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Hell’s Cartel

By: Diarmuid Jeffreys (432.1/35934)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing ISBN 9780747580928

In 1925, in the aftermath of World War I and the vengeful Treaty of Versailles, six of Germany’s leading chemical companies banded together in a cartel to protect their business from increasing international competition. The merger succeeded beyond their wildest dreams and within a few years IG Farben, as the cartel was named, dominated the lucrative global chemical business.

Yet twenty years later, the directors found themselves on trial in the same Nuremberg courtroom that had decided the fates of the surviving leaders of the Third Reich. They were accused, in the words of the prosecutor, Telford Taylor, of being: ‘the men who made war possible… the magicians who made the fantasies of Mein Kampf come true.’

How had one of the world’s leading companies – whose scientists had won Nobel prizes, pioneered aspirin and many other essential drugs, and whose expertise in everything from artificial fuel and rubber to fertilizers and explosives was the envy of the world – fallen from the heights of such success to become Hitler’s creature, directly involved in the Holocaust with their IG Monowitz plant at Auschwitz?

In his brilliantly researched and compelling book, Diarmuid Jeffreys shines a bright light on the Cartel’s Faustian pact with the Third Reich to reveal in shocking detail the story of the original military-industrial complex.

September 2008


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