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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 101 (July 1947)

Press and radio comments,   pp. 15-19 PDF (3.4 MB)


Page 16

(Continued from page 8)
Decartelizing IG Farben
ben employee policy was extremely
shrewd. There were great advantages
associated with a Farben job. A man
lived in a better house, was better
paid, had many social welfare bene-
fits, and always was respected in the
community. He was very definitely in
the good graces of the government.
Most of these men look back on the
-heyday of the Farben empire as a
golden age. Many of them would pro-
bably do anything they could, in a
quiet, safe way, to help Farben re-
cover its former glory.
Probably very few of these dedi-
cated workers realized the fabulous
evil which IG Farbenindustrie fathered.
ONE of our Congressional reports on
the Farben hearings says: "IG Far-
ben, nominally a private business
enterprise, has been . . ., in fact, a
colossal empire serving the Germe a
State as one of the principal industrial
cores around which successive German
drives for world conquest have been
organized."
The report goes on to state un-
equivocally  that   "overwhelming
proof" shows that Farben officials had
full prior knowledge of Germany's
plans for world conquest, and "knew
and approved of each of the Nazis'
aggresive acts, in advance."
Between 1933 and 1943 Farben de-
voted its enormous resources to re-
search designed to produce ersatz war
materials to replace Germany's de-
ficiencies--to compensate for a lack
of bauxite, for example, the raw mate-
rial necessary in the manufacture of
aluminium, IG concentrated on the
development of magnesium. To make
Germany independent of rubber im-
ports, IG experts developed the buna
process for the manufacture of syn-
thetic rubber. In this connection Far-
ben skillfully played on the greed of
an American firm with which it had
cartel agreements, to keep US compa-
nies from experimenting in the ersatz
rubber field. According to data pre-
sented to the Truman, Bone, and Kil-
gore committees, by the Department
of Justice, synthetic rubber even in
the United States was to come under
Farben's "sphere of influence" under
the so-called Jasco cartel agreements.
S TANDARD Oil was the firm
through which Farben -worked
in this instance, and IG did a
neat job  of wool-pulling, Every-
body in the rubber field knew of
Farben's success with buna, and
every American tire company wanted
the formula. Standard Oil was eager
to have a monopoly in the production
of this synthetic when Farben finally
released the American rights to the
process. So Standard fully accom-
plished IG s purpose of dissuading
American rubber companies from
undertaking  independent research.
This was done by Standard's falsely
creating the impression that it had
already received buna process from
Farben and was trying to work out a
scheme for licensing the process to
American rubber companies. This ex-
cuse worked nicely for a while but
by 1939 the rubber companies got tired
of being put off, and began to clamor
-for the process. An official of Stand-
ard met IG representatives in Basle
in October, 1939, and stated that he
had to be provided with an excuse for
not getting the formula released. IG
obligingly cabled Standard Oil to the
effect that the authorities would not
permit the information to- be given
American firms.
IG used its cartel agreements with
American firms to obtain for Germany
certain invaluable processes. Among
these was the process for producing
tetraethyl lead, which is essential for
the manufacture of aviation gasoline
and which was obtained for the Nazis
by IG Farben. In this connection an
IG official said:
'7T WITHOUT lead-tetraethyl the pre-
V    sent method of warfare would be
unthinkable. The fact that since the
beginning of the war we could pro-
duce lead-tetraethyl is entirely due to-
the circumstances that shortly before,
the Americans had presented us with
the production plans complete with
experimental knowledge; thus the
difficult work of development (one
need only recall the poisonous pro-
perty of lead-tetraethyl which caused
so many deaths in the United States
of America) was spared us, since we
could take up the manufacture of this
product together with the experience
that the Americans had gathered over
long years."
The German Government was dis-
satisfied with progress made in pro-
duction and development of poison
gases until IG took over in 1938, and
eventually achieved 95 percent of the
country's poison gas production. An
IG Farben official at Wuppertal-El-
berfeld developed a gas so deadly.
that it could penetrate any gas mask
in existence. Experiments were carried
out first on monkeys, then on human
beings. Luckless concentration camp
inmates were the guinea pigs for this
experimentation. Dr. Fritz ter Meer,
one of the outstanding IG scientists,
stated that this was very practical
actually-the  concentration  camp
inmates would have been killed any-
way, and the lives of countless Aryan
workers were saved thereby, since
they didn't have to be used. Later the
gases were used to exterminate whole
groups in camps such as Auschwitz.
Farben executives were fully aware
of the part they were playing-even
boasted of it; Dr. von Schnitzler,
member of IG's managing board said
in an address of welcome to the Spanish
Ambassador in 1943:
"But only during the war could
German chemistry prove itself worthy
of the task. It is not exaggeration to
say that without the services of Ger-
many chemistry performed under the
Four-Year Plan the prosecution of
modern war would have been un-
thinkable."
ARBEN was of invaluable aid to
1Ltlde Third Reich in yet another
way-the company's world wide list
of plants and industrial contacts fur-
nished the basis for an elaborate spy
net-work. IG's NW 7 office in Berlin
which was formed originally as IG's
liaison office with the various govern-
mental agencies in Berlin was trans-
formed by Dr. Max Ilgner into the
economic intelligence arm of the
Wehrmacht. From 1937 on this office
concentrated on preparing surveys of
factories in foreign countries. These
surveys were used by the Luftwaffe
in selecting bombing targets.
Farben amassed great profit by
arming the Wehrmacht for war. As
the Nazi territorial expansion pro-
gressed through the stages of political
WEEKLY INFORMATION BULLETIN
16
14 JULY 1947


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