Death of Fritz Haber, Inventor of Zykon A Poison Gas

Death of Fritz Haber, Inventor of Zykon A Poison Gas

Fritz Haber

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Fritz Haber dies in Basel, Switzerland. Born to a Hasidic Jewish family, Haber had converted to Lutheranism but neither his conversion nor his work on chemical weapons made any difference to the Nazi authorities.

Fritz Haber was famous for winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1918 for figuring out how to synthesize ammonia, an important ingredient in both fertilizers and explosives. Haber was infamous for being one of the architects of chemical warfare during World War I.

He led the development of poison gasses like chlorine gas and personally oversaw their release on the battlefield. Haber even developed a formula for the the mathematical relationship between the concentration of poison gas and necessary exposure time to produce death. Haber was made a Captain for his work, though his wife also a chemist may have committed suicide after witnessing that work.

After World War I Fritz Haber invented a cyanide-based pesticide gas named Zyklon A. The Nazis will refine it to make it more lethal, rename it Zyklon B, and use it to kill Jews including members of Fritz Haber's extended family. Haber himself left Germany in 1933 and dies before he can see what use the Nazis will put his Zyklon cyanide gas to.

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