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The Philips Concern
14 March 2013 - 2 April 2013

At the event of the Week of the Book, the City Library of Eindhoven (Netherlands) has orginized a lecture by research journalist Marcel Metze, discussing the role that Philips managers played during WWII. Marcel held his talk on 15 March 2013 and revealed a wealth of new facts.

To highlight this event, Crypto Museum has set up a mini-exhibition at the library's first floor, showing a number of secret devices that Philips has manufactured for the Dutch Government and for the Army over the years. The exhibition will remain at the library until 2 April 2013.

In order to promote Marcel Metze's talk and our mini-exhibition, Crypto Museum curators Marc Simons and Paul Reuvers were interviewed by the regional television station Omroep Brabant, where they appeared in the television show Onder ONS. The interview starts at 16:12.
Mini-exhibition in Eindhoven City Library

In 2001, over 1000 documents were discovered in a shed somewhere in the US, containing detailed information about the top management of electronics giant Philips and the role they played in a massive global espionage and intelligence network that they created during WWII. The documents have subsequently been studied by the CIA and some have meanwhile been disclosed for public review in 2011. They are currently being studied by researchers like Marcel Metze.

During WWII, Philips had factories in many parts of the world. In German-occupied countries as well as in the US and in some neutral countries, such as Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Türkiye. In order to keep their factories in the opccupied countries running, Philips had to co-operate to some extent with the Germans, which suggests that Philips was pro-German.

Contrary to popular believe however, in which the Philips management is often pictured as Nazi-sympathizing, the new documents puts their role in a completely different light.
Marcel Metze talking about the Philips spies

Although there was certainly some level of co-operation with the Germans, and in some cases even with the German Secret Police (Gestapo), the new devidence reveals that the entire Philips top was involved in an international espionage network run by a hitherto unknown American intelligence service. In fact it was so secret, that the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA, had no knowledge of it. Research journalist Marcel Metze has spend many hours studying and interpreting the vast amount of documents known as The Philips Concern and revealed new facts during his talk. His book about this case is due for the end of 2013.

In the years following WWII, the Dutch Government asked Philips to develop military equipment for the Dutch Department of Defense (DoD). The new company was named Philips Usfa and acted completely independent from the main Philips Corporation. Over the years, Philips Usfa developed a variety of military devices, such as night vision equipment, special batteries, proximity fuses (for land mines) and last but not least a wide range of professional cryptographic devices, first as Philips Usfa, later as Philips Crypto. When Philips Crypto was closed in 2003, the company had been with the top 3 of crypto manufacturers in the world for more than 30 years.

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