Operation Paperclip by Annie Jacobson (Excerpts regarding Hitler’s Chemists – Fritz Hoffmann)

Hitler’s Chemists

Fritz Hoffmann

This nerve agent was code-named VX (the V stood for venomous)–a battlefield killer that was three times more toxic than sarin when inhaled and one thousand times more lethal when it came into contact with the skin. Ten milligrams of VX could kill a man in fifteen minutes. VX would be more effective on the battlefield than sarin ever would be; sarin dissipated within fifteen or so minutes, but when VX was sprayed, it stayed on the ground for up to twenty-one days. Now, in 1957, the Chemical Corps began producing VX by the thousands of tons. Operation Paperclip scientist Fritz Hoffmann moved over from synthesizing tabun at Edgewood to working on VX munitions. But Fritz Hoffmann’s more haunting legacy lies in the work he performed for the CIA’s Special Operations Division and the Chemical Corps’ antiplant division. Antiplant agents include chemical or biological pathogens, as well as insects, that are then used as part of a program to harm crops, foliage, or other plant life.

After the death of Frank Olson, the SO Division continued its LSD mind control schemes, But Sidney Gottlieb, the man who had suggested poisoning Frank Olson at the CIA safe house in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, was assigned to also work on the CIA’s assassination-by-poison program. Fritz Hoffmann was one of the chemists at the locus of the program. “He was our teacher,” Edgewood laboratory director Dr. Seymour Silver told journalist Linda Hunt. “He was the guy who brought to our attention any discoveries that happened around the world and then said, ‘Here’s a new chemical, you better test it.'”….. page 384

“During the Vietnam War, I remember one evening we were at the dinner table and the war was on the news,” Gabriella Hoffmann explains. The family was watching TV. “Dad was usually a quiet man, so when he spoke up you remembered it. He pointed to the news–you could see the jungles of Vietnam, and he said, ‘Wouldn’t it be easier to defoliate the trees so you could see the enemies?’ That’s what he said. I remember it clearly. Years later I learned one of Dad’s projects was the development of Agent Orange.”

The army’s herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War started in August 1961 and lasted until February 1971. More than 11.4 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed over approximately 24 percent of South Vietnam, destroying 5 million acres of uplands and forests and 500,000 acres of food crops–an area about the size of the state of Massachusetts. An additional 8 million gallons of other anti-crop agents, code-named Agents White, Blue, Purple, and Green, were also sprayed, mostly from C-123 cargo planes. Fritz Hoffmann was one of the earliest known U.S. Army Chemical Corps scientists to research the toxic effects of dioxin–possibly in the mid-1950s but for certain in 1959–as indicated in what has become known as the Hoffmann Trip Report. This document is used in almost every legal record pertaining to litigation by U.S. military veterans against the U.S. government and chemical manufacturers for its usage of herbicides and defoliants in the Vietnam War.

Fritz Hoffmann’s untimely death came like something out of a Special Operations Division’s Agent Branch playbook. He suffered a serious illness that came on quickly, lasted for a relatively short time, and was followed by death. On Christmas Eve 1966, Fritz Hoffmann was diagnosed with cancer. Racked with pain, he lay in bed watching his favorite television shows–“Cowboy westerns and Rod Serling in the Twilight Zone,” Gabriella Hoffmann recalls. One hundred days later, Fritz Hoffmann was dead. He was fifty-six years old.

page 387 – 388

Also in the first three months of the CIA’s existence, the National Security Council issued Directive No. 3, dealing specifically with the “production of intelligence and the coordination of intelligence activities within the intelligence community.” The National Security Council wanted to know who was producing what intelligence and how that information was being coordinated among agencies. In the opinion of the CIA, “the link between scientific planning and military research on a national scale did not hitherto exist.” The result was the creation of the Scientific Intelligence Committee (SIC), chaired by the CIA and with members from the army, the navy, the air force, the State Department, and the Atomic Energy Commission. “Very early in its existence the SIC undertook to define scientific intelligence, delineate areas of particular interest and establish committees to handle these areas,” wrote SIC chairman Dr. Karl Weber, in a CIA monograph that remained classified until September 2008. “Priority was accorded to atomic energy, biological warfare, chemical warfare, electronic warfare, guided missiles, aircraft, undersea warfare and medicine” –every area involving Operation Paperclip scientists. Each scientific intelligence subcommittees were created, one for each area of warfare.

Despite the urgency. the JIOA’s plan to make Operation Paperclip over into a long-term program was still at a standstill. By the spring of 1948, half of the one thousand German scientists bound for America had arrived, but not a single one of them had a visa. Troublemaker Samuel Klaus was gone from the State Department, but the JIOA could still not get the visa division to make things happen fast enough. On May 11, 1948, military intelligence chief General Stephen J. Chamberlin, the man who had briefed Eisenhower in 1947, took matters into his own hands. Chamberlin went to meet FBI director J. Edgar Hoover to enlist his help with visas. Cold War paranoia was on the rise, and both men were staunch anti-Communists. The success of Operation Paperclip, said Chamberlin, was essential to national security. The FBI had the communists to fear, not the Nazis. Hoover agreed. Paperclip recruits needed the promise of American citizenship now more than ever, Chamberlin said, before any more of them were stolen away by the Russians.. three months later, the first seven scientists had U.S. immigration visas.

Pages 315 – 316

Operation Paperclip by Annie Jacobson. (Excerpts regarding Hitler’s Chemists – Otto Ambros)

Hitler’s Chemists

Otto Ambros

Otto Ambros was a fastidious man. His calculations were exact, his words carefully chosen, his fingernails always manicured. He wore his hair neatly oiled and parted. In addition to being Hitler’s favorite chemist, Ambros was the manager of IG Farben’s synthetic rubber and fuel factory at Aushwitz.

page 21

“The concentration camp already existing with approximately 7000 prisoners is to be expanded.” Santo noted in his official company report. For Ambros, Farben’s arrangement with the SS regarding slave laborers remained vague; Ambros sought clarity. “It is therefore necessary to open negotiations with the Reich Leader SS [Himmler] as soon as possible to discuss necessary measures with him,” Ambros wrote in his official company report. The two men had a decades-old relationship; Heinrich Himmler and Otto Ambros had known one another since grade school. Ambros could make Himmler see eye-to-eye with him on the benefits that Auschwitz offered to both Farben and the SS. – Operation Paperclip. page 153.

Otto Ambros was key to making the Buna factory a success. With his knowledge of synthetic rubber and his managerial experience–he also ran Farben’s secret nerve gas production facilities–there was no better man than Otto Ambros for the Auschwitz job….
Major Tilley waited at Dustin for the return of Tarr and Ambros. It was now clear to him that there was no single individual more important to Hitler’s chemical weapons program than Otto Ambros had been. Ambros was in charge of chemical weapons at Gendorf and Dyhernfurth, and he was the manager of the Buna factory at Auschwitz. From interviewing various Farben chemists held at Dustbin, Tilley had also learned that the gas used to murder millions of people at Auschwitz and other concentration camps, Zyklon B, and it was sold to the Reich by an IG Farben company. In one of these interviews, Tilley asked IG Farben board member Baron Georg von Schnitzler if Otto Ambros knew that Farben chemicals were being used to murder people.

