Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

Books For Download  

The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben

by Joseph Borkin
1978, The Free Press
ISBN 0-02-904630-0
Illustrated, 250 pages.
Available for download from Australia’s Soil and Health Library.

Required reading for “For The Record” listeners, second only to Manning, The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben charts the stellar rise of Germany’s chemical and dyestuff industries, as well as those of the Ruhr and Rhineland’s mining and steel, both spawned as global economic powerhouses by preexisting international trade restrictions and the German hording of patent rights. Covers also the Reich’s 1918 military defeat; the High Command’s long-term vision; the flowering and withering of Carl Bosch’s scientific and manufacturing genius; the consolidation of the banking, heavy and chemical industries (not to mention German society) coming to fruition under Hitler and Nazi policy.

Also included are astounding descriptions of the slave labor and mass murder in Auschwitz and elsewhere, the administration of which was shared by I.G. Farben’s top management and Himmler’s S.S.

Having become familiar with the special relationship between I.G. Farben and Standard Oil of Jersey as investigator for a Senate Special Committee, author Joseph Borkin later headed the Patent and Cartel Section of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, co-authoring Germany’s Master Plan in 1943. “After the war, when I read the transcript of the trial of the I.G. war criminals at Nuremberg, I knew that someday I would write the present book.”


2 comments for “The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben

  1. I first heard about this on the BBC’s radio broadcast, where Bayer was specifically mentioned.


    14 May 2013 Last updated at 07:18 ET

    Hospital probes E German ‘human guinea pig’ drug tests

    A top Berlin hospital plans to investigate the conduct of drug trials in the former East Germany amid allegations that some patients were used as human guinea pigs.

    Communist officials allowed Western firms to test new drugs on about 50,000 people, often without their knowledge, the news magazine Der Spiegel says.

    Now the Charite hospital says it will stop shredding old patient records and investigate what happened.

    The tests took place in the 1980s.

    Der Spiegel says it got the information from former East German health ministry records, the old Stasi secret police files, the former state’s pharmaceutical authority and private collections.

    Drug companies from West Germany, Switzerland and the US allegedly offered up to 800,000 Deutschmarks (about 400,000 euros; $520,000) per clinical study – foreign exchange that was much needed in the underfunded East German health service.
    Ethical questions

    In a statement, the Charite hospital said that “as a first step, Charite has stopped the usual shredding of decades-old files after expiry of the storage period. This is in order to reconstruct the course of action in particular cases as fully as possible.”

    Prof Volker Hess of Charite’s medical history institute said the conduct of the East German clinical trials should be re-examined, to find out the degree of patient consent and how undesirable side-effects were handled. The study should also compare East Germany’s medical procedures with those that were standard in the West at the time, he said.

    Germany’s Union of Research-based Pharmaceutical Companies (VFA) welcomed the idea of researching the old East German clinical trials. The VFA’s members account for about two-thirds of the German pharmaceutical market.

    “According to our knowledge, the standards for clinical trials in the GDR corresponded to the prevailing standards at the time,” said the VFA’s chief executive Birgit Fischer. “GDR law provided guidelines for clinical tests which were comparable with those of Western states and the US.”

    More than 50 East German hospitals were involved in the clinical trials, Der Spiegel reports. It says the Western drug companies that took part included Bayer, Schering, Hoechst and Sandoz, which is now part of Novartis.

    In statements to the Associated Press news agency, spokesmen for Novartis and Bayer said their clinical trials, to their knowledge, conformed with ethical and legal standards.

    Posted by Vanfield | May 14, 2013, 3:08 pm
  2. @Vanfield–

    Note that, in addition to Bayer, Hoechst and Sandoz were involved–also part of the old I.G. complex.

    I.G. Farben uber alles.

    The spin on this is also interesting. Most stories on this have emphasized the culpability of the former East German authorities.

    The IG successor companies certainly didn’t shrink from the opportunity of using human guinea pigs.


    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | May 15, 2013, 6:12 pm

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