What is the connection between Oppenheimer and my PhD research?

This week, I submitted an article to The Exile History Review to explain how the project to create a university for refugee youth, developed by Polish exiles, became a secret US psychological warfare weapon against the Soviet Union in the Cold War.

The key person in the story is James Burnham, a prominent American philosopher and writer, who worked secretly for the CIA to outline anticommunist projects. Burnham was well-connected with the US government and military, as well as the American intellectual elite. This enabled him to promote the Polish exiles’ university plan to the highest levels.

What all this has to do with J. Robert Oppenheimer?

In 1947, Oppenheimer became the director of the distinguished Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at Princeton University. He was recruited by IAS board president Lewis Strauss. Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer (2023) features pivotal scenes that took place at the IAS between Strauss, the physicists Oppenheimer and Albert Einstein.

In late 1948, Burnham began promoting the university plan of the Polish exile group in the US. He first addressed the IAS, then headed by Oppenheimer, as evidenced in his letter to Joseph Czapski of Kultura Literary Institute.

Illustration: Courtesy of Kultura Literary Institute, Maisons-Laffitte, France



Cite this blog post
Veronika Durin-Hornyik (2023, September 1). What is the connection between Oppenheimer and my PhD research? University in Exile Research Project. Retrieved June 15, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.58079/v273

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