Whether Sean Spicer, President Trump’s press secretary, did not know about (or chose to ignore) Hitler’s use of poison gas, his comments were ignorant and reprehensible.
Not so well-known, however, is that in World War I Germany used banned poison gas in the battle of Ypres, Belgium, resulting in 150,000 Allied casualties.
Fritz Haber had won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1918 for discovering the way to synthesize ammonia to produce fertilizer.
This was a boon to mankind by greatly increasing world food production.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Miami Herald
However, he was also the inventor of poisonous gas. Although hailed in Germany as a hero at the time, with the rise of anti-Semitism, Haber had to leave Germany in 1933.
Tragically, and ironically, during the World War II Holocaust, the Nazis used a formulation of his poisonous gas, Zyclon B, in the gas chambers of the death camps.