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Kurt Diebner
Diebner
Historical Figure
Nationality: Germany
Date of Birth: 1905
Date of Death: 1964
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Occupation: Physicist, Educator, Businessman, Author
Turtledove Appearances:
The Man With the Iron Heart
POD: May 29, 1942;
Relevant POD: May, 1945
Type of Appearance: Direct
Date of Death: 1947
Cause of Death: Gunshot wounds, collateral damage during a gun battle
Worldwar
POD: May 30, 1942
Appearance(s): Tilting the Balance;
Upsetting the Balance
Type of Appearance: Direct

Kurt Diebner (13 May 1905 – 13 July 1964) was a German nuclear physicist. During World War II, he was the administrative director of the German nuclear energy project. He was also director of the Nuclear Research Council and a Reich Planning Officer. Diebner was incarcerated in Britain after the war and repatriated back to Germany in early 1946. Shortly after his return, Diebner became a lecturer and businessman. He also wrote and published several works.

In 2005, a German historian alleged that Diebner and his team detonated a nuclear device akin to a dirty bomb. This claim has neither been fully verified nor dismissed.

Kurt Diebner in The Man With the Iron HeartEdit

Kurt Diebner (1905-1947) was one of nine German scientists captured by the Allies at the end of World War II. He was taken to Britain for interrogation in 1945, and returned to Germany in 1946. He and the other scientists were held in Alswede. In a daring raid led personally by Reinhard Heydrich, the German Freedom Front kidnapped the physicists, Diebner among them. Unfortunately, another physicist, Werner Heisenberg, was accidentally shot in the head by one of Heydrich's men. As they fled by truck, Diebner demanded to know why Heydrich's men had killed Heisenberg. Heydrich retorted that it had been an accident, but that he would murder Diebner if the physicist didn't cooperate.

Diebner and the other physicists were kept in the Alpine Redoubt for nearly two years. Although they couldn't build a bomb, they did help Heydrich find radium stored at a garbage dump in Hechingen. In 1947, when American troops under Lou Weissberg attacked the Redoubt, Heydrich attempted to flee, electing to bring Diebner to a safe house. Instead, the Americans spotted the escaping Germans, and opened fire, killing both Heydrich and the unfortunate Diebner.

Kurt Diebner in WorldwarEdit

During World War II and the Race Invasion, Kurt Diebner headed one of two German teams competing to build an atomic bomb; the other was headed by Werner Heisenberg. Diebner, unlike Heisenberg, had not completed his Habilitation and was looked down on by his rival. However, he was more personable, more modest, and more familiar with the dangers and perils of warfare. When Heisenberg was killed in 1943 after a failed attempt to build an atomic pile, Diebner became the sole head of Germany's atomic efforts, and ultimately succeeded in building a weapon, which was used against the Race's Conquest Fleet.

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