September 11, 2021
World War, Planck, skilled piano player, youngest son, Erwin, daughters, Hitler, elder son, attempted assassination, merciless act, gruesome manner
Max Planck was a man of indomitable will and had other talents beyond physics. He was a skilled piano player, formed music, preceded as an artist and furthermore followed up on the stage and one of the founders of quantum physics. His long life had a tragic side. In 1909, his first wife, Marie Merck, the daughter of a Munich banker, died after 22 years of cheerful marriage, leaving Planck with two sons and twin daughters. The elder son, Karl, was killed in action in World War I, and both of his daughters died quite young in childbirth (1918 and 1919). His home was totally annihilated in World War II. He lost everything—scientific manuscripts and notes, diaries, family keepsakes, all he had accumulated over a lifetime—all burned up and gone. His youngest son Erwin was arrested. He was suspected of involvement in the attempted assassination of Hitler and was executed in a gruesome manner by Hitler’s henchmen. That merciless act destroyed Planck’s will to live. In the end, Planck was taken by the Allies to a surviving relative in Gottingen where he died in 1947.