(JTA) — President Donald Trump praised the “good bloodlines” of Henry Ford, the late motor industry pioneer whose newspaper published Jewish conspiracy theories in the 1920s and whose company produced military components for the Nazis.
Trump referenced Ford during a speech Thursday at the Ford Motor Company plant in Michigan. He was speaking about the relationship between the company and General Electric.
When Trump said Ford’s name, he added: “Good bloodlines, good bloodlines — if you believe in that stuff, you got good blood.”
Jonathan Greenblatt, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote on Twitter that Trump should apologize for praising “an antisemite and one of America’s staunchest proponents of eugenics.”
“If he doesn’t know why,” Greenblatt added, the president should read up on Ford.
Ford later apologized for the writings in the Dearborn Independent. The anti-Semitic articles later were collected into a book series titled “The International Jew,” which to this day remains one of most prevalent anti-Semitic publications worldwide.
His motor company had subsidiaries in Nazi Germany and produced military components for that government well into World War II.
Ford died in 1947.