Medical Research under Attack

Part of the answer to the last question may be found in the struggle over use of animal experimentation in medical research that spanned much of the regime's first year in power. On one side were Nazi zealots and animal protection societies for whom scientific medicine was, at best, of dubious value and, at worst, part of a vicious conspiracy to rob and corrupt the German Volk. On the other side were representatives of German science, medicine, and industry, including, notably, Heinrich Hörlein, for whom the threat of a total ban on animal experimentation struck at the foundations of medical research. In the middle, ostensibly listening to both sides and in possession of final decision-making authority, were Hermann Göring as Prussian Minister of the Interior and officials of the Prussian Interior Ministry's medical division.

Opening rounds were fired in the winter of 1932. Almost on the eve of I.G. Farben's filing of a patent application for Prontosil, the National Socialist contingent of the Prussian Landtag moved to entirely prohibit vivisection and to make it punishable. Exception was to be made only for three scientific institutes to be named by the government and whose activities were to be placed under permanent public supervision. Had it been enacted, such legislation would have gone beyond existing Prussian ministerial regulations issued in 1930, which already confined experiments on animals to important research under prescribed conditions.2

Hörlein saw in such proposals, which were soon followed by the National Socialist takeover of power, the possibility of an imminent end of animal experiment and thus of the whole medical research enterprise in Germany. Later, he recalled that "as leader of the largest German pharmaceutical research establishment

I held it to be my duty to combat these tendencies, and therefore tried to make contact with people in the party who I assumed had direct contact with Hitler." The local Gauleiter, one Florian-Düsseldorf, was not interested. Two local officials of the SA (Sturmabteilung or Storm Troopers), on the other hand, put Hörlein in touch with Julius Uhl, one of SA leader Ernst Röhm's adjutants. In the spring of 1933, Uhl visited Elberfeld and was given a tour that included demonstrations of the I.G. Farben pharmaceutical Germanin (Bayer 205), a medicine against sleeping sickness, and the antimalarials Plasmoquine and Atabrine. Uhl seemed friendly and recommended that Hörlein take the matter up with the Generalarzt of the SA, whom he thought to be the most influential physician in Germany. When he traveled to Munich a few weeks later to follow this advice, Hörlein found Uhl "as if transformed." Uhl "explained to me in the most unfriendly way that he wanted to have no more to do with us, that we were not only an international Jewish enterprise, but also simply traitors, since in spite of the taking away of the German colonies by the treaty of Versailles," I.G. Farben had introduced Germanin, Plasmoquine, and Atabrine, products that exclusively benefited Germany's former enemies. It was fortunate for I.G. Farben that all of this had happened before 1933, Uhl continued, adding ominously that in future such cases the company would be dealt with in other ways. Finally, Uhl stated that animal experiment as well as ritual slaughter was to be forbidden, and that Hörlein would hear more about it soon.3

Hörlein was convinced that Uhl's newly hostile attitude came directly from Hitler. That view is made plausible by our knowledge of a clash that occurred in May 1933 between Hitler and Carl Bosch, chairman of the executive board (Vorstand ) of I.G. Farbenindustrie. Bosch, who opposed Nazi antisemitism, had by his own account tried to convey to Hitler the damaging effects of official racism on German science, industry, and trade. Furious, Hitler had lectured Bosch on the latter's ignorance of politics and on Germany's ability to "work one hundred years without physics and chemistry" if necessary, and had shown him the door.4 Uhl's prediction of imminent action seemed to be fulfilled on August 17, when Göring issued an order to go into effect immediately that vivisection of animals of whatsoever species is prohibited in all parts of Prussian territory. The chairman of the cabinet has instructed the ministries to present to him without delay the text of a law incorporating this provision. Until the promulgation of this law, persons who engage in vivisection of animals of any kind will be removed to a concentration camp.

