don’t really understand the reason for boycotting companies who were once owned by wicked people who used them for wicked things. All these reshaim are in Gehinnom now. Do they really get any nachas from the business which they use to own doing well? I am not talking about companies who are perpetrating evil in the present. That is another matter.

    #1998226
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “I don’t really understand the reason for boycotting companies ”

    That’s because you are approaching it wrong.
    It isn’t a rational decision it is an emotional one. And it isn’t about “punishing” the company nor its long dead previous owners, it is about the purchasers feeling uncomfortable driving/using etc said items

    #1998262
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    You will not cut off your nose to spite your face. If you can satisfy your needs through another company, kol hakavod.

    #1998269
    akuperma
    Participant

    It might make more sense to focus on supporting companies that do something right, since at this point the shareholders and employees of all companies are different than what they were a century ago. Should be boycott British (including Canadian and Australian and the United States) goods over the expulsion from England in 1290, or boycott Spain and its former colonies of 1492.

    Should we boycott southern states over the Leo Frank lynching (which, BTW, is a major reason why secular Jews with American roots predating the World Wars tend to perceive the American south as inherently hostile to Jews)? Should we boycott Ford since the company’s owner pre-World War II was openly anti-Jewish, or forget about that since post-World War II Ford was a leading company in refusing to boycott Israel? What about General Motors (which technically is only about 10 year old since the original GM went under and the new company owns the name but is not the same corporation)? Should we prefer Leica’s very excellent but overpriced cameras since the owners of the company during the 1930s “outplaced” their Jewish employees into jobs in the industry in places outside of Germany? Should we boycott all the countries that refused asylum to Jewish refugees during the holocaust (which included the United States and the British Empire)?

    While it is good to know the past, it is counter0productive to live in the past.

    #1998358
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @akuperma, as usual you are way off base on this, this is not what happened 1000 years ago, 500 or even 200 years ago, it was VW, BMW MB and Audi that trasported my Grandmother to the camps and my father to the Ghetto, Its was Bayer and Audi who manuafactered Zylon B that gassed their parents and siblings, it was Hugo Boss that forced Jews to sew uniforms, these were my family who were survivors, my neighbors and people who I davened with growing up.
    I am really glad that your family came North Africa and the Arab country and didnt have deal with this.


    @1a2b3c
    , I felt that way when I was your age, I grew up and IYH someday you will too

    #1998367
    TheLastWord
    Participant

    It’s one thing to ‘punish’ aforementioned companies for the part they played 70 years ago. It’s doubtful that they will feel the pinch or notice that a they are losing out from a potential client base,
    but I CANNOT UNDERSTAND how Jews frequent the concentration camps in the thousands,making a huge difference to the economy of these countries, and they are making a huge profit directly from the [parts that they played in] the Holocaust. Even if visiting the camps themselves is entirely free (it is not, the film costs etc.) just the plane tickets, transport, food, hotels etc. are a huge boon to the countries, and it is visibly Jewish money. Personally i could buy a BMW or Hugo Boss but could not tour Germany or Poland, certainly not the concentration camps.
    I don’t know if it’s advisable to antagonize those who hate us, but if i could, i would insist that no-one spends a single tourism dollar until a fund is set up and for every tourist in Auschwitz (etc.) the government has to pay $50 (which they are unlawfully gaining from the Holocaust) towards compensating Holocaust survivors, paying back to victims’ inheritors, and donating to causes that benefit the Jewish Nations eg. Hospitals, Hatzolo etc. .

