RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:
It has been said on a documentary that we have seen of the Vermork heavy water plant and the Norwegian and British efforts to take it out, that lives were taken that might have been spared, as one British raid was lost, the men rounded up by the Nazis and exterminated, and the Norwegians' commando raid on Vermork only temporarily disrupted the heavy water production as the plant was speedily repaired,
As for the massive British air raid bombings, that only forced the Nazis to suspend use of the Vermork site and shift to Germany, and so the destruction of the last shipment of heavy water and the sinking of the ferry on the lake by Norwegian saboteurs entailed an unnecessary, tragic loss of life as the reactor in Germany was in no way going to be finished in time to furnish an A-bomb for Hitler's arsenal.
The documentary suggested that the reactor in Germany never came to anything, so the reasonable inference was that there was no real possibility of an A-bomb in the offing.
The American television news agency's conclusion was that this whole effort was useless and regrettable, however bravely conducted.
We have to say that it is easy to say that inference and conclusion were based on hindsight, which seems to have the answer for what was at the time perceived, and rightly so, to be a clear and distinct threat that had to be eliminated, however great the cost.
The Allies, both Britain and America, knew Hitler's determination to fight to the last man if he had to, so they could not risk doing nothing and the feared secret work of the Nazi scientists produce something, a new weapon, they might not be prepared to counter.
Best eliminate it now, they reasoned, rather than suffer from ignoring it later on if it "came to anything."
After the documentary was produced some years ago, a report has since come out about the reactor's site, that examination showed there were signs that there had been a potential for the reactor to explode or melt-down, as it was left in such a hurry by technicians they did not adequately shut it down. The report said that it was fortunate that they caught it in time.
We cannot vouch for the accuracy of this report, but it is interesting, and surely more information will surface in time on this question about the state of the reactor, whether it was operationally able to produce enough enriched plutonium for a bomb or not in time to turn the course of the war in Germany's favor, or whether it was far from doing so.
In any case, the loss of the heavy water supplies the reactor needed and did not gain, might have delayed the process at the very least, and surely that was worth the effort to keep the Nazis from obtaining them. "Penny wise, pound foolish," was Benjamin Franklin's wise saying in his highly successful Colonial-era publication of POOR RICHARD's ALMANAC. When dealing with a nuclear reactor, surely it would have been "pound foolish," indeed, for the Allies to spare themselves trouble and ignore anything Hitler was perhaps counting on to turn the tables on the Allies.
Like a wounded lion that is made all the more ferocious for being wounded and desperate, right up to the last weeks Hitler was utilizing portable launch platforms and launching various rockets and the huge U-2 rockets with horrific, devastating results on British cities, costing the lives of tens of thousands of British people and causing massive destruction. No nation and society, however brave, could sustain such losses and not capitulation and sue for peace at any price, and the Allies knew they had to prevent anything that could possibly aid Hitler's final blows that were calculated to wear downs the British and break their fighting spirit once for all.
Yet as Knut Haukelid stated, whether Germany won or not, they would never quit fighting--never! But would it be worth it, if all Norway was reduced to ashes and the people annihilated? The Norwegian people suffered hideous devastation from British bombings as well as from Nazi reprisals.
Even diehard Japan, prepared to fight in their island fortress to the last man and woman or child, bowed and capitulated, rather than see all their cities reduced to radioactive ash heaps.
Thank God, Hitler's time ran out, and he never got the A-bomb, which his missiles were capable of delivering not only to all of Britain's cities, but to New York and other American cities as well, as he had a program going that was developing intercontinental missiles, that he only scratched because it was taking resources and he was fast running out of time.
This has been a very hard question to resolve, and this attempt of mine might be uninformed and faulty, but I have done my best. I leave it to others who can access better research than mine to shed more light on this question in days to come.
Niels Bohr was born on October 7, 1885, in Copenhagen, Denmark. His father was a scientist and professor at the university there, and Niels was raised in a home where science was naturally of interest. In 1903 he entered the University of Copenhagen. His chief concern was physics, but he was also an outstanding soccer player. By 1907 [a year before Alfred and Bergit Stadem married--Ed.] Niels had won a gold medal from the Royal Danish Academy for his scientific work.
After receiving his doctor's degree in 1911, Bohr wanted to learn more about the atom. He decided to go to England and study with J. J. Thomson and Ernest Rutherford. Both these men were leaders in atomic physics. Bohr first studied under Thomson at Cambridge University; a year later he worked with Rutherford at the University of manchester. In 1913 Bohr returned to the University of Copenhagen as a lecturer.
It was during this year that Bohr made his first great contribution to atomic physics. By that time many scientists had attempted to explain the atom. Rutherford, for example, had provided one theory. The great German physicist Max Planck had another.
