Events and Exhibitions

I.G. Farben and Buna-Monowitz concentration camp

Economy and politics under National Socialism

An travelling exhibition of the Fritz Bauer Institute

In 1941, the chemical corporation I.G. Farben established a chemical factory in the immediate vicinity of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Aside from German skilled labourers, the corporation deployed thousands of inmates from the Auschwitz concentration camp on the enormous construction site, as well as POWs and forced labourers from all over Europe. In 1942, the corporation and the SS, which cooperated closely with one another, established the company-owned Buna-Monowitz concentration camp to house the increasing number of inmates. Thousands of inmates perished under the inhuman working conditions on site or were murdered in the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau once they were no longer able to work.

The exhibition explores the establishment, administration, and dissolution of the Buna-Monowitz concentration camp. Historical photographs document the perspectives of the SS and the I.G. Farben corporation on the construction site and everyday life in the camp.

These are contrasted with autobiographical texts by survivors, including Primo Levi, Jean Amery, and Elie Wiesel, as well as testimony given by former inmates at postwar trials. The exhibition closes with information on these trials and the efforts of survivors to receive compensation.

The German speaking exhibition is conceived as a travelling exhibition that is available for rent. The accompanying publication is now also available in English and can be downloaded free of charge.

History of the exhibition

The travelling exhibition has its origins in an exhibition designed for a meeting of survivors of the Buna-Monowitz concentration camp in the former administrative building of I.G. Farben on the present-day Campus Westend of Goethe University, which took place in October 1998. It was supported by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, New York. Conception by Gottfried Kößler, research by Werner Renz, and design by Werner Lott. The travelling exhibition was available for rent in this form until the end of 2015. The revised and newly designed exhibition was shown for the first time in January 2018.

Accompanying publication
to the exhibition

Catalog, double pages (PDF file)
Catalog, single pages (PDF file)

The exhibition was redesigned in 2018.
Design: Funkelbach. Büro für Architektur und Grafik, Leipzig


Website with comprehensive information material and 24 video interviews with survivors of Buna-Monowitz concentration camp

Exhibition redesign

Curator: Dr Nassrin Sadeghi
Project head: Gottfried Kößler