Grünenthal kept on receiving reports about different kinds of damage caused by Thalidomide. Some of those reports now also included damage to newborns and children.
Still, when confronted with questions about possible harmful side effects to children, Grünenthal denied having any knowledge. On January 17, 1961 Grünenthal’s Dr. Günther Sievers for example responded to a pharmacist in Sudern (a small town in North Rhine-Westphalia), who had inquired about damage to children. Sievers wrote: “We specifically would like to emphasize that until today not the slightest damage to a child or a juvenile after the intake of Contergan juice came to be known.”
In Germany Thalidomide had been given the nickname “Contergan-Saft” (“Contergan juice”) after the drug had become very popular for use on children. Sometimes Thalidomide was also referred to as “Cinema juice” (“Kinosaft”). Parents often gave it to their children to make seem sleepy before they went out in the evening.
Source: Anklageschrift (indictment) from 1967, today archived at the National Archives of North Rhine-Westphalia in Duisburg, Germany (Rheinland Division, Gerichte Rep. 139, No. 1–396), p. 134.