DIRECTORBaron, Saskia
TITLEScience and the Swastika: The Good German
DISTRIBUTORThe History Channel
ISBN0779252616
DATE PUBLISHED2002
RUNNING TIME55 minutes


This film questions the commonly held theory that the principal reason the Germans did not develop an atomic bomb during World War II was the moral objections of German scientists. In particular, the film examines the life and World War II experiences of Werner Heisenberg, the German physicist responsible for quantum mechanics, who was thought to be the man with the most knowledge of the atom at that time. According to the film, there was correspondence between Heisenberg and Niels Bohr in which Heisenberg attempted to recruit Bohr for the German research team. There is also evidence that Heisenberg's critical mass calculations were incorrect, and nothing indicates that the patriotic Heisenberg sabotaged the bomb project because he believed it was immoral. The film also addresses the detrimental effects the Nazi party had on university education and science from the early 1930s until the end of World War II.


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