Padding the wallet. Balzac – Behind every great fortune lies a crime. Behind every great fortune is a crime. Or perhaps a multiple series of crimes, a chain actions leading toward some altar of infinite power. The translation of Balzac’s original quote is actually slightly different: “The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime forgotten, for it was properly done.” This is more poetic, tumbl;ing as it does into the netherworld of apparent causes and karmic beastiality roaring through the nerve centers of money and banking. The making of Ikea furniture in slave labor camps has been tempered down in the report, probably just rubbing into a very messy web where all kinds of decisions are made and executed by disparate actors, sometimes anonymous, that conforms to Hannah Arendt’s theories on totalitarianism and the nature of evil, her and later Susan Sontag’s seemingly weird ventures into the aesthetics of fascism shining through in that bright, punchy and pervasive Ikea marketing…
( see link at end)…Ikea, the Swedish furniture chain, knowingly benefited from forced labor in the former East Germany to manufacture some of its products in the 1980’s, an investigation revealed Friday.
A report by the auditors Ernst & Young concluded that political and criminal prisoners in the former East Germany were involved in making components of Ikea furniture and that some Ikea employees knew about it. Ikea had commissioned the report in May following allegations that the company knowingly used forced labor between 25 and 30 years ago….
Ikea said Friday it was sorry about the incidents and pledged to donate funds to research projects on forced labor in the former German Democratic Republic.
“We deeply regret that this could happen,” Jeanette Skjelmose, sustainability manager at Ikea, said in a statement. “The use of political prisoners in production has never been acceptable to the Ikea Group. At the time, we didn’t have today’s well-developed control system and obviously didn’t do enough to prevent such production conditions among our former G.D.R. suppliers.”
Allegations against Ikea started to appear about a year ago in media reports in Germany and Sweden that the company worked with suppliers in the communist former East Germany that benefited from forced labor by political prisoners of the regime. The workers were believed to have lived in East Germany in the 1980’s and were arrested for criticizing the government and its policies….
Ernst & Young concluded that state-owned companies during the communist regime of East Germany often used prisoners as workers because of a labor shortage and that Ikea purchased products from these companies.
“The G.D.R. did not differentiate between political and criminal prisoners,” Ernst & Young wrote in the report, adding that “during this time period, many innocent individuals were sent to prison.” Read More:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/17/business/global/ikea-tport-on-allegations-of-using-forced-labor-during-cold-war.html?_r=0
(see link at end)…Klaus Schroeder, a political scientist at Berlin’s Free University, said: “It would have been simpler to come and ask us because we are the experts on this subject.”
Roland Schulz, vice-president of an association representing victims of the Communist regime in East Germany, dismissed the report as “unscientific.”
“Ikea as the guilty party is itself conducting the investigation rather than leaving it to unbiased sources. Therefore we strongly doubt the validity of the results,” he added….
He called for historians and political scientists to carry out a more thorough investigation. According to media reports, Ikea was far from being the only company to employ forced labour in the former Communist East, noting that the mail-order companies Neckermann et Quelle are also alleged to have observed similar practices. Read More:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/sweden/9683613/Ikea-regrets-forced-labour-use-in-East-Germany.html
(see link at end)…Quoted in a Stasi file, Ingvar Kamprad, Ikea’s founder, said while he had no official knowledge of the use of prison labour, if it did indeed exist “in the opinion of Ikea it would be in society’s interests”.
Hans Otto Klare, who had been sent to Waldheim prison for trying to escape to West Germany, described conditions in the factory as harsh.
“Our labour team lived on the upper floor of the factory with the windows covered,” he told WDR about his time making hinges and other components for Ikea furniture. “The machines were on the lower floor, and you had little rest. On the factory floor you had no proper seating, no ear protection: no gloves. Conditions were even more primitive there then in the rest of the GDR. It was slave labour.” Read More:http://nomorewarplease.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/ikea-used-political-prisoners-in-east-germany-as-slave-labor/