«Pragmatic and Dogmatic Physics: Anti-Semitism in Nature, 1938. A. Loewenstein*, Chemistry Department, Technion, Israel Institute of technology, Haifa ...»
11. Professor Kleinert pointed out to me that Philipp Lenard in a letter to his friend Stark, criticized the latter’s decision to publish his article in Nature because Nature (in his opinion), has become a “Judenblatt "(a Jewish paper).
12. Attempts made by the author to obtain any remaining correspondence between Professor J. Stark and Sir Richard Gregory, failed. Both the present Editor of Nature, Dr. Philip Campbell and its former Editor Sir John Maddox, stated Nature has no past archives and therefore such possible correspondence does not exist. Brenda Maddox, in her book "Rosalind Franklin, The Dark Lady of DNA", writes (p.211): "The voluminous and unsorted Nature archive was thrown out during a move to the new offices in 1963". This could explain the lack of documentation. Inquires at the Staatsbibliothek (State Library) in Berlin, where some of Stark's correspondence is held, produced negative results.
13. Stark's article was not the only German anti-Semitic material published in Nature, without comment. Back in 1935 A. V. Hill drew Gregory's attention to a note by Lenard that was published in the students' magazine of the University on Heidelberg. Lenard addressed students who congratulated him on the occasion of renaming the Physics Institute in Heidelberg as " Philipp Lenard Institute". Gregory published Lenard's note in the News and Views section in Nature from June 1, 1935. It reads as follows: "I am very grateful to the students of the University of Heidelberg for their congratulations ….. I hope that the Institute may stand as a battle flag against the Asiatic Spirit in Science. Our Leader has eliminated the same spirit in politics and national economy- where it is known as Marxism. In natural science, however, with the over-emphasis of Einstein, it still holds sway. We must recognize that it is unworthy of a German- and indeed only harmful to him- to be the intellectual follower of a Jew. Natural science properly so called is of completely Aryan origin…..Heil Hitler!" Gregory added : "we prefer to make no comment upon it."
14. Richard Gregory, in a letter addressed to A. V. Hill, dated May 21st 1935, concerning Lenard's note, writes: "How sane or scientific people could be associated with such expressions of opinion as those given by Lenard passes the comprehension of any reasonable being. I think I must print the extract practically without comment and let it speak for itself to the scientific world". Also, in another letter to Hill dated 27 November 1935 concerning Hill's decline of an invitation to attend a Congress in Berlin during the Olympics, he writes: "I am glad you have stated so definitely why you are unable to be associated with any such movement while the Germans are behaving disgracefully to members of the Jewish people".
I thank the Churchill College, Cambridge archives for kindly providing these letters