[Vision2020] Bayer Aspirin

Scott Dredge scooterd408 at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 17 09:07:25 PDT 2014

Considering that there are probably a total of zero (0) workers now employed with these companies that had anything to do with the WWII atrocities, this certainly points to another justification for corporate personhood (Citizen's United).  The unfortunate reality (and one that horrifies me) is that human beings for the most part tend to behave in a manner in which they are brought up.  For all of the moral outrage regarding slave owners, nazis, etc., there but for the grace of God go I.  I'm grateful I wasn't raised in such an environment that would have resulted in me being prone to oppressing others were I in a position of power to do so.


From: donaldrose at cpcinternet.com
To: scooterd408 at hotmail.com; vision2020 at moscow.com
Subject: RE: [Vision2020] Bayer Aspirin
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2014 21:59:28 -0700

Hi Scott,Whether people want to buy Bayer products (or products from the American corporations they own) is a personal decision.  I won’t.  The reason that I put this on V2020 is simple.  I devoted a significant portion of my academic training on Holocaust studies and yet, I had no idea that Bayer was the original name of I.G. Farben.  And, I certainly didn’t know that I.G. Farben, as a corporate name, was replaced by a rebirth of Bayer I.A. I suppose that most of the V2020 readers are aware that many of the corporations that were alive and well before and during the Nazi era in Germany continue to thrive today.  The following article might contain some surprises for them.  I don’t even want to address the former war criminals/Nazi scientists that we quickly and graciously invited into this country in beat the Russians to their brains.  A Song from Tom Lehrer comes to mind.  It makes me ill to think that someone who should have been in jail for the rest of his life was welcomed to this country as a intellectual colleague instead of the monstrous criminal that he was. My point is this: Bayer did not make reparations despite the fact that it was part of the corporate punishment.  That’s not okay with me.  I am dismayed that major corporations (then and now) continue to exercise power and privilege over people who are powerless to stop them or to insist that they are held responsible for the havoc they inflict on others. There is precious little any of us can do about it but at least if we are aware of who they were/are we can make choices about using their products.  How we stand on these issues today may  reflect where would have stood in 1939.   Rose 11 Companies That Surprisingly Collaborated With the Nazis
written by Sam Greenspan  

I saw this article today; it's about a controversy over the German insurance company Allianz buying the naming rights to the new New York Giants and Jets football stadium. 

That's controversial because Allianz has very famous Nazi ties -- they insured Auschwitz, their CEO was one of Hitler's advisers, and, during the Holocaust, instead of paying life insurance benefits to Jews, they sent that money straight to the Nazis. 

Jewish groups don't want Allianz getting the naming rights to the new Meadowlands. Abe Foxman, the head of the Anti-Defanation League, says, quote, "It would be an insult. It's putting their name in lights for generations to come." 

Since World War Two ended, Allianz has officially apologized for its role in the Holocaust and has paid several million dollars in restitution. Which brings me to a larger point here: At what point should we say to Nazi collaborating companies, "OK. You've apologized, you've paid, none of your current employees worked with the Nazis, it's time to move on"? 

Because there are a TON of companies that worked with the Nazis. Way more than the Allianz and the other 11 I'm about to talk about here. They've all apologized. A lot have paid restitution. Two generations have passed. 

I won't comment on whether I think people should forgive them... boycott them... continue to patronize them, but begrudgingly... or continue to patronize them with statements like, "Wow, Allianz, your insurance is SO good, we're SO impressed with what you're doing. And if it wasn't for the 800 other, better insurance companies out there, we'd TOTALLY sign up with you." 

That's up to you. I'm just puttin' the information out there. Here are 11 companies that you may not realize collaborated with the Nazis.  
The 12 Nazi collaborating companies featured in this article.Kodak. During World War Two, Kodak's German branch used slave laborers from concentration camps. Several of their other European branches did heavy business with the Nazi government.

And Wilhelm Keppler, one of Hitler's top economic advisers, had deep ties in Kodak. When Nazism began, Keppler advised Kodak and several other U.S. companies that they'd benefit by firing all of their Jewish employees. (Source: The Nation)Hugo Boss. In the 1930s, Hugo Boss started making Nazi uniforms. The reason: Hugo Boss himself had joined the Nazi party, and got a contract to make the Hitler Youth, storm trooper and SS uniforms.

