Sunday, March 15, 2015

Monsanto, Nazis and Zyklon B

I'm no fan of the Monsanto Corporation. Certainly, there is a lot to criticize them about, but that is not the purpose of this blog entry.

If you're going to criticize a person or a corporation, you should do so because of something they have actually done. You shouldn't be making things up out of thin air. Don't invent a story out of whole cloth in order to demonize your target.

However, some people have taken to the Internet to accuse Monsanto of complicity in the Holocaust. Here are some examples:
Okay, this is a pretty horrendous accusation. But, is it True?

Well, no. It isn't.

I sent this Tweet in response

I received this in reply

So, by pointing-out an error, I was accused of being a Monsanto operative.

Okay, enough bullshit. Let's get to work.

The patent for Zyklon B was actually owned by the German company, Degesch, of which 45% was owned by IG Farben and they licensed several companies to produce it. One such company was Tesch & Stabenow. During the Second World War,  Tesch & Stabenow sold Zylon B to various Nazi death camps.

For it's normal usage as a pesticide, Zylon B was made with an accompanying warning odorant, so people would have some way of knowing that they were being exposed to it. Zyklon B was an odorless gas and the additive was included as a safety measure. When Tesch & Stabenow sold Zylon B to the death camps, they deliberately omitted the warning odorant, thereby with the full knowledge that it was going to be used on humans. This is why the heads of Tesch & Stabenow - owner Bruno Tesch and director Karl Weinbacher - were executed after the war for their part in the Holocaust. In fact, it was supposedly Tesch's idea to sell it to the Nazis in the first place.

So,Bruno Tesch was the guy who had the idea to supply Zyklon B to the SS for use in the death camps. This was not an idea that people at either Degesch or IG Farben came up with.

Certainly, IG Farben did work with the Nazi regime and there were trials after the war for people who directly assisted the Nazi and its war effort. However, the blame for supplying the SS with Zyklon B was squarely on Tesch & Stabenow.

So, how did Monsanto get blamed for supplying Zyklon B to the Nazis? It's because somebody made it up.

You see Monsanto did enter into a joint venture with IG Farben. But, this happened in 1967, about 22 years after the war was over.

During World War 2, Monsanto worked very closely with the US Government in the Manhattan Project. Also during the war, Monsanto produced DDT, which was of great help in the fight against malaria-carrying mosquitoes. From what I can find. Monsanto did not produce Zyklon B and had no connections whatsoever to the Nazis.

There were American companies that actively did business with the Nazis even during the war and you can watch this video
The ten companies listed in the video are:

  1. Coca-Cola;
  2. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer;
  3. Chase Manhattan Bank;
  4. Dow Chemical;
  5. Brown Brothers Harriman;
  6. Woolworth;
  7. Alcoa;
  8. Ford Motor Company;
  9. General Motors; and
  10. International Business Machines
For all its flaws, complicity in the Holocaust and/or otherwise aiding the Nazis is not one of which Monsanto is guilty.

If you don't like Monsanto, fine. As I said, there's a lot to criticize them about. But, don't pull stuff out of your ass and tell me it's gold.

Duane Browning

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