1921 February 15

Detroit Jewish Groups Protest Anti-Semitism in Henry Ford’s Newspaper


Three Jewish groups in Detroit, Michigan, it was reported on this day, delivered a protest to the famous automaker Henry Ford regarding anti-Semitic articles published in his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent. The series of articles, which began on May 22, 1920, were based on the notorious anti-Semitic document The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The Protocols, which purported to show Jewish plans to take over the world, had been exposed as a forgery years before. In 1927, Ford apologized for publishing the articles, although he disingenuously claimed that he did not control the paper and had not known about the offensive articles. (In fact, he owned and totally controlled the Independent.)

The Protocols were extremely influential in Europe in the first decades of the twentieth century, and a scholarly book about the subject is entitled Warrant for Genocide. A printed copy of the Dearborn Independent articles, meanwhile, sold well around the world before World War II and continues to sell today.

Read about Ford and anti-Semitism: Neil Baldwin, Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production of Hate (2001)

Read about the Protocols: Norman Cohn, Warrant for Genocide: The Myth of the Jewish World-Conspiracy and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (2006)

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