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The physicists who worked under Hitler

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Many meant well, but it didn’t work: (“Werner Heisenberg thought that once Germany had won, the ‘good Germans’ would get rid of the Nazis.”)

Why should we be interested in this now? There is a lesson to be learned. Before a fanatic regime came to power, Germany had the greatest scientific establishment ever created. In a very few years it evaporated. The ambience for doing science is fragile. I have colleagues in Pakistan who are informed that all true science can be found only in the Quran. China has spent fortunes creating a class of scientists, but not one truly revolutionary discovery in any science has come from China. Revolutionary science thrives on dissent. Without it, science becomes mundane. (paywall, but it may be lifted later)

Of course their idealism wouldn’t work out. But then physicists are not always noted for their personal survival skills.

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23 Replies to “The physicists who worked under Hitler

  1. 1
    awstar says:

    I have colleagues in Pakistan who are informed that all true science can be found only in the Quran.

    Perhaps they could arrange a conference with all their overseers and only devote Darwinists attending. It might lead to some wonderful breakthroughs.

  2. 2
    News says:

    Yes. In an alternate universe, they could both lose. 😉

  3. 3
    hrun0815 says:

    Throw in the guys who believe that scientific truths can be found in the bible as well it’ll be a jolly good time.

  4. 4
    awstar says:

    hrun0815 at #3

    Throw in the guys who believe that scientific truths can be found in the bible as well it’ll be a jolly good time.

    No need to include Bible believing Christians in such a conference. They already seem to know how to find us.

    http://www.statista.com/statis.....worldwide/

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    Apparently, some Germans, who were not scientists, did not swallow the Nazi party evil propaganda at all. Scientific knowledge doesn’t help to tell right from wrong.

    During the time of national socialism he adopted the uncompromising position of the German Confessing Church against the influence of the Third Reich on the life of the Church.[6] As an active member of this opposition to government-sponsored efforts to nazify the German Protestant church, he proclaimed his faith openly and ignored orders to refrain from teaching the Bible—which earned him several arrests and lengthy jail confinements. Even under the Nazis, Pastor Busch managed to attract attendances of two to three hundred boys at his scripture lessons. He was holding Bible study meetings in private houses, in basements, and in the open air. His son never attended the meetings of the Hitler Youth though this was required by law.[7] On one occasion in 1937 he was arrested right after evangelising in the church of St. Paul in Darmstadt due to Nazi authorities feeling upset over the capability of the Christian movement to attract the attention of the general public with Biblical messages and counter their own aspirations to control the masses. During the sermon, state officials tried to avoid a public uproar in the crowded Church and let him preach. After being captured, an SS commissioner presented him official orders expelling him from the territory of Hessen. As he refused to accept due to his commitment to perform Biblical work among people as a pastor, he was immediately taken into custody.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W.....h_(pastor)

    Apart from his theological writings, Bonhoeffer was known for his staunch resistance to the Nazi dictatorship, including vocal opposition to Hitler’s euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews.[2] He was arrested in April 1943 by the Gestapo and imprisoned at Tegel prison for one and a half years. Later he was transferred to a Nazi concentration camp. After being allegedly associated with the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, he was briefly tried, along with other accused plotters, including former members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office), and then executed by hanging on 9 April 1945 as the Nazi regime collapsed, just two weeks before Allied forces liberated the camp and three weeks before Hitler’s suicide.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietrich_Bonhoeffer

    The White Rose (German: die Weiße Rose) was a non-violent, intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany, consisting of students from the University of Munich and their philosophy professor. The group became known for an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign, lasting from June 1942 until February 1943, that called for active opposition to dictator Adolf Hitler’s regime.
    The six most recognized members of the German resistance group were arrested by the Gestapo, tried for treason and beheaded in 1943. The text of their sixth leaflet was smuggled by Helmuth James Graf von Moltke out of Germany through Scandinavia to the United Kingdom, and in July, 1943, copies of it were dropped over Germany by Allied planes, retitled “The Manifesto of the Students of Munich.”[1]
    Another member, Hans Conrad Leipelt, who helped distribute Leaflet 6 in Hamburg, was executed on January 29, 1945, for his participation.
    Today, the members of the White Rose are honoured in Germany amongst its greatest heroes, since they opposed the Third Reich in the face of almost certain death.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Rose

  6. 6
    rvb8 says:

    I’m confused. Is this a post purporting to enlighten us upon the achievements of 2014 by pointing out physicists can make bad decisions? Or, is this a post pointing us in the direction of the latest DI scientific breakthroughs? Or, really strangely, is this retrospective non-News?

