The German Physical Society and the Third Reich: physicists between autonomy and accommodation

Edited Book

The German Physical Society and the Third Reich: physicists between autonomy and accommodation

Dieter Hoffmann, Mark Walker

Summary

This is a history of one of the oldest and most important scientific societies, the German Physical Society, during the Nazi regime and immediate postwar period. When Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany in 1933, the Physical Society included prominent Jewish scientists as members, including Fritz Haber and Albert Einstein. As Jewish scientists lost their jobs and emigrated, the Society gradually lost members. In 1938, under pressure from the Nazi Ministry of Science, Education and Culture, the Society forced out the last of its Jewish colleagues. This action was just the most prominent example of the tension between accommodation and autonomy that characterized the challenges facing physicists in the Society. They strove to retain as much autonomy as possible, but tried to achieve this by accommodating themselves to Nazi policies, which culminated in the campaign by the Society's president to place physics in the service of the war effort.

Info

Publisher: 
Cambridge University Press
Year: 
2012
Language: 
English
ISBN: 
978-1-107-00684-3
Pages: 
458

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