Next time you see a Dow Chemical ad, think of treachery, betrayal and Auschwitz

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Through the efforts of Dow […] the ocean is yielding its magnesium. For the first time in history man is successfully tapping this inexhaustible benefit of a metal whose phenomenal lightness gives swiftest wings to the airplane so essential to our victory drive.
THE UNMASKING OF DOW AND ITS DEAL WITH NAZI GERMANY
FROM SARVADARSHI IN CHICAGO
In 1942, the USA entered World War II and Dow Chemical ran this ad which boasted that its process for extracting magnesium from sea water would ensure victory for the Allies.
The response to these patriotic outpourings was not entirely what Dow had hoped.
“Does it not seem unfortunate,” asked Congressman Leavy of Washington, “that this great nation in its hour of peril must depend upon a group whose misconduct will have been officially established in connection with strangling production by contract agreement with our enemies?”
Leavy was talking about the magnesium cartel that Dow Chemical had operated with Nazi chemical conglomerate I G Farben right up to America’s entry into the war. Investigations in the early 1940s by the Truman Committee revealed that Nazi Germany had purchased large stocks of magnesium from Dow for use in incendiary bombs. Dow had been selling magnesium to the Nazis for 21¢ a pound while maintaining a 30¢ price in the US and apparently trying to shut out the British.
“Our own Dow Chemical Company,” said Congressman Rabant in 1942, “was the sole licensee in this country and agreed to sell only a small amount to England.”
By 1940 American output of magnesium was 6,000 tons while Germany’s was 25,000 tons, giving the Nazi war machine a distinct advantage in aircraft production.
Lying improved daily
The magnesium question came up again in 1947 during the Nuremberg trial of twenty four I G Farben officials. Willard H. Dow, Chairman of Dow Chemical, claimed: “We never had any contract with Farben.” The Nation called Dow’s comment “an amazing statement”.
Among the Nuremberg accused was Otto Ambros, chief of I G Farben’s poison gas facilities. A Farben-owned company manufactured Zyklon B, the extermination-gas used at Auschwitz. Ambros was convicted for crimes against humanity, including slavery and murder, and sentenced to eight years in prison, however his reputation as The Devil’s Chemist didn’t make him any less attractive to his old friends at Dow. On his release from jail they invited him to come and work with them in the US.
TEXT OF ADVERTISEMENT
Straight from the mind of the chemists and engineers has come the formula to win wings from the sea.
Through the efforts of Dow […] the ocean is yielding its magnesium. For the first time in history man is successfully tapping this inexhaustible benefit of a metal whose phenomenal lightness gives swiftest wings to the airplane so essential to our victory drive.
When victory is ours that extraordinary weight-saving metal – hundreds of millions of pounds annually – will be available for innumerable industrial and domestic purposes.
Magnesium will lighten the tasks of man in countless ways as yet undreamed of, except in the minds of far-seeing engineers and […] who are already planning the future.

DOW AS MAGNESIUM PRODUCER
Dow Chemical started its first magnesium production in Midland, Michigan as early as 1916.
In 1941 Dow opened a 50,000 tons-per-year plant in Freeport, Texas. Production was based on electrolysis of hydrous magnesium chloride brine produced from sea water and calcined dolomite by neutralisation of magnesium hydroxide chloride gas. On contract with US Defense a second plant was built the year after, and during the war Dow’s production reached 84% of the total magnesium production in USA.
1998, Dow Chemical’s two plants in Freeport, Texas reached a capacity of 96,000 tpy before plant B was stopped in 1993, and plant A in 1998. Dow no longer produces magnesium.

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