AUTHORHentschel, Klaus
TITLEThe Mental Aftermath: The Mentality of German Physicists 1945-1949
PUBLISHEROxford University Press
CITYOxford, England
DATE PUBLISHED2007
ISBN978-0-19-920566-0


This book evaluates the mentality of German physicists between the end of World War II in 1945 and the founding of the two German republics in 1949, a time of swift and significant change. The book begins by establishing the theoretical framework for the discussion, defining "mentality" as the collective expectations, perceptions, and attitudes of a group of people within a particular social and historical context. The book attempts to isolate the characteristics that define the mentality of German physicists during the postwar years, focusing on a group of physicists (both famous and lesser-known) rather than any one physicist in particular. The author identifies several shared perspectives among the physicists, ranging from a sense of isolation over the fragmentation of Germany to a new awareness of a scientist’s responsibility. The book draws heavily from a German journal called Physikalische Blätter, which served as a forum for physicists during the time period under consideration. The book includes a series of images and figures, a list of abbreviations, a list of the archival collections used, and an index of people referenced in the text.


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