Bayer is a major pharmaceutical and chemicals company that was founded in 1863 by Friedrich Bayer and Johann Wescott in Barmen, Germany. The company is one of the largest makers of aspirin products, and enjoys a strong presence in diabetes medications, birth control and other consumer goods. Although Bayer may be most well-known for their aspirin commercials featuring stroke victims celebrating the benefits of a “aspirin regimen”, Bayer has a long and dark history in the medical industry.
To many people the Holocaust and Third Reich have become synonymous with World War II. Among the many crimes against humanity, perhaps the most renown horrors were the mass executions that took place in the extermination camps sprinkled throughout Europe. Auscwhitz is undoubtedly the most famous of them all, known for their quickness to execute prisoners and resident doctor, Josef Mengele. Wanting to better understand the human body and particularly the nuances of heredity, Mengele became infamous for his experiments that included injecting dye in to children’s eyeballs and repeated x-rays on the reproductive organs, to see if he could make prisoners infertile. By better understanding the reproductive process, Mengele wanted to propel the growth of the Aryan race while sterilizing “undesirables”- the handicapped, gypsies and those of the Jewish race.
Mengele also became well-known for performing a variety of other inhumane experiments. Some of them included injecting one twin with sickness like typhus or gangrene, and then immediately slaughtering the other when the first twin died to compare the two corpses to see the anatomical differences. To test the effectiveness of new drugs, Mengele also injected various chemicals in to his victims, often paralyzing or killing them. In other experiments Mengele would dissect pregnant mothers and children, without anesthesia. Many of these experiments were in a large part sponsored by IG Farben who paid Auschwitz doctors to test their drugs on the prison victims and to discover the “secrets to heredity”. IG Farben also manufactured the cans of Zyklon B gas that were used in Auschwitz’s gas chambers. (more...)