The Culpability Of Accounting In Perpetuating The Holocaust
Business and Leadership
The Holocaust was an event unprecedented in the history of man. Never before had a people been systematically and deliberately hunted and gathered, from many different countries, by one country for the sole purpose to annihilate a people. This article considers the Holocaust, specifically slave labor operations managed by German corporations and Nazi state run entities, and identifies accounting information and common financial analyses used to assist management in operation of these facilities. The article reviews the role of accountants and the information they prepared in perpetrating the injustices experienced by concentration camp victims during the Holocaust. The history of the German accounting profession and the changes to the profession during the war years are considered as a means to explain accountant behavior. Finally, the culpability of accountants for the Holocaust is considered, using slave trading literature as well as the standard of responsibility introduced during the International Military Tribunals.
Lippman, Ellen, and Paula Wilson. 2007. "The culpability of accounting in perpetuating the Holocaust." Accounting History 12(3): 283-303.