A Short Introduction to this Volume
This volume opens with a personal perspective on the history of Cuba by Angelo Baracca. It is followed by a short critical bibliography by Duccio Basosi that gives an overview of historical studies on different periods of Cuban history.
KeywordsGerman Democratic Republic Early Nineteenth Century Socialist Country American Physic Society Personal Testimony
In 1996, the solid-state physicist and historian of science, Fernando Crespo Sigler of the University of Havana gave the decisive impulse for this project. The editors want to express their deep gratitude for his initiative and his considerable efforts for preparing the ground for this project. Unfortunately, his untimely death made it impossible to him to contribute as an author to this volume.
Angelo Baracca has spent long periods collaborating with members of the physics faculty of the University of Havana. Jointly with Cuban colleagues, he developed the research that has led to his contributions to this volume. He is deeply grateful for the openness, collaboration and friendly hospitality experienced during this time. The Department of Physics of the University of Florence has provided support for both the collaboration with the University of Havana and the with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin).
The reconstruction of the developments of physics in Cuba in the 1960s and 1970s had to rely, in large part, on oral history: it is impossible to mention and acknowledge all the Cuban colleagues who have kindly given interviews—not always formal—and who shared their personal recollections of the developments of Cuban physics and society.
Beyond the circle of the Cuban physicists, a specific acknowledgment goes to José Altshuler, President of the Sociedad Cubana de Historia de la Ciencia y de la Técnica, for the friendliness and professionalism throughout this collaboration as well as for his invaluable contribution to the translation into English of many of the papers. Work on the translations was also undertaken by Ernesto Altshuler, Birgit Kolboske, Roberto Días Martin, Brenda Porster and Elena Vigil Santos.
Alessandra Lorini and Duccio Basosi have provided important suggestions and advice concerning Cuban history and culture. Our thanks are also extended to Albert Presas y Puig who provided archive documents on the relation of Marcelo Alonso with Germany.
This volume would not have come into being without the ceaseless efforts of Lindy Divarci who coordinated the editorial work, revised the contributions and copyedited them with the help of Ross Fletcher, Sabine Kayser, Oona Leganovic, Barbara Lenk and Marius Schneider.