Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
RuthAnn Althaus and Al Rosenbloom
Saint Xavier University, USA
Volume 4: 2007, pp. 147-160; ABSTRACT
This case explores the ethical dilemmas faced by Wolfgang Thierse and other board members of the Memorial Foundation for the Murdered Jews of Europe. They must decide whether Degussa AG, a memorial subcontractor, can continue working on the memorial, despite Swiss and German media reports that a former subsidiary of Degussa’s, named Degesch, manufactured and supplied the nerve gas that killed Jews and other individuals in the Auschwitz concentration camp. The board’s decision is complicated by negative publicity the memorial has received, by the fact that Degussa has already applied its anti-graffiti coating to some of the pillars that form the memorial’s main design, and by questions of whether the board exercised due diligence when Degussa was originally proposed as a project subcontractor. Students are asked to help Thierse reach a personal decision about Degussa’s continued participation and, in his role as board chair, formulate a discussion strategy for the upcoming, potentially volatile board meeting.