IG Farben and the History of
"Compared to the reality of the drug industry, my book reads like a vacation post card"
The most powerful German economic corporate emporium in the first half of this century was the Interessengemeinschaft Farben or IG Farben, for short. Interessengemeinschaft stands for "Association of Common Interests" and was nothing more than a powerful cartel of BASF, Bayer, Hoechst, and other German chemical and pharmaceutical companies. IG Farben was the single largest donor to the election campaign of Adolph Hitler. One year before Hitler seized power, IG Farben donated 400,000 marks to Hitler and his Nazi party. Accordingly, after Hitler's seizure of power, IG Farben was the single largest profiteer of the German conquest of the world, the Second World War.
- The Birth of I.G. Farben and the Support for Hitler
- I.G. Farben and the Auschwitz Concentration Camp
- Medical Experiments in Auschwitz Conducted by I.G. Farben
- The Nuremberg War Tribunal
- The Disgraced Managers of I.G. Farben
- From "Arbeit macht frei" to "Codex Alimentarius"
One hundred percent of all explosives and of all synthetic gasoline came from the factories of IG Farben. Whenever the German Wehrmacht conquered another country, IG Farben followed, systematically taking over the industries of those countries. Through this close collaboration with Hitler's Wehrmacht, IG Farben participated in the plunder of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, Holland, Belgium, France and all other countries conquered by the Nazis.
The U.S. government’s investigation of all the factors leading to the Second World War in 1946 came to the conclusion that without IG Farben the Second World War would simply not have been possible. We have to come to grips with the fact that it was not the psychopath, Adolph Hitler, or bad genes of the German people that brought about the Second World War. Economic greed by companies like Bayer, BASF and Hoechst was the key factor in bringing about the Holocaust.
No one who saw Steven Spielberg's film "Schindler's List" will forget the scenes in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
The Birth of IG Farben and the Support for Hitler
(from the book "Sword And Swastika" by Telford Taylor)
After the First World War, all the major chemical concerns were merged into a single gigantic trust in 1926 - the I.G. Farbenindustrie A.G. - under the leadership of Carl Duisberg and Carl Bosch. Dyestuffs, pharmaceuticals, photographic supplies, explosives, and a myriad of other products poured forth in ever-growing volume and variety.
Soon after the election of July, 1932, in which the Nazis had doubled their vote, Heinrich Buetefisch [chief of the I.G. Farben - Leuna plant] and Heinrich Gattineau [a Farben official who was also an SA officer and personally known to both Rudolf Hess and Ernst Roehm]. waited upon the Fuehrer-to-be to learn whether Farben could count on governmental support for its synthetic gasoline program in the event the Nazis should attain power. Hitler readily agreed that Farben should be given the necessary support to warrant expansion of the Leuna plant.
After the seizure of power, Farben lost no time following up this auspicious introduction. Significantly, Farben's chosen channel was not the ‘Heeresleitung’ but Hermann Goering's new Air Ministry. In a long letter to Goering's deputy Erhard Milch, Carl Krauch of Farben outlined a "four-year plan" for the expansion of synthetic fuel output. Thereupon, Milch called in Generalleutnant von Vollard Bockelberg, Chief of the Army Ordnance Office, and it was agreed that the Army and the Air Ministry would together sponsor the Krauch project. A few months later Farben received a formal Reich contract calling for the enlargement of Leuna so that production would reach three hundred thousand tons per year by 1937, with Farben's sales guaranteed for ten years - until June 30, 1944 - on a cost-plus basis.
1941: I.G. Farben's "friendship" with the SS helps to increase the speed of construction of Auschwitz-Buna against the resistance "of some little bureaucrats".
A letter from Dr. Otto Ambros to the Director of I.G. Farben Frankfurt, Fritz ter Meer
Auschwitz was the largest mass extermination factory in human history, but the concentration camp was only an appendix.
