Rare Book Profile: A Number of German Drugs, Their American Equivalents, and Chemical Synonyms

Sometimes odd and interesting things can be found in old books.  A Number of German Drugs, Their American Equivalents, and Chemical Synonyms, published by the American League for Defense of Jewish Rights in 1933, came to the Health Sciences Library in an anatomy textbook.

The American League for Defense of Jewish Rights was founded in early 1933 by lawyer Samuel Untermeyer to support a boycott of German goods protesting anti-Jewish policies and violence in Nazi Germany.  At the time, pharmaceuticals were one of Germany‘s major exports. While the league ultimately failed in its efforts to stop Nazi anti-Jewish activities, it substantially reduced German imports to the United States.

The cheaply printed 16 page pamphlet lays out the reason for the boycott and lists German-made products to be avoided.  Products made in America by German-owned companies were also to be boycotted.  Beside each item listed is the brand name or chemical name of an equivalent American-made product. This is followed by a list of German-made chemicals sometimes used by American pharmaceutical companies, and readers are advised to request that their pharmacy sell them only products made from non-German ingredients.  The pamphlet also contains a list of health resorts in throughout Europe and the United States as alternatives to famous and fashionable German spas.

A Number of German Drugs came to the library in another book, Applied Anatomy by Gwilym G. Davis (Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1924), as a gift from Michael J. Reiter.

Rare materials are available to individuals or groups by appointment on Wednesday mornings and Thursday afternoons, or at other times by arrangement. To schedule an appointment, contact Emily Epstein, emily.epstein@ucdenver.edu or 303-724-2119.

[Emily Epstein, Librarian]