May 5, 1927–March 3, 1998
BY ALEXANDER G. BEARN
HANS JOACHIM MÜLLER-EBERHARD was born in Magdeburg, Germany, on May 5, 1927. There were no scientists in his family; his father, Adolph Müller, was a successful businessman. Two years after the outbreak of war, Hans’s brother, Eberhard, was killed on the Russian front at the age of 21. Hans’s father changed his family name to Müller-Eberhard after World War II to memorialize his son.
Although the atmosphere in the Müller-Eberhard household was not academic, there was much discussion of religious and political matters. His father was distinctly anti-Nazi and frequently propounded his conviction that a clique of criminals had assumed control of the government. He warned young Hans that he should not tell others about his views on Hitler, or he would be sent to a concentration camp. Hans was the only member of his class not to join the Hitler youth. When in later years a classmate asked him why he did not join, he said, simply, that he had no wish to associate with criminals.
Hans’s class at school was sent to an anti-aircraft battery on the outskirts of Magdeburg where they replaced regular army units. These military activities decreased the time allowed for a normal education. At the age of 17 he was drafted into the army and sent to Hungary to serve on the