“You said yesterday that a [Farben employee] ‘alluded’ to you that the poisonous gasses [sic] and the chemicals manufactured by IG Farben were being used for the murder of human beings held in concentration camps,” Major Tilley reminded von Schnitzler in their interview
“So I understood him,” von Schnitzler replied.
“Didn’t you question those employees of yours further in regard to the use of these gases?”
“They knew it was being used for this purpose,” von Schnitzler said
von Schnitzler confessed, “I asked [the Farben employee] is it known to you and Ambros and other directors in Auschwitz that the gases and chemicals are being used to murder people?”
“What did he say?” asked Major Tilley.
“Yes; it is known to all the IG directors in Auschwitz,” von Schnitzer said.

Few men were as important to IG Farben during the war than Otto Ambros had been. IG Farben began first producing synthetic rubber in 1935, naming it Buna after its primary component, butadiene…. Otto Ambros poured over maps of this region, called the Upper Silesia, in search of a Buna factory site, he found what he was looking for. The production of synthetic rubber required four things: water, flat land, good railway connections, and an abundance of laborers. Auschwitz had all four. Three rivers met in Auschwitz, the Sola, the Vistula, and the Przemsza, with a water flow of 525,000 cubic feet per hour. The land was flat and sixty-five feet above the waterline, making it safe from floodwaters. The railway connections were sound. But the most important was the labor issue. The concentration camp next door could provide an endless labor supply because the men were cheap and could be worked to death. For Farben, the use of slave labor supply could take the company to levels of economic prowess previously unexplored.

pages 151 – 155

It was only a matter of time before an American chemical company would learn of the army’s interest in a whole new field of chemical weapons. An American chemist, Dr. Wilhelm Hirschkind, was in Germany at this same time. Dr. Hirschkind was conducting a survey of the German chemical industry for the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service while on temporarily leave from Dow Chemical Company. Dr. Hirschkind had spent several months inspecting IG Farben plants in the U.S. and British zones and now he was in Heidelberg, hoping to meet Ambros. Lieutenant Colonel Tarr reached out to Colonel Weiss, the French commander in charge of IG Farben’s chemical plant in Ludwigshafen, and a meeting was arranged.

On July 28, 1945, Dr. Hirschkind met with Ambros and Lieutenant Colonel Tarr in Heidelberg. Ambros brought his wartime deputy with him to the meeting, the Farben chemist Jurgen von Klenck. It was von Klenck who, in the final months of the war, had helped Ambros destroy evidence, hide documents, and disguise the Farben factory in Gendorf so that it appeared to produce soap, not chemical weapons. Jurgen von Klenck was initially detained at Dustbin but later released. The Heidelberg meetings lasted several days. When Dr. Wilhelm Hirschkind left, he had these words for Ambros: “I would look forward after the conclusion of the peace treaty [to] continuing our relations [in my position] as a representative of Dow.”

Only later did FIAT interrogators learn about this meeting. Major Tilley’s suspicions were now confirmed. A group inside the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service, including his former partner, Lieutenant Colonel Tarr, did indeed have an ulterior motive that ran counter to the motives of CIOS, FIAT, and the United Nations War Crimes Commission. Tilley’s superior at Dustbin, Major Wilson, confirmed this dark and disturbing truth in a classified military intelligence report on the Ambros affair. “It is believed that the conflict between FIAT… and LT-Col Tarr was due to the latter’s wish to use Ambros for industrial chemical purposes” back in the United States.”

“All documents regarding the Ambros affair would remain classified for the next forty years, until August of 1985. That an officer of the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service, Lieutenant Colonel Tarr, had sheltered a wanted war criminal from capture in the aftermath of the German surrender was damning. That this officer was also participating in meetings with the fugitive and a representative from the Dow Chemical Company was scandalous.”

page 157 – 159

By 1964, Ambros had been a free man for thirteen years. He was an extremely wealthy, successful businessman. He socialized in Berlin among the captains of industry and the professional elite. When the Frankfurt Auschwitz trial started, he was a board member of numerous major corporations in Germany, including AEG (Allgemeine Elekrizitats Gesellschaft), Germany’s General Electric; Hibernia Mining Company; and SKW (Suddeutsche Kalkstickstoff-Werke AG), a chemical company.

page 415 – 416

In separate letters to Finance Minister Ludger Westrick and Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Dollinger, a new secret was revealed, though Ambros promised not to make public a piece of the information they shared. “Concerning the firms abroad where I am a permanent co-worker advisor,” Ambros wrote, “I won’t name them [publicly] because I don’t want to tip off any journalists who might cause trouble with my friends. You know about W.R. Grace in New York… and I hope I can stay with Hibernia Company. Concerning the firms in Isreal,” Ambros wrote, “stating their names publicly would be very embarrassing because they are [run by] very public, well-respected persons in public positions that have actually been at my home and are aware of my position, how I behaved during the Reich, and they accept this.”

The “well-respected” public figures in Israel to whom Ambros referred have never been revealed. That Ambros also had worked for the American company W.R Grace would take decades to come to light. When it did, in the early 1980s, the public would also learn that Otto Ambros worked as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Energy, formerly the Atomic Energy Commission, “to develop and operate a plant for the hydrogenation of coal in a scale of 4 million tons/year at the former IG Farben industry.” That a convicted war criminal had been hired by the Department of Energy sparked indignation, and congressmen and journalists sought further details about Ambros’s U.S. government contract. In a statement to the press, the Department of Energy insisted that the paperwork had been lost…

Letters on White House stationary reveal that Deputy National Security Adviser James W. Nance briefed Reagan about how it was that the U.S. government could have hired Otto Ambros. Nance’s argument to the president was that many others hired him. “Dr. Ambros had contracts with numerous officials from Allied countries,” wrote Nance. “Dr. Ambros was a consultant to companies such as Distillers Limited of England; Pechiney, the French chemical giant; and Dow Europe of Switzerland. He was also the chairman of Knoll, a pharmaceutical subsidiary of the well known chemical corporation BASF.” President Reagan requested further information from the Department of Energy on its Ambros contract. Nance told the president, “The DOE and/or ERDA [The Energy Research and Development Administration] do not have records that would answer the questions you asked in the detail you requested. However, with Ambros’ involvement in the company shown and his special knowledge in hydrogenation of coal, we know there were productive contacts between Dr. Ambros and U.S. energy officials.” Even the president of the United States could not get complete information about an Operation Paperclip legacy.