  7. 7
    Mapou says:

    hrun0815:

    Throw in the guys who believe that scientific truths can be found in the bible as well it’ll be a jolly good time.

    Well, I suggest you get ready for the surprise of your life. There is indeed revolutionary science hidden in metaphorical (i.e., occult) passages contained in certain books of the Bible. Just saying.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    News,

    College profs are not noted for street smarts and linked survival skills on the whole. In the case of Nazism, many had lost their spiritual moorings and utterly failed to understand radical, demonic evil.

    The White Rose movement and other groups did, but paid a bitter price.

    And the ghost of Heine was there, shaking his head all along:

    Christianity — and that is its greatest merit — has somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the cross, be shattered [–> the Swastika, visually, is a twisted, broken cross . . .], the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame. …

    The old stone gods will then rise from long ruins and rub the dust of a thousand years from their eyes, and Thor will leap to life with his giant hammer and smash the Gothic cathedrals. …

    … Do not smile at my advice — the advice of a dreamer who warns you against Kantians, Fichteans, and philosophers of nature. Do not smile at the visionary who anticipates the same revolution in the realm of the visible as has taken place in the spiritual. Thought precedes action as lightning precedes thunder. German thunder … comes rolling somewhat slowly, but … its crash … will be unlike anything before in the history of the world. …

    At that uproar the eagles of the air will drop dead [–> cf. air warfare, symbol of the USA], and lions in farthest Africa [–> the lion is a key symbol of Britain, cf. also the North African campaigns] will draw in their tails and slink away. … A play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll. [ Religion and Philosophy in Germany, 1831]

    Yes, someone saw it coming a full century ahead of time.

    And still, they were caught by surprise.

    For shame, so prone are we to be enmeshed in the tangling chains and confusions of a Plato’s Cave and its beguiling shadow-shows.

    I suggest, with all due respect, that our civilisation as a whole is coming to a very similar point, indeed I think we have already passed a watershed and have been increasingly entrenching gross evil in law under false colours of rights.

    If you doubt me, just start with abortion statistics over the past 40 or so years. Look at the excuses offered to “justify” such. Then look at ever so many other facets of our world.

    Schaeffer and Koop were right.

    We should be deeply ashamed:

    Isa 5:18 Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood,
    who draw sin as with cart ropes,
    19 who say: “Let him be quick,
    let him speed his work
    that we may see it;
    let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near,
    and let it come, that we may know it!”
    20 Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
    who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
    who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!
    21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!

    22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
    and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
    23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
    and deprive the innocent of his right!

    And, that is a sobering new year’s warning from a book so many so obviously utterly despise without good reason.

    KF

    PS: I suggest to such despisers that here on may be of help.

  9. 9
    Robert Byers says:

    Germany did not have the greatest scientific community.
    The Anglo american world did and still does.
    Prove Germany was better or smarter.
    Germany did do a lot of stuff but mostly AFTER the Nazi’s came to power. rocket science, helicopters, jets, weapons etc etc.
    Yet it still was contributions behind ours.
    German science got better after the nazi’;s and not better before them.
    Just score accomplishments.
    very little , relative, ever came out of germany anyways. its a post WW11 myth to discredit them getting rid of the Jews.
    Evil and smarts are not related very much.
    Every James bond shows that.
    Hitler/Nazism was evil but it was the best thing, intellectually and culturally to ever happen to Germans.
    Germany today is a great nation because of the aggression of nazism. Likewise italy and japan.
    They were murderers all but all aggressive nations/empires always beat the others in raising standrads of living for THEIR people.

    We are different because we show without evil or aggression we can do well and better then others.
    Nope. Nazism raised intellectual scientific standards in Germany even while oppression the jews and other who were engaged in science.
    anyways they only get a B. Anglo american civilization got a A or A+.
    Why is no one standing up for US as top dog!!
    hmmmm!

