After the Nazis ascended to power in Germany in 1933, Planck used his power as the President of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society to clandestinely protect Jewish scientists and physicists from the government and allow them to continue their research. However, the "Deutsche Physik" political group criticized Planck, Heisenberg, and Arnold Sommerfeld for teaching Einstein's theories, labelling them as being "white Jews". In 1936, because Planck's term as President of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society had ended in that year, the government coerced Planck into not running for reelection. The Nazis also seized control of the Prussian Academy of Sciences in 1938; Planck resigned his position there in order to protest this decision ("Max" 10-11).
Tragedy and Death
Planck experienced many personal tragedies during the last decades of his life. This began in 1909, when his first wife died; this still left Planck with four children (twin daughters and two sons). However, things quickly turned for the worst during World War 1. Karl, the older son, was killed in action in 1916, and his daughters died in 1917 and 1919, respectively, while giving birth.
Planck's life was further complicated during World War 2: a bombing raid demolished Planck's residence in Berlin in 1944, and the younger son (Erwin) was arrested in 1944 for his connection to a botched assassination attempt carried against Adolf Hitler in the same year. After months of torture, Erwin was hanged. When the war concluded, Planck, his second wife, and their son moved to Göttingen; Planck died there from a stroke in 1947 ("Planck 14).
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