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Clara Haber's Geni Profile

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Clara Haber (Immerwahr)

Birthplace: Polkendorf, Silesia, Germany
Death: Died in Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Cause of death: Comitted suicide and was cremated
Place of Burial: Hornli Cemetery, Basel, Switzerland
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Philip (Hillel) Immerwahr and Anna Immerwahr
Wife of Fritz Jakob Haber, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1918
Mother of Hermann Haber

Managed by: Private User
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About Clara Haber

Clara Immerwahr From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Clara Immerwahr

Clara Immerwahr (1870–1915) Born June 21, 1870 Polkendorf near Breslau, German Empire, today Poland Died May 2, 1915 (aged 44) Berlin-Dahlem, Germany Suicide Residence Germany Nationality German Fields Chemistry Alma mater University of Breslau Doctoral advisor Richard Abegg Clara Immerwahr (June 21, 1870 – May 2, 1915) was a Jewish-German chemist and the wife of fellow chemist Fritz Haber.


1 Education 2 Marriage and work 3 Death 4 See also 5 External links 6 Notes Education

Immerwahr studied at the University of Breslau, attaining her degree and a Ph.D. in chemistry. She was the first woman Ph.D. at the University of Breslau.[1]

Marriage and work

Immerwahr married Haber in 1901. Constrained by the female stereotypes of the time, her scientific research was hindered. She instead contributed to her husband's work without recognition, translating his works into the English language.

Confiding in a friend, Immerwahr bemoaned her newfound subservient role as a housewife:

It has always been my attitude that a life has only been worth living if one has made full use of all one's abilities and tried to live out every kind of experience human life has to offer. It was under that impulse, among other things, that I decided to get married at that time... The life I got from it was very brief...and the main reasons for that was Fritz's oppressive way of putting himself first in our home and marriage, so that a less ruthlessly self-assertive personality was simply destroyed.[1][2] During World War I, Haber became a staunch supporter of the German military effort and played an important role in the development of chemical weapons (particularly poison gases). His efforts would culminate in his supervision of the first gas attack in military history in Flanders, Belgium on April 22, 1915. Haber thereafter returned home to Berlin.


Shortly after her return, Immerwahr picked up Haber's military pistol and shot herself in the chest. She died in her son's arms. The morning after her death, Haber immediately left home to stage the first gas attack against the Russians on the Eastern Front.[3] [4] Her suicide remained largely in the dark; it was never in the newspapers and there is no evidence of an autopsy. The undocumented nature of her death has led to much controversy as to her motives.

Fritz Haber later married again. Eventually, he left Germany because of Nazi persecution. Fritz Haber died in Basel, Switzerland in 1934 and was cremated in an oven. Eventually Fritz's ashes and Clara's ashes were buried together in a cemetery in Basel.[2] Subsequently, Clara Immerwahr's son with Fritz Haber, Hermann Haber, emigrated to the United States and later committed suicide in 1946.[2] One of his other children, Ludwig ("Lutz") Fritz Haber (1921–2004, son of Fritz Haber and his second wife, Charlotte), published a book on the history of poison gas, The Poisonous Cloud (1986).[5]

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Clara Haber's Timeline

June 21, 1870
Polkendorf, Silesia, Germany
Age 30
Age 31
Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
May 8, 1915
Age 44
Berlin, Berlin, Germany
February 1934
Age 44
Basel, Switzerland