6th August 1945, Farm Hall (England). At an upmarket farm, 10 German scientists, Erich Bagge, Kurt Diebner, Walther Gerlach, Otto Hahn, Paul Harteck, Werner Heisenberg, Horst Korsching, Max von Laue, C.F. von Weizsäcker and Karl Wirtz, are being held captive by the Americans because of their involvement in making the atomic bomb; whilst there they are told that an American atomic bomb has been dropped on Hiroshima.
The scientists’ reactions are secretly recorded and this is the background to the second part of The end of innocence. After the news of the American success, the German scientists try to understand the cause of their failure. Were their scientific and technological skills insufficient? Or had some scientists intentionally curbed the research in order not to put a mortal weapon into the hands of Hitler’s dictatorship? Had the scientific and technological disagreement between Diebner and Heisenberg been fatal? Had there not been enough funding? Or had the advance of the Alliance in Germany created logistical and supply problems? Then, the German scientists remember one of the more ambiguous episodes in the making of the atomic bomb which may have had a profound effect on events in the war: the meeting of Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen in the Autumn of 1941, when the German army was approaching Moscow, having occupied most of Europe. In the reconstruction, Heisenberg claims to have suggested that Bohr use his authority in the community of physicists to persuade them to stop cooperating in the research into making the atomic bomb.
Winner of the Science TV Drama Festival, 2002