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Transcript of Surreptitiously Taped Conversations among German Nuclear Physicists at Farm Hall (August 6-7, 1945)

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9. GERLACH and HEISENBERG had a long discussion in GERLACH's room which went on half the night. In the course of this conversation they repeated most of the statements that had been made in the course of the general conversation downstairs and have been already reported. The following are extracts from the conversation:

GERLACH: I never thought of the bomb, all I wanted was that we should do everything possible to develop HAHN's discovery for our country.

[ . . . ]

HEISENBERG: I am still convinced that our objective was really the right one and that the fact that we concentrated on uranium may give us the chance of collaboration. I believe this uranium business will give the Anglo–Saxons such tremendous power that EUROPE will become a bloc under Anglo–Saxon domination. If that is the case it will be a very good thing. I wonder whether STALIN will be able to stand up to the others as he has done in the past.

[ . . . ]

GERLACH: If Germany had had a weapon which would have won the war, then Germany would have been in the right and the others in the wrong, and whether conditions in Germany are better now than they would have been after a HITLER victory –

HEISENBERG: I don't think so. On the other hand, the days of small countries are over. Suppose HITLER had succeeded in producing his EUROPE and there had been no uranium in EUROPE.

GERLACH: If we had really planned a uranium engine – in the summer of 1944 we would not have had a bomb – and that had been properly handled from a propaganda point of view –

HARTECK: That might have been a basis for negotiation. It would have been a basis for negotiation for any other German Government, but not for HITLER.

GERLACH: I went to my downfall with open eyes, but I thought I would try and save German physics and German physicists, and in that I succeeded.

HEISENBERG: Perhaps German physics will be able to collaborate as part of a great Western group.

[ . . . ]

HEISENBERG: It seems to me that the sensible thing for us to do is to try and work in collaboration with the Anglo–Saxons. We can do that now with a better conscience because one sees that they will probably dominate EUROPE. It is clear that people like CHADWICK and CHERWELL have considerable influence.

[ . . . ]

10. WIRTZ and WEIZSÄCKER discussed the situation together in their room. VON WEIZSÄCKER expressed the opinion that none of them had really worked seriously on uranium with the exception of WIRTZ and HARTECK. He also accused GERLACH and DIEBNER of sabotage. WIRTZ expressed horror that the Allies had used the new weapon. They went on to discuss the possibility of the Russians discovering the secret and came to the conclusion that they would not succeed under ten years. They went on as follows:

WIRTZ: It seems to me that the political situation for STALIN has changed completely now.

WEIZSÄCKER: I hope so. STALIN certainly has not got it yet. If the Americans and the British were good Imperialists they would attack STALIN with the thing tomorrow, but they won't do that, they will use it as a political weapon. Of course that is good, but the result will be a peace which will last until the Russians have it, and then there is bound to be war.

At this point HEISENBERG joined WIRTZ and WEIZSÄCKER. The following remarks were passed:

[ . . . ]

WEIZSÄCKER: Our strength is now the fact that we are 'un–Nazi'.

[ . . . ]

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