Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Robert Havemann

Robert Havemann (11 March 1910 - 9 April 1982) was a chemist, communist and an East German dissident.

He studied chemistry in Berlin and Munich from 1929-1933, and then later received a doctorate in physical chemistry from the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute.

Havemann joined the German Communist Party in 1932 and worked for the resistance until his arrest by the Gestapo in 1943. He received a death sentence, but due to his knowledge he was instead forced to do research whilst in jail.

After the war, he became head of administration in the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, but was dismissed from his job in West Berlin for protesting against the US atomic bomb in 1947.

He then became a professor of physical chemistry at the Humboldt University in East Berlin. He became a member of the Volkskammer in 1950 and won one of the GDR's national prizes in 1959.

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 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 Grüneheide. This continued until his death in 1982, after a long time suffering from lung disease.

In 1989 he was rehabilitated by the Communist Party.