In 1995, Nobel Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Eli Weisel was introduced at a lecture by the head of Bayer, Helge Wehmeier. Wehmeier’s intro consisted of an apology on behalf of Bayer’s World War II former parent company, IG Farben. Farben ran slave labor camps throughout Nazi Germany, one of which held Weisel as a prisoner. Farben, through one of its subsidiaries was also responsible for the production of and sale to the Nazis of Zyklon B. This gas was used to kill hundreds of thousands (possibly millions) of prisoners in concentration camps throughout the late 1930’s and 1940’s. Dozens of employees put on trial were convicted of war crimes yet none received long sentences and many were allowed to continue working in the pharmaceutical industry. Over ten million people died in the holocaust and I/G Farben was a crucial component of creating these atrocities. The company was also the largest single donor to Adolph Hitlers election campaign. They even purchased concentration camp workers for experimentation and forced labor. Its hard to think of a company that contributed more to the most horrible injustices in human history.
Bayer, which had been part of the Farben consortium, was able to become its own independent corporation again after the war. Their recent acquisition of Monsanto (for $66B) is the consummation of a long loving relationship between the two companies who between them made poison gasses for both World Wars and also provided agent orange during the Vietnam conflict. An action that is still causing birth defects in children today. Monsanto was even involved in the early development of nuclear weapons.
Bayer is now in the process of rebranding Monsanto which includes possibly renaming it. The names change but the ideas stay the same. Is it not remarkable that IG Farben was allowed to break up into its original components after WWII? The company ran slave labor camps during the war and actively contributed to the atrocities at concentration camps yet was allowed to stay in business. None of its employees received life or death sentences
If this website could consider itself the opposite of any other two organizations they might very well be Bayer and Monsanto.