The main project was IG Auschwitz, a 100% subsidiary of IG Farben, the largest industrial complex of the world for manufacturing synthetic gasoline and rubber for the conquest of Europe .
On April 14, 1941 , in Ludwigshafen , Otto Armbrust, the IG Farben board member responsible for the Auschwitz project, stated to his IG Farben board colleagues, "our new friendship with the SS is a blessing. We have determined all measures integrating the concentration camps to benefit our company."
The pharmaceutical departments of the IG Farben cartel used the victims of the concentration camps in their own way: thousands of them died during human experiments such as the testing of new and unknown vaccines.
There was no retirement plan for the prisoners of IG Auschwitz. Those who were too weak or too sick to work were selected at the main gate of the IG Auschwitz factory and sent to the gas chambers. Even the chemical gas Zyklon-B used for the annihilation of millions of people was derived from the drawing boards and factories of IG Farben.
The map of Auschwitz (above) speaks for itself. The size of the IG Auschwitz plant (red area) was larger than all Auschwitz concentration camps (blue area) taken together.
Medical Experiments in Auschwitz Conducted by I.G. Farben
(from the book "I.G. Farben - from Anilin to forced labor" by
Jörg Hunger and Paul Sander)
Scientific experiments were also done in other concentration camps. A decisive fact is that IG employee SS major Dr. med. Helmuth Vetter, stationed in several concentration camps, participated in these experiments by order of Bayer Leverkusen.
At the same time as Dr. Joseph Mengele, experimented in Auschwitz with medications that were designated "B-1012", B-1034", "3382" or "Rutenol". The test preparations were not only applied to those prisoners who were ill, but also to healthy ones. These people were first infected on purpose through pills, powdered substances, injections or enemas. Many of the medications caused the victims to vomit or have bloody diarrhoea. In most cases the prisoners died as a result of the experiments.
In the Auschwitz files correspondence was discovered between the camp commander and Bayer Leverkusen. It dealt with the sale of 150 female prisoners for experimental purposes: "With a view to the planned experiments with a new sleep-inducing drug we would appreciate it if you could place a number of prisoners at our disposal (…)" – "We confirm your response, but consider the price of 200 RM per woman to be too high. We propose to pay no more than 170 RM per woman. If this is acceptable to you, the women will be placed in our possession. We need some 150 women (…)" – "We confirm your approval of the agreement. Please prepare for us 150 women in the best health possible (…)" – "Received the order for 150 women. Despite their macerated condition they were considered satisfactory. We will keep you informed of the developments regarding the experiments (…)" – "The experiments were performed. All test persons died. We will contact you shortly about a new shipment (…)"
A former Auschwitz prisoner testified: "There was a large ward of tuberculars on block 20. The Bayer Company sent medications in unmarked and unnamed ampoules. The tuberculars were injected with this. These unfortunate people were never killed in the gas chambers. One only had to wait for them to die, which did not take long (…) 150 Jewish women that had been bought from the camp attendant by Bayer, (…) served for experiments with unknown hormonal preparations."
Parallel to the tests by Behringwerke and Bayer Leverkusen the chemical-pharmaceutical and serologic-bacteriological department at Hoechst started experimenting on Auschwitz prisoners with their new typhus fever preparation “3582”. The first series of tests had results that were far from satisfactory. Of the 50 test persons 15 died; the typhus fever drug led to vomiting and exhaustion. Part of the Auschwitz concentration camp was quarantined, which led to an extension of the tests to the concentration camp in Buchenwald . In the journal of the "Department for typhus fever and viral research of the concentration camp Buchenwald" we find on January 10th, 1943: "As suggested by the IG Farbenindustrie A.G. the following were tested as typhus fever medications: a) preparation 3582 <Akridin> of the chem. pharm. and sero-bact. Department Hoechst – Prof. Lautenschläger and Dr. Weber – (therapeutic test A), b) methylene blue, formerly tested on mice by Prof. Kiekuth, Elberfeld (therapeutic test M)."
