April 1915

Otto Hahn

Otto Hahn (1879 – 1968), German scientist, during the war was assigned to the chemicals department with the task of develope, test and produce toxic gasses to be used on the battlefield.
April 22, 1915, began the Second Battle of Ypres. Here, for the first time in the history of the Western Front, the German troops made use of chemicals weapons, chlorine gas in the specific, wich played a key role in the course of the conflict.
For his service, Hahn obtained the Eisernen Kreuz in the same year, and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1944 thanks to his discoveries; he is still considered one of the father of nuclear chemistry. During the Second World War he was a heavy opposer of the Nazism, helping Jewish colleagues escape the persecution of the dictatorship. After the conflict he took a stand against the use of atomic weapons for war purposes, one of the first that pointed out the dangers to humankind and the planet.