Joseph Borkin, 67, a Washington lawyer, author and former government official who wrote extensively on legal and economic issues, died Thursday in his Chevy Chase home after a heart attack.
Mr. Borkin came to Washington during the New Deal. He worked on the staffs of the Senate Special Committee that investigated the munitions industry and the Federal Communications Commission before joining the Justice Department in 1938.
He was chief economist in charge of war materials in the Justice Department's antitrust division and an assistant to then-assistant attorney general Thumman Arnold. Mr. Borkin retired from the government in 1946 to enter private law practice in Washington.
In his book, "The Crime and Punishment of I.G. Farben," published in 1978, Mr. Borkin chronicled the story of Interessen Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie Aktiengesellschaft, the great German industrial trust.
This book, and an earlier one he wrote with Frank C. Waldrop, told how I.G. Farben strove to make it possible for Germany to wage war while cut off from supplies of raw materials.
The Farben answer was to develop synthetic fuels, rubber and other goods. It helped develop pharmaceutical products and did early work in plastics.
I.G. Farben purged Jewish scientists and directors from its midst and made extensive use of slave labor during World War II.
Mr. Borkin put all this in the context of German political and economic history, and explained in detail Farben's ties to corporations in the United States and the cofiscation of its assets here during World War II. Farben subsequently was charged with violations of U.S. antitrust laws and there was prolonged litigation about the disposition of its U.S. holdings after the war.
As a Justice Department attorney, Mr. Borkin guided the investigation in which the government indicted some of this country's largest corporations on charges of joining in agreements with foreign groups, including Farben, to divide markets, restrict production, and fix prices.
The Farben agreements, which extended to companies in Britain, France and other countries besides the United State, helped bring about wartime shortages of aluminum, nickel, tungsten carbide, magnesium and beryllium.(TABLE) and conflict of interest on the federal bench. His other writings included works on literature, antitrust law, the Indonesian language, and bigraphy, including studies of Sigmund Freud. At the time of his death, he was working on two more books, one on the political significance of certain antitrust cases and the other on "The Lawyers of Watergate," its title.(COLUMN)Mr. Borkin was affiliated with the Washington law firm of Lawler, Kent & Eisenberg, and had taught a course on professional ethics at Catholic University's law school.(COLUMN)He collected art, walked an average of five miles between home and work each day for more than 20 years, and once told a reporter who marveled at his command of international economics that "I hand all my money over to my wife. Otherwise, I would be broker that I am."(COLUMN)Mr. Borkin was born in New York City and earned bachelor's and master's degrees in economics at New York University and a law degree at National University Law School in Washington.(COLUMN)He served as chairman of several committees of the Federal Bar Association, and was commended by the organization in 1969 for his distinguished writing on public affairs. Mr. Borkin was a member of the American, D.C., and Virginia bar associations, the National Lawyers Club, the National Economists Club and the American Economic Association. He was the director of the Drew Pearson Foundation and a member of the National Press Club.(COLUMN)Survivors include his wife, Pauline, of the home; a son, Harvey, of Washington; a daughter, Alice Morganstern, of Long Island, N.Y., and four grandchildren.(COLUMN)The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Heart Association. (END TABLE) CAPTION: (TABLE) Picture, JOSEPH BORKIN (END TABLE)