KWS President Albert Vögler commits suicide

1945

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Photo: At the end of World War II, many of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes were heavily damaged, like the KWI for Protein and Leather Research in Dresden, Archives of the Max Planck Society.
Photo: At the end of World War II, many of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes were heavily damaged, like the KWI for Protein and Leather Research in Dresden, Archives of the Max Planck Society.

KWS President Albert Vögler committed suicide in April 1945 faced with the imminent arrival of the American troops and the collapse of the Third Reich. The crisis of leadership was also reflected in the general breakdown of the KWS at the end of the war: many Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes in Eastern Europe had been lost through the course of warfare. The approaching Allied armies occupied certain institutes that had remained at their original locations. Others had been destroyed, fully or partially, or temporarily relocated, and their workforce decimated. Despite the chaos, the few staff members who remained tried to keep the work going. Following Germany’s capitulation in May 1945, the Allies began to reorganize the German research system.

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