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In 1980, Elisabeth Heisenberg published a memoir in which she attempted to explain the complex actions of her late husband during the war. (He had died in 1976.) It was translated into English under the title “ Inner Exile. ” 161 “Inner exile,” was, she says, a status that her husband chose for himself. He had decided not to emigrate and he had no wish to become a martyr, so he remained in Germany making whatever compromises were necessary to survive and work.

The picture Elisabeth paints of her husband is, as one might imagine, unfailingly flattering. It is, however, a portrait in which things are often left out or distorted. One could cite any number of examples, but we will focus here on what she has to say about Heisenberg's war-time visits to several countries occupied by the Germans: “ A further duty Heisenberg felt bound to and thought to be important was to give scientific lectures as often as possible — either at native or foreign universities, but especially at the...

Keywords

Concentration Camp Polish Physicist Nazi Party High Voltage Device Extermination Camp 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

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