FHI Centenary Group
Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
Centennial Project
FHI Centenary Group
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Fritz Habers "Chef des Stabes" Hartmut Kallmann - 1933 entlassen, 1948 emigriert
Speaker: Dr. Stefan L. Wolff (Deutsches Museum München)

After completing his dissertation under Planck in 1920, Hartmut Kallmann (1896-1978) became a member of Haber´s Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry. He was mostly interested in the kinetics of chemical reactions. Thus his research, which was both experimental and theoretical, lay at the intersection of chemistry and physics. The more than 50 publications he had produced between 1921 and 1933 were a result of a cooperative effort with many of his colleagues. This was characteristic of the research style of Haber´s institute. Kallmann also played an important role as an organizer in financial matters. When Kallmann was dismissed as a “Non-Aryan” in 1933, his bid to move to England with his newly developed particle-accelerator was not successful, despite Haber’s support. However, IG Farben and AEG provided a laboratory for him where he could continue working under special restrictions. A “Jew” as defined by the Nuremberg laws, he was able to survive because of his marriage with an “Aryan” wife and their status as a “privileged mixed couple.” In spite of a professorship at the TH Berlin and a position at the former institute of Haber’s, Kallmann did not feel comfortable in post-war Germany. In 1948 he emigrated to the U.S. Based on his investigations on luminescence, he was able to establish a research school at New York University. After his retirement from NYU, he returned to Germany where he died at the age of 82.

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