Naming Rights For The Nazi’s

The Second Essential Scary Truth


It’s always fun to watch a member of corporate America enjoy a toe jam sandwich.  The twin offenders of this little tableau are the New York Football Giants and New York Jets.  Their offense: having an insurance company with ties to the Hitler’s Third Reich in the running for the naming right to the new football stadium being built in the Meadowlands. 


The company in question is the Allianz Group, a multi-national insurance, asset management and banking firm.  Based in Munich, Germany, Allianz went through the proper process of putting a bid to have the honor of paying the Giants and Jets an estimated $20-30 million a year of the course of the next twenty years.  Not only are both New York football teams double dipping with personal seat licenses, but now, they are selling the right to name the stadium after the highest bidder.  Fantastic, capitalism works. 


However, the Allianz Group had their little secret outed in the New York Daily News.  Not only did they insure the facilities and “employees” at the Auschwitz Extermination camp, they had representatives in the camp and also insured the “engineers” that inserted the Zyklon B gas into the execution chambers.  A nice little add on was Reich Economy Minister from 1933-1935 was Kurt Schmidt, the Allianz CEO for the 1930’s.  Plus Eduard Hilgard, the general director of Allianz, was also the head of the Reich Association for Private Insurance.  He was the creator of the concept of canceling and/or revoking Jewish insurance policies and giving the money to Hitler and his minions.  This set the stage for the multitude of lawsuits seen in the 1990’s brought by survivors against various insurance companies. 


I believe the proper word for Allianz and their history during the years of Nazi control of Germany would be nasty.  Although, the company takes pains to point out they have attempted to make right, the sins of the past.


This according to the New York Daily News (9/11/08):

Allianz, which employs 11,000 people in the U.S. and sponsors golf and racing events, has acknowledged its shameful past and has shelled out millions in restitution.

“Our record of trying to redress the evils of the Third Reich have been significant over the years,” Peter Lefkin, senior vice president at Allianz of America, told the Daily News.

There are those in the Jewish community who say Allianz has done enough and there are those that claim Allianz did what it had to and showed no remorse.  Whichever way you fall off that fence, you have to admire the sheer chutzpah of this company of Nazi enabling bozos: they are trying to get the naming rights to a stadium in a region of the world that has even more Jews as residents than the entire state of Israel.

Predictably, the owners of the Jets and Giants, Woody Johnson and the Mara/Tisch families respectively, put as much distance as they could between themselves, their teams and the Allianz bid.  They moved swiftly and effectively and 24 hours later, the bid was withdrawn and the deal dead.

There have been a few rumors claiming someone in the know leaked the story so Johnson and Mara/Tisch could walk away from a bid they knew would cause controversy if it were the largest and they were forced to accept it.  The safe way to go, no doubt but I find it to be without balls or integrity.

Football is the dark side of the American character.  A curious combination of BDSM and Manifest Destiny, it is a fascist, ground acquisition sport; played by men in body armor that ends up causing so many health issues, many of these modern gladiator wanna-be’s die before they reach 60.

So to Woody Johnson and the Mara and Tisch families I say, as the son of a Holocaust survivor and a member of the American Republic who embraces this dark side of our character (I am a Detroit Lions fan), let Allianz win the naming rights to your new stadium.  True, I have been laughing at your obvious foot in mouth moment, but you have a chance here to be something many of us are not: brutally honest.


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