(Times Of Israel) Jews just cannot forgive or forget that one of the great American titans of industry — Henry Ford — wrote a book titled, The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem, which exposed their power, corruption and lies to the world — and a new documentary film continues with their ongoing character assassination of Ford:
“…I wanted to complete the picture of Henry Ford,” [the director, Andy] Kirshner told The Times of Israel. “I didn’t know the extent to which he was an influence on the early Nazi movement and in the last couple of years [before World War II], the influence he had on fascism around the world. It’s an important story to tell, kind of the underbelly of the American entrepreneurial myth.”
In the film, Kirshner creatively brings back Ford as a ghost. The phantasm Ford is played by John Lepard, who is not only an actor in theater, film and TV, with credits including “Scream 4” and “Chicago Fire,” but also the executive director of the Williamston Theatre.
Clad in the automaker’s characteristic boater hat and gray suit, Lepard’s Ford speaks in a folksy Michigan accent; it helps that the actor himself is from the Wolverine State. Wandering the gritty streets of present-day Detroit, the ghost’s focus is on the historical landmarks that reflect the automotive empire Ford built and maintained, including the factories that churned out remarkable numbers of cars in peacetime and military aircraft during WWII.
“Most of the stuff in the film that Henry is doing are things he said or [wrote] in his notebooks,” Kirshner said. “A couple of things I invented, but they reflect sentiments that are well-documented, if not his exact words.”
As the title character answers 10 questions about his life and legacy, it’s unclear whether he’s learned from history. The film details some of his controversies, from “The International Jew” to his 1938 acceptance of Nazi Germany’s highest honor for foreigners — the Grand Cross of the German Eagle. He also addresses his troubled relationship with his son, Edsel Ford, whom the film argues is much more than just a namesake of a poorly selling, posthumously released automobile…
…[Kirschner said,] “One of the things I learned is the continuity of antisemitism. Ford, essentially, what he did was that he Americanized traditional European antisemitism, rebranded antisemitism for an American audience with old familiar tropes like international bankers.”
Ford’s ghost tackles some seat-squirming questions, including “But why did you hate Jews?” and “Why did you keep Hitler’s medal?” He protests that he employed thousands of Jews, and that some of his lifelong friends were Jewish. A Jewish architect, Albert Kahn, designed multiple buildings for Ford’s company. Yet the phantasm Ford criticizes immigrant Jews as unable to do what he wanted all of his employees to do — assimilate into America. Ford’s antisemitism won praise in Nazi Germany. Although they never met, Hitler called the automaker “Heinrich Ford” and envisioned him as “the leader of the growing fascist movement in America.”
“He had an impact on a lot of Nazis in the 1920s and ’30s,” Kirshner said. “I didn’t know he supported a lot of right-wing white supremacists up until the 1930s and ’40s, when the war began. It was another aspect of the story that felt very timely with the kind of fascism that’s resurgent here and around the world.
“Ford was kind of a continuation of antisemitism. He really profoundly influenced it and spread it. I would probably argue he was the most influential American antisemite. I really can’t think of anyone else who impacted it as he did…”
“…The story of the struggle between Henry and Edsel was also the story of other tensions in the film,” Kirshner said. “Authoritarianism versus individual democracy — Henry was basically an autocrat, Edsel was more of a diplomat who made decisions more democratically. Henry had very bigoted views about Jews, Edsel tried to clean up Henry’s mess. He offered to provide a $1 million loan toward the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine — it’s not in the movie — the offer was rejected. It’s probably one of the reasons the Ford Motor Company, since [Edsel’s son] Henry Ford II, has given a lot of funds to Jewish causes.”
One particularly gripping scene involves an ax and reflects Ford’s anger and pain at the premature death of Edsel at age 49.
“Apparently something Henry Ford did was carry an ax in the back of his car,” Kirshner said. “He would show his feelings by chopping at a tree and occasionally a door. [The scene] was based on facts about his character. Having him chop violently shows, at the same time, his love for his son and also his capacity for violence.”
Kirshner’s film has gotten praise from a neighbor who formerly worked for the Ford design wing. Yet it has also received criticism, including in Michigan. A Detroit Free Press article about the film drew numerous negative comments.
“It’s been interesting,” Kirshner said. “A lot of people, especially right here in Michigan….a lot of people are still very attracted by Henry Ford’s popularity. They’re somewhat offended by a film that I think is fair….[it] does not shy from some of his less savory qualities. I’ve gotten a bit of pushback. To call someone a cultural Marxist for making a film about Henry Ford that criticizes his antisemitism, I think it’s pretty funny.”
Kirshner calls Ford “a Shakespearean, tragic figure.”
“He was someone with a lot of gifts and ingenuity,” Kirshner said, “but someone who was corrupted by power, by everyone who told him how wonderful he was, by his own lust for power and also by his bigotry. At the end of his life, he was pretty isolated and pretty miserable despite having this enormous fortune. It’s kind of a tragic story and quite in contrast to the myth of Henry Ford as the totally admirable American entrepreneur.”
Nowhere does the filmmaker attempt to disprove any criticisms Ford leveled at international Jewry — they can’t call Ford a liar, so they call him an “antisemite.”
This Jewish filmmaker can’t help but try to cartoonishly portray Ford’s “antisemtism” as violent — by including the story about Henry Ford and his axe — as if he wanted to hack up any Jew he didn’t like.
And he attempts “guilt by association” — if Hitler admired Ford, then Ford must have been evil himself — ignoring the other possibility, that both of these men of legend were right about Jews and a lot of other things.
And from all accounts, Henry Ford did not “hate Jews” — there were many Jews whom he personally admired and worked with — even Hitler greatly admired the Jewish doctor who treated his mother’s cancer.
If anything Ford showed that he cared for Jews more than Jews cared about themselves — by shining a light on their lies so that they could change their ways.