”Oh, my father had a whole life before I was born!”

Hello Students of the Max Delbruck Gymnasium,

Two years ago I had a wonderful visit to MDGymnasium where I had the chance to meet students, teachers, and administration at your school. I particularly recall the time you students in Anne Grunenberg’s class asked me questions about “life with Max”, questions garnered from seeing the video about his life. Well, it was an adventuresome childhood, and part of the adventures included camping in the desert, usually with friends from the lab.

Here we are on one of our earliest trips – about 1951 – that is our mother Manny, Max, and myself and Jonathan.
Here I am out in the desert again, socializing with family before we shut down for coronavirus, wearing the gift I received on my visit to MDGymnasium.

The stars are brilliant at night in the desert. On these camping trips Max would crawl out of his sleeping bag, look at the stars with his telescope, and mark their movement on a piece of paper “like the ancients” did. He remarked one time that as a child when he observed the stars from his parents’ balcony, in Berlin Grunewald, he never imagined one day he would lie in the California desert and see the night sky from this angle. I was about your age then and I thought to myself, ”Oh, my father had a whole life before I was born!”.  And much of that life was here in your Berlin. So it is an honor for me to have your school named after him and to remember his long connection to Berlin, his family, and the scientific community that he maintained contact with throughout his life, even from far way California.

Warm Greetings from Niki (Delbruck) Salmon