His subordinate at Ypres, General Berthold von Deimling, wrote, “I must confess that the commission for poisoning the enemy, just as one poisons rats, struck me as it must any straightforward soldier: It was repulsive to me.” But he followed Falkenhayn’s order nonetheless. Haber oversaw the release of the phosgene himself.
After the gas attack, Haber’s wife Clara was horrified. She was also a brilliant chemist, the first woman to attain a PhD in chemistry from the University of Breslau. But after marrying Haber, Clara’s career was saddled with the responsibilities of homemaker and later, mother. She tried to continue her research and speaking engagements, but was angered to discover audiences thought Haber had written her speeches for her. Clara also resented Haber’s frequent travel and philandering.