I.G. Farben (Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie AG)

The year 1925 saw the founding of I.G. Farben (Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie AG), a conglomerate of companies that would monopolize the country's chemical production and come to own all its major pharmaceutical industries.

During the World War II, I.G. Farben participated in numerous operations associated with the criminal activities of the Nazi executive, including the use of slave labour in plants built close to concentration camps, such as that at Auschwitz.

With regard to medical and ''pharmacological research]] projects, I.G. Farben became involved in experimental programmes using patients from the Nazi regime's euthanasia programmes and healthy subjects recruited without their consent from concentration camps, on whom various pharmacological substances were tested, including sulfamide and arsenical derivatives and other preparations whose composition is not precisely known (B-1012, B-1034, 3382 or Rutenol, 3582 or Acridine), generally in relation to the treatment of infectious diseases, such as typhus, erysipelas, scarlet fever or paratyphoid diarrhoea.

Furthermore, I.G. Farben played a decisive role in the German army's chemical warfare programme, contributing to the development of the first two neurotoxic substances, later known as 'nerve agents', tabun and sarin.1)

Business History

World War II military background on Bayer Company President, Hermann Schmitz, also directed Germany's leading industrial organization-I.G. Farben. He was found guilty at Nuremberg trials for running Nazi concentration labor camps. He merely served four years in prison. According to CBS News war correspondent Paul Manning, Schmitz held more shares of Rockefeller Standard Oil Co. stock than the Rockefellers. Farben's principle partner, the Rockefellers, profited greatly from World War II. A Federal Court judgment cited the Standard Oil Co. as America's “Enemy National,” that is, a “traitor.” Bayer was blacklisted at that time by the U.S. Federal Government.

During the late 1940s, I.G. Farben was “decartelized” by the Allied High Commission led by America's John J. McCloy-a Philadelphia banker and lawyer with intimate ties to Rockefeller oil and banking interests. Farben stockholders received equal shares of Bayer, Hoechst, and BASF stock.

American Home Products (AHP) was formed in 1926 but evolved largely under the same direction as Bayer, Hoechst and BASF, that is, from I.G. Farben/Rockefeller financial interests according to cancer investigator and author G. Edward Griffin.(24) During WWII, Ayerst Laboratories joined AHP and Wyeth International Limited was formed.

ref - Horowitz LG. Death in the Air: Globalism, Terrorism and Toxic Warfare. Sandpoint, ID: Tetrahedron Publishing Group, 2001. Manning P. Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile. Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, Inc., 1981. Borkin J. The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben: The Unholy Alliance Between Hitler and the Great Chemical Combine. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1997.2)

Rockefeller Partnership

One of the most important of these agreements was the Standard/I.G. Agreement of 1929, concluded between Standard Oil of New Jersey and I.G. Farben. This gave I.G. Farben badly needed capital (in the form of Standard stock) and permitted that company to develop the synthetic oil necessary to prosecute the Second World War.

*Two other critical arrangements between Standard Oil of New Jersey, General Motors and I.G. Farben also gave Hitler essential technology for the prosecution of modern mechanized war. Standard Oil licensed I.G. Farben to manufacture iso-octane and provided it with the licensed technology and technical know-how necessary to do so. This was the first time that iso-octane technology (essential for the testing necessary to produce high-quality gasoline) had been licensed to a former power.

Despite a warning from the War Department, the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation (jointly owned by Standard and General Motors) licensed I.G. to manufacture tetra-ethyl lead and showed them how to do it. Again, this was the first time that this technology (essential to the manufacture of high-quality fuel) had been licensed abroad.

Because the Germans were not able to produce enough tetra-ethyl lead to meet Hitler's timetable for invading Poland, the Ethyl Corporation sold Germany enough tetra-ethyl to proceed with the invasion. The firm that brokered the agreement was Brown Brothers, Harriman, with Prescott Bush Sr. and George Herbert Walker joining the Harriman brothers (Averell and E. Roland) in overseeing the company's operations. The third of the agreements was the Jasco agreement. This agreement, again between I.G. Farben and Standard Oil. This arrangement provided for the Germans to obtain critical butyl rubber technology, essential for the prosecution of modern industrial warfare. The Germans had promised to give the Americans the technology for I.G's buna rubber technology. I.G. Farben and Hitler never kept their part of the bargain 3)

Other Nazi Corporate Partners

Coca-Cola

Cooperation if not outright collaboration with the Nazis was the rule for many transnational corporations with a stake in Germany and has been the subject of extensive research. Next to Standard Oil and I.G. Farben, for instance, Coke's story of peddling soda to opposing trenches appears tame. The immorality of bottling Coca-Cola for the Nazis stands in no relation to STP's selling of aviation fuel to the German war machine, nor can it overshadow the oil- producer's cozy wartime relationship with Germany's chemical giant I.G. Farben. Simply put, Coca-Cola's infamous deeds were not the Second World War's only ones, nor were they particularly sinister. After all, Coke cannot be used to fly airplanes or make bombs.

The Coca-Cola Company's tale of questionable wartime conduct would thus be comparatively insignificant and not worth the effort of dwelling upon, were it not for the fact that its product, namely Coca-Cola, was and is a luxuary item whose commercial success is inseparably tied to a public image created through advertising. Like all other companies in the business of selling goods nobody really needs, the Coca-Cola Company's advertisements must reflect the desires of the times in order to defend its share of the mass-market.

How Coca- Cola chose to define itself through advertising was crucial to its success during the war years in the United States and is the story of the previous chapter. Thanks to a relentless barrage of war-supportive advertising built upon the Company's credo that “It isn't what a product is, but what it does that interests us,” Coca-Cola after December 1941 convinced Americans at the front and at home that drinking Coca-Cola was somehow synonimous with fighting against the enemies of freedom and democracy. Coke wanted to be understood as a morale- booster for the American effort.

There was a moral price attached to this sort of advertising, because Coca-Cola's managers failed to couple the new patriotic image with a correspondent curbing of its contradictory activities in Germany, the company's second biggest market.

While Coke-drinking GI's and other U.S. citizens had their carbonated soft-drink sweetened with patriotic statements like the 1943 slogan “Universal Symbol of the American way of Life,” German Coca-Cola men had been busy quenching the thirst of the Third Reich and its conquered territories for years.* 4)

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