  10. 10
    Mark Frank says:

    Robert Byers

    Germany did not have the greatest scientific community.

    Einstein, Heisenberg, Born, Ehrlich. You might want to think again about that.

  11. 11
    Dionisio says:

    #8 kairosfocus

    Very interesting reminder. Thank you.

  12. 12
    Axel says:

    @ 10 Mark Frank

    Also, Planck, the discoverer of QM, no less; literally the ultimate paradigm.

  13. 13
    Mark Frank says:

    #12 Axel

    Yes – and that’s just the ones that occurred to me without doing any research.

  14. 14
    Axel says:

    ‘Germany today is a great nation because of the aggression of nazism. Likewise italy and japan.’

    That is not the case, Robert. The Germans were always a very strong and resourceful people, and had been steadily building up their industry before WWI, then had to pay the punitive reparations – while the British economy has actually been in decline for some 200 years now – difficult as that is to credit. Though our imperial parasitism had evidently helped it enormously.

    Part of the reason for Germany’s resurgence, after WWII, was, as is often stated, the renewal and modernisation of its industrial infrastructure.

    However, one significant factor you will not read about is that the German people were uniquely a SHRIVEN people. Christianity, at least its tithing, was enforced upon the populace, who were probably no wiser as to the real villains of the piece, namely, the industrialists and the monied classes, always the villains, who eased Hitler’s ascent to power.

    All the rest of Europe, as well as the US (itself, immemorially crypto-fascist), posed as good guys who hats were whiter than white, and had won the war, when of cuse it was the Russians who did the ‘heavy lifting’, losing more troops just in Kursk and neighbouring Pokhorovka than the Allies did in the whole of the war. Probably, including the Far-East theatre.

    The reality is that the Anglophones globally, as well as the Europeans, worshipped fascism before the war. Even Lloyd George, towards the end of his career, admittedly, touted Mussolini as a great leader. Don’t laugh.., Churchill, that Mussolini was the greatest leader. These little snippets appear now and again in the right-wing UK tabloid, the Daily Mail, whose owner, Harmsworth had eulogised Mussolini and ‘Mr Hitler’ on its front pages with fanatical enthusiasm.

    So, while the rest of the world’s leaders and to some extent their peoples have grown old in their sins, Germany, with admirable industrial relations, thrived enormously after the war – even winning multiple World Cups, not including the one against us, when the Russian linesman (don’t laugh, specially chosen) said just one word, ‘Stalingrad’, when ‘confirming’ the last British goal – which, in fact, hadn’t crossed the line.

    It is arguable that the necessitating of the country’s reconstruction after WWII, due to Hitler and the Nazis, contributed indirectly, and at a terrible price, to its subsequent, peace-time rise to economic hegemony in Europe, but I have the impression that it would have prospered just as much, at a minuscule fraction of the cost, without WWII.

    So, in a word, God has smiled on them as a shriven and more godly people, while we have continued to degenerate.

    As for Japan. It’s resurgence stronger than ever, is largely down to two men: MacArthur and a US business consultant, W Edwards Deming.

    Deming told them it was nonsense that they could only copy, and that cooperation was better than competition (an impossible message for the US, Deming realised) and that they should never be satisfied that a product or process could not be improved.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming

    https://www.deming.org/theman/theories/fourteenpoints

    MacArthur reduced the remuneration ratio of the CEOs of large companies to their entry-level workers, to an incredible 12:1. Or some such figure, believe. Of course, it was meant as a punishment to the top people, but what a boon it must have been to the companies.

    Of course, it’s been going on in the opposite direction in the US and its minions in Europe, with the result that the prospect of an unparalleled economic catastrophe seems unavoidable.

    Italy is the doyen of Christian civilisations, and produced Galileo, who would have become a priest, if his father had not been powerful enough to prevent him; also, of course, a lot of gifted people in many spheres, being supreme creators of style.

    It’s true, England and Scotland, in particular, in the British Isles, also produced some top scientists as well as great engineers. However, I think that was possible because, as empires go, ours was relatively benign; even if American philosopher, George Santayana’s lyrical encomium s a bit ‘over the top, even in terms of its day:

    ‘For more than 200 years, Britain’s empire was a source of passionate national pride, and also the admiration and envy of foreigners.

