IG Farben: The Group of German Corporations that Allied with Hitler for Profit

nurnmberg trial

Corporate greed has been the cause of worldwide human suffering and deception. Today ,big pharmaceuticals are manipulating and harming us to maximise profits. Recently, we witnessed the story of German car manufacturer Volkswagen, that deceived authorities and the public  by developing software in its engines that showed lower emissions in order to pass emission-tests. The media seems to have forgotten about this story already.

We only have to look at our recent history to see that corporations when uncontrolled will behave with extreme cruelty to humanity to maximise their profits. History has shown us that corrupt and oppressive governments will ally with mega-corporations to serve each other; by oppressing people.

One of the major war crimes trials in Nuremberg after world-war II was against a German chemical and pharmaceutical conglomerate, IG Farben. IG Farben was comprised by household names Bayer, Hoeschst (now part of the Sanofi-Aventis pharmaceutical group), BASF and others.

These companies had formed a community of interest prior to World War I that subsequently merged into a single company in 1925, becoming the largest chemicals group in the world. The group demonstrated a dramatic increase in its turnover between 1926 and 1943. How did that happen?

As part of its growth strategy, the group decided to establish close ties with Hitler and the Nazi party. Hitler saw IG Farben as a conglomerate that could help Germany become independent of some imported goods and was willing to guarantee major purchases by the state. The group was one of the main contributors for the Nazi’s election campaign. At a meeting of leading German industrialists in 1933 IG Farben was the main main contributor, contributing 400,000 marks from a total of 3 million.

Once in power the chemicals conglomerate became an indispensable partner in the race to rearm Germany. Members of the board were appointed leading positions in the Nazi’s four year plan to make Germany a war machine. Jews were removed from the company and the majority of the board members joined the Nazi party willingly or unwillingly.

The group took over important chemical factories in areas occupied by the Germans. As part of providing for the war against the Soviets, IG Farben with the support of the Nazi government decided on the installation of a new plant in Auschwitz next to the concentration camp. In this way they could use the prisoners as labour to build the new plant. The group eventually managed 5 manufacturing plants producing synthetic oil and rubber, most of which used slave labour.

At the end of World War II a trial was conducted and the international military tribunal in Nurenmberg against the top directors of IG Farben. The defendants were indicted for the crimes of planning and waging wars; economic plundering of occupied territories and forced labour,murdering of populations and enslavement. Aslo. three defendants were charged for SS membership. All directors were found guilty for planning and waging wars; nine for the second charge and three for the third charge. In 1951 all directors were out of prison and some of them were soon again in positions of power in the German chemicals industry.

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