In the midst of the scandal, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle telephoned Ambros at his home in Mannheim, Germany, and asked Ambros about his 1948 conviction at Nuremberg for mass murder and slavery.

“That happened a very long time ago,” Ambros told the reporter. “It involved Jews. We do not think about it anymore.”

Pages 418 – 419

In the decades since Operation Paperclip ended, new facts continue to come to light. In 2008, previously unreported information about Otto Ambros emerged, serving as a reminder that the story of what lies hidden behind America’s Nazi scientist program in to complete.

A group of medical doctors and researchers in England, working on behalf of an organization called the Thalidomide Trust, believe they have tied the wartime work of IG Farben and Otto Ambros to the thalidomide tragedy of the late 1950s and early 1960s. After Ambros was released from Landsberg Prison, he worked as an economic consultant to German chancellor Konrad Adenauer and to the industrial magnate Friedrich Flick, the richest person in Germany during the Cold War. Like Ambros, Flick had been tried and convicted at Nuremberg, then released early by John J. McCloy.

In the late 1950s, Ambros was also elected chairman of the advisory committee for a German company called Chemie Grunenthal. Grunenthal was about to market a new tranquilizer that promised pregnant women relief from morning sickness. The drug, called thalidomide, was going to be sold under the brand name Contergan. Otto Ambros served on the board of directors of Grunenthal. In the late 1950s, very few people knew that Grunenthal was a safe haven for many Nazis , including Dr. Ernst-Gunther Schenck, the inspector of nutrition for the SS, and Dr. HeinzBaumkotter, an SS captain (Hauptsturmfuhrer) and the chief concentration camp doctor in Mauthausen, Natweiler-Struthof, and Sachsenhausen concentration camps.

Ten months before Grunenthal’s public release of thalidomide, the wife of a Grunenthal employee, who took the drug to combat morning sickness, gave birth to a baby without ears. No one linked the birth defect to the drug, and thalidomide was released by the company. After several months on the market, 1959, Grunenthal received its first reports that thalidomide caused polyneuropathy, or nerve damage, in the hands and feet of elderly people who took the drug. The drug’s over-the-counter status was changed so that it now required a prescription. Still, thalidomide was marketed aggressively in forty-sex countries with a label that stated it could be “given with complete safety to pregnant women and nursing mothers without any adverse effect on mother and child.” Instead, the drug resulted in more than ten thousand mothers giving birth to babies with terrible deformities, creating the most horrific pharmaceutical disaster in the history of modern medicine. Many of the children were born without ears, arms, or legs and with reptilian, flipperlike appendages in place of healthy limbs.

The origins of thalidomide were never accounted for. Grunenthal had always maintained that it lost its documents that showed where and when the first human trials were conducted on the drug. Then, in 2008, the Thalidomide Trust, in England, headed by Dr. Martin Johnson, located a group of Nazi-era documents that produced a link between thalidomide and the drugs researched and developed by IG Farben chemists during the war. Dr. Johnson points out that Grunenthal’s 1954 patents for thalidomide cryptically state that human trials had already been completed, but the company says it cannot offer that data because it was lost, ostensibly during the war. “The patents suggest that thalidomide was probably one of a number of products developed at Dyhernfurth or Auschwitz-Monowitz under the leadership of Otto Ambros in the course of nerve gas research,” Dr. Johnson says.

The Thalidomide Trust also links Paperclip scientist Richard Kuhn to the medical tragedy, “Kuhn worked with a wide range of chemicals in his nerve gas research, and in his antidote research we know he used Antergan, which we are fairly sure was a ‘sister drug’ to Contergan,” the brand name for thalidomide, Dr. Johnson explains.

In 2005, Kuhn experienced a posthumous fall of grace when the society of German Chemists (Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, GDCh) announced it would no longer award its once-prestigious Richard Kuhn Medal in his name. Nazi-era documents on Kuhn had been brought to the society’s attention, revealing that in “the spring of 1943 Kuhn asked the secretary-general of the KWS [Kaiser Wilhelm Society], Ernst Telschow, to support his search for the brains of ‘young and healthy men,’ presumably for nerve gas research.” The Society of German Chemists maintains that “the sources indicate that these brains were most likely taken from execution victims,” and that ‘[d]espite his scientific achievements, [Richard] Kuhn is not suitable to serve as a role model, and eponym for an important award, mainly due to his conduct towards Jewish colleagues.”

It seems that the legacy of Hitler’s chemists has yet to be fully unveiled. Because so many of these German scientists were seen as assets to the U.S. Army Chemical Corps’ nerve agent programs, and were thus wanted as participants in Operation Paperclip, secret deals were made, and the many documents pertaining to these arrangements were classified.

pages 431 – 433

Operation Paperclip


“The last German war secret” by Andrew Rule for Herald – June 27, 2011 12:00AM

IT caused the worst medical disaster in history. It destroyed more lives than were lost on 9/11. Its effects rival Chernobyl and Bhopal, the sinking of the Titanic or the Jonestown Kool-Aid cult poisoning.

It was a drug sold worldwide under a bewildering number of trade names to treat a bewildering number of ailments. Tragically, one of them was to treat morning sickness.

For pregnant women, it was no great remedy for nausea. For their unborn children, it was deadly.
It killed tens of thousands of babies, left thousands more horribly deformed.

Some midwives deliberately let limbless babies die. Some parents went mad or committed suicide or abandoned their infants to charities or the state. Others resigned themselves to lives of quiet desperation and anonymous heroism.

The drug was thalidomide. It is almost exactly 50 years since a brilliant (although later disgraced) Australian doctor called William McBride alerted the world to the monstrous side-effects its makers failed to uncover before pushing it on the market.

Now another Australian – Melbourne lawyer Peter Gordon – has taken up the thalidomide cause to fight for those whose injured bodies have been worn out by decades of over-use.

Gordon doesn’t dodge fights. As a young Footscray Football Club president, he saved the Bulldogs from extinction when the AFL pushed to amalgamate the club with the doomed Fitzroy.

As a gun plaintiff lawyer – representing victims of asbestos, tobacco, silicone breast implants and sexual abuse in the Catholic Church – he took on powerful opponents and mostly won.

When he retired two years ago as head of heavyweight law firm Slater and Gordon to be a consultant – and to improve his tennis game – he told himself he had quit fighting big class actions. He was wrong.

It all changed the day a thalidomide victim he had met by chance asked advice about signing a document. Through him, Gordon met Ken Youdale, an 86-year-old Sydney war hero dedicated to helping thalidomide victims in memory of his daughter Niki, who died from the drug’s effects years ago.

Gordon and Youdale struck up a friendship then struck a deal last year for the British distributor of the drug (Diageo, formerly Distillers) to pay $50million in extra compensation to 45 surviving Australian and New Zealand thalidomiders. This followed a similar deal for British victims.

For Gordon, the victory was not the end of a campaign. It was the start of a crusade.