The first and also the second series of therapeutic tests, held in Buchenwald between March 31st and April 11th 1943 , were negative due to insufficient contamination of the tested prisoners. Neither did the experiments in Auschwitz show evident successes.
The scientific value of all these experiments, whether ordered by the IG Farben or not, was in fact zero. The test persons were in bad physical condition, caused by forced labor, insufficient and wrong nutrition and diseases in the concentration camp. In addition to this there were generally bad sanitary circumstances in the laboratories. "The test results in the concentration camps, as the IG laboratory specialists should have known, could not be compared to results made under normal circumstances".
The SS physician Dr. Hoven testified to this during the Nuremberg Trial: "It should be generally known, and especially in German scientific circles, that the SS did not have notable scientists at its disposal. It is clear that the experiments in the concentration camps with IG preparations only took place in the interests of the IG, which strived with all means to determine the effectiveness of these preparations. They let the SS deal with the – shall I say – dirty work in the concentration camps. It was not the IG’s intention to make any of this public, but rather to put up a smoke screen around the experiments so that (…) they could keep any profits to themselves. Not the SS but the IG took the initiative for the concentration camp experiments."
A letter from 1944 in which I.G. Farben orders an "harsh punishment" for a slave laborer in Auschwitz-Monowitz.
The Nuremberg War Criminal Tribunal convicted 24 IG Farben board members and executives on the basis of mass murder, slavery and other crimes against humanity. Amazingly however, by 1951 all of them had already been released, continuing to consult German corporations. The Nuremberg Tribunal dissolved the IG Farben into Bayer, Hoechst, and BASF.
Today each of the three daughters of the IG Farben is 20 times bigger than IG Farben was at its height in 1944, the last year of the Second World War.
More importantly, for almost three decades after the Second World War, BASF, Bayer and Hoechst (now Aventis) each filled its highest position, chairman of the board, with former members of the Nazi, NSDAP:
- Carl Wurster, chairman of the board of BASF until 1974 was, during the war, on the board of the company manufacturing Zyklon-B gas
- Carl Winnacker, chairman of the board of Hoechst until the late 70's, was a member of the Sturm Abteilung (SA) and was a member of the board of IG Farben
- Curt Hansen, chairman of the board of Bayer until the late 70's, was co-organizer of the conquest of Europe in the department of "acquisition of raw materials." Under this leadership the IG Farben daughters, BASF, Bayer, and Hoechst, continued to support politicians representing their interests.
During the 50's and 60's they invested in the political career of a young representative from a suburb of the BASF town of Ludwigshafen , his name: Helmut Kohl.
From 1957 to 1967 the young Helmut Kohl was a paid lobbyist of the "Verband Chemischer Industrie," the central lobby organization of the German pharmaceutical and chemical cartel. Thus, the German chemical and pharmaceutical industry advanced one of its own as a political representative, leaving the German people with only the choice of final approval.
The result is well known: Helmut Kohl was chancellor of Germany for 16 years and the German pharmaceutical and chemical industry became the world’s leading exporter of chemical products, with subsidiaries in over 150 countries, more than IG Farben ever had. Several billion people will now die prematurely, if the pharmaceutical industry gets its way. Germany is the only country in the entire world in which a former paid lobbyist for the chemical and pharmaceutical cartel was head of the government. To sum up, the support of German politics for the global expansion plans of the German pharmaceutical and chemical companies has a 100-year-old tradition.
From knowing this, we understand the support from Bonn for the unethical plans of the Codex Commission. (Remark made by the Dr. Rath Health Foundation)
The U.S. lead prosecutor in the Nuremberg War Criminal Tribunal against the IG Farben anticipated this development when he said, "These IG Farben criminals, not the lunatic Nazi fanatics, are the main war criminals. If the guilt of these criminals is not brought to light and if they are not punished, they will represent a much greater threat to the future peace of the world than Hitler if he were still alive."
