Go to Home Page
  Timeline of the Nuclear Age 1930s  1933


Adolph Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.

Following the Reichstag fire and subsequent suspension of constitutional liberties, Reichstag voluntarily gives over its powers to Hitler's cabinet.

Several major Jewish scientists are expelled from Germany because of their "Jewish physics."

Third Reich promulgates its first anti-Jewish ordinance.

Leo Szilard, a Hungarian physicist who took refuge in London from Nazi Germany, reads about a speech in which Lord Rutherford ridiculed the idea of using the transformation of atoms as a source of power. Szilard realizes, "if we could find an element, which is split by neutrons, and which would emit two neutrons when it absorbs one neutron, such an element could sustain a nuclear chain reaction."