The more he spoke to people who have gathered material about thalidomide for years, the more he found out. Details of the damage done have been hidden in yellowing archives never before translated into English, and in the memories of people who have stayed silent for half a century.

Through Ken Youdale, he met British and German activists investigating thalidomide’s murky origins in post-war Germany.

Four are thalidomiders – London jewellery dealer Nick Dobrik, Yorkshire businessman Guy Tweedy, Melbourne-born office manager Mikey Argy and German teacher Monika Eisenberg. Backing them is former Royal Air Force officer Dr Martin Johnson, who runs Britain’s Thalidomide Trust.

With the help of a history professor and a brilliant Brussels computer expert, they have traced uncomfortable truths behind the pharmaceutical industry’s darkest hour. The result is a thick dossier on the company that sold thalidomide to an unsuspecting world.

Martin Johnson is working on a book about their discoveries but the last chapter is still unwritten. It will probably figure Gordon, who made his name and his fortune attacking multi-national corporations with multi-million-dollar lawsuits, leading an international legal team against the German industrialists some call “The Boys from Brazil”. It could be his biggest battle yet.

THE worst horror stories can have the most beautiful settings. The horror story of thalidomide begins in the picture-book town of Stolberg, near Aachen, in western Germany.

This is the Rhineland, pretty country with an ugly past. Before and during World War II it was a fascist stronghold, where high-ranking Catholic Nazis cultivated a connection with Aachen Cathedral.

After the war, Aachen was an escape route for Nazis, who secretly crossed the border along what locals call “rat lines” into Belgium or Holland then bought their way to South America.

Even those who did not flee saw Aachen as a haven: from there, at the first sign of being investigated, they could flee, to be harboured by diehard fascists in Holland or Belgium. Political groups that covertly supported ex-SS members flourished in Aachen, now a bustling university city.

Stolberg is close by, surrounded by serene green fields and woods. To get there you drive past a former railway siding where wartime slave workers were unloaded. Further along is a car park, site of the camp where the slaves were locked up at night.

With its castle and old Teutonic houses and shops, Stolberg makes a fairytale backdrop, although the Brothers Grimm could hardly have imagined the grotesque story born here in the 1950s.

In the town square, children play, couples eat ice creams and old people walk fat dogs. The only jarring note is a banner above the town hall door that translates as “No place for neo-nazis”.

It’s a clue that the region attracts the young fascists that are modern Germany’s dirty little secret. A police car is always parked outside the synagogue in Aachen to stop born-again Nazis vandalising it.

Near Stolberg’s square is a handsome old building enclosing a cobbled courtyard. There is no sign of life after office hours but if anyone trying to photograph it gets too close, a security guard steps out and blocks the doorway, alerted by a closed-circuit camera trained on the street.

Locals call this the “mother building” of Chemie Grunenthal, the pharmaceutical firm named after the street flanking the tiny stream that gurgles past the building.

“Grunenthal” means “green valley”, but there is nothing green about the business that started here after the war, growing from an old factory down the road to a huge chemical plant on Aachen’s outskirts. At each Grunenthal site, guards watch for certain cars and people, especially thalidomiders, easy to spot because they mostly have shortened arms and deformed hands. Employees do not talk to thalidomiders — it is “verboten”.

“They know my car,” says Monika Eisenberg, who lives in Cologne but often visits Stolberg in her little black Opel.

Eisenberg, 49, is one of about 2700 surviving German thalidomiders, known as “Contergan kinder” (Contergan children) after a trade name used to label a common thalidomide-based drug. Her left arm is half normal length, the hand tiny and bent so that she wears her wedding ring on her right hand, which has five fingers but no thumb.

But the teacher turned counsellor has an agile mind — she played chess for money to get through university – and is part of the “posse” helping the international legal team build a case against Grunenthal from Australia to North America, New Zealand to Britain.

The company can’t be sued by victims in Germany because of a series of local laws, some specially enacted to protect it.

When Monika Eisenberg was a teenager, her father was killed in a rock-climbing accident. Around that time, her mother refused to sign an agreement to accept the tiny compensation on offer.

Two men visited, urging her mother to sign. When she refused, Monika recalls, one said to her mother: “Mrs Eisenberg, you have a nice house and nice children. Your husband just died. We hope nothing else happens in future.”

Monika never forgot that veiled threat – and the sense of being watched. Now she watches them.

The Grunenthal security guards know her because each time “one of us dies”, she says, she places flowers and lights a candle outside their buildings. Honouring the death of fellow thalidomide victims is harmless enough but it marks her as a troublemaker. And some German companies have ways of dealing with troublemakers.

In 1980 a Grunenthal technician called Christian Wagemann wore an anti-fascist badge to work. He was sacked – and effectively blacklisted in the German pharma industry. He is now a school cook.

Wagemann’s dismissal letter was signed by Otto Ambros, then chairman of the firm’s advisory board and until his death in 1990 a respected figure in the global pharmaceutical business. Ambros also happened to be Hitler’s chief chemical weapons expert and a convicted war criminal.

He helped invent the deadly Sarin nerve gas and ran a section of Auschwitz where thousands of slave workers died. He reputedly killed prisoners to demonstrate the gas and in 1941 wrote that his “dear friendship with the SS is proving very beneficial.” Sacking someone for anti-fascist views was no problem.

Ambros was too valuable a Nazi to be executed for war crimes. So valuable, he later briefed Britain and the United States on nerve gas – and was retained by the British firm Distillers, a relationship that might explain why it trusted hollow assurances the “new” drug was safe.

Some of Ambros’s wartime comrades hanged at Nuremberg but he served only eight years prison on charges of using slave labour before reputedly being employed by Grunenthal, which seemed not to hold a Nazi war record against anyone. Not surprisingly, given its origins.

Chemie Grunenthal was started in 1946 to exploit the post-war demand for antibiotics and other pharmaceutical lines. Its founder, the late Hermann Wirtz, came from a prosperous family that had run the successful Stolberg soap and perfume factory Maurer and Wirtz since 1845.

He apparently used Hitler’s “Aryanisation” program to take over two Jewish-owned firms in the 1930s. Despite Germany’s defeat he emerged with the cash and the contacts to catch a post-war chemical boom, swelling a fortune that would make his descendants rich and powerful.

Industry needed scientists and Germany – like the US, the Soviet Union and Britain – tended to ignore the likelihood that some valuable knowledge was based on experiments done on prisoners in concentration camps. Enter Dr Heinrich Muckter, a former Nazi doctor who had been caught by American soldiers fleeing with a truckload of stolen laboratory equipment from Krakow University in the war’s last days.

Muckter, with his mentor – eminent former Nazi, Professor Werner Schulemann – thrived with Grunenthal. They became part of a global pharmaceutical network, with friends in high places from London to Washington to Rome.

By the mid-1950s, pharmaceutical makers were kings in a borderless business where profit often trumped politics and morality. Within a decade of the war, Muckter and other ex-Nazi opportunists had stared down their pasts with the sort of arrogance that caused a dangerously-untested drug to be inflicted on the world.

