Photo: August 1930
Photo: September 1930
Eighty years ago, the first week in September, Henry Ford attended the Oberammergau Passion Play in Bavaria, Germany. That famous passion play performed by the residents of Oberammergau every ten years (except for two times) since 1638 started to attract international guests by 1900. The attendance list was a contemporary "Who's Who" -- royalty from Russia, France, Sweden, England, Italy, Austro-Hungary, Prussia, and Denmark. Auguste Eiffel, Graf Zeppelin, artists, poets, theater celebrities, church dignities, and American millionaires like Rockefeller and Vanderbilt.
Hitler hung Ford's picture on his wall and wrote in Mein Kampf that Ford was a great man who had confronted Jewish power; he quoted Ford's book "The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem" extensively. That book basically blamed Jews for all of the problems of the world. The International Jew is still reprinted and much admired by neo-Nazis and White Supremacists even today.
During August, 1934, the audience paid tribute to Field Marshal von Hindenburg on the occasion of his death and to Hitler when he attended a performance. Hitler was said to be inspired only by the character of Pilate, whom history records as a brutal Roman governor, but whom Hitler exalted by commenting: "There he stands like a firm rock in the middle of the whole muck and mire of Jewry."