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Hell's Cartel


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The first detailed and readable account of how German industry threw its weight behind the Third Reich Distinguished original research, clear style and powerful ilustrations

About the Author

Diarmuid Jeffreys is a writer, journalist and television producer who has made current affairs and documentary programmes for BBC TV, Channel 4 and others, including Newsnight and the Money Programme. He is also the author of The Bureau: Inside the Modern FBI (1996) and Aspirin: The Remarkable Story of a Wonder Drug (2004). He lives with his wife and children near Lewes, East Sussex.


British journalist Jeffreys (Aspirin: The Remarkable Story of a Wonder Drug) pre-sents a compelling account of the comprehensive collaboration of Germany's major chemical conglomerate with Adolf Hitler's genocidal dictatorship. The fourth largest industrial concern in the world, IG Farben was a key element of German foreign policy. Its employees were well treated. Its scientists won Nobel prizes. Its administrators created an international network controlling the production and sale of everything from plastics to camera film--and poison gas. Jeffreys tells the story from the rise of Germany's chemical industry in the 19th century to its support of the Nazis' ascent to power starting in 1932. National Socialism was good for business. The increasingly lucrative contracts came with a price: first accommodation, then collaboration, as one compromise after another enmeshed the cartel ever deeper in the Nazi system. Eventually, from Farben's perspective, Auschwitz was no more than a source of labor for producing the synthetic rubber and oil that kept the war machine operating. Ignominiously dissolved in the early '50s, IG Farben remains a monument to willful and unapologetic moral blindness. (Aug. 1) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

'An unputdownable narrative and forensically gripping investigation' Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of Young Stalin 'Behind the guns is always the money. Diarmud Jeffreys' perfectly detailed vivisection of the I. G. Farben companies during the Nazi era is both sensible and powerful - thus a pleasure to read - and exceptionally compelling' Alan Furst At last, a fresh and vibrant history - free from the taint of perpetrator sponsorship and corporate influence - that brilliantly chronicles the war monster I.G. Farben. Jeffreys's work will be consulted as a must for years to come' Edwin Black, author of Nazi Nexus: America's Corporate Connections to Hitler's Holocaust

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