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Last Updated: Monday, 10 November, 2003, 12:57 GMT
Former Zyklon-B maker goes bust

By Jonathan Charles
BBC Europe correspondent

Opening of war crimes trial against IG Farben executives, September 1947
IG Farben executives were prosecuted for war crimes
The German company which produced the poison gas used in Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War is to file for bankruptcy.

IG Farben employed thousands of slave labourers at the Auschwitz death camp and its Zyklon-B was used to murder millions of Jews and other prisoners.

The company is one of the few surviving reminders of Germany's Nazi past.

It was stripped of all of its chemical plants by the Allies after the Second World War, but continued to control a variety of other assets.

Now IG Farben says it is filing for bankruptcy after an investor defaulted on payments.

Embarrassment

The firm's name will be linked forever to the holocaust and the murder of six million Jews.

IG Farben manufactured the poisonous Zyklon-B chemical which was used in the gas chambers.

The firm's factories included a synthetic rubber plant at the Auschwitz concentration camp where 30,000 people worked until they died or were deemed unfit and sent to the gas chambers.

Some of the slave labourers were compensated in the 1950s.

But more controversially, IG Farben refused to join a national compensation fund that was set up in 2001 to pay others who had suffered.

The company's shares have remained listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange since the war, an embarrassment to Germany.

Bankruptcy is likely to bring further disputes though.

Some have argued that whatever money IG Farben has left should now be used to pay victims of its activities rather than other creditors.




SEE ALSO:
IG Farben to be dissolved
17 Sep 01  |  Business
Siemens retreats over Nazi name
05 Sep 02  |  Business


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