That was a huge boon for Hugo Boss... he got the contract just eight years after founding his company... and that infusion of business helped take the company to another level.

The Nazi uniform manufacturing went so well that Hugo Boss ended up needing to bring in slave laborers in Poland and France to help out at the factory.

In 1997, Hugo's son, Siegfried Boss, told an Austrian news magazine, "Of course my father belonged to the Nazi party. But who didn't belong back then?" (Source: New York Times)Volkswagen. Ferdinand Porsche, the man behind Volkswagen and Porsche, met with Hitler in 1934, to discuss the creation of a "people's car." (That's the English translation of Volkswagen.)

Hitler told Porsche to make the car with a streamlined shape, "like a beetle." And that's the genesis of the Volkswagen Beetle... it wasn't just designed for the Nazis, Hitler NAMED it.

During World War Two, it's believed that as many as four out of every five workers at Volkswagen's plants were slave laborers. Ferdinand Porsche even had a direct connection to Heinrich Himmler, one of the leaders of the SS, to directly request slaves from Auschwitz. (Source: The Straight Dope)Bayer. During the Holocaust, a German company called IG Farben manufactured the Zyklon B gas used in the Nazi gas chambers. They also funded and helped with Josef Mengele's "experiments" on concentration camp prisoners.

IG Farben is the company that turned the single largest profit from work with the Nazis. After the War, the company was broken up. Bayer was one of its divisions, and went on to become its own company.

Oh... and aspirin was founded by a Bayer employee, Arthur Eichengrun. But Eichengrun was Jewish, and Bayer didn't want to admit that a Jewish guy created the one product that keeps their company in business. So, to this day, Bayer officially gives credit to Felix Hoffman, a nice Aryan man, for inventing aspirin. (Source: Alliance for Human Research Protection, Pharmaceutical Achievers)Siemens. Siemens took slave laborers during the Holocaust and had them help construct the gas chambers that would kill them and their families. Good people over there.

Siemens also has the single biggest post-Holocaust moment of insensitivity of any of the companies on this list. In 2001, they tried to trademark the word "Zyklon" (which means "cyclone" in German) to become the name a new line of products... including a line of gas ovens.

Zyklon, of course, being the name of the poison gas used in their gas chambers during the Holocaust.

A week later, after several watchdog groups appropriately freaked out, Siemens withdrew the application. They said they never drew the connection between the Zyklon B gas used during the Holocaust and their proposed Zyklon line of products. (Source: BBC)Coca-Cola, specifically Fanta. Coke played both sides during World War Two... they supported the American troops but also kept making soda for the Nazis. Then, in 1941, the German branch of Coke ran out of syrup, and couldn't get any from America because of wartime restrictions.

So they invented a new drink, specifically for the Nazis: A fruit-flavored soda called Fanta.

That's right: Long before Fanta was associated with a bunch of exotic women singing a god-awful jingle, it was the unofficial drink of Nazi Germany. (Source: New Statesman)Ford. Henry Ford is a pretty legendary anti-Semite, so this makes sense. He was Hitler's most famous foreign backer. On his 75th birthday, in 1938, Ford received a Nazi medal, designed for "distinguished foreigners." 

He profiteered off both sides of the War -- he was producing vehicles for the Nazis AND for the Allies.

I'm wondering if, in a completely misguided piece of logic, Allianz points to the Detroit Lions giving Ford the naming rights to their stadium as a reason why they should get the rights to the Meadowlands. (Source: Reformed Theology)Standard Oil. The Luftwaffe needed tetraethyl lead gas in order to get their planes off the ground. Standard Oil was one of only three companies that could manufacture that type of fuel. So they did.

Without them, the German air force never could've even gotten their planes off the ground.

When Standard Oil was dissolved as a monopoly, it led to ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP, all of which are still around today. (But fortunately, their parent company's past decision to make incredible profits off of war have not carried on.) (Source: MIT's Thistle)Chase bank. A lot of banks sided with the Nazis during World War Two. Chase is the most prominent.

They froze European Jewish customers' accounts and were extremely cooperative in providing banking service to Germany. (Source: New York Times)IBM. IBM custom-build machines for the Nazis that they could use to track everything... from oil supplies to train schedules into death camps to Jewish bank accounts to individual Holocaust victims themselves.

In September of 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, the "New York Times" reported that three million Jews were going to be "immediately removed" from Poland and were likely going to be "exterminat[ed]."

