Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 presents problems for the democratic countries in many respects. The US struggles to find a suitable figure as its ambassador, as few people are willing to live in fascist Germany. William Dodd is eventually persuaded to accept the position. This history professor studied in Leipzig around 1900 and knows Germany well. He lectures at the University of Chicago from 1908 and his special research topic is the history of the southern US states.
The staunch democrat abhors Hitler and his political agenda, which sets the tone for his term as a diplomat in the Third Reich. He is a frequent guest at Max Planck’s dinner parties at Harnack House. Dodd is also a guest of honour when the Kaiser Wilhelm Society celebrates its 25th anniversary. Despite the fact that increasingly fewer scientists from the US visit Berlin from 1933, scientific relations remain intact to some extent. The Rockefeller Foundation still invests in the Research Institute for Physics in Dahlem in 1934. Dodd returns to the US in 1937.