7. Translation.


Dear Heisenberg

In recent years I have had many requests from many quarters for information regarding my experiences. Thus, like so many others, I have been invited to take part in the efforts to provide and preserve material that will shed light on the development of physics in our time and to which end the Academy in Washington has chosen a special commission. Similarly, I have [had requests] from committees that have been established in many countries to investigate all archival material that can shed light on the preparation and discussion of the application of the results of atomic physics for military purposes, and in particular I have had many enquiries about the circumstances of the visit by you and Weizsäcker to Copenhagen in 1941.




the extent to which such an account can be published in the near future is quite another matter. In this connection I am frequently asked about the background and purpose of the visit by you and Weizsäcker to Copenhagen in 1941. It is very difficult for me to give an answer because, as you know from our conversations in Tisvilde, both shortly after the war and during you and your family’s summer stay in Liseleje, [I] got a completely different impression of the visit than the one you have described in Jungk’s book. I remember quite definitely the course of these conversations, during which I naturally took a very cautious position, when <without preparation, immediately> you informed me that it was your conviction that the war, if it lasted sufficiently long, would be decided with atomic weapons, and <I did> not sense even the slightest hint that you and your friends were making efforts in another direction. At that time I was completely cut off from any connection with England and the U.S.A. and had no idea of the great efforts that had already been started there and, before I escaped from Denmark, had no idea of the great efforts that had been started there.




how all this really fits together. It is obvious that during the course of the war such a wise person as yourself must gradually lose faith in a German victory and end with the conviction of defeat, and I can therefore understand that perhaps at the end you may no longer have recalled what you had thought and what you had said during the first years of the war. But I cannot imagine that, during a meeting so boldly arranged as that in 1941, you should have forgotten what arrangements had been made in this regard with the German government authorities, and it is on that point that all the interest of other governments focuses. I therefore very much hope that, by telling me a little about this, you can contribute to the clarification of what is a most awkward matter for us all.


<this whole matter>