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German History in Documents and Images
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Nobel Prize Winners Walther Nernst, Albert Einstein, Max Planck, Robert Millikan, and Max von Laue in Berlin (November 1, 1931)
Until 1933, German science and research was internationally known and renowned. The National Socialist takeover, however, represented a significant setback for all branches of study. Thousands of politically or racially undesirable academics and researchers lost their jobs. Many of them were forced to emigrate, while others left the country out of protest or withdrew from public life. The photo shows (from left to right) the Nobel Prize winners Walther Nernst (Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 1920), Albert Einstein (Nobel Prize for Physics, 1921), Max Planck (Nobel Prize for Physics, 1918), Robert Millikan (American physicist, Nobel Prize for Physics, 1923) and Max von Laue (Nobel Prize for Physics, 1914). Nernst stopped doing research in 1933. That same year, Einstein chose to remain in the United States after finishing a lecture tour there. Planck resigned from the office of president of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society in 1936. Before stepping down, he had tried to prevent the dismissal of Jewish scientists. Laue was forced into early retirement in 1943. Unlike Nernst, Planck, and Laue, the majority of "Aryan" researchers made arrangements with the Nazi regime.