William Brennan, Ph.D.
The two companies most actively involved
in the distribution of RU 486 are Hoechst A.G. of
Frankfurt, Germany, and Paris' Roussel Uclaf.
Hoechst is a huge multinational conglomerate
with 224 subsidiaries in 124 countries. It does $23.7
billion in sales each year.
Hoechst is the parent firm of Roussel,
the company which actually produces and markets this
lethal drug. Hoechst owns 100% of Roussel stock.
But Hoechst has a historical reason for
keeping a low profile in the RU 486 debate. It is Hoechst's
infamous relationship to the I.G. Farben Chemical Company.
Farben aided the Nazis in waging aggressive
warfare and perpetrating crimes against humanity by
manufacturing Zyklon B, the cyanide gas used in the
Nazi death camps. At Nuremberg, in 1947, 24 Farben executives
were charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity.
At Auschwitz Farben exploited slave labor
to build the world's largest synthetic rubber and oil
facility. This installation dubbed "I.G.
Auschwitz" was so huge that it used as much
electricity as did the entire city of Berlin. Over 25,000
inmates were worked to death in its construction.
Farben also produced poisonous solutions
for use in aggressive warfare and in human experimentation.
At Nuremberg, Judge Paul M. Hebert focused on Farben's
extensive contributions to chemical warfare "research,
development and production of mustard gas, tear gas,
nitrogen mustard gas, adamsite (throat irritant) and
phosgene." Another segment of the Nuremberg indictment
revealed that "poison gases and various deadly
pharmaceuticals manufactured by Farben were used in
experimentation upon, and the extermination of enslaved
persons in concentration camps throughout Europe."
Farben produced the stabilizer for Zyklon
B and owned 42.5% of Degesch (the "German Vermin-Combatting
Corporation"), developer of this highly virulent
"When the Final Solution added Jews
to the SS extermination plans, Degesch profits reflected
the new prosperity," concluded Joseph Borkin in
The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben. "I.G.'s
dividends on its Degesch investments for the years 1942,
1943, and 1944 were double those of 1940 and 1941."
Because of its extensive involvement in
such a vast array of destructive activities, the name
Farben came to epitomize the ultimate in corporate evil
incarnate. Josiah DuBois, chief prosecutor at the Farben
Trial, considered the defendants and their crimes so
malevolent that he wrote a book about them titled The
Devil's Chemists: 24 Conspirators of the International
Farben Cartel Who Manufacture Wars.
The complete dissolution of Farben was
therefore considered an indispensable means of assuring
the peace after World War II. In 1947 a plan was formulated
by the American Military Government to break up Farben
into 47 independent units.
However, this never materialized. Concern
over the Cold War with Russia and ongoing corporate
maneuvering proved to be formidable obstacles. Ultimately,
Farben was only divided into three companies: Hoechst,
Bayer and BASF.
Since Hoechst has not put the brakes on
Roussel Uclaf's worldwide ambitions to distribute this
deadly abortifacient, it is imperative that the alarming
kinship between Farben and Hoechst be subjected to widespread
public scrutiny. This consciousness-raising process
should highlight the following parallels:
1. Farben was the largest chemical corporation
of its time. Hoechst, according to the business journal
Long Range Planning (June 1990), has become "the
world's biggest chemicals business" and intends
to maintain this position through an ambitious program
of global expansion.
2. Farben was a prominent participation
in the chemical war against Jews during the Nazi era.
Hoechst is a major participant in the chemical annihilation
of the unborn today.
3. Farben made a momentous contribution
to the science of chemical warfare by testing its deadly
products on victims selected for extermination in Nazi
gas chambers. The contribution of Hoechst's subsidiary,
Roussel, to the field of chemical warfare consists of
lethal experiments on and the direct killing of unborn
4. Farben was the parent company of Degesch,
developer of the Zyklon B gas used in the extermination
of millions at Auschwitz. Hoechst is the parent firm
of Roussel Uclaf, manufacturer of the deadly drug RU
486 capable of destroying millions of unborn children
throughout the world.
5. Farben controlled Degesch's policies,
including the decisions to use Zyklon on death camp
inmates. Hoechst plays a major role in the policies
of Roussel, including the development and distribution
of RU 486 for use against the unborn.
6. Farben owned 42.5% of stock in Degesch.
Hoechst owns 54.5% of the shares in Roussel.
7. Farben earned enormous profits from
its investment in Degesch during the period when Zyklon
became the primary means of eradicating the "postnatal
expendables" of the Third Reich. Hoechst should
derive a considerable payoff from its investment in
Roussel if RU 486 ever becomes a widespread method of
exterminating today's "prenatal discards."
Life Issues Connector, March 1995.