Nazi Science: Myth, Truth, and the German Atomic Bomb

Nazi Science: Myth, Truth, and the German Atomic Bomb

Nazi Science: Myth, Truth, and the German Atomic Bomb

Nazi Science: Myth, Truth, and the German Atomic Bomb

Synopsis

In this book, Mark Walker - a historical scholar of Nazi science - brings to light the overwhelming impact of Hitler's regime on science and, ultimately, on the pursuit of the German atomic bomb. Walker meticulously draws on hundreds of original documents to examine the role of German scientists in the rise and fall of the Third Reich. He investigates whether most German scientists during Hitler's regime enthusiastically embraced the tenets of National Socialism or cooperated in a Faustian pact for financial support, which contributed to National Socialism's running rampant and culminated in the rape of Europe and the genocide of millions of Jews. This work unravels the myths and controversies surrounding Hitler's atomic bomb project. It provides a look at what surprisingly turned out to be an Achilles' heel for Hitler - the misuse of science and scientists in the service of the Third Reich.

Excerpt

Was there a peculiarly "Nazi science"? Were there uniquely "Nazi scientists"? These questions are deceptively simple. Even the term "Nazi" is frustratingly difficult to define. a minority of Germans, including National Socialist leaders like Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Josef Goebbels, were certainly "Nazis." An even smaller group, including the small circle of Army officers, churchmen, and aristocrats who tried and failed to assassinate Hitler in 1944, certainly resisted National Socialism. But the conduct and conviction of tens of millions of other Germans were not so clear cut. There is no simple definition for the term "Nazi." Mere membership in the National Socialist German Workers Party does not suffice: there are many examples of party members who opposed Hitler's murderous policies and f non-members who actively supported them. Instead, individual Germans have to be examined and judged on a case-by-case basis, and different observers may come to different conclusions.

It is important to distinguish between the minority of scientists who happened to be followers of Adolf Hitler and supporters . . .

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