Boycotting Mercedes, remembering Nazi victims
Since the 1940s, one of the few ways American Jews protested the Nazi regime was to refuse to buy certain German products. High on the list was the Mercedes. (Volkswagon and German wine were other targets.)
In 1998, things got complicated when Chrysler Corporation bought a majority share of Mercedes manufacturer Daimler-Benz. Then, some newspapers and magazines asked Jews if they now would begin to boycott Chrysler. Jewish writer Cynthia Ozick said that, as a “private memorial” to the Nazis’ victims she would boycott Chrysler.
Some survivors and refugees continue to boycott German products even today. But in the global economy, it is increasingly difficult to know who owns a product.
It’s debatable whether the boycott was effective. But it’s clear that the boycott didn’t make a dent in the financial portfolio of the man who brought the world the Mercedes.
Frederich Flick was one of Germany’s biggest tycoons of the 20th Century. In addition, the Allies listed him third of 42 industrialists most responsible for Nazi crimes.