BUNA is an acronym formed from the two words BUtadiene and NAtrium (for sodium), denoting a method of polymerizing the chemical butadiene with the catalytic assistance of sodium to form artificial rubber. It was one of the methods used in wartime Germany to alleviate the rubber shortage due to the Allies’ blockade of continental Europe. A new factory slated to produce artificial rubber, among other chemicals, was in the process of being erected near the town of Monowitz close to Auschwitz. The location was favorable due to its proximity both to the rich Upper-Silesian coal reserves and to the rivers Sola and Vistula, which could provide large amounts of process water. The plant was operated by the I.G. Farbenindustrie Trust, but due to labor shortage – induced not the least due to the raging typhus epidemics at the Auschwitz Camp – and general disruptions due to Allied bombardments, the plant never reached the state of producing any butadiene, let alone artificial rubber. Still, the Monowitz chemical factory is sometimes referred to as the BUNA works or factory (Rudolf 2020, pp. 57-62).

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