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6

The Scientist’s Survival Guide

was widowed and had a housekeeper who had baked vanilla crescents, a South German specialty. He received us in his library. It was an imposing room furnished with old choir benches and many bookcases. Willstaetter had a mustache and goatee and looked quite dapper. He told us that he left his position as Dean of the Natural Science Department at the University of Munich because a distinguished scientist, a Dr. Goldschmildt, whom he had suggested for a position in his department, was turned down, because he was Jewish. Professor Willstaetter being Jewish himself could not accept that and resigned. He continued his research however over the telephone through an assistant, who was at the institute and carried out the experiments according to his directions. He did this for ten years or so, but never visited the laboratory again. He told me that many scientists do not get enough education and that I should not cut my education short. Willstaetter in spite of his reputation and scientific achievements had to flee Germany. He went to Switzerland, where he died about eleven years later. He decided not to work any more in exile; I even corresponded with him, while working at Hoffman LaRoche in the 1940s. They would have offered him a suitable position, but he declined my introduction. My father was still hopeful that eventually I would switch over to medicine, which after all is based to a large extent on science. But events occurred which made this much less important. We all had to leave Germany because we were Jews. This was made more than obvious both from events and from Hitler’s and his henchmen’s threats, which were more than fulfilled. We had to face an uncertain future. We would lose all our property including the hospital my father founded and his practice, and whether he ever could practice medicine again became uncertain. We also lost our paradise-like country house in Bernried, where I had spent such happy times. Unlike medicine, chemistry had at that time no license boards and no accreditation was needed. It was truly international. Wherever we would settle I could work and earn a liveli-


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