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IG Farben and Hitler: A Fateful Chemistry

How a company whose Nobel-winning scientists discovered vital medicines became a Nazi collaborator

Hell's Cartel:IG Farben and the Makingof Hitler's War MachineBy Diarmuid JeffreysMetropolitan Books; 485 pp; $32

In February 1941, a top manager of German chemical group IG Farben thought he had found the perfect location for a new synthetic-rubber factory. The site was out of range of Allied bombers, easily reached by rail, and had plenty of water and coal. Most important, there was a ready supply of cheap labor. The site was near a town in occupied Poland called Oswiecim, better known to history as Auschwitz.