    In 1922, the American philosopher George Santayana enthused: ‘Never since the days of heroic Greece has the world had such a sweet, just, boyish master. It will be a black day for the human race when scientific blackguards, churls and fanatics manage to supplant him.’

    In the letter, below, he rates the Romans more highly, as they worked for the good of the country they were occupying.

    Belgium had an empire of sorts, but while the saying that it produced no famous person is a mendacious slur, you wouldn’t say that the wickedness of empire had produced many great Belgian scientists, though one might attribute such greatness to Georges Lemaitre for his postulation of the Big Bang.

    So, I think you’re plum wrong, Robert. When the wickedness of a nation exceeds a certain threshold, as did Germany in WWII, it thwarts its development.

    As far as the USA providing the best scientists, Robert, BA77 regularly touted it as the ‘top dog’, but it was pointed out to him that most were already highly-successful European immigrants.

  15. 15
    Andre says:

    Zachriel

    Right, I forgot to split the primary from the other little just so stories and that means I’ve lost the argument right?

    Darwin did publish some biology papers but not what you think they are….. Secondly his peer reviewed work was mostly Geology.

    Origins, and Descent of man was NEVER peer reviewed get it?

  16. 16
    Andre says:

    Zachriel

    Here is his work on Orchids…..

    http://darwin-online.org.uk/co.....;pageseq=1

    Take note of how Darwin’s set’s you up with his belief as he introduces you to his work….. Belief…….. Think about it; To believe means to have what? Faith! That’s right!

    So the crazy old coot sets his audience up nicely when he says;

    “In my volume ‘On the Origin of Species’ I gave only general reasons for the belief that it is an almost universal law of nature that the higher organic beings require an occasional cross with another individual;”

    So he believes it is an almost universal law….. Sounds convincing right!

    Then he tells you in this paper at least 16 times how probable it is! When you’re done reading this tripe, and you have a feeble mind you will be convinced.

    Darwin is a racist, plagiarizing and angry old coot! He sure suckered you that’s for sure!

  17. 17
    Zachriel says:

    Andre: I forgot to split the primary from the other little just so stories and that means I’ve lost the argument right?

    It means you were wrong when you said that *none* of Darwin’s scientific work was peer reviewed.

    Andre: Darwin did publish some biology papers but not what you think they are…..

    We’re familiar with Darwin’s scientific work, which included everything from orchids to barnacles to earthworms.

    Andre: Secondly his peer reviewed work was mostly Geology.

    That is incorrect. While he published some important work in geology, mostly to do with his voyages, his primary output was in biology.

    Andre: Origins, and Descent of man was NEVER peer reviewed get it?

    No, but his theory of evolution was presented to the Linnean Society before either of those popular books were published.

    More important, his theory revolutionized biology, unified a broad span of observations, and spawned entire new fields of research.

  18. 18
    Dionisio says:

    Scientific knowledge does not help and is not required in order to tell right from wrong.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-540516

    We need strong science in order to understand nature and make it work for us.

  19. 19
    Dionisio says:

    #14 Axle

    Very interesting commentary. Thank you.

  20. 20
    Robert Byers says:

    Mark Franck.
    No. Come on. If your gonna score then score it right. a few cats is meaningless to a civilization. i insist that anglo american civilization is the creater, even by the 1930’s of 80% of anything called science/innovation or anything intelligent in human intellectual progress.
    the germans were a very poor runner up.
    your scoring a few, almost entirely theoretical things like physics, and missing the glory of human accomplishment in hundreds of disciplines.
    No offence to Germans/German citizens before the WW11 but its just a few things they got a few people the top prize. Germany was a late comer and a short list of cool accomplishments.
    in fact it was claimed here that removing a few people changed everything.
    A few people is a few people.
    Germany was probably behind FRance and certainly behind us.
    In fact the Kaiser said as much and Hitler knew it. He blamed Jewish interference for why they lagged behind. that was his point.

    Saying Germany was top dog is based on trivial advancements in a few things.
    These things can be scored.
    Yes Nazism was evil but no it didn’t hurt WW11 german effiorts or later.
    surely it got better in many things. The war brought many new cool things.
    not a previous peace.

