Expulsion, compensation, and the legacy of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society
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This article examines the treatment accorded by the Max Planck Society to scientists who were dismissed from the Kaiser Wilhelm Society during the years of National Socialism, 1933–1945. Legal claims for compensation reveal a lack of understanding between the majority of German scientists and their persecuted colleagues after 1945. In respect to the Max Planck Society, they also reveal a lack of willingness to accept moral responsibility.
KeywordsMoral Responsibility German Science Kaiser Wilhelm Institute Kaiser Wilhelm Society Free Democratic Party
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This is a revised and extended version of a talk given at the 27th Annual German Studies Association Conference in New Orleans, 18–21 September 2003. The author wishes to thank Mark Walker, and the referees and Editor of Minerva for their assistance. The Max Planck Society sponsored this investigation in the course of its Research Programme on the ‘History of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society in the National Socialist Era’. The author expresses his thanks to the members of the Research Programme.