By this time, Bavaria, too, had adopted similar prohibitions. It was understood at the time that Göring's edict was to be in effect temporarily, pending issuance of a federal animal protection law. In the meantime, routine diagnostic and other tests using animals would be allowed, but medical research would be suspended. An Interior Ministry statement promised that "consideration will be given to the requirements of science."5

I.G. Farben's whole research and development effort in pharmaceuticals and pesticides was now placed in question. Hörlein recalled that this, together with simultaneous attacks on mineral fertilizers in favor of "biological-dynamic" or organic fertilizers, made him temporarily so discouraged that he considered immigration to the United States. On his second American visit, in 1932, Hörlein had been offered the directorship of the scientific laboratories of the Bayer Company in Albany, New York, in the event that revolutionary change occurred in Germany. The offer came from W.E. Weiss, general manager of Sterling Products, which had purchased the Bayer Company in the United States from the Alien Property Custodian after the war. American Bayer had already acquired one of its leaders, Wilhelm Hiemenz, from among the Elberfeld executives. "But finally I decided," Hörlein reported, "to remain in Germany and to take up the fight for freedom of science."6

The chance to fight came almost immediately. Acting in Göring's name, an official of the Prussian Interior Ministry, Frey, convened a meeting on August 29 that included representatives of German animal protection societies and representatives of German science. Prominent among the former were an SS doctor from Hannover, Albert Eckhard, who was chairman of the Association of German An-tivivisectionist Physicians (Verband vivisektionsgegnerischer Aerzte Deutschlands), and Caesar Rhan, chairman of the Association of Antivivisectionist Organizations (Verband vivisektionsgegnerischer Vereine). Eckhard had a special standing in the animal protection movement. Not only was he a medical doctor and member of the SS, but he also was in possession of a personal letter from Hitler promising support for his cause. In 1929, Hitler had written to Eckhard, "Many thanks for sending your animal protection brochure, which I have only just read! As you might think, with deep indignation.. . . You can be sure that in the coming National Socialist state these conditions will be very quickly ended!" Among the representatives of science were leaders of state medical and scientific institutes in Berlin, and Hörlein. Some sense of the confrontational quality of the meeting may be gathered from the partisan accounts published after it by Eckhard and by an antivivisectionist organization to which Rhan reported.7

The ostensible purpose of the meeting was to allow a full airing of the positions of both sides so as to inform the ministry in its preparation of a draft of the Reich animal protection law. Discussion went on for seven hours. It was presided over by Minister Frey, who, Eckhard conceded, tried to be fair to all. Both Eckhard and Rhan, however, found reason to be dissatisfied with the proceedings. By Rhan's account, Eckhard, who as a medical doctor found himself doing most of the work for the animal protectionist side, was in an extremely difficult position. Faced with some twenty or twenty-five opponents, "he resisted bravely, but the odds were too uneven." Most difficult for the animal protectionists was the issue of the animal trial (Tierversuch) in medical research. Eckhard and Rhan had wanted to challenge the effectiveness of serums and toxins (Giften [sic], perhaps a deliberate substitute for antitoxins) and to argue that they could be dispensed with in favor of natural treatment in both human and animal diseases. Not only did everyone else present take the effectiveness of these agents as given, but the animal protectionists could not bring in an antivivisectionist veterinarian to challenge conventional treatments of animal diseases. Frey would not give a definite answer to Rhan's question whether animal protectionist groups would be given a role in the final drawing up of the new law, and an official of the Agricultural

Ministry rebuffed the animal protectionist demands to have a role in oversight of vivisection sites.8

Reflecting on the meeting several days afterward, the opponents of animal experiment found other cause for complaint. The heads of at least seven German animal protection societies had not been invited to the meeting. The group to which Rhan reported, the World League for the Protection of Animals and Against Vivisection (Weltbundes zum Schutze der Tiere und gegen die Vivisektion), was also excluded by Frey on the grounds that it was an international organization and that its views would be well represented by Eckhard. Members of the World League, which regarded itself as a leading German antivivisection organization, were indignant and promptly voted to change the group's name to German Reich League for Animal Rights and Against Vivisection (Deutscher Reichsbund für Tierrecht und gegen Vivisektion). Rhan attacked press reports of the meeting that described it as an "agreement" or "reconciliation" (Vereinbarung). Not only did the meeting expose irreconcilable differences, but his understanding was that it was a non-binding discussion, for which minutes were not taken. He was also disturbed that members of the animal protection societies were scattered around the meeting hall and so were unable to consult on points under debate.9