    #1998363

    I do not disagree w/ Common’s sentiment, just want to make sure we are not getting used in some other nefarious political campaign. For example, a lot of Jewish (often justified) criticism happen to go against former Soviet satellites – Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Hungary, while they still had or have issues with the Bear nearby. This is a re-run. In 19203-s, Jews were very active in newly created small countries between Germany and Soviet Russia. They appealed to League of Nation to protect their minority rights (as well as other minorities including Germans and Russians). There is a book published in Israel in 1950s by surviving Latvian politicians. They lament that they were so excited fighting those governments and only later realized that they were pawns in the hands of Nazis and Soviets who sought to weaken and eventually occupy these countries. Their first realization was when Nazis started prosecuting Jews and they appealed to the same department of the League as usual – and got a cold response that “German Jews are not a minority registered by the LofN” …

    So, the same now – do we condemn for old sins or support in current struggle, say, Ukraine, that has a Jewish President and is partly occupied by Russia.

    #1998377

    the last word, whatever your feelings are, it is somewhat strange to put Poland in the same line as Germany here.

    #1998386
    1a2b3c
    Participant

    Common Saychel, I understand that these companies create a painful association for you. I did not mean to belittle the way you feel. I was just wondering if there is a religious/logical reason to boycott companies with bad histories, as opposed to an emotional one.

    #1998392
    ujm
    Participant

    Boycotts are what the Reform leaders such as Stephen Wise initiated against Nazi Germany.

    The result was the Nazis killing more Jews.

    #1998395
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @ujm, boycotts were used to the Nazis against the Jews way before Stephen Wise was in power.
    @a1b2C3, that was not your statement before and I stand by on what I wrote before

    #1998401
    ujm
    Participant

    CS: That doesn’t change my point.

    #1998472
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @ujm thats an opinion not a proven fact

    #1998506
    ujm
    Participant

    CS: It’s a fact that the Nazis killed Jews in retaliation of Stephen Wise’s Nazi boycott.

    #1998489
    akuperma
    Participant

    Common Saychel: Do you favor boycotting countries that denied asylum to Jews during World War II. While the American and British governments were fully informed of the holocaust at all times (since they were able to read all of Germany’s “secret” radio transmission due to their breaking the enigma code), ALL other countries knew that very bad things were happening to Jews and that by denying requests for asylum they were likely sending people to their deaths. And if you hold a corporation liable for what was done by the corporation 80+ years ago (even virtually none of the shareholders and employees from that period are still alive), then you pretty much have to boycott any company that existed in the 1930s since they add did business with Nazi Germany prior to the war.

    Therefore you are left with a radical zionist response, live in Israel, and refuse to use any imported goods (since even Boro Park based frum companies are still based in a country that sent Jews back to Germany knowing they would be murdered).

    #1998518
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @UJM, please provide the proof.
    @akuperman, I am not going to even dignify this with a response

    #1998660

    Enigma did not provide relevant information, except for 2 months in 1941 about mass killing at the beginning of invasion into USSR. After Churchill started talking about atrocities there (without mentioning Jews specifically), Germans stopped transmitting thee reports on the radio.

    in general, Roosevelt ignored a number of important enigma reports. There was internal rivalry between Army and Navy departments that were presenting him these reports, and they did not often register enough.

    #1998701
    Abba_S
    Participant

    I can remember when my father needed something that was only made in Germany which was needed for his business, asking his Rabbi if he could buy it. To this day I wouldn’t buy anything made in Germany.
    At least the Germans tried to attone for their sin of killing Jews, but most of the Eastern European countries haven’t even done that. Yet each year thousand of Jewish Holocust survivors their families and even ordinary Jews visit these countries and support their economy, becuase they want to visit the “old country”. They (the citzens of these countries) still hate Jews it’s just that they want the Jewish tourist money to continue flowing which prevents them attacking the Jewish tourist.

    #1998706
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @Abba S, it took me years to get to go to the blood soaked soil of Poland and at that I either slept in my car or slept in Romaina or Slovakia who were less friendly to the Nazis

    #1998714
    Abba_S
    Participant

    CS I am not sure what you mean by”it took years to get to go to blood soaked soil of Poland…” Before the 1990 it was behind the Iron Curtain and you weren’t supposed to go there. It’s only in the last twenty years that it’s been popular to go there.
    Both Slovakia and Romania were allies of Germany during World War II while Poland was captured by Germany so I am not sure how you can say they were less friendly to the Nazis.
    I have never visited Europe except as a stop over from or to Isreal so I am not familiar with driving regulations, but here in the USA you can not sleep in your car in a rest stop or on the shoulder of the road. A Police Officer or State Tropper will tell you to move and find a room or arrest you.