  21. 21
    Robert Byers says:

    Axel.
    i disagree with all you wrote .
    The motivation of mankind is the origin of mankinds advancement.
    Good or evil civilizations did all the advancement in history.
    Yes i think evil interferes with progress because god does not bless them relative to if they were good. i think anglo american civilization being good was a reason for being dominant in intellectual results.
    yet the rise of nationalism for all three Axis powers did raise those people out of their inferiority.
    It raised the common man even if just by putting him in armies.
    these nations today are better then those they , wickedly, invaded and murdered.
    WW11 in fact raised all of europe by showing how a aggressive nation can make a richer society.
    All three are rich today because of this heritage. nOt because of business as usual.
    whether someone is evil or good matters less then if they are on the make.
    Nations or individuals. Nations just are collections of individuals.
    The leaders told their people to believe in themselves and believe they were better then others.
    Evil and wrong but it will successfully motivate.
    we became the best while remaining good but no one was more motivated then anglo american peoples.
    We created North america. they created south america.
    you can score it.

  22. 22
    Axel says:

    Robert, I don’t mean to be mean, but you are extremely benighted. Really extremely. Technological progress is not, ipso facto, either a societal virtue or its achievement a personal virtue, and an aptitude for it, whether national or personal, should never be confused with Christian virtue.

    The worldly, analytical intelligence, which is temporary is immeasurably INFERIOR to the spiritual wisdom, the eternal unitive intelligence, of those who, generally, do not have a high worldy intelligence. Indeed, it is a difference in kind. Aldous Huxley’s prophetic novel, Brave New World, is predicated on his insight as to where such a gross misapprehension must inevitably lead, unless based on religious, especially Christian, values.

    In practical terms, this means using the worldly intelligence to rescue the more endemically spiritual poorer folk from the enemies of both, the unregenerate worldly-wise, above all, literally, those who constitute the ‘deep state’, the Establishment, in whose pay all our politicians in the UK and US luxuriate, notwithstanding the immanent flim-flam about democracy their wholly-owned media peddle.

    Christ was made sin on the cross, as the false son of David, Absalom, both hanging suspended from the ‘branches’ of a tree, as the cross is sometimes called, between heaven and earth; Jesus’ donkey reminiscent of the one Absalom had been riding. The soldier, Joab, despatched him with three darts, reminding me, personally, of the rivulet of blood in the form of a figure three on Jesus’ forehead, visible on the Shroud of Turin, and of course, the Holy Trinity.

    In reality, world politics has made it clear that Jesus was the true Son of David – prefigured by Solomon, himself called the Messiah – the Son of Man, ‘taken from among the people’. Father and Son, David and Solomon, the spiritually wise and the enlightened worldly-wise. Solomon as ‘the eternal student!

    When Jesus was found as a youngster in the Temple discussing the Law with the teachers, his reply to his worried parents : ‘Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business’, also foreshadowed by following his earthly father’s trade, again suggests his close identification with his Father’s interests.

    I also noticed in another thread, Robert, that you made a benighted, racist remark and then sought to deny any ill intent by saying that it was a joke. That – trivialising a diabolical racism with jocularity – actually makes it infinitely worse. Every race on earth consists of human beings made in the image of God, and more than that, ‘other Christs’.

    As a matter of fact, ethnic European are generally the most simian in our appearance, with thin lips and a hair body; other such features as well, which I can’t now remember. But the point is that physical appearances are God-given, and comparing any ethnic group’s appearance with any animals by way of disparagement could not be less Christian. You’ve a lot of learning to do about the faith, over and above what all of us need, Robert.

  23. 23
    Robert Byers says:

    Axel
    I deny your accusation. I never say anything malicious about anybody. I know not what you talk about anyways. I don’t need to know. its impossible.
    I always am proud of what i say and careful as I get punished falsely a lot.
    You make a FALSE ACCUSATION and had no need to make it here.
    Why do you judge my Christian morality?
    Your just mad because I made better points then yours on this thread.
    I make intelligent, i think, comments and someone like you most falsely accuses me of what is serious in the world and on chatlines..
    Keep it to your self or take me to court.
    I DENY YOUR accusation has any merit and sadly reflects on you in inteligence OR integrity.
    I willing to be judged by my words and I give my real name.
    Peace .

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