Working from the ideas of Rutherford and of Planck, Bohr set forth a new theory of his own. It dealt with atomic structure and behavior. Bohr's theory bcame the basis of the branch of modern physics known as quantum mechanics. For his brilliant work Bohr received the Nobel prize [which is the Swedish explosives magnate Alfred Nobel's prize given yearly by the Norwegian Nobel Committee--Ed.] for physics in 1922 [Peder Stadem, father of Alfred, passed away 1920, and Alfred's oldest child, Pearl Stadem, was now thirteen years old and going to Bryant public schools, soon to attend Augustana Academy in Canton her first year.--Ed.].
Meanwhile Bohr had married a Danish girl, started a family, and continued teaching at the Unversity of Copenhagen. In 1920 he became director of the university's new Institute of Theoretical Physics. He made the institute into one of the world's major research centers. Scientists came from all over the world to study with Bohr. He was sometimes so busy with his work that he forgot about his meals. But he always managed to make time for his wife and five sons [now this is the Scandinavian and godly trait of family values that Alfred and Bergit nurtured in their home, and which had come to them from Sur and Oline as well as the Holbek parents of Bergit.--Ed.].
After 1930 the institute began important studies of the nucleus of the atom. In 1936 Bohr made another major advance in atomic physics: he gave the first correct description of a nuclear reaction. This work later helped the United States develop the atomic bomb.
Bohr arrived in the United States in 1939 to work at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Some of the world's leading scientists were there, including Albert Einstein. Bohr told them of the work going on in Europe in splitting uranium atoms. His reports spurred United States research in this field.
Bohr returned to Copenhagen a few months after World War II broke out [no doubt he had a lot of family residing there, and his home was there too, along with the Institute he founded and all his long-time friends and university colleagues--Ed.]. In 1940 the Germans conquered Denmark. Bohr refused to co-operate with them and closed his institute. In 1943, when he was threatened with arrest, Bohr fled. He went first to Sweden and then to the United States.
Bohr served as adviser at the first atomic bomb laboratory, near Los Alamos, New Mexico. He soon began to worry about the far-reaching effect of the new bomb. After the first atomic bomb test, in 1945, Bohr went to Washington to plead for immediate international control of atomic weapons.
When the war ended in 1945, Bohr returned to work at his institute in Copenhagen. In 1955 he became chairman of the newly founded Danish Atomic Energy Commission. Two years later Bohr received the first Atoms for Peace award--a fitting climax to his lifetime with the atom. [Other men have received Nobel Peace Prize, that were highly questionable recipients, such as Yassir Arafat, who blew up commercial airliners and hijacked ships at sea and commissioned and sent in backpacked suicide bombers into Israeli pizza parlors and schools and bus depots and marketplaces, etc. Pressing for peaceful use of the Atom to the last], Bohr died November 18, 1962.--John S. Bowman, Author and Science Editor
1. Niels Bohr followed his father's chosen field of science; Alfred Stadem followed in his father Peder's line of work, farming, as well as the extensive church work;
2. Niels Bohr was no lover of complacence and mediocrity, he made innovative and creative and important discoveries in early, foundational atomic physics; Alfred Stadem proved creative and innovative on his smallish farmstead, creating a remarkably nurturing life and upbringing for his nine children that produced outstanding individuals from first to last;
3. Niels Bohr was no unteachable rebel, he took full advantage of educational opportunities to better himself and make himself useful to his country and mankind, rising despite his success as a soccer player to eminence in the scientific world by founding a world-renowned institute in Copenhagen for theoretical physics research; Alfred, though prevented by his father's increasing illnesses to pursue formal schooling beyond the 4th grade level, continued his education informally, improving his writing and communicating skills with reading and writing and even publishing of accounts and a newsletter for the Lutheran Fellowship League, of which he was Treasurer on the Board for years;
4. Niels Bohr proved patriotic; when Denmark was invaded by the Nazis early in World War II, Niels left the U.S. where he was acclaimed and safe and chose to return to Denmark to face the invaders, continuing with the institute and refusing to cooperate with them to the point of arrest, at which point he fled to Sweden; Alfred Stadem raised two sons who entered the World War II armed forces, namely, the Navy, to serve honorably, and Alfred and Bergit were understandably very proud of them, as they loved their country and its freedoms and knew that they were worth fighting for;
5. Despite heavy demands on his time and energy levied by his research, the Institute, and the scientific community involved with him on a daily basis, Niels Bohr did not neglect his wife and family and continue his own pursuits at their expense; Alfred Stadem was a man with many irons in the fire, strenuously active in church, community, and his varied work activities along with farming, yet he nurtured wife and family above everything except his love and service to God.
Conclusion: Yes, Niels Bohr the academician and scientist and Alfred Stadem the farmer and church worker and lay minister were very different as Scandinavians in some educational and lifestyle respects, but in shared values that are perhaps most important, you may see and agree with us that they were largely cut from the same cloth. Will you now teach your own children the facts that are presented here? That is the test: passing the torch of our heritage to the younger generation. If we fail this test, we lose this generation to the prevailing culture's worldly values, which are not only opposite to these, they are self-destructive and even hostile to Christ and the received World of God, the Holy Bible.--Ed.
On a fearless journey to find a lost explorer and his party, Amundsen himself disappeared, and was lost. He had nobly given his life to save others.