IBM's reaction? An internal memo saying that, due to that "situation", they really needed to step up production on high-speed alphabetizing equipment. (Source: CNet)Random House publishing. Random House's parent company, Bertelsmann A.G., worked for the Nazis... they published Hitler propaganda, and a book called "Sterilization and Euthanasia: A Contribution to Applied Christian Ethics".

Bertelsmann still owns and operates several companies. I picked Random House because they drew controversy in 1997 when they decided to expand the definition of Nazi in Webster's Dictionary.

Eleven years ago, they added the colloquial, softened definition of "a person who is fanatically dedicated to or seeks to control a specified activity, practice, etc." (Think "Soup Nazi".)

The Anti-Defamation League called that expanded definition offensive... especially when added by a company with Nazi ties... they said it, quote, "trivializes and denies the murderous intent and actions of the Nazi regime... it also cheapens the language by allowing people to reach for a quick word fix... [and] lends a helping hand to those whose aim is to prove that the Nazis were really not such terrible people." (Source: New York Observer, ADL)This list was originally published on Thursday, September 11, 2008 at 06:00:00 PM under the category News & Politics..

    From: Scott Dredge [mailto:scooterd408 at hotmail.com] 
Sent: Monday, June 16, 2014 6:40 PM
To: Rosemary Huskey; viz
Subject: RE: [Vision2020] Bayer Aspirin What is the end goal on this...don't buy Bayer A. G. products until they apologize (again) and/or pay fines (again) and/or damages (again)?

Seems like there was already due process on this based on <All things considered, they got off with wrist slaps.  The corporation was ordered to pay reparations to the surviving members of the thousands of I.G. Farben slave laborers forced to work under the usual heinous conditions employed by Nazi collaborators.   After their all-too-brief prison sentences the following jackasses bounced right on back to their old positions of power and authority.>

