Ig Farben- Shortened form of Interessen Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie Aktiengesellschaft (Community of Intersts of Dye Industries, Incorporated), also called IG Farbenindustrie, A.G. The "community of interests" part of the name represented in reality the word monopoly, or cartel, but the IG firm preferred its own interpretation. The full name was deceptive, for dyestuffs were only a part of IG's chemical production, and chemicals were only a part of IG's total production.
IG Farben was the largest and most powerful German cartel. The cartel was a modern step in a series of business devices designed to control trade and production, stifle competition, and keep prices high. It took the form of an agreement between professedly independent firms. The cartel covered every possible procedure, from the setting of production quotas to the sharing of trademarks and patents and the splitting of profits. Competing monopolies in several countries were obligated to stay within assigned areas and share the market. Above all, they agreed to control prices. The entire cartel system ran counter to the precepts of free trade.
Germany was a late entrant in the industrial arena of the nineteenth century. German merchants found a world that had already been penetrated by the traders of other nations. In the commercial battle against the entrenched industrial nations, Germany had to compete in every possible way. Unhampered by obsolescent equipment and methods. Germans were free to take over the processes of the new industry at their best and highest efficiency. Among new methods was the cartel system. The German cartel movement began shortly after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871. The stage was set for an aggressive business approach in capturing foreign markets. In the United States there took place a counter movement against trusts and monopolies, epitomized in the Sherman Antitrust Act and President Theodore Roosevelt's trust-busting, but in Germany there was no such opposition. The cartels did their service for the fatherland in both World War I and World War II. Laws designed to limit the strength of cartels during the Weimar Republic were never effective. After Hitler came to political power in 1933, the German cartel movement reached its final high point. Cartels became compulsory for the entire economy. The state now had the power to force outsiders into existing cartels and to form new ones. Representatives of the cartels acted as efficiently within the Nazi bureaucracy as they had in their own organization.
IG Farben was the most powerful combine in the Third Reich. During World War II it controlled some 900 Chemical factories inside Germany and in the occupied territories, supplied the Wehrmacht with 85% of its explosives, and produced almost all the synthetic tires that kept the Nazi war machine rolling. It presented to the government an annual bill of at least $1 billion. IG Farben had at its command an army of scientists, industrialists, statesmen, spies, saboteurs, and conspirators. It was highly experienced in the art of controlling corporations and accumulating stocks of raw materials.
Party to 2,000 cartel agreements distributed throughout the world, IG Farben manufactured forty-three major products which it distributed everywhere. It controlled some 500 firms in ninety-two countries. Its cartel agreements were made with such major companies as Standard Oil of New Jersey, the Aluminum Company of America, Dow Chemical Company, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Ethyl Export Corporation, Imperial Chemical Industries (Great Britain), Etablissements Kuhlmann (France), and Mitsui (Japan). During the late days of the Hitler regime, IG Farben used the extermination camp at Auschwitz as a site for one of its synthetic coal oil and rubber plants, which it found suitable especially because of the supply of cheap labor. Its officers were later held accountable for this action.
Ig Farben Trials- The trials of twenty-four leading officials of IG Farben after World War II. According to Section 12 of the Potsdam Agreement, signed on August 2, 1945, the German economy was to be decentralized "for the purpose of eliminating the present excessive concentration of economic power as exemplified in particular by cartels, syndicates, trusts, and other monopolistic arrangements." Previous to this announcement, a directive to General Dwight D. Eisenhower called for the industrial disarmament of Germany. IG Farben was described as a major threat to the peace and security of the postwar world as long as such industries remained under German control. Because IG Farben had been implicated in activities at concentration camps and extermination camps, its directors were brought to trial for willfully engaging in questionable practices that had been deemed indispensable to Germany's war effort. This was the first such indictment against businessmen in history.
The IG Farben directors were charged with the enslavement and mass murder of foreign workers as well as with "the plunder and spoilation of public and private properties in the invaded countries." The trials took place in an atmosphere of tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. Zeal for decartelization had lessened in Washington, where there was a growing realization that the economic potential of Germany must be utilized as a means of halting Russian expansion. The prosecution of IG Farben officails and the entire program of decartelization were allowed to lapse. IG Farben executives, including Max Ilgner, Gunther Frank-Fahle, and Georg von Schnitzler, were released from prison.
Illustrierter Beobachter (Illustrated Observer) An illustrated magazine used by the Nazi party as a complement to the Volkischer Beobachter, the Nazi daily newspaper. Published by the Eher Verlag, official publishers for the Nazi party throughout its existence, the first edition of the Illustrierter Beobachter appeared in-November 1926 as a monthly. Composed of a combination of photographs and text, it was designed to appeal to a public that liked picture magazines. The front page of the first edition showed members of the Bamberger Nationalist party marching in front of a synagogue on German Day (October 10, 1926). Inside a photograph of Jacob Rosny Rosenstein, who was being considered for the Nobel Prize for Literature, was distorted to give him the appearance of an ape. The accompanying article denounced him as "a disgrace to German culture." To illustrate an article titled "Der Talmud," one picture showed a religious Jew eyeing a naked woman, and another depicted Jesus nailed to the Cross and a religious Jew setting fire to his feet.
The strongly polemical tone of the Illustrierter Beobachter was maintained after Hitler assumed political power. Because of its popularity, it now appeared as a biweekly. The issue of December 30, 1943, was devoted to glorifying German heroes on the Russian front and criticizing the "gangster" behavior of American troops. Several pages were reprinted from the "Jewish" magazine Life, revealing how American soldiers were being trained to kill from behind "like a vicious cat," using a knife, a piano wire, or a club. The text explained that American Indians at one time killed their enemies from behind in this fashion.
The final edition of the Illustrierter Beobachter appeared on April 13, 1944. Although the Third Reich was on the verge of defeat, the editors still worked hard at the task of maintaining morale in a deteriorating situation. One picture showed a war widow with two happy little children who were to be sent by the government to study medicine at a university when they grew up. Scenes from the Italian front were included as proof that the enemy Allies were destroying cultural monuments and ancient art, such as a picture of Torso des Benedict whithout a head. Theater audiences, mostly women and children, were shown as happy and enthusiastic despite the heavy Allied bombings.
Ilona- Code name for a contemplated attack on Spain in 1942. In a war directive dated May 29, 1942, Hitler issued instructions for operations against Unoccupied France and the Iberian Peninsula. The code names Attila and Isabella had previously been used for these intended operations. Attila was changed to Anton, and Isabella to Ilona.
Iron Cross- See Eisernes Kreuz