Chapter 3: Aspirins' Twisted History

Carl Duisberg

In 1884, Carl Duisberg began his career at Bayer. (7) He was General Manager at Bayer when in 1897 another prominent chemist, Arthur Eichengrun - a Jew - discovered Aspirin.

Eichengrun was prolific, with 40 patents to his name and was promoted to the head of pharmaceutical research upon his discovery. (8) Eichengrun was never given credit for discovering Aspirin. When he was promoted head of research, his assistant, German Felix Hoffmann - the man Bayer claims to this day (9) invented aspirin - was moved to the sales department.

Felix Hoffmann

As it turns out, IG Farben made the Hoffmann story up in 1933 as the Nazi's came into power. To be fair, Bayer would never forget the inventor of their best seller - "the world's favorite painkiller." They used their influence to make sure Eichengrun got sent to the best of concentration camps. (10) He even got his own room.

Richard Willstatter

Richard Willstatter, a Jewish Nobel Prize-winning chemist (1915) who had been forced to flee Germany in 1939, wrote a book while in exile in Switzerland. In it there is a short passage in which the scientist criticized Carl Duisberg for making anti-Semitic comments when Willstatter resigned from the University of Munich in 1924. (11) These anti-Semitic tendencies within I.G. Farben would become more pronounced as the company became more political.



(8) Aspirin: A Bitter Pill;

(9) - See also: &

(10) Aspirin: A Bitter Pill,

(11) Wiesen, S. Johnathan, "German Industry and the Third Reich: Fifty Years of Forgetting and Remembering"


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