- Member of the IG FARBEN executive committee 1926-1945, member of the working committee and the technical committee, director of section II
- 1943 plenipotentiary for Italy of the Reich Minister for armaments and war production, military economist chief industrialist responsible for Auschwitz .
- 1948 found guilty of "plundering" and "enslavement" and condemned to seven years detention. Released 1952.
- 1955 board member of Bayer
- 1956-1964 chairman of the board of Bayer chairman of the board of Th. Goldschmidt AG, deputy chairman of the board of Commerzbank, Bank-Association AG, board member of the Waggonfabrik Uerdingen, the Duesseldorfer waggonfabrik AG, the bank association West Germany AG and the United Industrial enterprises AG (VIAG)
- Member of the IG FARBEN executive committee 1938-1945, member of the chemical committee and chairman of commission K (agents), special advisors of Krauchs F+E department for the four-year plan, director of the special committee C (chemical agents), the main committee for powders and explosives in the office for arms, military industrial leader
- Responsible for choice of location, planning, building and running of IG Auschwitz as operations manager. Managing director of the Buna-Works and synthetic fuel production
- 1945 knight's cross and Distinguished Service Cross
- 1948 found guilty of "enslavement" condemned to eight years detention.
- Released 1952.
- Starting in 1954 chairman, deputy chairmen and member of the boards of: Chemie Grünenthal, Pintsch Bamag AG, Knoll AG, Feldmühle Papier- und Zellstoffwerke, Telefunken GmbH, Grünzweig & Hartmann, Internationale Galalithgesellschaft, Berliner Handelsgesellschaft, Süddeutsche Kalkstickstoffwerke, Vereinigte Industrieunternehmungen (VIAG) with its subsidiaries Scholven-Chemie and Phenol-Chemie as an advisor to F. K. Flick und of the US Industrialist J.P. Grace is entangled in the early eighties in the "Flick scandal"
- Member of the IG FARBEN executive committee 1926-1935, chairman of the board 1935-1945 and "head of finances" to the IG
- Head of military economics, member of the Nazi party (NSDAP)
- 1941 Distinguished Service Cross 1st. Class
- 1948 found guilty of "plundering" condemned to four years in prison. Released 1950.
- 1952 board member of the German bank Berlin West
- 1956 honorary chairman of the board of Rheinish steel plants.
- Member of the IG FARBEN executive committee 1931-1945, head of section III (point of contact to Dynamite Nobel)
- At Nuremberg , found "not guiltily" for all charges
- 1949 managing director, 1952 chairman of the board of Dynamite Nobel AG
- 1953 Distinguished Service Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany
- 1957 retirement, honorary chairman of the board of Dynamite Nobel AG, chairman of the board of Genschow & Co. and the Chemie-Verwaltungs AG, board member of Huels AG and the Gelsenkirchener mines
- Member of the IG FARBEN executive committee 1934-1945, deputy director of section I, director of gasoline synthesis for IG Auschwitz
- 1932 (together with Gattineau) had the conversation with Hitler, that defined the petrol pact, 1936 co-worker of Krauch on the four year plan as a production representative for oil in the Arms Ministry
- SS Obersturmbannführer, military industrial leader, awarded the "friend of the Reich leader SS" cross.
- 1948 found guilty of "enslavement" condemned to six years detention.
- Released 1951.
- 1952 supervisory board member of Ruhr-Chemie and Kohle-Öl-Chemie among others.
- 1964 Distinguished Service Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany. The award was taken back after 16 days due to violent protests
- Member of the IG FARBEN executive committee 1934-1945, chief engineer of the IG, deputy director of the BG central Rhine/Maingau
- 1943 head of military economics, Distinguished Service Cross 1st. Class 1948 found guilty of "plundering" condemned to 18 months detention
- 1955 supervisory board member of the "new" Farbwerke Hoechst. In the same year elevated to supervisory board chairman elect – Karl Winnacker said "in the meantime the liquidation conclusion law had been issued and freed us from all discriminating regulations. So we could add Friedrich Jaehne, chief engineer of the old IG, to the supervisory board. He presided over this committee until 1963. In 1945 none of us would have thought that the two of us would be able to co-operate at the head of our company ".
