THE PASSING of Professor Fritz Haber, the famous German Jewish chemist and winner of the Nobel Prize in 1918, recalls one of the rare examples of noble courage and dignity- displayed by German Jews during their tragedy-As discoverer of the process for the fixation of nitrogen, which proved of immense value to Germany during the war, and” as organizer in chief of chemistry for war service, he was accorded a privileged position under the Nazi regime. But Professor Haber resigned his professorship at the Berlin University and his directorship of the Kaiser Wilhclm Institute for Inorganic Chemistry, in protest against the Hitler Government’s demands .for the dismissal of his Jewish assistants and associates.
As one of Germany’s foremost scientists, who proved his devotion to Germany as but few Aryan Germans did, he refused to avail himself of the exceptional privileges that the Nazis granted him, for it was humiliating to him to see his non-Aryan associates humiliated merely because of their race. He preferred to cast his lot with the exiled Jewish scientists, and settled in Switzerland, where he continued his scientific work.
The nobility and courage of his ringing answer to Nazi Germany will long be remembered by the Jewish people and by scientists all over the world. He was not only a gFeat scientist, but also a great man.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.