President Trump on Thursday praised the “good bloodlines” of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford, a notorious anti-Semite, during Trump’s tour of a Ford factory in Michigan.
The remark about good bloodlines, an apparent ad-lib in his speech, was criticized by Jewish leaders.
“Henry Ford was an antisemite and one of America’s staunchest proponents of eugenics,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted. “The President should apologize.”
President Trump: “The company founded by a man named Henry Ford — good bloodlines, good bloodlines.” pic.twitter.com/faCEBwDpwN— The Hill (@thehill) May 21, 2020
In the 1920s, Ford was the owner of the Dearborn Independent, a newspaper that was distributed in Ford dealerships nationwide and frequently published screeds and conspiracy theories against Jews, including several under his own name, as well as copies of the the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious anti-Semitic forgery.
“In some places, the dealership would actually put copies of the newspaper in the car, so that when you drove off with your Model T, there you had on the seat next to you a copy of The Dearborn Independent,” Hasia Diner, a professor of Hebrew and Judaic studies and history at New York University, recounted in a PBS documentary about Ford.
The newspaper’s articles were republished in Germany under the title “The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem.” Ford was frequently praised by Nazi leadership, and was awarded the Grand Cross of the German Eagle in 1938.