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The walk from Cambridge to London


The Hahn Family - Judaism
Freeman Dyson Scientist
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They were not religious Jews, but they were, sort of, in a sense practising Jews in that they had their family seder which I was invited to, which to me was deeply impressive. And the general - just this tremendous coming and going of the family. And in addition to that, Lola, his mother, had adopted about 5000 Jewish kids who were without parents who came over from Europe. When the parents couldn't get out, there was an organisation that brought the Jewish children to England, and so there were huge numbers of these Jewish children who were essentially orphans, separated from their parents, and so her life was devoted to these kids. They all called her 'Tante Lola' and she would go around these camps where they were living and make sure everything was done right. She was a tremendous person.

Freeman Dyson (1923-2020), who was born in England, moved to Cornell University after graduating from Cambridge University with a BA in Mathematics. He subsequently became a professor and worked on nuclear reactors, solid state physics, ferromagnetism, astrophysics and biology. He published several books and, among other honours, was awarded the Heineman Prize and the Royal Society's Hughes Medal.

Listeners: Sam Schweber

Silvan Sam Schweber is the Koret Professor of the History of Ideas and Professor of Physics at Brandeis University, and a Faculty Associate in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. He is the author of a history of the development of quantum electro mechanics, "QED and the men who made it", and has recently completed a biography of Hans Bethe and the history of nuclear weapons development, "In the Shadow of the Bomb: Oppenheimer, Bethe, and the Moral Responsibility of the Scientist" (Princeton University Press, 2000).

Tags: Europe, Lola Warburg, Oscar Hahn, Kurt Hahn

Duration: 1 minute, 4 seconds

Date story recorded: June 1998

Date story went live: 24 January 2008