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The Mental AftermathThe Mentality of German Physicists 1945-1949$
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Klaus Hentschel

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199205660

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199205660.001.0001

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Self-Justification And The Guilt Issue

Self-Justification And The Guilt Issue

(p.116) 10 Self-Justification And The Guilt Issue
The Mental Aftermath


Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the guilt issue and some justifications physicists put forward in defence of having collaborated with a criminal regime. An outline of the official degrees of complicity with the Nazis is followed by a discussion of the feasibility of resistance, the alleged intention of some physicists to harness the war machine to scientific research, and the polemics about the Uranverein compared to the American atomic bomb program. Fear of punishment prevented public admission of guilt in post war Germany.

Keywords:   guilt, collaboration, resistance, atomic bomb, Uranverein, post war Germany

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