Both Rhan and Eckhard reserved their harshest language for Hörlein. Hörlein had taken a prominent part in the discussions, several times launching "extremely irritating attacks" on the animal protectionists, to which both Rhan and Eckhard had to respond. Among these were Hörlein's energetic rejection of Rhan's proposal to prohibit use of large animals in research, his charge that Eckhard had deliberately made false statements, and his prediction that prohibition of animal experiment in research would cost the jobs of 800-1,000 workers at I.G. Farben. In their written accounts of the meeting, neither Eckhard nor Rhan addressed the substance of Hörlein's remarks on medicine, but instead made every effort to delegitimize Hörlein as spokesman on such matters by political and racialist innuendo. Hörlein was not a real physician but only an honorary doctor of medicine who had received that title "during the time of the Marxist government," Eckhard wrote, playing misleadingly on the name of the Center Party leader, Wilhelm Marx, whose government was in place during part of 1926, when Hörlein received his honorary degree from Munich. Hörlein, the "handsomely paid member of the executive board of I.G. Farben," had questioned the veracity of Eckhard, who described himself as the leader of "a great idealistic movement." Before threats of job losses were made, Eckhard insisted, the salaries of I.G. Farben leaders and the monies going to foreign representatives of I.G. Farben should be investigated. The initials I.G., Eckhard claimed, stood for "internationalen Gesellschaft für Farbenindustrie [sic]," a false assertion that played on the negative valuation of "international" in National Socialist ideology. Eckhard also found "interesting and informative" the names of members of the executive board listed in I.G. Farben's 1932 report. "I believe it would be rewarding to look a bit into the 'Aryan' descent of these men," Eckhard remarked. "Thus it was generally noticeable in our meeting in Berlin," he continued, "that Prof. Dr. Hörlein so warmly supported the Jewish professor Rosenfeld." Eckhard immediately went on to call for takeover of the pharmaceutical industry by the National Socialist state as the best and swiftest way to reduce animal experiment to the unavoidable minimum and to separate the practice from capitalist profit interests.10

Animal protectionist fears were soon confirmed. On September 5, 1933, less than a week after the Berlin discussions sponsored by the Interior Ministry, Goring issued temporary regulations to govern vivisection pending issuance of the federal law. Referring to "agreements" reached in the Berlin discussions, the statement of interior regulations drew a sharp line between vivisection, which was to be prohibited, and the use of animal experiments in "serious scientific research, in the interest of the health and life of men and animals." Animal experimentation would not be regarded as vivisection if certain conditions were met. Experiments were to be performed "only in institutes under scientific management, and only on the responsibility of the director of the institute." There had to be prospect of definite and original results. Discomfort of the animal subjects was to be minimized, with use of local or general anesthetics whenever possible. Use of higher animals was to be avoided, and the numbers of animals used were to be kept to the minimum necessary. To conduct animal experiments, scientific institutes were either to have a concession from the state, commune, or municipality or to obtain special ministerial approval. Animal experiments for purposes of instruction would be permitted only under special circumstances and with state permission.11 The issuance of the interior regulations so soon after August 29 and the simultaneous statement that a draft of the federal animal protection law was already in existence suggest that these documents were drawn up in the wake of and under the influence of the Interior Ministry debates. Such was the recollection of Clemens Giese, an Interior Ministry official closely involved in the discussions of the draft law. By Giese's report, the "thoroughly moderate" character of the interior regulations, which then became the basis of the federal law, was heavily indebted to Horlein's vigorous arguments at the August 29 meeting. Whatever the restrictions placed on animal experiment by the regulations, Horlein and his allies, including Giese, felt that they could live with them. Animal protection groups, in contrast, felt that their demands had been only partially met, and this by a state that they presumed to be highly sympathetic to their cause. This divergence, together with the uncertainty created by the interim character of the regulations, opened the way for a heated polemical and legal struggle during the two and one-half months between September 5 and the promulgation of the Reich animal protection law on November 23, 1933.12

Horlein and I.G. Farben now came under violent attack in National Socialist publications such as Deutsche Volksgesundheit aus Blut und Boden! and Nazi-oriented animal protection journals. In these assaults, hostility to scientific medicine, including but by no means limited to use of animal experiment in research, was fused with antisemitism and attacks on international big capital. Under the title "What Is Up with 'Germanin'?" one article in Deutsche Volksgesundheit lambasted the famous remedy for sleeping sickness. Citing Hitler's letter to Eckhard, the author predicted that the sufferings inflicted on animals in "so-called scientific investigations" would soon be ended by law. Adduced by representatives of I.G. Farben as their "trump card" showing the necessity of animal experiment, Germanin was no such thing, the writer claimed. Far from being "nearly miraculous,"