    #1998713
    ujm
    Participant

    CS: Slovakia was fully aligned with the Nazi killing machine.

    #1998718

    I am puzzled, here and in other places, when people connect Poles to murders of Jews during WW2 .. Poland was the first country to be attacked from two sides, and Polish Jews – as non-Jews – were sure that Polish cavalry will repulse the attack. Warsaw Jews record the shock when they realized that planes in the air are not Polish … We may be victims of an echo of old Soviet propaganda that was accusing pre-Soviet Polish government of all kind of crimes while covering their own. Remember Katyn where Soviets killed 22,000 Polish officers, half of all officers, 8% estimated Jewish, blamed Nazis for that, and Jewish organizations supported Soviet lies over the years. Even in 2020, there was an issue at Yad Vashem where they presented a pro-Russian exhibit.

    Justd looked it up, USHMM still omits who killed Chief Rabbi of Polish Army:
    “Rabbi Steinberg was later killed in Katyn massacre.”

    #1998732
    rightwriter
    Participant

    Some companies have change ownership but that still doesn’t change the emotional memories. Then again you have companies such as IBM who developed tracking systems to gather Jews and systemize the Holocaust operation and have not apologized till this day.

    And when you say who cares what companies did 70 years ago, just think about the next time you spend so much money to wear a suit in which the founder designed uniforms for Nazis to murder your grandparents in.

    So yes certain things are more personal than others. Of course you can’t boycott everything the list would be endless including chase bank and companies that noone even knew had a big connection to the Holocaust. But you probably should and can easily avoid the companies with direct correlation to the Nazis.

    Regarding visiting aushwitz I’ve read stories of how guards harass and mock Jewish visitors there or even say anti semitic things to them. The hatred is certainly still there. While it can be an important place to see, I’m not sure if it’s necessary. But on the other hand I feel that if people would stop visiting the place would not be kept around and possibly destroyed or just wasted away. And it’s a living proof of history so not sure what the right thing is for that.

    #1998821
    akuperma
    Participant

    While the British still keep their copies of the Enigma intercepts a secret, a US Freedom of Information suit forced the US to declassify the American copies. It is very clear that both the American and British government were fully informed of the holocaust as it was happening, at least on the highest level. This is in addition to other intelligence the Allies received.

    So if we want someone to boycott because of the holocaust, start with the United States and the self-governing (during the early 1940s, meaning Canada and Australia as well as Great Britain) portion of the British Empire.

    #1998902
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @Reb E I heard countless stories of Polisher Yidden who risk the lives to help Hungrian Yiddien in the camps, for example I heard from a Hungrian yid that when the train came to the camps the Kapos were not allowed to talk to the new arrivals, one whispered to him, “zug az de bist echtzin in ah scheinder” so he answered “uber ich bin zechtinz in a yeshiva bucher” and the guys told him ” de ingerisher nar, haltdich dan hol farmacht in te vos ich zug”
    He listened to him and survived the war

    #1998918
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @Akuperma, I don’t boycott based on where the company is based, I do so based on thier relationship with the 3rd reich, for exmple Hugo Boss was a Nazi member and his factory used forced Jewish slave labor to make Nazi uniforms, VW/ Audi/ BWM used forced Jewish labor to build trucks the brought Jews to the camps, Bayer and Audi Manufactued Zykoln B, Braun produced the electrical parts that ran the the SS Tanks,
    I explained this in such simple terms that even an intellectually challenged person can figure that out

    #1998976
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    I dont really understand this thread

    Is anyone saying Common saychel is wrong to boycott companies that distress/upset him? (or for any reason for that matter)

    CS is not saying there is a logical reason to boycott as he essentially acknowledges in his second post “do you have any close family memebers who were in the camps or lost family members during the war?” His boycott is driven by emotion.