- Supervisory board chairman of the Alfreds Messer GmbH (later Messer Griesheim), supervisory board member with Linde
- 1959 Dr. Ing. E.h. of TH Munich, 1962 Bavarian service medal, honorary senator of TH Munich, Distinguished Service Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany
- Member of the IG FARBEN executive committee 1926-1940, chairman of the board 1940-1945, director of the coordination center W, director of the Reich office for economics, plenipotentiary for special questions on chemical production, military industrial leader.
- 1943 Knight's Cross for Distinguished War services.
- 1948 found guilty of "enslavement" and condemned to six years in prison. Released 1950.
- 1955 board member of Huels GmbH.
- In 1956 in the Frankfurt Auschwitz court case is quoted as saying: "they were usually anti-social elements, so called political prisoners" (describing the prisoners of Auschwitz-Monowitz)
- Member of the IG FARBEN executive committee 1938-1945, director of BG upper Rhine, board member of DEGESCH
- Head of military economics and member of the military economic advisory council of the Reich chamber of economics
- 1945 Knight's Cross for Distinguished War Services
- At Nuremberg , found "not guiltily" of all charges
- 1952 chairman of the board of the "new" BASF, chairman of the board for Duisburger Kupferhuette and Robert Bosch AG, board member of Augusts Viktoria, the Buna-Werke Huels GmbH, Süddeutschen Bank, Deutschen Bank, Vereinigten Glanzstoff, BBC, Allianz, Degussa, 1965 retirement as chairman of the board of BASF
- 1952 honorary professor of the University of Heidelberg , Dr. rer. RK h.c. the University of Tübingen , 1953 Dr. Ing. E.h. of the TH Munich, 1955 Distinguished Service Cross of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bayer service medal, 1960 Dr. rer. pole h.c. the University of Mannheim, honorary senator of the Universities of Mainz, Karlsruhe and Tübingen, honorary citizen of the University of Stuttgart, honoury citizen of the city of Ludwigshafen, 1967 Schiller prize of the city of Mannheim, president of the federation of the chemical industry, vice-president of the Max-Planck company, the company of German chemists.
Just fifteen years after they were convicted in the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, Bayer, BASF and Hoechst were again the architects of the next major human rights offences. In 1962, they established the Codex Alimentarius Commission. (Remark made by the Dr. Rath Health Foundation)
This dark period of German history is inextricably bound to one man, Fritz ter Meer:
- He was a member of the Managing Board of IG Farben from its inception to its dissolution. As the Wartime Manager, he was responsible for IG Auschwitz.
- In the Nuremberg Tribunal, ter Meer stated: "Forced labor did not inflict any remarkable injury, pain, or suffering on the detainees, particularly since the alternative for these workers would have been death."
- In 1948, ter Meer was sentenced by the Nuremberg Tribunal to seven years in prison for plundering and slavery.
- In 1952, his sentence was commuted, due to the influence of powerful friends.
- From 1956-1964, he was reinstated as a member of the Managing Board of Bayer AG.
- In 1962, ter Meer was one of the architects of the "Codex Alimentarius - Commission" and one of the main designers of the schemes that would profit from human suffering. (Remark made by the Dr. Rath Health Foundation)
The deceptive title "Codex Alimentarius" is no accident. It was devised by the same companies and indeed the same individuals, who gave the Auschwitz concentration camp inmates the deceptive slogan "Arbeit mach frei" ("Work makes you free"). (Remark made by the Dr. Rath Health Foundation)
As long as the Nazi infection continues to work its influence and threaten the lives of untold millions, no German has the right to proclaim that the Nazi era is finished.
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