The result was that thousands of innocent people suffered death and misery on a scale not seen since wartime.

Those responsible have got away with it. Until now.

THE first known thalidomide victim was born on Christmas Day, 1956, the daughter of a loyal Grunenthal worker given the new drug for his wife to try. His baby was born without ears.

It could have been worse. Babies would be born in the following years with terrible deformities – no anus, no vagina, no arms, no legs – and internal problems so awful it made infant death inevitable, if not desirable.

But missing ears were bad enough – and so close to home it should have rung alarm bells. Except no one wanted to hear. The new product was not about pushing the boundaries of medicine for the common good; it was about profits, and by the mid-1950s, Grunenthal needed profit.

The post-war demand for antibiotics had eased and competition was fierce. To prosper, Grunenthal had to have a best-seller – fast.

It lodged the first patents for thalidomide in 1954, brochures were printed in 1956 to launch it and it was on the market the following year – by which time its two supposed inventors had left the company, later washing their hands of the decision to market it.

To take only three years from patent to market was, by usual standards, a rushed job.

Historians now pose the question: Were the Germans recycling and branding a by-product left over from wartime research into antidotes for nerve gas, Otto Ambros’s specialty?

One thing seems certain. Bar a few half-baked experiments that showed it made mice and rats calm and sleepy with no apparent side-effects, there was no testing of the drug’s safety for pregnant women. A cynic might suspect its promoters saw no reason to “waste” time and money in the rush to get to market.

If so, it was a monstrous misjudgment says Monika Eisenberg, who was born at Cologne more than five years after that first earless baby at Stolberg.

It’s a view widely shared by thalidomiders and their lawyers – there are a dozen in the US alone to handle potential claimants there and in Canada. But even for veterans of complex court battles, unravelling the 50-year-old scandal keeps turning up surprises.

One is that Australia was one of many countries that readily accepted the drug – despite the fact the US (eventually) and East Germany (tellingly) banned it because it seemed too risky. Another surprise is that Grunenthal and its licensees flooded potential markets with sample tablets given free to doctors and hospitals. More than two million sample tablets arrived in the US alone.

So many American women took sample tablets that many more thalidomide babies were born there than the 10 survivors usually acknowledged. Gordon’s American lawyer colleagues have already found more than 100 potential claimants, many in Canada, where the drug was openly sold.

The likelihood that big, untraceable numbers of samples were distributed free to doctors worldwide before the drug went on sale raises a fresh possibility: there are people with birth defects that they don’t know were caused by thalidomide because they have been told all their lives they were random losers in a one-in-a-million genetic lottery.

No one, sometimes not even the victims’ guilt-ridden parents, had any motive to uncover the truth. Not doctors, not chemists, not distributors and especially not those with the best chance of knowing what really happened: the top brass at Grunenthal.

Half a century later, the truth is elusive. But there are clues buried in millions of words of archive material and fading memories.

It just takes someone of rare ability to find it. Three years ago, that person appeared.

TOMAS is not his real name. He looks younger than his 39 years, and lives in an austere converted loft in Belgium with two powerful laptops, tools of trade for a multi-lingual computer wizard straight from a Stieg Larsson novel, right down to his anti-fascist attitude and an eerily photographic memory. His laptops hold millions of words of archival material gleaned from around the world and he can find any of it in seconds.

Tomas was born in West Germany a decade after the thalidomide epidemic. He grew up seeing thalidomiders in the street but it was a controversial film called Eine einzige Tablette (“A single Tablet”) that moved him to act.

He contacted the Thalidomide Trust in Britain and offered to help. Now he is a secret weapon in the search for truth about the drug. One reason to stay anonymous is that he doesn’t trust those he is investigating, he says.

In between the contract consulting work he does for a living, Tomas unearths material showing the drug’s makers should have known better but went ahead with thalidomide anyway. As the Trust’s chief executive, Martin Johnson, says: “These weren’t hicks from the sticks. They knew everything in their field.”

Johnson deals daily with the human wreckage left by the drug. He is determined to right a wrong the British political and legal establishment entrenched in the 1960s and 1970s by backing the huge Distillers firm when it dodged its moral obligation to properly compensate thalidomide victims and their shattered families.

A framed poster in the Trust’s office in England depicts a bottle of Distillers-made gin below the heading “Mother’s ruin . . . Children’s curse”. It urged drinkers to boycott Distillers products in pubs until the company agreed to help thalidomiders.

The nation-wide poster campaign was an audacious tactic in 1972 to get around draconian sub judice laws stifling public criticism of Distillers for spending big on expensive lawyers rather than properly compensating victims of the drug it had blithely bought without checking on potential side effects.

The posters were technically illegal and police tore them down and hunted for people who put them up, but they hit Distillers’ hip-pocket at the same time as the dogged campaign by London’s The Sunday Times to expose how thalidomide children and their families were being bullied by a rich company that manipulated governments and the law.

It was Rupert Murdoch, who in 1972 already owned London’s cheeky tabloids The Sun and News of the World – and later The Sunday Times – who had secretly printed the thousands of anti-Distillers posters to push for justice for the crippled children.

Forty years on, Martin Johnson hopes the world’s biggest media tycoon has a long memory – and a soft spot for the new campaign to make Grunenthal pay.

Murdoch’s intervention showed the thalidomide cause attracted strange bedfellows. It still does.

Johnson is a former air force pilot and committed Christian with a PhD whose previous job was setting up a hospice for dying children.

Guy Tweedy, a blunt, self-made Tory billboard operator from Yorkshire, Mikey Argy, an eloquent Melbourne-born single mother, and Nick Dobrik, a Left-leaning Cambridge-educated antique jewellery dealer, all share a Jewish background but little else except the desire to help thalidomiders worse off than themselves. Monika and Tomas are Germans ashamed of their country’s role in the thalidomide disaster. And Peter Gordon barracks for the Bulldogs.

None of them are in it for money, although Mikey Argy says she could use some extra funds to educate her two girls and modify her house to better suit someone with half-length arms.

If there is a uniting symbol, it is the picture of an armless and legless woman with a big smile, hanging behind Martin Johnson’s desk. She was, he says, one of the most profoundly handicapped people in the world until she died four years ago. And one of the bravest.

She once told him “I’ve got a mouth and ears, haven’t I?” and insisted on working as a telephone counsellor to help others. Johnson’s voice falters as he tells her story. As if missing every limb wasn’t enough, he says, she was abused as a child. And she is not the only one.

Tweedy and Dobrik keep pictures of the same woman in their briefcases to remind them why they do what they do. They know who they are fighting for – and who the enemy is.

Dobrik’s grandfather Joseph lived in Antwerp until a collaborator betrayed him during a sweep for Jews by German soldiers in 1942. He was sent to Auschwitz and, against all odds, survived. Hardened, he joined the Russian Army after being liberated from Auschwitz and became even harder.

