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To the Editors of The Crimson:
I was intrigued to read the announcement of the University's $2 million deal with the Krupp Foundation of Germany. Often colleges are given an opportunity to demonstrate the nature and extent of their commitment to civilized society. Harvard University has done so brilliantly.
As most people are aware, few names are more honored in the annals of mass murdet and genocide than that of Krupp. Since 1860 what is called "Krupp's killing machine" has provided and directed the use of weapons of war. To list the atrocities of the "Cannon Kings" requires volumes rather than pages. William Manchester's "The Arms of Krupp" is a gripping and well-written effort in this direction.
Incredibly, the Krupp's achievements surpass those of mere munitions making. Perhaps it is worth recalling the 100,000 slave, laborers in at least 100 concentration camps operated by the Krupps during the Second World War. As testimony at the Nuremberg Trials showed: Alfried Krupp's exploitation of slave labor was worse than any other industrialist's. Nowhere else was there such sadism, such senseless barbarity, such shocking treatment of people as dehumanized material. His power was absolute and therefore absolutely corrupting.
Company files show a barrage of letters to the S.S. and Gestapo commands demanding more "Subhumans" (French, Jewish, Russian or Eastern European) for the factories. Krupp officials in company uniforms selected prisoners for slave labor from those destined for the gas chambers. Krupp factories within sight of the crematoriums--or in the heart of German cities in plain view--produced the weapons of Nazi Germany with the labor of its victims. These workers were housed in dog kennels, in public urinals, tents and tunnels.
Special attention should be drawn to the Krupp concentration camp at Buschmannshof where babies and small children of factory workers were murdered from 1942 to 1945. There are no known survivors and one can only guess at how many hundreds were killed.
For such achievements the Krupps were honored with the coveted Golden Party Badge of the Nazi party. A special law--the "Lex Krupp"--was ordered by Hitler to ensure that the Krupp empire remained in the family's hands. Last month Harvard University became a beneficiary of the Krupp millions.
As one with no connection with the University, I am corresponding more in curiosity than in outrage. Is there anyone at Harvard--a student, a faculty member, an administrator or an alumnus--who is even slightly troubled by this affair? If there is such a person, perhaps he should have the courage to speak up. Seth Steir
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