Bayer, though notorious for its origins as a sub-division of the manufacturer that made the Zyklon B gas used in the Nazi gas chambers, isn’t the only pharmaceutical company with skeletons in its closet.
The Swiss chemical companies Ciba and Sandoz merged to form Novartis, most famous for its drug, Ritalin.
In 1933, Ciba’s Berlin branch fired all of the Jewish members of its board of directors and replaced them with more “acceptable” Aryan personnel; meanwhile, Sandoz was busy doing the same with its chairman.
The companies manufactured dyes, drugs and chemicals for the Nazis during the war.
Novartis has owned up to its culpability and tried to make amends in the manner of other complicit firms by contributing $15 million towards a Swiss fund for compensation to the victims of the Nazis.