Wirtschaftliche Forschungsgesellschaft m.b.H.

Interrogation of Herr Helmut Plote

of the Construction Department


BIOS Final Report No. 122



The Board of Trade

German Division (Documents Unit)

Lansdowne House

Berkley Square W.1.

July 8th - 11th, 1945

Reported by:-

Mr. H.L. West

British Ministry of Fuel & Power

BIOS Target No. C 30/1.19(c)

Organisation of WIFO


Keywords: Herr Plote appeared an intelligent man and appeared to have a good, if somewhat limited, knowledge of the organisation and supplied quite a wealth of information on the whole concern; WIFO Headquarters Berlin; Herr Plote aged 37 andf traioned as a mechanical engineer; WIFO = Wirtschaftliche Forschungsgesellschaft m.b.H. was founded in 1934 with capital of RM. 100,000, the capital being jointly subscribed by the I.G.Farben one part and the Government four parts. The original object was to store petroleum products and to manufacture nitric acid. Later in 1934 the capital was increased to 100,00,00 all held by the Governement, the object then being to store all military and economic reserves, particularly petroleum products, both for the Wehrmacht and industry, and to manufacture certain chemicals (apparently these were the main chemicals required  for explosives; The management of the concern was directed by a board of directors and five main departments. The General Director was Franz Wehling, deputy General Director Friedrich Frey with Hans Attig, Albert Henne and Prankel to complete the board; Norbert Hartung - Stock Supervision - Gembalski Buying and Selling - Dipl.Ing. Jogun - Technical Works Supervisor - Dr.Ing. Kiemstedt Chemical Quality Supervisor; Air Force (GAF) Fuels & Lubricants; Quantities and dispositions - Hartung Minsitry Ahrens; Frontline supply and recalls - Hartung Ministry Baum; Quality control - Dr. Kiemstedt Ministry Dr. Beyer; New Construction and Extensions of plants - Levsen Ministry Dr. Nocker - Frigate Capt. (OKW) Griebel; Army Fuels and Lubricants: Qualities and disposition WIFO Heynold until beginning 1944; Frontline supply and recalls WIFO Hartung Norkus from beginning 1944; Quality control WIFO Dr. Kiemstedt Ministry Dr. Hagemann - Dr. K.O. Müller; New Construction and Extensions of Plants WIFO Plote and Heynold until beginning 1944 WIFO Levsen    Norkus from beginning 1944; Before the war WIFO was concerned mainly with buying aviation, army and industrial products for reserve storage. For example, in 1935 to 1936 WIFO bought aviation products direct from U.S.A. (from Standard Oil Co. of New Jersy, in which transactionsn the Deutsch-Amerikanische Petroleum Gesellschaft were intimately connected) and from Mexico. These products were transferred to the WIFO depots. Later they bought direct from Roumania via Astra, Romano Americana and Creditul Minier. Subsequently, as other countries were over-run WIFO (in Paris 1940) purchased stocks and products from French Companies, undertyook constructual perairs to refineries and arranged manufacture: the French WIFO organisation was practically independent of the WIFO H.Q. Berlin, Much the same type of organisation existed in other occupied countries. Z.B. = Zentral Büro für Mineralöl; WIFO tended to by-pass the Z.B. and purchased direct from refineries, producers of synthetic products and coal tar manufacturers; ... Plote alleged that all Ethyl Flüid plants were constructed and owned by WIFO;  The oil storage and blending installations were divided into four classes, namely Grosslager or Hauptlager - large installations dealing mainly with products for the Luftwaffe and to a smaller extent with Army supplies - Heereslager or Heerestanklager - being as the name suggest depots concerned solely with Army products ... Grosstanklager code-names: Derben Camouflage name Löwenberg ..  München = Münchberg .. Stassfurt = Bela .. Heerestanklager Amstetten = Ammenau ..Heiligenstadt = Heiligau .. Lufttanklager Annaburg = Elbtal .. Dülmen = Westtal ..Marinelager Einswarden .. ; Disruption WIFO .. ; WIFO France Places in which in 1940 Heereslager were set up in France .. Paris .. Honfleur .. Cherbourg .. Rennes ..Tankholzlager .. As is well known the Germans relied to a considerable extent on the use of producer gas generators for operation of internal road transport. Whereas civilian transport had to make do with coal, coke, anthracits etc. .. ; Pipe Lines .. It is probably already known that pipes lines were used by the Germans for transportation of their petroleum supplies ...  Ploesti to Guirgui - Raudnitz (Roudnici to Vienna (300 mm diam. 1940) .. Neusiedl to Vienna .. Stassfurt to Güssen .. Farge to Osterholz .. Five pipe lines across the Rhine; Natural Gas Lines Bentheim to Hülz .. Langensalza ? Rumanian gas lines .. Of the above projects probably the most interesting is the five pipe lines across the Rhine, as it would appear that this is the first intimation that has been obtained of their existence. It is known that three of these were completed .. T-Stoff were all called Sonderstoff .... ; Bomb damage to Oil Installations; Geilenberg Programme; The WIFO organisation appears to have been one of the most important of the State organisations connected with the prossecution of the war.  .. The fact that it would appear that only trusted Nazi party members were allowed to hold executive office indicates that its activities may not be above suspicion 



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