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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 [1].

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.”