Otto Hahn
Historical Figure
Nationality: Germany (born in Prussia)
Date of Birth: 1879
Date of Death: 1968
Cause of Death: Injured in a fall
Religion: Lutheran
Occupation: Physicist, Chemist, Educator, Author of Non-Fiction
Parents: Heinrich Hahn,
Charlotte Giese
Spouse: Edith Junghans
Children: Hanno (1922-1960)
Fictional 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: Shot to death
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Novel
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference

Otto Hahn (8 March 1879 – 28 July 1968) was a German chemist who received the 1944 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering nuclear fission. He is considered a pioneer of radioactivity and radiochemistry. He did not work on Germany's atomic bomb project during World War II, but he was detained with nine other scientists by the Allied Forces. After the war, Hahn reentered academia and research, where he remained until his death. He was also an active opponent of the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Otto Hahn in The Man With the Iron Heart[]

Otto Hahn (1879-1947) was one of several scientists captured by the German Freedom Front in 1946.[1] It had been Reinhard Heydrich's hope that the scientists might build the GFF an atomic bomb. Karl Wirtz disabused Heydrich of that notion.[2]

Nonetheless, Hahn and his fellows were held in the underground Alpine Redoubt until 1947. When American forces arrived, Heydrich escaped, and ordered Hahn and six other scientists killed.[3]

Before their kidnapping, Hahn and colleague Werner Heisenberg had discussed restarting their institute at Göttingen.[4]

Otto Hahn in Joe Steele[]

Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner carried out atomic experiments in Germany, finalizing their report in 1938-1939. While kept out of public journals by heavy security, news of the experiments managed to leak out, eventually coming to the attention of Albert Einstein in America. Einstein kept this knowledge to himself and did not share it with anyone high in the U.S. government, as he feared that President Joe Steele would misuse the atomic bomb and destroy the world. U.S. Navy officer Hyman Rickover had also heard of the Hahn-Meitner experiments, and was able to assemble the team that eventually built the bomb for America.[5]


  1. The Man With the Iron Heart, pg. 202-204.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 227-228.
  3. Ibid., pg. 467.
  4. Ibid., pg. 182.
  5. Joe Steele, p. 318.