CampaignNever again!


50 Years after the War Crimes Trials against IG FARBEN:

Dissolve this "Murderous Organization" - Compensate their Former Slave Labourers!

Reuters: Wartime slave workers seek cash from German firms

On July 29, 1948, the verdict was handed down in the Nuremberg Trial case against IG FARBEN. The accusations were, among others, participation in preparing and carrying out a war of aggression, enslavement, and plundering the economies of the conquered nations.

Responsibility for War and Nazi Crimes

IG FARBEN, the fusion of AGFA, BASF, BAYER, HOECHST and some minor German chemical enterprises, was one of the strongest examples of the close ties between the German economy and the Nazi terror regime. IG FARBEN benefited from the policies of the NSDAP just as the Nazis benefited from the support given by the company. IG FARBEN was the biggest single sponsor of the NSDAP, gave Hitler substantial support and expressly welcomed his war policies. The company's commitment to supply fuel, munitions etc. made it possible for Hitler to wage international war. IG FARBEN's management, in a paper called "New Order," spelled out its plans to (economically) conquer the world as an accompaniment to the military conquest of the world by the German armies.

With its branches, affiliated firms and business links all over the world, the company benefited on both sides of the Western front. IG FARBEN supplied fuel both to Nazi war planes and to the machines of the Western Allies. IG accumulated profits by supplying lethal weapons and by furnishing medicine for wounded soldiers and civilians. It profited from the "industrialisation" of genocide in the concentration camps, from the mass slavery of prisoners and "the enemy peoples" as well as from the absorption of related "conquered" enterprises.

The Cruelest of Crimes and Mass Murder

In its greed for profit, IG FARBEN committed the cruelest crimes, including mass murder. The company perfected the slave labour system, which had already been "invented" during WW I by BAYER's chief executive Carl Duisberg. Thousands of slave labourers were worked to death in the company's numerous facilities. With the help of the terror instruments of the SS, all resistance was suppressed. Prisoners "bought" from the SS for trifling amounts were knowingly tortured to death by IG FARBEN scientists during "medical" and other experimental tests. The KZ (concentration camp) doctor Mengele, who caused the deaths of prisoners through his notorious experiments, was directly financed by IG FARBEN. The mass murder of the Jewish population, the Sinthi and the Roma was "perfected" through the use of ZYKLON B, the lethal gas produced by IG FARBEN. Approximately 30.000 prisoners met their deaths in the concentration camps of Auschwitz III, Monowitz and other camps owned by IG FARBEN, due to cruelest exploitation.

Mild Sentences during the Cold War

In view of the gravity of the crimes, the sentences meted out to the IG FARBEN officials on trial at Nuremberg July 29, 1948 were incredibly lenient. After 152 days of trial only minor sentences, with a maximum of up to 8 years of imprisonment for some of the accused, were imposed. By then, the Cold War had begun and the Western allies had decided to rehabilitate the former elites in order to rebuild a strong economic Western Germany as a "bulwark against communism". Plans to put other companies, e.g. SIEMENS, KRUPP, DRESDNER BANK and DEUTSCHE BANK on trial were scrapped. By January 1951, the emprisoned managers and directors of IG FARBEN had all been pardoned and released. Many, in fact, returned to leading positions in the business world in Western Germany. A number became top officers in BAYER, HOECHST and BASF. Some of the IG FARBEN-Criminals were even awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Order of Merit in the Federal Republic of Germany).

No Remorse and no Self-Understanding

According to post war plans and legislation, IG FARBEN should have been dissolved -- by 1953 at the latest. But the "enterprise of murder" continues to exist! It has been benefiting from its Reichmark (currency under the Nazi regime) shares for 50 years now. At the same time, IG FARBEN, along with the "successor companies" BASF, BAYER and HOECHST still refuses a fair and appropriate compensation for the victims and relatives of victims of their Nazi-era terror. Their aim is to survive any potential victim who could make claims for damages.

And Today?

One should bear in mind that each of the three successor companies is wealthier today than was the whole of IG FARBEN in former times. Due to their greed for profit, German businesses and banks have contributed to two world wars within one century. IG FARBEN played a substantial role. If there is no understanding of history and no accountability for the past, there will always be the danger that these crimes could happen again.

We say:

signed by

Aktion Alternativer BASF-AktionärInnen/Mannheim/Germany
Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste/Berlin/Germany
Bundesverband Information und Beratung für NS-Verfolgte/Köln/Germany
Coordination gegen BAYER-Gefahren/Düsseldorf/Germany
Dachverband der Kritischen Aktionärinnen und Aktionäre/Köln/Germany
Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund/Frankfurt/Germany
Forschungsgruppe ZYKLON B/Dessau/Germany
Interessengemeinschaft der Verfolgten des Nazi-Regimes - Bund der Antifaschisten/Berlin/Germany
Interessengemeinschaft ehemaliger Zwangsarbeiter unter dem NS-Regime/Stuttgart/Germany
Lagergemeinschaft Auschwitz/Frankfurt/Germany
Vereinigung der Verfolgten des Naziregimes - Bund der Antifaschisten/Hannover/Germany
Verein zur Erforschung der IG FARBEN in Auschwitz/Hamburg/Germany


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