Bayer creates Memorial for victims of forced labor at I.G. Farben

  • Memorial to strengthen Bayer’s culture of remembrance 
  • Installation designed by an interdisciplinary group of artists and designers from ART+COM Studios led by Professor Jussi Ängeslevä
Erinnerungsort für die Opfer von Zwangsarbeit bei der I.G. Farben

Place of Remembrance for the Victims of Forced Labour at I.G. Farben

Leverkusen, May 8, 2023 – Bayer has inaugurated a Memorial at its Headquarters in Leverkusen for the victims of forced labor at I.G. Farben during the Third Reich. The five-meter-tall Memorial honors the approximately 16,000 women and men from numerous occupied countries in Europe who were forced to work at the Lower Rhine production sites of I.G. Farben between 1940 and 1945. With the memorial, Bayer would like to make a further contribution in the struggle against intolerance, totalitarianism and hatred.

 

“Creating a Memorial for the victims of forced labor here at our Headquarters in Leverkusen is another step to acknowledge the injustices that were perpetrated during the Nazi era. We want to foster a visible culture of remembrance to the legacy of I.G. Farben,” explained former CEO Werner Baumann. Farbenfabriken vorm. Friedr. Bayer & Co was one of the founding members of I.G. Farben in 1925. Today’s Bayer AG emerged from I.G. Farben in 1952.

 

The memorial was designed and built by an interdisciplinary group of artists and designers led by Professor Jussi Ängeslevä from Berlin-based ART+COM Studios. The five-meter-tall sculpture of wood, steel and living plants is an artistic interpretation of historic data from Bayer’s archive. It contains demographic data and individual statements about the victims of forced labor and will intentionally transform over time due to the forces of nature. In this way, it will enable an individual engagement with the past. The physical memorial is augmented by an app that helps decipher its unique form.

 

The recently established Hans and Berthold Finkelstein Foundation will likewise further consolidate the culture of remembrance at Bayer. It supports numerous independent research projects, in particular relating to the topic of forced labor at I.G. Farben.