Epilogue: Aftermaths

  • Jeremy Bernstein


Almost as soon as the Germans returned home, the debate began as to the nature and intent of their wartime activities. It still goes on. This Epilogue deals with this. First we present some excerpts from Bagge’s diaries. In addition to giving a window to their Farm Hall experience the diaries describe the first days after their return to Germany. Not long afterwards, Heisenberg and Goudsmit began a bitter debate over Heisenberg’s role during the war. That is also one of the aftermaths. Finally, there are von Laue’s own recollections. As we have often noted, he was the only one of these Germans whose moral courage one can truly admire. His recollections of Farm Hall as expressed in his letters to Paul Rosbaud, the equally courageous anti-Nazi who had remained in Germany and acted as a spy for the Allies, give a clear view of genesis the line adopted by the German nuclear scientists after the war. We begin with Bagge.


Nobel Prize Nuclear Weapon Heavy Water Atomic Bomb Moral Courage 
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  1. 39.
    At least…” There exists a tape recording of a lecture given by Goudsmit at Harvard on April 8, 1975, in which he quotes this exchange.Google Scholar
  2. 40.
    For a discussion of Heisenberg’s role in relation to Jungk’s book see Mark Walker, “Legends surrounding the German atomic bomb,” in Science, Medicine, and Cultural Imperialism, edited by Teresa Meade and Walker, (New York, 1991), pp. 178–204.Google Scholar
  3. 42.
    Prof. Dr. Max von Laue…” The photocopies of these letters were supplied to me by Arnold Kramish. In his book, The Griffin (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1986), Kramish gives a translation of these letters. He leaves a part of the second letter out and I have somewhat modified his translations.Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

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  • Jeremy Bernstein

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