Jewish scientists are dismissed from the Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes

1933

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Photo: Plaques for during the "Third Reich" displaced scientists at the MPI for Medical Research Heidelberg, Photographer: David Ausserhofer.
Photo: Plaques for during the "Third Reich" displaced scientists at the MPI for Medical Research Heidelberg, Photographer: David Ausserhofer.

Adolf Hitler was appointed Reich Chancellor in January 1933. Within the space of a few weeks, the Nazi Party – with broad-based support from the population at large – had transformed Germany into an anti-Semitic ‘Führer state’ which radically persecuted its opponents. The ‘Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service’ was passed in April 1933 as the basis for expelling staff members of Jewish descent from government agencies. A wave of dismissals began in the KWS after Max Planck’s audience with Hitler was unsuccessful. The KWS dismissed a total of 126 staff members, 104 of them scientists. Some were able to continue their careers abroad, others lost their livelihoods when they emigrated and failed to find their footing in their new country. Four of the expelled scientists were murdered in concentration camps.

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