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The Irish Times

Dublin, Thursday, August 19, 1999

Holocaust survivors protest at IG Farben meeting

By Denis Staunton,

BERLIN: IG Farben, the chemicals firm that manufactured the gas that killed millions of Jews in Hitler's death camps, agreed yesterday to create a fund to compensate former slave labourers.

However, more than 100 protesters, including Holocaust survivors, rejected the offer and called for the immediate dissolution of the company and the division of its remaining capital among those forced to work in the death camps.

Amid turbulent scenes at a shareholders' meeting in Frankfurt, "IG Farben in Liquidation", as the firm's legal successor is known, set aside DM3 million to compensate former slave labourers. Security staff prevented an 83 year-old Auschwitz survivor, Mr Hans Frankenthal, from completing an address to the shareholders and some demonstrators were bundled out of the meeting.

Protesters carried banners saying: "No forgiving, no forgetting for mass murder and slave labour", and "These shares are covered in blood". The company's liquidator, Mr Volker Pollehn, claimed that more than 450 lawsuits by former slave labourers were holding up the process of liquidation.

Mr Frankenthal expressed the outrage of death camp survivors at the fact that IG Farben shares are still being traded on the stock exchange.

"We continue to call for the immediate dissolution of the firm, which symbolises the collaboration between industry and state in Nazi Germany. The entire assets must be transferred to a foundation controlled by former concentration camp inmates," he said.

IG Farben was the product of a merger between BASF, Agfa and Hoechst in 1925. During the second World War, the company took over chemical plants in German-occupied territories and established a labour camp in Auschwitz in 1941.

By 1944, more than 83,000 forced labourers and death camp inmates were put to work in the IG Farben camp at Auschwitz, where more than 120,000 people perished. One of the company's subsidiaries, Degesch, manufactured Zyklon B, the poisonous gas used to murder millions of Jews.

We wonder where Mr Staunton obtained his "120,000" figure. That's about the size of the fine he would have to pay in Germany for spreading such Auschwitz lies.

© Focal Point 1999 F e-mail: DISmall write to David Irving