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German History in Documents and Images
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Atom-Smashing Experiment at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin (1939)
In contrast to the American government, the Nazi regime never made nuclear research a priority in military technology. It intended to win the war as quickly as possible and was not prepared to devote all the necessary resources to the long, complicated, and expensive process of developing nuclear weapons. Moreover, the relationship between the Nazi leadership and scientists was often characterized by great mistrust and a lack of understanding, which seriously hindered progress in research. The question of whether German scientists were willing to build atomic weapons for the Nazi regime is still discussed today but remains purely speculative since they were not technologically capable of doing so. Photo by Heinz Pollmann.