Karl Wirtz
Historical Figure
Nationality: Germany (born in Prussia)
Date of Birth: 1910
Date of Death: 1994
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Occupation: Physicist, Author of Non-Fiction
Turtledove Appearances:
The Man With the Iron Heart
POD: May 29, 1942;
Relevant POD: May, 1945
Type of Appearance: Direct
Karl Eugen Julius Wirtz (24 April 1910 – 12 February 1994) was a German nuclear physicist. He was arrested by the allied British and American Armed Forces and incarcerated at Farm Hall for six months in 1945 under Operation Epsilon.

Karl Wirtz in The Man With the Iron HeartEdit

Karl Wirtz was one of several German physicists the British were holding at Alswede in 1946.[1] Reinhard Heydrich personally oversaw a mission to kidnap those scientists, in the hopes that they could build the German Freedom Front an atomic bomb. Wirtz disabused Heydrich of this notion, but did reveal the existence of 10 grams of radium still located in Hechingen, located in the French Occupation Zone.[2]

When American forces finally located Heydrich's headquarters, Wirtz and Kurt Diebner were specifically ordered to accompany Heydrich while he escaped.[3] The others were immediately shot to death. However, the group didn't get very far before they were spotted by Bernie Cobb. Heydrich and Diebner were killed in the shooting. Wirtz was taken into custody after confirming Heydrich was indeed dead.[4]


  1. The Man With the Iron Heart, pg. 182.
  2. Ibid., pgs.227-230.
  3. Ibid. pg. 467.
  4. Ibid., pgs. 485-486.