Q: There are a lot of personal connections between members of the
international physics community before the war, aren't there?
DH: The physics community in the '20s and '30s, and of course this carries over
into the '40s, is a very international community. Largely because of the Nazi
persecution you get great flows of people out of Germany to Britain, to the
United States. Less so to the Soviet Union, because the Soviet Union isn't so
welcoming to such people... Even in the Soviet case, even though contacts with
the west are cut off, the Soviet scientists see themselves as part of this
community. They feel they know these people, even though...the personal
contact might have been many years before. So they followed the journals very
closely. They kind of know who is working on what, and if they see somebody's
name disappearing from the journal pages, they think, hey, what is going on?
What are they working on now? You know, maybe this stuff has gone secret. So
yes, culturally and psychologically it's also not a matter of just national
communities. It's very much a transnational thing.
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