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

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WEIZSÄCKER: I admit that after this business I am more ready to go back to GERMANY, in spite of the Russian advance.

WIRTZ: My worst fears have been realized with regard to the complications which will now arise about us.

HEISENBERG: I believe that we are now far more bound up with the Anglo–Saxons than we were before as we have no possibility of switching over to the Russians even if we wanted to.

WIRTZ: They won't let us.

HEISENBERG: On the other hand we can do it with a good conscience because we can see that in the immediate future GERMANY will be under Anglo–Saxon influence.

WIRTZ: That is an opportunist attitude.

HEISENBERG: But at the moment it is very difficult to think otherwise because one does not know what is better.

WEIZSÄCKER: If I ask myself for which side I would prefer to work of course I would say for neither of them.

11. DIEBNER and BAGGE also discussed the situation alone together as follows:

BAGGE: What do you think will happen to us now?

DIEBNER: They won't let us go back to GERMANY. Otherwise the Russians will take us. It is quite obvious what they have done; they have just got some system other than ours. If a man like GERLACH had been there earlier, things would have been different.

BAGGE: GERLACH is not responsible, he took the thing over too late. On the other hand it is quite obvious that HEISENBERG was not the right man for it. The tragedy is that KORSHING is right in the remarks he made to GERLACH. I think it is absurd for WEIZSÄCKER to say he did not want the thing to succeed. That may be so in his case, but not for all of us. WEIZSÄCKER was not the right man to have done it. HEISENBERG could not convince anyone that the whole thing depended on the separation of isotopes. The whole separation of isotopes was looked upon as a secondary thing. When I think of my own apparatus – it was done against HEISENBERG's wishes.

DIEBNER: Now the others are going to try and make up to the Major and sell themselves. Of course they can do what they like with us now; they don't need us at all.

[ . . . ]

BAGGE: You can't blame SPEER as none of the scientists here forced the thing through. It was impossible as we had no one in GERMANY who had actually separated uranium. There were no mass–spectrographs in GERMANY.

DIEBNER: They all failed. WALCHER(?) and HERTZOG(?) wanted to build one, but they didn't succeed.

12. Although the guests retired to bed about 1.30, most of them appear to have spent a somewhat disturbed night judging by the deep sighs and occasional shouts which were heard during the night. There was also a considerable amount of coming and going along the corridors.

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