Unilever subsidiary Ben & Jerry’s, the iconic America-hating ice cream maker, re-entered the news stream on Independence Day by ignoring the sales of its products and the celebration of our country, and instead calling for the return of “indigenous lands” (now Mount Rushmore) to the Lakota tribe, that were allegedly “stolen” by the U.S.
Unilever cannot hide its collaboration with the Nazi regime in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s.
Despite resulting from a merger of English and Dutch companies in 1929, Unilever sought and enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship with the Nazis. Unilever invested in a large number of German businesses central to German rearmament, including shipbuilders that produced U-boats. As Unilever’s founding Chairman Paul Rykens put it, “In Germany, we are a German firm.”
Unilever replaced Jewish managers and supervisory board members of its German businesses and acquired a number of firms expropriated from Jewish owners as part of the Nazis’ Aryanization program.
In the immediate wake of the Kristallnacht, Unilever was allowed to acquire a secret minority position in the Jewish-owned banking house A. E. Wasserman. Chairman Rykens wrote, “The fact that we are only sleeping partners will restrict not only our actual liability to this amount, but also our moral responsibility.”
Unilever only abandoned the Nazis after Germany invaded Rykens’ home country of the Netherlands and the Dutch government fled to London.
Unilever foolishly bought Ben & Jerry’s more than 20 years ago under ridiculous terms that allowed the ice cream maker to continue to advance it’s “social mission” under its own — untouchable — independent board. The parent sold off the subsidiary’s business in Israel last year over a dispute about refusing to sell its products in so-called “occupied territories.”