    There is nothing wrong with that (obviously)

    Similarly, there is nothing wrong with thinking past emotion and not boycotting because it isn’t logical. I dont think CS is saying everybody SHOULD boycott.

    What is the point of disagreement ?

    #1999000
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @ubiquitin
    “Similarly, there is nothing wrong with thinking past emotion and not boycotting because it isn’t logical. I dont think CS is saying everybody SHOULD boycott.”

    Actualy you are wrong this is what I wrote in my first post

    “Frankly I get sick when I see someone with a Yamuluka wearing Hugo Boss clothing, a company the used slave labor to produce Nazi uniforms, Chasidisher Yingerlate whos grandparents survived the camps proudly driving BMW, Audi, Benzs and VWs, aboslutly disgusting.”

    I think people should be more sensitive like my Rosh Hayeshiva ZTL

    #1999010
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    CS

    apologies, I was wrong. carry on the disagreement.

    (though I still think it is a waste of time, since you aren’t making a reasonable/logical argument. It is impossible to argue against emotion using all the logic in the world. )

    #2083398
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    As reported on the YWN, a bunch of frum people who were flying NYC-FRA-BUD on Lufthansa were denied boarding on the Frankfort-Budapest leg of the flight because of a few yidden who were not mask compliant, even the majority had just purchased separate tickets and had nothing to do with one another.
    Thank you, Lufthansa for reminding me why I never fly of them.

    #2083802

    common, did you lose your glasses? It is a matter of fact, not the opinion, that about 50% of these Yidden are maskless or half-maskless. Not sure, how you define “rov” here – by gavras who do not wear it properly or be heftzas that are not covering noses. And these are videos _they_ chose to post … presumably after being told multiple times to wear masks.

    I think this is just a classical Chasidic-Yakkish divide over warmness v order replayed…. Just fly Malev or Al Italia, if it still exists somewhere.

    #2083845
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @AAQ, Lets say half were and half were not compliant, therefore you ban every Jews on the flight? try doing that with any other ethnic group.
    Actually there are tons of other choices besides Lufthansa, there are 4 other airports within 3 hour of Kristier, there are 42 other airlines serving Budapest including base for Wizz with 55 destinations and Ryanair with 50 destinations.

    Actaly when I flew to Poland I flew AA to Dublin and Ryanair to Poland.

    #2084144

    Common, I don’t think we can resolve the case based on a phone video. What is clear that a number of Jews there are unruly. Whether Lufthansa was able to separate kosher ones or whether they tried, I don’t know. I am just not in the habit of throwing accusations around just because we don’t like the country. If you want to boycott someone, just focus on current perpetrators: Russia, China, Cuba

    #2084159
    AviraDeArah
    Participant

    One of my rebbeim wouldn’t drive a German car; my father wouldn’t even use one if it were a rental.

    #2084226
    commonsaychel
    Participant

    @AAQ: “If you want to boycott someone, just focus on current perpetrators” Sorry but 2 out of 3 counties mentioned here was never a history of governmental systemwide anti semitism, in fact Mir spent the war years in Shanghai and quite a number of refugees made it to Cuba.

    I don’t boycott based on where the company is based, I do so based on their relationship with the 3rd Reich. For example Hugo Boss was a Nazi member and his factory used forced Jewish slave labor to make Nazi uniforms, VW/ Audi/ BWM used forced Jewish labor to build trucks the brought Jews to the camps, Bayer and Audi manufactured Zykoln B, Braun produced the electrical parts that ran the SS Tanks, and Lufthansa was owned by the Nazi party.

    If a group of yidden on the way to Krersir feel compelled to fly on a airline owned by the Nazi party and get stuck along the way I feel scant sympathy for them.

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