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October 17, 2017
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Could the Germans Have Built the Bomb?
Produced by: Neenah Ellis
More than half a century after the end of WWII,we?re still trying to answer a nagging historical question: Could Nazi Germany have built an atomic bomb? We know Germany was trying, and had their Nobel Prize winning physicist Werner Heisenberg leading the effort. But was the Third Reich scientifically capable of designing one? Physically capable of building one? Did they make a mathematical miscalculation? Or a political one? Producer Neenah Ellis allows us to be a fly on the wall of history, as she brings us the words of physicists on both sides of the bomb-race, including secretly recorded conversations of German physicists just after the war. It is a fascinating exploration one of the most controversial scientific, political, and moral issues of the 20th century.

Resources

Links:
Absence of A-bomb
Were the Nazis duped or simply dumb?

The Dangers of the German Atomic Bomb Project
The fear of a German atomic bomb troubled Leo Szilard. On August 2, 1939, he and Edward Teller drove to Long Island, New York. They went to ask Albert Einstein to sign a letter to President Roosevelt outlining the dangers of a German bomb project.

Albert Einstein and the Atomic Bomb

Atomic Bomb

The Critical Mass
Werner Heisenberg's decision to abandon the pursuit of an atomic bomb for Nazi Germany

Captives of Their Fantasies: The German Atomic Bomb Scientists
Could the Germans have made the bomb? This article will help make that decision for you.

Books:
Heisenberg's War: The Secret History of the German Bomb
The inspiration for Michael Frayn's Tony Award-winning play Copenhagen, Heisenberg's War tells of the interplay between science and espionage, morality and military necessity, and paranoia and cool logic that marked the German bomb program and the allied response to it.

Under the Bombs: The German Home Front, 1942-1945

Nazi Science: Myth, Truth, and the German Atomic Bomb

Heisenberg and the Nazi Atomic Bomb Project:A Study in German Culture
What precisely did Heisenberg know about the physics of the atomic bomb? How deep was his loyalty to the German government during the Third Reich? Assuming that he had been able to build a bomb, would he have been willing? These questions are answered.

Bonn and the Bomb: German Nuclear Weapons Policy from Adenauer to Brandt

Heisenberg's War: The Secret History of the German Bomb, Vol. 1
In this volume Powers contends that the physicist Werner Heisenberg "tried to slow Germany's progress toward nuclear weapons. . . . {The book also concerns} American and British efforts to determine the character and pace of the Germans' efforts to build an atomic bomb, and to diminish their chances forsuccess."

Programs by Neenah Ellis
Summer Triptych



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