The last war had a disastrous effect upon the intellectual life of most European nations, and research in the natural sciences suffered crippling blows in spite of the temporary stimulus of military‐sponsored research and development. In Germany, the loss of large numbers of outstanding scientists who either died during the Nazi regime or emigrated had especially damaging consequences, particularly since these individuals were never successfully replaced. Another factor working against any very immediate postwar recovery in Germany, moreover, was the virtual isolation of German scientists during the blockade, a period marked by the full mobilization of science for the war effort. International communication, the life‐blood of scientific progress, was made all but impossible, and the violence of the Allied air bombardment was felt by many German research laboratories. The final and somewhat anticlimactic blow was delivered at the end of the war when research laboratories in the East were systematically stripped of their equipment and trained personnel by the Russians. The nation was partitioned into zones governed by the several victorious powers, and in the West the Allied High Commission established a rigid list of rules and prohibitions determining the regions of research in which German scientists were permitted to work.

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