Popular Pharmaceutical Company Bayer Bought Concentration Camp Victims in WWII

By February 26, 2017 History, Other

Bayer is a huge pharmaceutical company with a very dark past. You may know about some of the unsavory things they have done but did you know about this?

IG Farben a company we now know as Bayer was an enormous donor to Hitler’ electoral campaign. This company worked with the Nazi party to take over manufacturing plants when the German’s invaded other European countries. It has even been suggested that without the support received by IG Farben, Hitler would not have risen to power in the first place and the second world war would have never happened.

In the beginning stages of this company around the time, World War I has ended several chemical companies merged together in Germany to form IG Farben. They worked to produce things like pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and explosives.

Representatives met with Hitler in 1932 to see if he would support their agenda if he was given their support as well. You see, the company wanted to expand their plants and work on a synthetic gasoline program. A formal contract was actually made once Hitler officially came to power.

Auschwitz, the hell hole was more than just a concentration camp. It was the home of IG Auschwitz, the largest complex in the world manufacturing gasoline and rubber. IG Farben also tested their products here on prisoners who were considered ‘appropriate candidates.’ These people were used for human experiments and the others sent to gas chambers to be put to death in another IG Farben induced form, synthetic gas Zyklon-B.

This was not the only concentration camp that human testing took place on IG Farben had a whole concentration camp of their own as well. A place where they tested various vaccines and chemicals on both sick and healthy individuals. Many people became severely ill or died as a result of this. Bayer actually bought a large number of prisoners from the Auschwitz camp. There are letters to prove this that were written between the two organizations. One regarding the purchasing of one hundred and fifty inmates who were to be used for the testing of a new sleeping pill.

Judges at the Nuremberg Trials.

Judges at the Nuremberg Trials.


After the war had finally ended, the Nuremberg War trials sentenced twenty-four Farben board members as well as executives with mass murder and slavery. This being just two of many crimes, yet for some reason, none of these people received long prison terms. All were released to continue their work in the German pharmaceutical industry.

Today we recognize IG Farben as its modern names BASF, Hoechst/Aventis, and Bayer. One survivor from Auschwitz tried to sue over compensation for the medical experiments she was forced to go through while there and was featured in a BBC TV documentary back in the early 2000s. Her name was Zoe Polanska Palmer and she was a prisoner at the camp when she was just thirteen. She was given many tablets and pills that are believed to have been for birth control testing at the time.

She says that the person who did all these tests on here was a Dr. Victor Capesius who worked for Bayer and assisted Josef Mengele with his genetic experiments on children. Palmer has suffered through multiple operations in hopes of reversing the damage done by the testing however, she is infertile and has cancer. The response she got from Bayer was one for the books.

This is what Bayer had to say:

“Between 1925 and 1952, no company named Bayer existed, neither as a subsidiary of IG Farben nor as any other legal entity. Bayer has worked in good faith with the German government to establish a fund to help those who have suffered. The company’s contribution to this fund amounted to more than 40 million pounds.”

Meaning because the company went by a different name at the time they should be excused for their actions. This is disgusting. In 1995 Bayer issued a public apology for their involvement in the Holocaust but is that enough? What do you think?

Leave a Reply