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Where it all started

Tracking Max Planck Society's history in Berlin-Dahlem

Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of science and go on a journey in time through “Germany’s Oxford”, now the Dahlem Campus in Berlin.  Inform you about the former research institutes of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society (now the Max Planck Society) and about the people who made pioneering discoveries there. Only rarely over the course of history have so many Nobel Prize winners lived and worked in a world created for them. 

On your tour, you will experience the special atmosphere that characterises Dahlem and its campus to this day. You will travel through time and space, meet the past in the present, and gain a lively impression of outstanding achievements of modern research.

At Dahlem’s laboratories, scientists developed the entirely new research fields of Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Atomic and Particle Physics. Some of their findings were to change the world dramatically. This was the workplace of the likes of Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner, Werner Heisenberg and, briefly, Albert Einstein. Some of them even lived on campus. Their work is affecting us to the present day. Today, these historic buildings are still used by science, and you can still feel the special atmosphere of this campus. The Freie Universität and the Max Planck Society keep this tradition alive.

Accompany Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner as they discover nuclear fission and listen to the story of their unusual friendship that survived two world wars and a regime of terror.

Get to know Albert Einstein as a brilliant scientist, good friend and empathic physics teacher for the kids of Berlin.

Find out more about the “German nuclear bomb”. Discover which role the physicist Werner Heisenberg played in the bomb’s development during the Nazi period, and why it was never made.

Meet chemists Fritz Haber and Clara Immerwahr, who lived for their research and whose marriage ended in tragedy.

Get to know imperial court architect Ernst Eberhard von Ihne, and find out why the research institutes he designed look like mansions.

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