If this were a US criminal case, they wrongdoers would be protected by double jeopardy.  Of course, it's not so all bets are off.From: donaldrose at cpcinternet.com
To: vision2020 at moscow.com
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2014 11:38:16 -0700
Subject: [Vision2020] Bayer Aspirin[Short version of this email]
Please do not buy medications or over the counter products from Bayer A.G. (a German based corporation) or its U.S. based subsidiaries purchased “In 1978, Bayer purchased Miles Laboratories and its subsidiaries Miles Canada and Cutter Laboratories (along with a product line including Alka-Seltzer, Flintstones vitamins and One-A-Day vitamins, and Cutter insect repellent).  In 1994, Bayer AG purchased Sterling WinthropI's over-the-counter drug business from SmithKline Beecham and merged it with Miles Laboratories, thereby reacquiring the U.S. and Canadian trademark rights to "Bayer" and the Bayer cross, as well as the ownership of the Aspirin trademark in Canada.”  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer[The longer version with background and citations that explains the reason for my request follows below.] Last night I watched a PBS show on the commercial development and marketing of aspirin around the end turn of the 19th century. The work was initiated and directed by a brilliant Jewish chemist, Dr. Arthur Eichengrün , in Germany.  At the time the company was known as Bayer – the surname of one of the original owners. Thanks to  recent research this by Dr Walter Sneader of Strathclyde University the previous anti-Semitic error of attributing this “invention” to a man named Hoffman has been corrected.    Dr. Eichengrün left the company in 1908 to pursue an independent career.  In the years prior to World War II  Dr. Eichengrün was recognized as a brilliant and inventive fellow who (theoretically) enjoyed the respect of business and intellectual German communities. Post WWI Bayer Company changed its name to I.G. Farben.  Does the name sound familiar?  I hope it does.  Following WWII the significant managers of I.G. Farben were charged with war crimes (see below). All things considered, they got off with wrist slaps.  The corporation was ordered to pay reparations to the surviving members of the thousands of I.G. Farben slave laborers forced to work under the usual heinous conditions employed by Nazi collaborators.   After their all-too-brief prison sentences the following jackasses bounced right on back to their old positions of power and authority.  Please click on the names of the men below.   Yes, it will take a small amount of your time to read about these unrepentant monsters, but you have the luxury of being able to educate yourself – a gift denied millions of others (including American service men and women in the European theatre) who died because of them and their company’s products. For example: Hermann Schmitz,  became a member of the supervisory board for the Deutsche Bank in Berlin and honorary chairman of the supervisory board of Rheinische Stahlwerke AG [19]Georg von Schnitzler, served as president of the Deutsch-Ibero-Amerikanische Gesellschaft [20]supervisory board member of several firms [21]Otto Ambros, held seats on supervisory boards Chemie Grünenthal (being active during the Contergan scandal), Feldmühle, and Telefunken, and worked as an economic consultant in Mannheim [22]Heinrich Bütefisch, became a member of the supervisory boards for Deutsche Gasolin AG, Feldmühle, and Papier- und Zellstoffwerke AG, and consultied with Ruhrchemie AG Oberhausen and subsequently joining its supervisory board.[23]Max Ilgner, became the chairman of the executive board of a chemistry firm in Zug [24]Heinrich Oster, became a member of the supervisory board of Gelsenberg AG.[25]Some of the people who were acquitted (what a miscarriage of justice) and later became leaders in post war-companies include:Fritz Gajewski, became chairman of the board of Dynamit Nobel.[26]Christian Schneider (chemist), became a member of the supervisory boards of Süddeutsche Kalkstickstoff-Werke AG Trostberg and Rheinauer Holzhydrolyse-GmbH, Mannheim [27]Hans Kühne, held a position at Bayer Elberfeld.[28]Carl Lautenschläger, became a research associate at Bayer Elberfeld.[29]Wilhelm Rudolf Mann, resumed his position as head of pharmaceutical sales at Bayer. He also presided over the GfK, Society for Consumer Research, and the Foreign Trade Committee of the BDI, Federation of German Industry.[30]Carl Wurster, resumed his position of chairman of the managing board, and was the major force behind the reestablishment of BASF. After retiring, he continued to be active as a member and chairman of supervisory boards in companies such as Bosch, Degussa (later being acquired by RAG [31]), and Allianz.[32]Heinrich Gattineau, beame a member of the board and supervisory council of WASAG Chemie-AG, and Mitteldeutsche Sprengstoff-Werke GmbH [33]Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IG_Farben I.G. Farben was reorganized as an empty holding company in order to avoid paying the ordered reparations to the slave labor survivors used by their company. The litigation, which lasted over sixty years effectively allowed the corporation to dodge essentially all payments. I.G. Farben reverted to its pre World War I name, Bayer A.G, and has continued to thrive worldwide.    Which brings me to the reason for this email (and arguably, more post WWII business history than you ever want to know).  “In 1978, Bayer purchased Miles Laboratories and its subsidiaries Miles Canada and Cutter Laboratories (along with a product line including Alka-Seltzer, Flintstones vitamins and One-A-Day vitamins, and Cutter insect repellent).  In 1994, Bayer AG purchased Sterling WinthropI's over-the-counter drug business from SmithKline Beecham and merged it with Miles Laboratories, thereby reacquiring the U.S. and Canadian trademark rights to "Bayer" and the Bayer cross, as well as the ownership of the Aspirin trademark in Canada.”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer .  This source also includes recent law suits against Bayer A.G. and its subsidiaries  - demonstrating that I.G. Farben philosophy (in all but name) is  alive and well in 2014.      
If I.G. Farben corporate officers had not been reinstated or had not easily found other prominent corporate positions in Germany after World War II, if the company (or the men) had accepted responsibility for their monstrous behavior and allegiance to the Nazi party and insisted that their corporation(s) pay reparations we might accept that they felt some kind of guilt and responsibility for the Holocaust.  They didn’t – and as recently as 2003 Farben I.G. dba Bayer A.G. were still tying up unpaid reparations  in senseless litigation.  However, they were and remained unapologetic Nazi collaborators that enriched themselves before, during, and after WWII.  
There is nothing we can do about the deaths of millions of people seventy + years ago.  There is something we can do now.  The lack of contrition of this corporation deserves a response even at this late date.
I urge you not to buy or use products from Bayer A.G. or the subsidiaries listed above.  It is a small, indeed insignificant, stand when considered against the global reach of the corporation.  But it is a matter of conscience that we can easily adopt.  And, we can encourage others in our various circles of friends, family, and co-workers  to stand with us in opposition against this wretched corporation.
Rose Huskey 
======================================================= List services made available by First Step Internet, serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994. http://www.fsr.net mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com ======================================================= 		 	   		  
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