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Monday, 17 September, 2001, 15:23 GMT 16:23 UK
IG Farben to be dissolved
Opening of war crimes trial against Farben executives in September 1947
IG Farben executives were prosecuted for war crimes
Amid scuffles between protestors and security guards, Germany's IG Farben, the company that made the Zyklon-B gas used in the Nazi death camps, has announced it will be dissolved by 2003.

The company's shares continue to trade on the German stock exchange even thought it went into liquidation in 1952.

IG Farben has been heavily criticised for not paying any compensation to former Nazi slave labourers after hundreds of Germany's leading industrial companies contributed to a 10bn Deutschmark fund this year.

The company's lawyers blame lengthy legal disputes with former slave workers for holding up the dissolution of the company and the distribution of its assets to the victims.

Most of the company's assets were confiscated after World War II and were transferred to four big German corporations: Bayer, Hoechst, Agfa and BASF.

For sale

The company now essentially exists as a trust for what remains of IG Farben's assets.

Chief liquidator Otto Bernhardt said on Monday that a possible buyer had been found for the company's property portfolio, which makes up the bulk of its remaining 21m DM (6.7m; $10m) of assets.

Liquidators also announced the company had founded a 500,000 DM (160,000; $233,000) foundation for former slave labourers under the Nazis.

At the height of its production in 1944, IG Farben ran a slave labour plant at Auschwitz using 83,000 people.

Slave labourers in Western Europe who were forced to work at IG Farben plants by the Nazis received compensation in the 1950s.

The company's annual meeting on the outskirts of Frankfurt attracts hundreds of protestors every year.

See also:

20 Jun 01 | Europe
Nazi slave fund pays out
18 Aug 99 | Europe
Fund for Nazi slave labourers
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