Israel is buying gas masks from the same company that sold them to Auschwitz

Published August 15th, 2016 - 02:04 GMT
A woman tries on a gas mask in Jerusalem (AFP / Menahem Kahana)
A woman tries on a gas mask in Jerusalem (AFP / Menahem Kahana)

Dräger and Auer produce protective equipment, but in the 1940s it was steeped in a grim trade. Back then, the company provided SS soldiers in Nazi death camps with gear to protect them from the deadly gas used to kill millions of Jews.

And now the company is providing Israel with gas masks.

The dark twist was uncovered by the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum and reported by the Times of Israel and Hebrew daily Yedioth Ahronoth. They discovered that Dräger and Auerand Auer have been selling the Israeli government equipment including gas masks since the Six Day War in 1967.

Until recently, Israel’s government had a policy of providing gas masks to all its citizens, as a precaution against the possibility of a chemical attack from Syria or Iraq. Demand jumped in 2013, when analysts speculated that US action in Syria could create a retaliatory attack.

Israel’s defense ministry said it was unfamiliar with the claims; Dräger and Auer admitted it had provided the Nazi state with equipment, but stated they’d believed the masks were for civilians.

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