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Moving to England


Terrible feelings and Hitler is made Chancellor of Germany
Edward Teller Scientist
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All of us remember, remember with terrible feelings, what happened in January 1933. Hitler was made Chancellor of Germany. I think some of us suspected what is going to happen. I am remembering vividly a discussion of two of my friends, the physicist, Heitler and the more famous physicist, Pauli. It was in February 1933. Hitler has called for elections and there were fears what would happen. And what I heard in that discussion was- We have been both of us in Communist Russia. Dictatorship in Germany is something that just can't happen. We know what dictatorship is, it won't happen here. Those were, of course, critical days for all of us. I want to tell you what the first sign was that I saw of Hitler's dictatorship. On the advertising columns there had been advertisements about better knives or spoons, and equally advertisements about better and poorer candidates for the election. One day in February, all these advertisements disappeared and from then on, no advertisement was allowed unless it was approved by the government. I don't want to tell you the sad story of the burning of the Reichstag or the arrest of our communist representatives. Of Hitler taking over a government which had a majority only because the communists had been arrested. These are events which we all know.

The late Hungarian-American physicist Edward Teller helped to develop the atomic bomb and provided the theoretical framework for the hydrogen bomb. During his long and sometimes controversial career he was a staunch advocate of nuclear power and also of a strong defence policy, calling for the development of advanced thermonuclear weapons.

Listeners: John H. Nuckolls

John H. Nuckolls was Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1988 to 1994. He joined the Laboratory in 1955, 3 years after its establishment, with a masters degree in physics from Columbia. He rose to become the Laboratory's Associate Director for Physics before his appointment as Director in 1988.

Nuckolls, a laser fusion and nuclear weapons physicist, helped pioneer the use of computers to understand and simulate physics phenomena at extremes of temperature, density and short time scales. He is internationally recognised for his work in the development and control of nuclear explosions and as a pioneer in the development of laser fusion.

Duration: 3 minutes, 34 seconds

Date story recorded: June 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008