Yours, Lise: letters from the exile of Lise Meitner, physicist
Narrated By: , , , ,
Publisher: Findaway Voices
Date: December 2019
Duration: 2 hours 4 minutes
July 13th, 1938: the renowned nuclear physicist Lise Meitner, approaching the age of 60, sits on the train that will take her to the German-Dutch border and then to the safety of exile in Sweden. After months of uncertainty and fear, as a Jew in Nazi Germany, she has abandoned everything: her friends, her career, and her beloved adopted home, the city of Berlin, where she had become a pioneer in the world of nuclear physics.
«Yours, Lise» is based on the letters Lise Meitner exchanged with her friends in Germany and all around the globe, enriched with music, making it a full scale audio landscape of this time. It bears witness to the momentous era when physics determined the course of world history, from the discovery of nuclear fission in 1938 to the first airdrop of atomic bombs over Japan in 1945.
« With every letter I write to you, I’m disgusted with myself – but I am not embittered. I just can’t quite see a purpose in life at the moment – and I am very much alone. »
« Your Radium results are absolutely astonishing. The assumption of such a large explosion seems somewhat incoherent to me – yet we have experienced so many surprises in nuclear physics that I think one can never say: « ‚that’s impossible!’ »
« A life in a vacuum, without any satisfying purpose and without any security for the future – I hope from the bottom of my heart, you will never have to lead a life like that. I understand quite well that an individual life seems minuscule compared to our world issues. »
« In this book Lise Meitner comes brilliantly to life. Through her correspondence, written from exile in times of isolation and fear, we can hear her voice and sense her strength, her intelligence, and her humanity. »
– Ruth Lewin Sime, author of the Lise Meitner biography «a life in Physics» –
text booklet available on: www.studio77.at/yourslise