AUTHORHentschel, Klaus
TITLEThe Mental Aftermath: The Mentality of German Physicists 1945-1949
PUBLISHEROxford University Press
CITYOxford, England

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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