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In Defence of LearningThe Plight, Persecution, and Placement of Academic Refugees, 1933-1980s$
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Shula Marks, Paul Weindling, and Laura Wintour

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264812

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264812.001.0001

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A Narrow Margin of Hope: Leo Szilard in the Founding Days of CARA

A Narrow Margin of Hope: Leo Szilard in the Founding Days of CARA

(p.45) 2 A Narrow Margin of Hope: Leo Szilard in the Founding Days of CARA
In Defence of Learning

William Lanouette

British Academy

This chapter focuses on physicist Leo Szilard. Born in Budapest but living and working in Berlin from 1920 to 1933, Szilard was quick to recognize the dangers posed by the Nazis. By July 1932, he began to think of leaving Europe and, early in the new year, he warned his friend, the mathematician Michael Polanyi, ‘Things will get worse under Hitler. Much worse’, and advised his family in Budapest, ‘Leave Europe before it is too late’. He himself left Germany for Vienna on the 30 March. The chapter argues that while in Vienna in April 1933, it was Szilard who lent urgency to Beveridge's discussions, and helped elevate a scholarship scheme for displaced academics into the much wider project of creating an international network to resettle Jewish and left-wing academics beyond the reach of the Nazis.

Keywords:   Leo Szilard, Nazis, Vienna, Lord Beveridge, Michael Polanyi, Jewish academics

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