Berlin war memorial construction haunted by death camp history

A US $ 32.5 million memorial to victims of the holocaust in World War II has turned into a fiasco in Berlin, Germany.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  December 1, 2003

A US $ 32.5 million memorial to victims of the holocaust in World War II has turned into a fiasco in Berlin, Germany. Work was stopped on October 23 when chemical manufacturers Degussa AG of Düsseldorf was told to halt supplies of an anti-graffiti coating material because the company had been involved in wartime production of poison Zylon-b gas. Zylon-b was used by the Nazis in extermination camps. Work resumed last week when it was agreed that Degussa should not be punished for the historic actions of the company. “We can continue to play a role in the construction of the memorial and thus make a contribution in terms of remembrance,” says Degussa Chairman Utz-Hellmuth Felcht. The firm is Germany’s third-largest chemical maker, with sales exceeding $12 billion. It employs 48 000 people.

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