The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Schädlingsbekämpfung mbH (translation: German Corporation for Pest control), in short Degesch, was a German chemical corporation during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Degesch produced pesticides used against weeds and insects. Degesch had the patent of the infamous Zyklon B, a pesticide that was used to execute people in gas chambers of German extermination camps during the Holocaust. Through the firms Tesch & Stabenow
Tesch & Stabenow
The corporation Tesch & Stabenow was a market leader in pest control chemicals between 1924 and 1945 in Germany east of the Elbe....

 GmbH (Testa) and Heerdt-Linger (Heli) Degesch sold the poisonous gas Zyklon B to the German army
German Army
The German Army is the land component of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Germany. Following the disbanding of the Wehrmacht after World War II, it was re-established in 1955 as the Bundesheer, part of the newly formed West German Bundeswehr along with the Navy and the Air Force...

 and the Schutzstaffel
The Schutzstaffel |Sig runes]]) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS under Heinrich Himmler's command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II...

, abbreviation SS.

Degesch was founded in 1919 as a subsidiary of Degussa. Its first director was chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

 Nobel laureate Fritz Haber
Fritz Haber
Fritz Haber was a German chemist, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1918 for his development for synthesizing ammonia, important for fertilizers and explosives. Haber, along with Max Born, proposed the Born–Haber cycle as a method for evaluating the lattice energy of an ionic solid...

. In 1936 Degussa held shares as IG Farben
IG Farben
I.G. Farbenindustrie AG was a German chemical industry conglomerate. Its name is taken from Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie AG . The company was formed in 1925 from a number of major companies that had been working together closely since World War I...

 (both 42,5%) and Th. Goldschmidt AG (15%). After the second world war Degesch continued production. In 1986 the company was sold to Detia Freyberg GmbH; The current name is Detia-Degesch GmbH.


During the IG Farben trial
IG Farben Trial
The United States of America vs. Carl Krauch, et al., also known as the IG Farben Trial, was the sixth of the twelve trials for war crimes the U.S. authorities held in their occupation zone in Germany after the end of World War II....

 the director of Degesch, Dr. Gerhard Friedrich Peters implicated himself. He received information by Kurt Gerstein
Kurt Gerstein
Kurt Gerstein was a German SS officer and member of the Institute for Hygiene of the Waffen-SS. He witnessed mass murders in the Nazi extermination camps Belzec and Treblinka...

 about the murder of people using Zyklon B
Zyklon B
Zyklon B was the trade name of a cyanide-based pesticide infamous for its use by Nazi Germany to kill human beings in gas chambers of extermination camps during the Holocaust. The "B" designation indicates one of two types of Zyklon...

 and was informed that the German army needed the gas without the usual additives that were added to warn people by smell of its poisonous nature.
In 1949 Peters was charged with murder in the court of Frankfurt and convicted to five years. The conviction was in 1952 legally confirmed in an appeal and set to six years. Peters went to prison but was acquitted in an new appeal in 1953. The law had changed; he was no longer considered guilty in assisting in murder.

The chairman of the board of directors from 1939 to 1945, Hermann Schlosser, was arrested in February 1948 and acquitted in April 1948; later he took another job as chairman of the board.

The owner and the director of Tesch & Stabenow
Tesch & Stabenow
The corporation Tesch & Stabenow was a market leader in pest control chemicals between 1924 and 1945 in Germany east of the Elbe....

 were convicted and sentenced to death by a British tribunal and executed in Hamelin
Hamelin is a town on the river Weser in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the capital of the district of Hamelin-Pyrmont and has a population of 58,696 ....

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.