Diastereospecific Recognition of Dyes by Salt Crystals: A Case of Plundered Stereochemistry in Postwar Europe

  • Bart Kahr
  • Michael P. Kelley
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASIC, volume 473)


As early as March 1944, the British were making plans for the occupation of Germany.1 A chief concern of these planners was the capture of technologies that would assist the Allied nations in the defeat of Japan and in the postwar economy. The assets of IG Farben, the chemical conglomerate that enabled Germany to fight in the First and Second World Wars, were among the most sought after targets. In this paper we discuss how incomplete crystal structures of triarylmethane dyes, captured from IG Farben by British Intelligence, led to an incorrect analysis of the stereospecific recognition of these dyes by simple ionic salts. We review our work on the determination of these stereospecific association mechanisms within the context of earlier errors and remind the reader of consequential political and economic events that serve as the requisite background for a complete understanding of an otherwise insignificant stereochemical puzzle.


Crystal Violet Ammonium Nitrate Twist Angle Aryl Ring Acid Fuchsin 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bart Kahr
    • 1
  • Michael P. Kelley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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