3c2009Nazi_2 - Science and Technology in the 20th Century...

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1 Science and Technology in the 20 th Century History 3c, Fall 2009 Week 5: Science under National Socialism Lecture 10: The German Nuclear Project and the V2 missiles Soraya de Chadarevian Outline 1. Brief recap 2. The German nuclear project 3. The German guided missile project 4. The postwar fate of Nazi science 1. Brief recap Nazi regime as polycratic Technocracy; symbiotic relationship with science and technology, collusion of interests; aided by ideology of the purity of science entgrenzte Wissenschaft (human experimentation on concentration camp inmates) and grey areas study of other projects will sharpen our understanding of role of science in Nazi regime and the challenges this poses to our understanding of science 2. The German nuclear project Allies convinced that Nazi would be aiming to build atomic weapons emigr é scientists instrumental in promoting this view also message captured by Bohr from Heisenberg in September 1941 (see Frayn) Germans continued research on nuclear energy but did not develop it into a weapon project Decision not to pursue the bomb project taken in early 1942 Nuclear energy continued but at low priority Uranium machine (for power production but could also be used for plutonium production) rational decision British and American Intelligence experts of the ALSOS team dismantle the German experimental reactor at Haigerloch in May 1945. Debate if scientists knowingly deceived regime Heisenberg s role in center of debate polemic vs apologetic thesis Goudsmit, Rose and Cassidy vs Jungk and Powers accusation of incompetence Early proponents of two interpretations later in their lives changed their views to the opposite Goudsmit sees Heisenberg as a great physicist, a courageous person who was attacked by fanatical colleagues; a victim of Nazi regime Jungk calls passive resistance of German physicists a myth
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2 Farm Hall recordings show that German physicists were genuinely surprised at news of Hiroshima Caravan of scientists leave Heidelberg's Philosophenweg for internment. Outside Alsos mission's headquarters [photograph by Goudsmit]
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3c2009Nazi_2 - Science and Technology in the 20th Century...

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