Science: The Gifted Refugees

History's greatest brain drain occurred during the 1930s, when thousands of intellectuals fled Nazi Germany and took refuge in other countries. What Germany lost and other nations gained was re-emphasized last week when the latest Nobel prizes in science went to two refugees from Hitler: Dennis Gabor, who won the 1971 prize in physics for his invention of holography, and Gerhard Herzberg, who earned the laurels in chemistry for his pioneering work in molecular spectroscopy.

Gabor got the idea that led to his prize one day in 1947 while he was waiting his turn...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!