"reminiscent of Biblical cures," "unprecedented," or "staggering," the author warned, Germanin might well go the way of other "shimmering illusions" such as tuberculin, the diphtherium serum of "the Jew Behring," or the Salvarsan of "the Jew Ehrlich." Citing the failure of Germanin against a St. Louis outbreak of a disease resembling sleeping sickness but apparently caused by a filterable virus, the author mocked the pretensions of pharmaceutical research. Even if the "causative agent" were isolated in pure form, he asked, would this mean there was a certain remedy? "Certainly the bacteriologists of I.G. would bring it out! For variety, and in honor of the spirit of the place, as 'Americanin'? And certainly at once it will have effects 'reminiscent of Biblical cures'!" In any case, the author warned, a dubious medicine such as Germanin should not be invoked in defense of vivisection or in attacks on its critics as traitors to the German economy or even as traitors to the country. The representatives of the pharmaceutical industry "should not confuse the economy of their business with the economy of the German Volk!"13

Cartoons conveyed this kind of vitriol in its most concentrated form. One series that appeared in Deutsche Volksgesundheit in the fall of 1933 under the title "The Life and Deeds of Isidor G. Färber" (a fiction whose name plays off the company name I.G. Farben, a contraction of Interessengemeinschaft Farbenindustrie, or dye industry combine) portrays a grossly caricatured Jewish businessman as the manipulative power behind a large chemical industry that produces pharmaceuticals such as serums and vaccines. He acts through boards of directors, doctors, and so on, but the real power is in his hands. His medicines are tested on hapless animals and human patients. He wields powerful influence on the government from behind the scenes. He feels threatened by natural healers and by National Socialism, which is represented as "the spirit of the times." In another cartoon, not part of this series, a figure looking like Isidor G. Färber but labeled "stockholder" is shown with his foot on the neck of a prostrate man labeled "natural healing." In the background, beneath a Star of David labeled "Jewish-influenced medicine," stand two men in laboratory coats. One holds a bottle labeled "chemical medicine," the other a huge hypodermic needle. The cartoon's caption asks, "How long will the Jewish spirit suppress German reform?" The associated article is headed "Stop the Thief: The Role of the Jews in Medicine."14

The same blended motifs of hostility to scientific medicine, antisemitism, and more or less direct attacks on the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, are visible in the animal protectionist literature. In the lead article of the December 1933-January 1934 issue of The German Friend of Animals (Der Deutsche Tierfreund ), the editor, Finus, identified the primary enemy and target of his movement as I.G. Farbenindustrie. Applauding the swift action of the National Socialist government in outlawing ritual slaughter, Finus lamented that the same undiluted success had not accompanied action against vivisection. Although at the time he went to press he did not yet know the wording of the Reich animal protection law, Finus feared that, along with restrictions on animal experiment, the law also contained compromises. The greatest user of animal trials, "chemical big capital," had, he thought, created difficulties for the government, which he presumed to be otherwise sympathetic to a complete ban. Failure to achieve such a ban meant that the movement would have to continue its struggle and especially try to reach the younger generation.15

Finus was particularly incensed because I.G. Farben had brought against him a formal document of complaint (Klageschrift) in which he and his cause were denied the attribute of idealism. I.G. Farben had accused Finus of striking at the very existence of the pharmaceutical industry, which, it maintained, could not operate without animal trials. Finus reported derisively that the company had asked that he be forbidden to assert that "Jesuitical and Jewish capital" was behind I.G. Farbenindustrie, that the chemical industry was the mortal enemy of helpless animals, that vivisection at I.G. Farben was driven by insane seeking for power and profit, and that I.G. Farben produced narcotic medicines and other preparations dangerous to health, propositions that he evidently considered to be self-evident. He singled out Hörlein, the well-paid head of the division of I.G. Farben making most use of animal trials, for special censure. "If the inheritance of the German race is to be saved, then we will forbid the use of poisonous medicines and the injection of serums alien to the species into healthy German blood. Then, to be sure, there would be fewer dividends to distribute, but we would get a flourishing of the people's health as a blessing to the nation!"16

