Current Topics and Events


    IN the Times of November 14 a special correspondent in Berlin, dealing with the disarmament of Germany, stated that the German intention 'to increase the frightfulness of war by new methods was finding 'its expression in the creation of a great laboratory attached to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute near Berlin, the object of which is to study war from the scientific point of view. 'This mysterious, powerfully equipped, and strongly financed laboratory, it was added, 'works in close contact with several parallel institutions scattered over Germany, and especially with the Gas Testing Institute in Hanover. This allegation has been met by a letter from Dr. H. Freundlich, the Deputy Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, refused, he states, by the Times, and so published in the Berliner Tageblatt of December 16. Dr. Freundlich states, in the most explicit terms, that neither in the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, nor in any other Institute associated with the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, is there any work in progress that has the purpose of developing war from the scientific point of view, and that all work there undertaken is exclusively scientific and technical investigation for the industries of peace, and having nothing to do with the purposes of war. Finally, Dr. Freundlich invites the correspondent of the Times, accompanied by any expert he may choose, to visit the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, so that he may investigate fully the situation and the character and purpose of the work which is being there carried out. We cannot, of course, know the considerations which led the Times to decline to publish this very emphatic repudiation of a serious charge, yet it seems highly desirable that the invitation of the Deputy Director of the Institute should be accepted, and the results made known in Great Britain. What can be credited to our late enemies should be credited, and if there could be an assurance that the great Institute, which was, and is still, presided over by Dr. Haber, is now entirely detached from scientific work relating to warfare, it would be welcome news to all who are waiting for additional signs of a real regeneration of Germany in heart as well as in economic prosperity.

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    Current Topics and Events. Nature 115, 94–97 (1925) doi:10.1038/115094a0

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