Atom Splitting /Atomzertrümmerung: Austrian Manhattan Project Scientist Otto Robert Frisch in Los Alamos, 1943-1945

Atom Splitting /Atomzertrümmerung: Austrian Manhattan Project Scientist Otto Robert Frisch in Los Alamos, 1943-1945

By Kristina Poznan

The U.S. government’s World War II Manhattan Project benefitted from the work of several scientists born in Austria-Hungary, from physicists to chemists to mathematicians. Elizabeth Rona, Leó Szilárd, Edward Teller, John von Neumann,[1] and Eugene Wigner were all from Budapest, George Placzek from Brno, and Stanislaw Ulam from Lviv. Among those born in Vienna were Victor F. Weisskopf and, most significantly for our purposes, Otto Robert Frisch.

Frisch arrived in the United States to work on “Project Y” in Los Alamos in1943 as part of “British Mission” cohort of scientists (Frisch had hurriedly been made a British citizen to participate). Frisch’s scientific work had already taken him from Vienna to Germany, Denmark, and England before the United States, including the laboratory of his renowned aunt, Lise Meitner, with whom he theorized the fission of uranium. Although Frisch returned to Europe in 1946 after the war, his three years in New Mexico are indicative of a wide contribution of Austro-Hungarian scientific training to Allied victory in World War II.

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Atom Splitting /Atomzertrümmerung: Austrian Manhattan Project Scientist Otto Robert Frisch in Los Alamos, 1943-19452021-04-29T16:03:13+00:00

Raptured and demonized: Josephine Baker in Vienna

Raptured and demonized: Josephine Baker in Vienna

By Mona Horncastle

In 1928, after two successful years in Paris, Baker starts her first tour of Europe with great expectations. Yet her victories are always accompanied by controversy. In Vienna, the first stop on her journey, Baker is omnipresent: posters advertising her second film La Revue des Revues show the almost naked Baker in pearls and feather jewelry throughout the city. The poster for her revue Black and White is no less revealing. Vienna is not Paris, and the entertainment culture of the Music Hall is still completely foreign to the city, which leads to agitation among cultural conservatives: Catholic circles mobilize before Baker even arrives in Vienna. When her train from Paris arrives, the church bells of the Paulanerkirche are chiming to warn the population of the "Black Devil." However, an unfazed crowd gathers to cheer enthusiastically as Baker arrives on the platform of the train station. The authorities are also ambiguous: on the one hand, Baker is promised police protection for the duration of her stay in Vienna, on the other hand, the Ronacher Theater is not permitted to show the announced revue.

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Raptured and demonized: Josephine Baker in Vienna2021-03-09T14:42:53+00:00