As Finus's angry denunciations indicate, Hörlein had not remained idle in the face of attacks on I.G. Farben. Always pugnacious, he opened a running battle with the offending publications on two fronts. With the help of company counsel Schramm, he took several journals, including Finus's, to court. So as to give courage to the judges, "who were at that time already somewhat anxious," Hörlein worked through a local party legal official, the Gaurechtsführer for Düsseldorf, Schroer. The company was able to get from the courts temporary decrees, confiscations, and other measures, which brought about a gradual diminishing of the slander campaign. Other tactics were necessary against Deutsche Volksgesundheit aus Blut und Boden!, which was published first by a Nuremberg party physician, Gauärtzteführer Will, and subsequently by party-influential Julius Streicher. Schroer advised Hörlein that legal action against Streicher would be impossible and that he should work through high representatives of the party or the state. This route proved successful. Hörlein was able to get one prohibition of offensive material through Reich Physicians Leader Gerhard Wagner, who was the highest medical official in the Nazi government, and a second and final one through Joseph Goebbels's medical advisor in the Reich Propaganda Ministry, Dr. Curt Thomalla.17

Finus's fears of government "compromise" were borne out by the text of the new law, which was firmly based on the interim regulations. By early 1934, the Interior Ministry had published detailed instructions, to become effective on February 1, on the permits to be issued to scientific laboratories and how the law was to be administered. Each laboratory receiving a permit to conduct experiments on animals would be subject to semiannual inspections, which would be unannounced and would be conducted jointly by physicians and veterinarians. Irregularities were to be reported immediately to the competent ministry. Penalties for infractions of the law were stiff and could include fines and imprisonment of up to two years. In conjunction with the new law, the Reich Interior Ministry moved to bring the animal protection movement under its control by officially merging its 679 societies to form the Reich Animal Protection League (Reichstierschutzbund).18

No doubt the regulations were an irritant, but Hörlein was satisfied that, with the help of Interior Ministry officials Giese and Frey, he had "succeeded in effecting the freedom of animal experiment to an adequate extent against hard resistance." Even after the law was in place, opposition continued in the form of attacks on synthetic medicines and the pharmaceutical industry in the National Socialist press. The lead article in Deutsche Volksgesundheit for May 1935, for example, launched a vituperative assault on Emil von Behring and serum therapy under the title "Science as Business." Beginning with a physiognomical analysis that purported to discern in Behring's facial features a susceptibility to "Jesuitical and Jewish" ways of thinking, the author went on to portray the Nobel Prize-winning developer of serum therapy as a willing instrument of a Jewish plot to weaken and bring about the degeneration of non-Jews. The damage done to the German Volk through Behring's serums, the author wrote, was boundless and not to be described in words. Countless numbers of people had been killed by serum who might have been saved by German folk healing, he maintained. Deutsche Volksgesundheit also ran a column "From the Medical World" that claimed to extract "from the specialized medical literature cases of damage which could have been avoided through treatment by German folk healing."19

The battles surrounding animal experiment in medical research fought in the first year of the National Socialist regime place in relief one mode of the Nazi relationship to medical science that has been well discussed in separate studies by Michael Kater and Robert Proctor. This is the hostility of a substantial, vocal, and influential element of the Nazi movement toward laboratory medical science and its associated phenomena of chemical and surgical intervention and professional specialism. Opposed to this form of scientific medicine was the ideal of a "natural" or organic medicine drawing on traditions of German folk healing. On the philosophical level, Nazi medical writers articulating this ideal attacked what they saw as a mechanistic, reductionist, analytical, laboratory-based approach to the phenomena of life that strove to achieve a universal, objective, value-free science. In its place, they would substitute a holistic, synthetic vision of life that recognized and accepted a role for subjectivity and intuition in achieving medical knowledge. As one writer put it, what was needed was "more Goethe, less Newton." Recognition of the role of subjectivity, they thought, would allow for development of a national medicine open to the specific ways of thinking and practice of the German Volk, conceived as a differentiable biological and cultural entity. Thus, the organic medicine favored by National Socialist thinkers would put an end to the "cosmopolitan internationalist" medicine fostered by both capitalist and socialist ways of thought and replace it with a truly German science of healing. On the level of practice, organic medicine favored the rural generalist physician over the urban specialist. In the domain of social policy, it merged easily with a wider movement to return the German people to more "natural" ways of living, which included such elements as discouragement of makeup for women, anti-tobacco and anti-alcohol campaigns, preference for midwifery over physician-assisted births, advocacy of whole-grain over refined white bread, support for conservation of natural resources and protection of rare or valuable species, and antivivisection sentiments. As Kater has put it, "volkisch physicians strove for a return, medically speaking, to a pre-industrial state, where the forces of nature such as sun rays or fresh air or herbs, rather than synthetic pharmacological products and the technology of a laboratory or operating room, were enlisted to aid the human body in maintaining or recovering its balance."20

