London (by mail) (May. 10)
No item in the Nazi drive against the academic life of Germany has apparently impressed English opinion so much as the retirement of Professor Fritz Haber from the directorship of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry and from his Chair at Berlin University.
English newspapers point out that no living scientist contributed so much to the industrial development of Germany as Haber, whose process for the extraction of nitrogen from the air produced revolutionary industrial results.
The London Times declares that Professor Haber’s discovery probably played a greater part than any other in enabling Germany to sustain herself during four years of war. Professor Haber’s process of bringing nitrogen and hydrogen into combination as ammonia is said to have gone far to prevent an earlier German collapse, to which the severance of nitrate supplies from Chile for the manufacture of high explosives might otherwise have led. His process is also a valuable source of fertilizers for German agriculture which, in this respect, has been rendered largely independent of the outer world. The German Dye Trust is said even today, in spite of the introduction of the Haber process in Great Britain and the United States to export from its Meresburg and Oppau works quantities of ammonia and nitrates produced by this process, which represent an item o### millions of pounds in favor of the German trade balance.
During the War, Professor Haber was placed in charge of the department of research in gas warfare, of fensive and defensive.