11 March 1910|
|Died||9 April 1982
Grünheide, East Germany
|Alma mater||Kaiser Wilhelm Institute|
|Spouse||Annedore "Katja" Graf/Havemann|
Life and career
Havemann joined the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) in 1932 and was one of the founders of the resistance group, European Union. It was in connection with this group that he was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943. He received a death sentence, but his execution was continually postponed because of the intervention of former colleagues, who insisted that Havemann was as important as his work on chemical weapons had been and that he was still needed to explain the research. His execution was postponed so many times, he was able to survive until the Brandenburg-Görden Prison was liberated by the Red Army.
After the war, he became head of administration in the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physical Chemistry and Electrochemistry in Berlin, but in 1948 he was dismissed from this position due to political pressure from the American authorities in West Berlin. He continued his scientific work in the institute until he got barred from his laboratory in January 1950.
In 1963 he lectured on 'Scientific Aspects of Philosophical Problems' (published as 'Dialectic without Dogmatism—Natural Sciences against Communistic Ideology') and was expelled from the ruling Socialist Unity Party and dismissed from the University—officially because he gave an interview to a newspaper from West Germany.
He continued his work as a socialist critic and was put under house arrest in 1976, at his home in the village of Grünheide. This continued until his death in 1982, after a long time suffering from lung disease.
In 1989 he was politically rehabilitated by the Socialist Unity Party of Germany.
- Bernd Florath. "Die Europäische Union," essay in Johannes Tuchel, Der vergessene Widerstand — zu Realgeschichte und Wahrnehmung des Kampfes gegen die NS-Diktatur, pp. 114-139. (2001) Wallstein Verlag. ISBN 978-3-89244-943-0 (German)
- Claudia Keller. "Späte Ehre für die selbstlosen Retter" ("Late Honor for the selfless Lifesaver") Der Taggespiel (July 6, 2005) Retrieved March 16, 2010 (German)
- "Israel honours memory of anti-Nazi 'European Union'" Reuters (June 20, 2006) Retrieved March 17, 2010
- Official website of the award winning film The Burning Wall
- Hartmut Jäckel. "Der Dissident der aus der Kälte kam" ("The dissident who came out from the cold") Die Welt (March 10, 2010). Retrieved March 18, 2010 (German)
- Robert Havemann – his activity to save Jews' lives during the Holocaust, at Yad Vashem website