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German Nuclear Physicist Hans-Peter Dürr Dies at 84

HeadlineMay 21, 2014

The German nuclear physicist, Professor Hans-Peter Dürr, has died at the age of 84. Dürr received a Right Livelihood Award for his critique of the Strategic Defense Initiative — a Reagan-backed defense system against potential nuclear attacks — and for his work to convert high technology to peaceful uses. In an interview with Democracy Now!, Dürr spoke about how he convinced the famous physicist Werner Heisenberg not to help build a nuclear reactor in Germany.

Hans-Peter Dürr: “That I did not want, because I knew that the reactor is very easily to get in a military way. So I wanted to go to the philosopher Heisenberg. And when I arrived in Göttingen, he said, 'I have to tell you, I'm not allowed to take the laboratory to Munich, where I’m coming from. It’s too close to Russia. They put to in Karlsruhe, a little further west. So, I have decided I will not do anything with the reactor, but I will go to Munich, and I will only do the philosophical part.’ And exactly that, what was my dream.”

Hans-Peter Dürr, dead at the age of 84. He died in Germany. He was a student of Hannah Arendt at the University of California, Berkeley, after World War II.

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