Thalidomide’s Nazi Connection

Picture: Konstantinos Soulkanis (CC)

Via Scientific American:

Thalidomide was introduced to pregnant mothers in 1957 as a supposedly safe medication for morning sickness. Sadly, this harmless medication was anything but: Many of the mothers who took thalidomide gave birth to babies with “flippers” for limbs. By the time a link between the drug and the birth defects was established, it was too late: Over 210,000 children were born with phocomelia – the medical term for the array of birth defects caused by thalidomide. Grunenthal, the German pharmaceutical firm that produced thalidomide didn’t issue any kind of apology to its victims until this past September. No financial compensation has ever been issued.

The thalidomide tragedy was the consequence of epic mismanagement and criminal neglect, but now, another wrinkle in the story has emerged: Some of the scientists employed by Grunenthal were Nazis:

One of the most chilling aspects of this sordid tale is the assertion that “in the immediate postwar years, a rogues’ gallery of wanted and convicted Nazis, mass murderers who had practiced their science in notorious death camps, ended up working at Grünenthal, some of them directly involved in the development of thalidomide.” One of the most reprehensible was Otto Ambros, an inventor of sarin (the nerve gas), who had been convicted of mass murder at the Nuremburg trials but was subsequently freed. After helping the US chemical industry, he went on to become chairman of Grünenthal’s advisory committee when thalidomide was developed. Newsweek’s Roger Williams and Jonathan Stone (no relation) give further horrifying details about links between Grünenthal and other Nazi’s as well, some of whom experimented on inmates at concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Buchenwald…

Keep reading here. 

3 Comments on "Thalidomide’s Nazi Connection"

  1. BuzzCoastin | Nov 9, 2012 at 8:32 pm |

    > Some of the scientists employed by Grunenthal were Nazis

    essentially, Big Pharma (son of Big Healthcare) is a fascist organization
    so anyone working for them is, by nature, a Nazi or Nazi sympathizer

    it has been assert that Big Healthcare is the largest cause of death in the US
    but I think Big Food-like Stuff Inc kills more

  2. InfvoCuernos | Nov 10, 2012 at 12:55 am |

    If I was an amoral Nazi responsible for the deaths of thousands and my side had just had its ass handed to it, and was given an opportunity to wreck horrifying birth defects on the offspring of my enemy, I would pretty much have to take that shot, or get kicked out of the Mad Scientist Club.

  3. Nice to know we can use the term ‘nazi’ and it not be hyperbole. If corporation are people can we take them to Nuremberg, noose at the ready?

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