The Devil’s Chemists: Nazi/American/British Mass Murder Corporations

by Josiah DuBois
1952, The Bea­con Press, 374 pages
Down­load Pt. 1 | Down­load Pt. 2
Like Ambruster’s Treason’s Peace, Josiah DuBois’s The Devil’s Chemists high­lights how the I.G. Far­ben chem­i­cal firm manip­u­lated trade rela­tion­ships to the advan­tage of the Third Reich. In addi­tion, the book illus­trates how cor­po­ra­tions, busi­ness­men and politi­cians beholden unto the firm’s non-German car­tel part­ners assisted that manip­u­la­tion, as well as the post­war reha­bil­i­ta­tion and exon­er­a­tion of both I.G. and its most impor­tant per­son­nel. Those per­son­nel are the pri­mary focus of Josiah Du Bois’s The Devil’s Chemists. In addi­tion, DuBois empha­sizes the dam­age done to America’s inter­na­tional cred­i­bil­ity by its post­war preser­va­tion of I.G. Far­ben and other Axis/fascist cartels.
One can­not under­stand the his­tory of the 20th cen­tury with­out under­stand­ing the role played in world events of the time by the I.G. Far­ben com­pany, the chem­i­cal car­tel that grew out of the Ger­man dyestuffs indus­try. Com­pris­ing some of the most impor­tant indi­vid­ual com­pa­nies in the his­tory of indus­trial cap­i­tal­ism, the firm has dom­i­nated the dyestuffs, chem­i­cal and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal indus­tries before and dur­ing World War II. The com­pa­nies that grew out of I.G.’s offi­cial dis­so­lu­tion after the war—Bayer, Hoechst, BASF, and Agfa con­tin­ued to be deci­sive in world mar­kets. Among the many prod­ucts devel­oped by I.G. or its mem­ber com­pa­nies are aspirin, heroin, Novo­cain, methadone (orig­i­nally named Dolophine in honor of Adolph Hitler) and Zyk­lon B (the poi­son gas used in the exter­mi­na­tion cen­ters of World War II.)
Both the Ambruster and DuBois texts set forth the inter­na­tional scope and eco­nomic impact of the com­pany, its role as the spine of the indus­trial war-making econ­omy of the Third Reich and the firm’s ele­va­tion of Hitler to his posi­tion of power. As one observer noted, “Hitler was Far­ben and Far­ben was Hitler.” Much of the impact that the com­pany wielded derived from its inter­na­tional dom­i­nance of the chem­i­cal, rub­ber, petro­chem­i­cal and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal indus­tries through its car­tel arrange­ments with part­ner firms in other coun­tries. Farben’s for­eign coun­ter­parts had much to do with let­ting the com­pany and its executives—many of them war crim­i­nals of the first order—off the hook after World War II.
Farben’s car­tel part­ners abroad con­sti­tuted an inven­tory of the wealth­i­est and most pow­er­ful cor­po­ra­tions in the world. In the United States, the major firms with which Far­ben did busi­ness included: Du Pont, the Stan­dard Oil com­pa­nies, Gen­eral Motors, Ford Motor Com­pany, Union Car­bide, Dow Chem­i­cal and Tex­aco. In turn, these cor­po­rate giants wielded con­trol­ling polit­i­cal influ­ence in the United States through the elected and appointed offi­cials in their sway. Attempts at reduc­ing Farben’s influ­ence in the United States before and dur­ing World War II, as well as efforts at hold­ing the com­pany and its top exec­u­tives to account for their crimes after the war were neu­tral­ized by the cartel’s cor­po­rate hirelings. Many of names of the com­bat­ants on both sides are impor­tant and, to older and better-educated read­ers, famil­iar. Far­ben exerted a pro­found influ­ence in other coun­tries as well.
Behind the actions of many world fig­ures promi­nent in the mid-20th cen­tury, we can observe the effects of their rela­tion­ship to I.G. As dis­cussed in The Nazis Go Under­ground, Neville Cham­ber­lain was a major stock­holder in Impe­r­ial Chem­i­cals, I.G.’s major car­tel part­ner in the United King­dom. Chamberlain’s “weak­ness” in the Munich sum­mit with Hitler assumes a dif­fer­ent light when eval­u­ated against his hold­ings in Impe­r­ial. In Falange, Alan Chase describes Wil­helm von Fau­pel, the prime mover behind the estab­lish­ment of the Span­ish Falange and its inter­na­tional com­po­nent, the Falange Exte­rior. Fau­pel derived much of his con­sid­er­able influ­ence within the Third Reich from his sta­tus as an “I.G. General.”
In The Devil’s Chemists, DuBois details the war crimes tri­als of key I.G. per­son­nel and, in so doing, illus­trates the per­ni­cious nature of the car­tel sys­tem Far­ben embod­ied and suc­cess­fully, ruth­lessly exploited. On page “x” of the pref­ace, DuBois explains:
“ . . . In con­dens­ing 150 large vol­umes of tes­ti­mony within one average-size book, a great deal of mate­r­ial has nec­es­sar­ily been elim­i­nated. Nev­er­the­less, I believe that every sig­nif­i­cant aspect of this his­toric crim­i­nal trial has been brought to the atten­tion of the reader. . . .”
DuBois relates how “anti-Communism” was used to mask and exon­er­ate the I.G. defen­dants who are the focal point of the book. On page 355, DuBois writes:
“ . . . Yet the two judges accepted the fic­tion that Far­ben was the sim­ple pro­to­type of ‘West­ern Cap­i­tal­ism.’ By impli­ca­tion, this placed the Ter Meers and Schmitzes along­side the stock­hold­ers and direc­tors of many inter­na­tional firms whose poli­cies some­times stood out clearly against war. . . . This com­mer­cial stereo­type reached its great­est exag­ger­a­tion in the case of Max Ilgner. The Tri­bunal rewrote into inno­cence even the aggres­sive deeds he admit­ted, rais­ing the clear impli­ca­tion that any soci­ety could be filled with such men with no dan­ger what­ever to the peace of the world. Hav­ing been sen­tenced to three years for plun­der­ing Ilgner was given credit for the time he had spent in jail and was released imme­di­ately after the judg­ment was read. . . .”
Pub­lished in 1952, the DuBois text reflects the anx­i­ety pro­voked in the West by the Ger­man “Ost­poli­tik” that is the pri­mary focus of T.H. Tetens’ Ger­many Plots with the Krem­lin. Not­ing blos­som­ing Ger­man trade with the for­mer Soviet Union in the early 1950’s, as well as the pro­pos­als by some Ger­man polit­i­cal fig­ures to assume a posi­tion of neu­tral­ity, many observers pushed to appease the resid­ual Reich ele­ments at every oppor­tu­nity. Many in posi­tions of influ­ence in the United States felt that the pos­si­bil­ity that Ger­many might align itself with the USSR man­dated a Carte Blanche atti­tude on the part of the US diplomacy.
DuBois dis­cusses one of the most seri­ous out­growths of the preser­va­tion of the car­tels in Japan and Ger­many and the Cold War pol­icy of estab­lish­ing right-wing “bul­wark” states to guard against the spread of com­mu­nism. Pre­serv­ing the dom­i­nance of fas­cist eco­nomic inter­ests alien­ated those who had suf­fered under the yoke of Axis occupation.
“ . . . In the Far East, as well as in Europe, the United States has backed other totalitarian-minded groups [in addi­tion to the I.G.] as a ‘bul­wark’ against com­mu­nism. By the end of World War II, the peo­ples of China, Korea, Indo-China, and the Philip­pines had suf­fered for years under the ‘New Order for Asia’ spon­sored by the Japan­ese equiv­a­lent of Far­ben, the Zaibatsu car­tels. These car­tels by force of arms won a stran­gle­hold on the economies of these coun­tries. Instead of rebuild­ing the Far East gen­er­ally as fast as we could, we have ped­dled the fear that Rus­sia would rob and plun­der the peo­ple, while at the same time we backed the very forces which had already robbed and plun­dered them. The Zaibatsu car­tels are as strong as ever. In Indo-China, we have backed the col­lab­o­ra­tors of the ‘Japan­ese New Order.’ In South Korea, faced with a vari­ety of truly demo­c­ra­tic choices, we backed Syn­g­man Rhee and the few landown­ers and cot­ton millers who had cast their lot with the ‘New Order’ gang. . . . Can we expect mil­lions of for­mer vas­sals in Asia to rally around their erst­while total­i­tar­ian oppres­sors? Can we rally Europe solely around the fear of Soviet enslave­ment while we delib­er­ately sus­tain the forces which twice in recent his­tory have enslaved that con­ti­nent? On the answer to these ques­tions depends our survival.”
Indeed. (For more about the resti­tu­tion of the Zaibat­sus, see FTRs 290, 426.)
Like the Ambruster, Mar­tin Man­ning, and Borkin & Welsh texts, The Devil’s Chemists pro­vides a win­dow into a realm of cor­po­rate polit­i­cal eco­nom­ics that con­tin­ues to wield a deci­sive role in world affairs.

About homelessholocaust

Tijuana Hobo , Hebrew Hobo Railroad Rabbi, The Truth Teller Tell True Truth Truthfully. If the Truth is Repugnant to you, You are a Reagan Cultist. Ronald Reagan was Taught by L. Ron Hubbard, Reagan & Hubbard FOUNDED THE SCIENCE FICTION MIND FUCKING GAME- SCIENTOLOGY- then REAGAN USED NERO LINGUIST PROGRAMMING as PRESIDENT to MURDER THE MINDS of AMERICANS!
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