When the fighting stopped, he went back to Antwerp, found the Nazi collaborator and killed him.

It’s not a story that Dobrik’s family likes being told. Nick remembers his grandfather as a generous man but talking about the makers of thalidomide brings out the old man’s fierceness in him. “We just want to get the bastards,” he says.
THE house that thalidomide built belongs to the Wirtz family.

It is more than one house, really. There’s the historic company headquarters in Stolgren, the red-brick factory nearby, the massive new factory complex in Aachen, the luxury estate in the tax haven of Eupen across the Belgian border, and the chalet in a millionaire enclave in Switzerland.

The old family soap and perfume businesses are now international concerns, Maurer and Wirtz and Dalli-Werke. But it’s Grunenthal that pushed the Wirtzes up the European rich list. Martin Johnson’s research suggests that success was built on the back of the Jewish-owned businesses the late Hermann Wirtz took over before the war.

Far from making pariahs of the Wirtz family, the thalidomide “failure” made them and some of their employees wealthy.

In the five years that Grunenthal ignored warning signs their drug was dangerously flawed, it made huge profits selling thalidomide-based drugs around the world. Ex-Nazi Heinrich Muckter was paid a bonus of 22 times his annual executive salary of 14,400 marks in 1961 alone – more than 320,000 marks. It made him a millionaire in a year, by modern salary levels.

Here was an indicted criminal put in charge of marketing and promoting an untested drug – and offered massive wealth if it sold. The case of Heinrich Muckter is going to make for interesting evidence.

Whatever Muckter got, of course, his employers presumably stood to get more. Hermann Wirtz’s son, born in 1939 and company chief until 2005, has been made a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, an order revived under Hitler in the 1930s, and an honour usually reserved for those who can afford fat donations to the Catholic Church.

Martin Johnson’s research shows that the Wirtzes paid for a new roof for Aachen Cathedral. Johnson says the job included gilding the inner dome and that it would have cost a fortune.

But when the Wirtz home town, Stolberg, recently decided to acknowledge thalidomide victims, they seemed less generous. Grunenthal reportedly offered just 5000 marks – the price of a secondhand car – to erect a little statue in the town square.
Meanwhile, for the drug’s makers, the thalidomide money still rolls in.

Far from being shelved after the truth about it was finally revealed in late 1961, the notorious compound has been shrewdly tweaked to meet the market.

So far, it has been sold under dozens of trade names in dozens of countries. Its applications range from cold and flu preparations to treating leprosy in the Third World and cancer in the first, an application praised by some and questioned by others.

Thalidomide gets a better press these days. Stories regularly appear in the media marvelling that the formerly notorious drug now apparently saves lives. For those that make it, it’s a case of when you’re on a bad thing, stick to it.

After all, anyone with the recipe and the machinery can produce a cheap product sold at a huge mark-up to the dying and the desperate.

Making thalidomide is no more complicated “than making your own bread,” notes one activist. But regardless of whether it is effective against leprosy or cancer, it still deforms babies.

You might imagine the last thalidomide child was born in 1962, in the year after the alarm was raised. In fact, hundreds have been born since then.

The last was just six months ago in Brazil, where pregnant women sometimes still take the drug without realising the harm it can do. It will all be in Martin Johnson’s book. His working title is The Last Nazi War Crime.

The Herald Sun does not suggest any current owner or employee of Grunenthal has Nazi connections


Study Says Carbon Nanotubes as Dangerous as Asbestos by Larry Greenemeier | May 20, 2008

Inhaling carbon nanotubes could be as harmful as breathing in asbestos, and its use should be regulated lest it lead to the same cancer and breathing problems that prompted a ban on the use of asbestos as insulation in buildings, according a new study posted online today by Nature Nanotechnology.

During the study, led by the Queen’s Medical Research Institute at the University of Edinburgh/MRC Center for Inflammation Research (CIR) in Scotland, scientists observed that long, thin carbon nanotubes look and behave like asbestos fibers, which have been shown to cause mesothelioma , a deadly cancer of the membrane lining the body’s internal organs (in particular the lungs) that can take 30 to 40 years to appear following exposure. Asbestos fibers are especially harmful, because they are small enough to penetrate deep into the lungs yet too long for the body’s immune system to destroy.

The researchers reached their conclusions after they exposed lab mice to needle-thin nanotubes: The inside lining of the animals’ body cavities became inflamed and formed lesions.

Carbon nanotubes are generally made from sheets of graphite no thicker than an atom—about a nanometer, or one billionth of a meter wide—and formed into cylinders, with the diameter varying from a few nanometers up to tens of nanometers. (They can be hundreds or even thousands of nanometers long.) There is a greater concern about “multiwalled” nanotubes consisting of several reinforced cylinders, because they are able to retain their pointy shapes better than thinner nanotubes.

Scientists have been noting the similarities between carbon nanotubes and asbestos for the past few years, says study co-author Andrew Maynard, chief science advisor for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’s Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, based in Washington, D.C. Maynard, who has been researching and warning of the potential health and environmental risks of carbon nanotubes since 2003, says that there has been no coordinated effort to date to analyze the findings of carbon nanotube toxicity studies. He notes that technology companies have not found that the risks of using carbon nanotubes outweigh the benefits—they are excellent conductors of electricity.

Carbon nanotubes can also be used to reinforce polymers to create very strong plastics. University of Michigan at Ann Arbor researchers are scaling the strength of nanosheets and a nanoscale polymer resembling white glue. Visually, it looks like a brick wall, in which clay nanosheet “bricks” are held together by water-soluble polyvinyl alcohol “mortar”. The result, according to the researchers, is a composite plastic that is light and transparent but as strong as steel.

IBM has identified carbon nanotubes as important for studying electrical and optical phenomena on the nanometer scale, and the company has high hopes for the technology. Carbon nanotubes show promise as building blocks for computer chips that are “smaller, faster and lower power” than those made of silicon, Phaedon Avouris, an IBM fellow and lead researcher on the company’s carbon nanotube efforts, wrote in the March 2007 issue of Physics World. “One of the most exciting developments in carbon nanotube research is the recent discovery that nanotubes can emit light,” he added. “That finding opens the door to circuits in which standard copper interconnects are replaced by optical waveguides made from nanotubes—allowing the possibility of fully integrated optoelectronic circuits.”

Nanotubes are likewise being developed for use in new drugs, energy-efficient batteries, electronics and other products under the assumption that they are no more dangerous than graphite. But some scientists and environmentalists like Maynard caution that they harbor hidden dangers. Compounding this concern is the prediction that the market for carbon nanotubes will grow from $6 million in 2004 to more than $1 billion by 2014, according to studies by a number of firms, including the Freedonia Group. A 2006 report from Lux Research projected that nanoscale technologies will be used in $2.6 trillion worth of manufactured goods by the year 2014.

