The ossuary in the corporate closet
July 11, 2006 4:48 AM Subscribe
From cooperation to complicity. In 1988, the German chemical giant Degussa commissioned a study (by American historian Peter Hayes) on its collaboration with the National-Socialist regime. The corporation's involvement in the production of Zyklon B has been well publicised, due to the controversy over the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, but it's only one chapter of a larger story that, according to the author (PDF), "suggests that most people, when presented with opportunities or imperatives that they have every imminent or material reason to accept or accede to and only potential or moral grounds to reject, will choose the course of least resistance, internalize the arguments that legitimate it, and balk at admitting that one could or should have done otherwise."
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