At every point, the organic medicine advocated by National Socialist writers embodied an antisemitism grounded in the doctrine of racial biology that was at the center of Nazi ideology. The alien Jewish presence held particular consequences for medicine, in this view. Philosophically, it was a "Jewish-international" conception of science as objective, value-free, and universal that threatened to efface the ideal of a national medicine grounded in the Volk. Professionally, Jewish physicians represented the urban specialist, in contrast to the völkisch ideal of the rural general practitioner, or they represented the academic researcher standing aloof from the organic community of the people (Volksgemeinschaft). At several points, the Nazi critiques of scientific medicine drew upon, and gave fresh forms to, older currents of antisemitism. The association of animal experiment and ritual slaughter played on the ancient theme of Jewish sacrifice of the blood of the innocents. Accusations that synthetic pharmaceuticals, some developed by Jewish scientists (e.g., Paul Ehrlich) or by "Jewish-influenced science" (e.g., chemotherapy, serum therapy), were poisoning the blood of the German Volk took part of their force from resonance with old indictments of the Jews as poisoners who intentionally caused epidemics. Such accusations linked the National Socialist critique of synthetic pharmaceuticals to a more general preoccupation with blood purity, which also took the form of racial hygiene measures to protect the German race through sterilizations, marriage law, euthanasia, and, eventually, mass killings. Finally, the hostility of National Socialist medical writers toward big capital, most pointedly in the form of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, incorporated and exploited the notion of Jews as manipulators of international finance who were engaged in a hidden conspiracy to control the world.21

Several prominent Nazi leaders supported the natural health movement and organic medicine. Hitler was a vegetarian, did not use alcohol or tobacco, and endorsed antivivisectionism. Rudolf Hess favored homeopathy, while Heinrich Himmler backed organic medicine. Streicher, who published the violently antise-mitic Der Stürmer, also put out Deutsche Volksgesundheit aus Blut und Boden! and headed the popular People's Health Movement.22

Pharmaceutical research within I.G. Farben engaged, and was vulnerable to the attacks of, Nazi ideologues at many points. Its products were overtly and nakedly synthetic, not "organic" products of nature. At best, they were derivative of or were modeled on natural products, in the way that quinine served as the model for synthetic antimalarials. They were produced by laboratory science that relied on both synthetic organic chemistry and animal experiment, and in which animals were frankly a means to an end, although the end did include pharmaceuticals for use in veterinary medicine. The pharmaceutical division of I.G. Farben was indebted to Jewish scientists such as Ehrlich for part of its program and for some of its products (e.g., Salvarsan) and included Jews on its research staff. The products and laboratory methods of pharmaceutical research dealt directly with the blood. Sera, vaccines, and chemotherapeutic agents introduced into the circulatory system could have toxic effects. I.G. Farben was perhaps the most prominent example of a huge capitalist combine joining several companies, with many international connections and interests. Its supervisory board (Aufsichtsrat) included seven Jews early in the Nazi regime. To these ample grounds for hostility must be added Hörlein's vigorous struggle with the National Socialist-oriented antivivisection movement over the Reich animal protection law, and persistent tensions generated by Nazi party fears that the pharmaceutical division might betray German technical and economic information to foreign enemies and com-petitors.23

It was in the midst of these tensions and struggles, in June 1934, that Hörlein joined the Nazi party (NSDAP). By his own later account and those of others who knew him before and after, his decision was based not on political conviction but on the calculation that party membership would strengthen his ability to protect the interests of his industrial group and of scientific research in Germany. Such a claim can be evaluated only in the context of Hörlein's whole career, which I address further below. For the moment, several circumstances surrounding the decision must be noted. Prior to his application for membership in the spring of 1934, Hörlein had no connection to the NSDAP. He had been among the founders of the German Democratic Party in Wuppertal-Vohwinkel and, although not active in party politics, remained democratic in his views. He had resisted the NSDAP's intensive recruitment campaign in the spring of 1933 but, despite this, had been named to the municipal council of Wuppertal. In 1934, he was notified by the mayor of Wuppertal that a new law required members of the council to be members of the NSDAP. Although not politically ambitious, Hörlein evidently believed that his position in local government gave him influence that was valuable in the protection of his company and research establishment. He later testified that he did not at that time foresee the violent directions in which National Socialism would develop, and that even then he recognized that there were some matters, for example, antisemitism, on which he could never agree with the party.24

0 0

Post a comment