The Edinburgh CIR study, which will also appear in the June issue of Nature Nanotechnology, was very specific, looking only at nanotubes that emulated fiber behavior and their potential to cause a certain type of cancer; other types of nanotubes could affect the body differently—for better or worse, researchers say.

Maynard and his colleagues focused their attention specifically on the hypothesis that long, thin carbon nanotubes could have the same impact as similarly shaped asbestos fibers. “If you get these things into the lungs,” he says, “they form scarlike tissue, and the body sees them like a scaffolding, building new cells over them and thickening the walls of the lungs.”

The study is not intended to keep nanotechnology from developing further but rather to flag potential dangers of nanotubes in places at manufacturing and disposal sites, the researchers wrote in their paper.

“There is an immediate need to examine how carbon nanotubes are being used and see if there’s any chance that [people] are being exposed to dangerous materials,” Maynard says, adding that no one paid attention to the dangers of asbestos until it was too late for a lot of people.


The Lake Effect by Nancy Nichols

By the time the PCB problem was isolated in January 1976, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency believed that Outboard Marine was delivering approximately nine to ten tons of PCBs to the harbor each day. The PCB content of the sludge at the bottom of the harbor ranged from 240,000 to 500,000 parts per million depending on when and where the sample was taken. That means that either one in two or one in four grains of sand or silt at the bottom of the harbor was not actually sand or silt, but was a PCB instead. page 43

Waukegan would take its turn on the national stage two years later, in 1984,when a U.S. Environmental Protection official, Rita Lavelle, was accused of secretly meeting with lakefront polluters in an effort to strike a cleanup deal that heavily favored industry… In the aftermath of the scandal, the full extent of Waukegan’s chemical contamination was revealed… Eventually, three separate Superfund sites, named after the 1980 federal legislation that allocated funds to clean them up, were designated in Waukegan. Two of the sites are adjacent to the lake… In addition, more than a dozen other sites form what federal and state regulators call an expanded study area, which stretches along the lakefront from one end of town to the other. These smaller sites contain the waste products from a tannery, a steel company, a paint factory, a pharmaceutical company, and a scrap yard. Together these sites contain not just PCBs, but an alphabet soup of pollutants. “Just about every chemical we know to be dangerous to human health is in one of those sites,” Says Margaret Quinn, a professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, who specializes in human exposure assessment. In addition to PCBs, these chemicals include benzene and other volatile organic compounds, arsenic. lead, asbestos, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxins, vinyl chloride, and ammonia. Various chemicals among these have been associated with reproductive diseases, learning and attention deficits in children, birth defects, immune system deficiencies, and some forms of cancer.

Was there a relationship between my sister’s cancer and the toxins of our childhood? My sister certainly thought so. And many other people have suspected, often correctly, that elements in their environment have had an effect on their health. Yet because of the long time it takes for a cancer to develop and because of relative mobility of our lives today, it can be challenging to establish a casual link between a disease and its origin.

pages 5 -6

“Ovaries are approximately three centimeters long by one and one-half centimeters wide by one centimeter thick,” writes Ethel Sloan in, “The Biology of Women.”… Whichever edition you consult will tell you that the ovary is about the size of an almond and that it produces the female hormone estrogen. During the monthly menstrual cycle, each ovary forces an egg through a wall of tissue and afterward repairs that rupture in a process called ovulation. “The ovary is no beauty,” writes Natalie Angier in “Woman: An Intimate Geography, “It is scarred and pitted, for each cycle of ovulation leaves behind a blemish where an egg follicle has been emptied of its contents. The older the woman, the more scarred her ovaries will be. It is this continual bursting and repairing–part and parcel of the ovarian life cycle–that makes the ovary vulnerable to cancer.

Scientists have long theorized that as cells multiply each month to repair the breach in the ovarian wall, more opportunities are created for mistakes in the DNA copying process, which in turn increases the chances of a malignant mutation. More ovulations, in other words, mean more chances for mistakes.

Risk factors for the disease therefore include never giving your ovaries a break by being pregnant or having a child. The other risk factor is having a close relative with the disease. That would be my sister, of course, and that would bring our story back home….

Doctors at this hospital and elsewhere have long speculated that there were significant environmental factors associated with ovarian cancer. The vagina provides a runway to the ovaries not simply for sperm but for many other substances as well. Significantly, women who have their tubes tied experience a lower rate of ovarian cancer than those who do not. Some have theorized that this may be because the pathways to the ovaries has been blocked, keeping outside agents at bay.

For example, some researchers have found a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer–though several other studies have produced conflicting results. Some early forms of talcum may have contained asbestos and thus given researchers their positive findings. Indeed, at least one retrospective study found a much higher disease rate among women who used talc prior to 1960 than those who used is after–giving at least some credence to the idea that the use of asbestos-laden talc increases a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer.

My sister speculated that asbestos had contributed to her illness. A group of naturally occurring fibrous materials that are fire-resistant, asbestos has been thought to cause adverse health effects since the first century. Yet, as writer Paul Brodeur tells us in his book on asbestos, Outrageous Misconduct, its role in causing the disease asbestosis, a noncancerous condition in which the lungs scar so badly that they won’t expand and contract properly, was not well established in medical literature until the 1970s.

In the years before my sister died, when I was an editor for the Harvard Business Review, I worked on a piece written by Bill Sells, the man who had run the Johns-Manville plants in Waukegan in the early 1970s–a time when deaths from asbestosis and other asbestos-related diseases were beginning to occur in the workforce at an alarming rate. After noting that his job included the unenviable task of visiting his sick and dying employees at the local hospital, he offered this description of his first visit to the factory: “The plant lay at the back of a sprawling complex built in the 1920s. Its view of Lake Michigan was obscured by a landfill several stories high. A road wound through this mountain of asbestos-laden scrap, and as I drove through it for the first time I stopped to watch a bulldozer crush a 36-inch sewer pipe. A cloud of dust swirled around my car.” Inside the plant, he said, he found “asbestos-laden dust coating almost every visible surface.”

An EPA official charged with overseeing the cleanup of the Johns-Manville plant, Brad Bradley, has a similar recollection. Standing at the edge of the 350-acre Superfund site that overlooks Lake Michigan, Bradley recalled his first visit there in 1982. He remembers asking an asbestos expert where he thought they would find the fibers. “I think they are everywhere,” said the expert. Indeed, virtually anywhere on the site that Bradley scuffed the ground with his boot, he found the telltale fibers.

People are more likely to connect the fiber with asbestosis than with ovarian cancer. However, a thirty-year study of nearly two thousand women who worked with asbestos while manufacturing gas masks during World War II showed these women to be seven times more likely to die from ovarian cancer than a control group. My sister’s medical history seems to tell a different story, though, and the link between asbestos and ovarian cancer in general does not appear to be a strong one. The ovarian cancer specialist I saw at the clinic was quick to point out that my sister’s record indicated that her cancer was preceded by endometriosis.

