Another factor was that anti-Semitism went hand in hand with anti-intellectualism. At one point Hitler declared that Germans were no longer to receive Nobel Prizes, a decree that Swedish officials flatly ignored. For conservative-minded Nazis, figures like Albert Einstein, with his physics that seemed esoteric and overly abstract, represented nonconformity.
Jewish Fugitives, the Atomic Bomb, and the Holocaust
Some decided that there were too many Jews in physics. Fraser points out that the Russian pogrom of the s led to an influx of Jews to Germany and as many as two million to the United States, the farthest extreme of the diaspora.
During the s the Nazis reflected on the consequence of such Russian history and began their persecution for the purpose of uprooting the roughly half-million Jews in their midst. In other words, they wanted to coerce Jews toward self-deportation. In April the regime imposed a purification of the civil service, ridding its ranks by fits and starts of non-Aryans.
In the first wave of persecution some 1, Jewish educators, scholars, and librarians were sidelined.
Droves more would follow. In fact, most Jews were not communists and many were fully assimilated Germans, some baptized into churches. For the Nazis, their war drive outpaced their plan for Jewish self-deportation. Consequently, the Nazis turned to genocide. Fraser argues that the logistics of the death camps made it impossible for Hitler to have enough administration left over for developing the atomic bomb.follow link
The Quantum Exodus by Gordon Fraser | Waterstones
The truth is the author is engaging in counterfactual history when he suggests that the Nazis failed to acquire the atomic bomb on account of being distracted by the death camps. The discovery of nuclear fission in December by the German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann, which was confirmed by others by the end of January , did indeed coincide with the downward spiral of the Holocaust.
But the firm ground is the story Fraser provides about the emigrant Jewish scientists who, after leaving fascist-controlled Europe, end up contributing to the Manhattan Project. Both Hahn and Strassmann, neither being Jewish, stayed in Germany during the duration of the war.
But their fission breakthrough was only first comprehended and then explained by the physicists Lise Meitner an Austrian Jew who had immigrated to Sweden and her nephew Otto Robert Frisch an Austrian Jew who had found research posts in Denmark and then Britain, and who would later move to America and work at Los Alamos. Lindsay marked it as to-read Apr 10, Rebecca marked it as to-read May 21, Brad marked it as to-read Jan 26, LPenting marked it as to-read Jan 25, Holly Mid. Lin Ding added it Oct 12, Salman Israr marked it as to-read Nov 13, Sandy marked it as to-read Dec 27, Gogeyi marked it as to-read Mar 26, Norah marked it as to-read Aug 29, Brenda Umana marked it as to-read Feb 27, Rivca marked it as to-read Aug 28, Elexndra marked it as to-read Jul 10, Kayla Pascoe marked it as to-read Jul 25, Bradley marked it as to-read Dec 24, Nathan marked it as to-read Feb 08, Emil Espe marked it as to-read May 15, Nitin CR added it Feb 02, David marked it as to-read Nov 08, Stephen Sipila marked it as to-read Dec 10, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Quantity Add to basket. This item has been added to your basket View basket Checkout. Your local Waterstones may have stock of this item. View other formats and editions. It was no accident that the Holocaust and the Atomic Bomb happened at the same time. When the Nazis came into power in , their initial objective was not to get rid of Jews.
Search All 1 Records in Our Collections
Rather, their aim was to refine German culture: Jewish professors and teachers at fine universities were sacked. Atomic science had attracted a lot of Jewish talent, and as Albert Einstein and other quantum exiles scattered, they realized that they held the key to a weapon of unimaginable power.
Convinced that their gentile counterparts in Germany had come to the same conclusion, and having witnessed what the Nazis were prepared to do, the exiles were afraid. They had to get to the Atomic Bomb first. The Nazis meanwhile had acquired a more pressing objective: their persecution of the Jews had evolved into extermination. Two dreadful projects - the Bomb and the Holocaust - became locked a grisly race.
A stimulating read, bringing forward some developments of the physics of the last years in their political, cultural and historical context. For young readers, the book is recommended because they will learn many historical facts that should not be forgotten.
Gorder Fraser shifts with ease from the innermost realms of nuclear physics to the migrations - and torments - of entire nations. Deep, difficult waters are explored without flinching. Added to basket. The Jewel House.
Between the lines
Deborah E. Jim Al-Khalili. God's Philosophers.