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Anerkannt, verfemt, rehabilitiert: Der Metallurge Jan Czochralski in Deutschland und in Polen im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert

Katrin Steffen

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Abstract


Recognised, ostracised, rehabilitated: the metallurgist Jan Czochralski in Germany and Poland in the 20th and 21st century

Abstract

The Polish metallurgist and chemist Jan Czochralski, who invented a method for growing metal single crystals that is widely used until today for the production of silicon, lived a transnational life. Born in the Prussian part of Poland in 1885, he advanced professionally in the large metal laboratories of AEG, Berlin and the Metallgesellschaft, Frankfurt from 1908 on. Additionally, he took over several positions within the German science-industrial-military complex. In 1928 a po-sition in metallurgy was created for him at the Warsaw Polytechnic. He then transferred his knowledge from Germany to Poland and ad-justed it to the needs of the new state, which in return willingly provided him with power and status in order to push for close cooperation between this time Polish science, industry and military. During WW II Czochralski supplied both the German Wehrmacht in Warsaw as well as the Polish Underground. Therefore, he was accused of collaborationin 1945 and although later freed from the accusation, he lost his position and fell into oblivion. Only from 1989 onwards, a slow process of rehabilitation was initiated, reaching its peak in 2013 when the Polish parliament named the year 2013 after Jan Czochralski calling for remembrance and Czochralski’s reincorporation into the Polish nation. In Germany, on the other hand, he remains largely forgotten.

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Bibliographie: Steffen, Katrin: Anerkannt, verfemt, rehabilitiert: Der Metallurge Jan Czochralski in Deutschland und in Polen im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert, JB historie, 1-2013, S. 220-236. https://doi.org/10.3224/jbh.v7i1.13


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