What was the attitude of the scientific community when Hitler accessed power, between 1933 and 1939 ? Did the scientists boycotted the meetings (if any ?) in Germany ?

Update: I don't imagine that the whole "scientific community" had one unified reaction. I'm looking for any concrete examples of scientists that declined to attend a meeting in Germany, or on the other side, scientists who have said that boycotting a meeting was worthless.

closed as primarily opinion-based by user69715, Mark C. Wallace, KillingTime, CGCampbell, George A. Solodun Jan 26 '17 at 1:33

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    There is no such thing as the "attitude of scientific community". The attitudes of scientists varied widely. – Alex Jan 25 '17 at 17:59
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    Agreed with @Alex. Voting to close for that reason - unless the wording of the question is improved. – user69715 Jan 25 '17 at 18:58
  • @alex I've updated my post. – Pierre Jan 25 '17 at 19:11
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    The Jewish members of the Scientific community obviously had issues... – T.E.D. Jan 25 '17 at 20:22

You should read about the Gleichschaltung, the Nazi attempt to take control of the entire German society. They managed to suppress most visible oppositon, which also applied to the sciences.

Some scientists were or became Nazis, many went along with them, a few emigrated.


I am aware of two Nobelists in physics becoming enthusiastic nazis (Stark and Lenard); perhaps not insignificantly they were from an older generation, pre-relativity. On the other hand Heisenberg's devotion to nazism I think is not clear. There is at least one quote which makes him sound fairly sympathetic to the cause.

In math there were numerous nazis some of whom betrayed Jewish mentors although some tried to help despite being nazis. Hilbert, a man whose position was pretty safe was certainly not a nazi and when asked by a nazi functionary about math in Gottingen, said, there is really no math at all -- this was after many top mathematicians had been forced out.

I would say that other fields were similar with scientists on both sides.

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