IEEE

Manfred R. Schroeder

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"Prominent researcher at Bell Labs and a professor at Göttingen University"

Manfred Schroeder was born in 1926 the small town of Ahlen, Germany in the Ruhr coal fields of North Rhine-Westphalia.  Nazi persecution was swift and strong in this mining region known for labor unrest, and as witness, young Manfred's original interest in uniforms and parades turned to sharp discomfort with German fascism.  Such was not enough to save him from the nation's larger fate: at age 16 he was drafted into the airforce.  For the young man himself, this was a fortuitous turn, for it was in the airforce that the math nerd found application for his obscure interests as he applied himself to the radar technologies that were proving central to the defense against aerial bombing. 

As a soldier of the losing army, Schroeder was left adrift after the Allies' victory, "receiving one pair of long johns and a very nice blanket."  At his grandmother's prompting, he enrolled at Göttingen University to study physics.