The phrase “painful periods” does not begin to describe the torture that my mother and sister endured during menstruation. White and sweating, doubled over with pain, they retreated to the bed or the couch until the pain and the bleeding passed. When I recounted my mother’s experience, the ovarian cancer specialist suggests that my mother also likely suffered from endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a once rare disease that is now common. When the disease was first named and discovered in 1921 by a New York physician, there were only twenty reports of the illness in the medical literature. Today, the National Institutes of Health estimates that roughly 5.5 million women suffer from the disease in the United States, and as many as 89 million women may have it worldwide. An exact number is hard to come by, since the disease can only properly be diagnosed during surgery. Still, about one-third of women of childbearing age suffer some symptoms–including pelvic pain and infertility–and in the United States at least, the average age of onset has been declining…

Endometriosis is a complex condition, and no one is certain what causes it. Some scientists believe it is an immune system disorder. Others believe that women with endometriosis lack the ability to shed cells that have migrated and are growing where they should not be. Other scientists have focused on a genetic component of the disease since it can run in families. A woman with a sister or mother with endometriosis, for example, is three to seven times more likely to get the disease.

The mechanisms of endometriosis are not that different from those that create cancer: they involve cell proliferation, the migration of cells, and a change in their cellular nature. Endometriosis grows unchecked and invades surrounding tissues, and the body’s immune system fails to rid itself of the misplaced lesions. In the same way, the body fails to rid itself of cancerous lesions.

It is often but not always the case that the kind of cancer my sister suffered from, ovarian clear-cell adenocarcinoma, is preceded by endometriosis, and many believe that there is a relationship between the two diseases. Some scientists believe that endometriosis–in certain cases–is a kind of precancerous condition, and others believe that the two diseases spring forth in unison. Other experts theorize that the endometrial cells themselves drive the proliferation of cancer once it has started by producing their own estrogen. Each lesion is capable of increasing the local production of estrogen, so that once the disease takes hold it is capable of feeding itself.

In my sister’s case, cancerous growths arose within her endometrial lesions. Whatever the exact mechanism of disease development, women with the type of ovarian cancer that my sister suffered from have higher rates of endometriosis that the general female population. In one study, about 70 percent of the women with clear-cell ovarian cancer also had endometriosis.

Scientists have long suspected that chemicals of the type found in Waukegan–dioxins, PCBs, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)–play a role in human endometriosis.

pages 75 – 81

Carson died in 1964, but her work and her life serve as a warning to everyone who struggles with cancer. “As we pour millions into research and invest all our hopes in vast programs to find cures for established cases of cancer,” she wrote, “we are neglecting the golden opportunity to prevent, even while we seek to cure.”

Carson’s favorite quote, from Abraham Lincoln, can be found snuggled into her almost daily letters to Freeman, where she explains what keeps her going through her treatments and on to finish her groundbreaking book. It reads: “To sin by silence when they should protest, makes cowards of men.”

page 122

“What does last? The desire to seek truth? Or, in the words of Jean Michel, the ability to take a stand against “the monstrous distortion of history” when it gives birth to “false, foul and suspect myths?”
– Page 430

“…Behind him, on a placard nailed to the wall, it was written that God was the head of this house….Hermann Schmitz, the company’s (IG Farben) powerful and secretive CEO. Schmitz was also a director of the Deutsche Reichsbank, the German central bank, and director of the Bank for International Settlements in Geneva. He was believed to be the wealthiest banker in all of Germany…Hermann Schmitz was one of the most important players in the economics of the Third Reich… When CIOS (Combined Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee) team leader Major Tilley learned that Hermann Schmitz had been located, he rushed to Heidelberg… Tilley asked the Farben CEO a series of banal questions, all the while tapping on the walls of Schmitz’s study. Slowly, Tilley made his way around the room this way, listening for any inconsistencies in the way the walls were built. Schmitz grew increasingly uncomfortable. Finally he began to cry. Tilley had found what he was looking for: a secret safe buried in Schmitz’s office wall…. What secret was contained in his safe? Major Tilley instructed Schmitz to open it. Inside, lying flat, was a photo album. “The photographs were in a wooden inlaid cover dedicated to Hermann Schmitz on his twenty-fifth jubilee, possibly as a Farben director,” Tilley explained in a CIOS intelligence report. Tilley lifted out the photo album from its hiding place, flipped open the cover, and began reviewing the pictures. On page 1 of the scrapbook, the word “Auschwitz” was written. Tilley’s eyes scanned over a picture of a street in a Polish village. Next to the photograph was a cartoonish drawing “depicting individuals who had once been part of the Jewish population who lived there, portrayed in a manner that was not flattering to them,” Tilley explained. The caption underneath the cartoon read: “The Old Auschwitz. As it Was. Auschwitz in 1940.”

At this point, Tilley wrote in his CIOS report, he was surprised at how “highly emotional” Schmitz became. What Tilley did not yet know that he was looking at Schmitz’s secret photo album that chronicled the building history of Farben’s labor concentration camp, IG Auschwitz, from the very start…”
Pages 70 – 72

“Meanwhile, the FBI was having difficulty getting approval for Strughold’s visa application for immigration into the United States. The Bureau had conducted a special inquiry into Dr. Strunghold back in Germany. “One informant, who had known the subject, ” investigators learned, said that Strughold “had expressed the opinion that the Nazi party had done a great deal for Germany. He [Strughold] said that prior to Nazism, the Jews had crowded the medical schools, and it had been nearly impossible for others to enroll.”
page 275

For Additional information click on the link below to access the author’s website


Kemna concentration camp (German: Konzentrationslager Kemna, KZ Kemna) was one of the early Nazi concentration camps, created by the Third Reich to incarcerate their political opponents (ostensibly in protective custody) after the Nazi Party first seized power in 1933. The camp was established in a former factory on the Wupper river in the Kemna neighborhood of the Barmen quarter of Wuppertal. It was run by the SA group in Düsseldorf. Those imprisoned were primarily those swept up in mass arrests of political opponents from the Communist Party (Kommunistische Partei Deutschlands, KPD) and the Social Democrats (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD) from the Bergisches Land, also certain unaligned Christians, and unionists. Jews who were there were imprisoned for their political views, not because they were Jews,[5] although the SA’s anti-semitism resulted in worse treatment if one even appeared to be Jewish.[22]…

“There were also transports and others arrested individually from the area, including nearby cities such as Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Krefeld and Essen. While the guards in other concentration camps were from various parts of Germany, prisoners and guards at Kemna were all from the same area and often knew each other personally.[5][23] Some prisoners were prominent in their areas or in the region and were considered “trophy prisoners” and subjected to especially harsh treatment and vengeful torment. These “big shots”, as the SA called them, included Heinrich Hirtsiefer, a former Prussian Vice Minister President…”



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