May 2018: The two lives of Hermann Mark (1895-1992)
Topic of the Month
From Hitler’s Vienna to exile in America:
The two lives of Hermann Mark (1895-1992)
By Markus Weber und Guido Deußing
80 years ago, during the night of 11. to 12. March 1938, the German army invaded Austria at Hitler’s command. Annexation of the country to become part of the German Empire was confirmed in a referendum four weeks later by 99.73 per cent of Austrians. Citizens of the country who were persecuted for “racist” reasons had to move fast to avoid arrest by the Nazis. One of them was the chemistry professor Hermann Franz Mark (1895-1992), who taught at Vienna University and whose father, the doctor Hermann Carl Mark – who had died in 1927 – had belonged to the Jewish religious community before he converted to Christianity. The highly respected physical chemist, who was the founder of the Viennese school of high polymer research, was declared a nonperson and was expelled from government service because he was classified as half Jewish. Following a short period in Gestapo custody, he and his family escaped from the country in April 1938. This turning point in Mark’s biography did not harm his career: in American exile, he institutionalised, modernised and internationalised polymer science, so that his star was to shine more brightly there than before in Europe. Since he called himself Herman Francis Mark in the United States instead of Hermann Franz Mark, the unititiated think nowadays that he was born an American. This is probably another reason why he has faded into obscurity to an increasing extent in Germany, overshadowed by Nobel prizewinner Hermann Staudinger (1881-1965), who had established polymer chemistry at the theoretical level with his macromolecule concept (see “Topic of the Month” / March 2018) – and who wrongly considered Mark to be an adversary that needed to be opposed. Reason enough to spotlight Hermann Mark here at k-online.de, particularly in view of the fact that his 123rd birthday is this month.
Early in the morning of 12. March 1938, 65,000 soldiers from the German army, supported by the police and the SS, crossed the border to Austria – without a struggle and without a single shot being fired. “The Austrians welcomed the German soldiers enthusiastically, waving flags and cheering”, eye witnesses were unanimous in reporting. But not everyone joined in the celebrations: between 12. and 22. March 1938, official sources reveal that there were 1,742 arrests in Ostmark, as Austria was called from now on, and 96 people committed suicide. The Nazis targeted not only political opponents but also and above all the Jewish population. “I saw how Jews were mocked and had their beards set on fire”, the German scholar Egon Schwarz (1922-2017), who fled from Vienna, recalled in his autobiography “Refuge - Chronicle of a Flight from Hitler”.
People from all walks of life were affected; not even those who had enjoyed public esteem in the past, who had – for example – made names for themselves as academics, were spared. A decree issued by the Ministry of Education on 22. April 1938, for instance, stated that the activities of 65 members of the Philosophy Faculty at Vienna University, to which the Chemistry Institutes belonged, had been discontinued with immediate effect. The ten chemistry lecturers who were fired included the 42-year-old Professor Hermann Franz Mark, who was born in Vienna on 5. May 1895. Nazi legislation classified Mark as “half Jewish”, because his parents had what was known as a mixed marriage: in contrast to his mother Lili Mark, née Müller, his father – the general practitioner Hermann Carl Mark (1861-1927) – had been a Jew before he converted to Christianity. At the Nazis’ alma mater, however, “half Jews” were tolerated no more than “full Jews”. The basis for Mark’s dismissal was the “Civil Service Restoration Act” that was introduced in the “Altreich” on 7. April 1933 and that led to the “Regulation for the Reorganisation of the Austrian Civil Service” of 31. May 1938 and stipulated that “Jews, Jewish mixed-bloods and civil servants related to Jews by marriage” had to be expelled from the civil service. The Nazis had been even quicker to apply the Nuremberg racial laws in Austria (regulation dated 20. May 1938), particularly the “Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour” of 16. September 1935, which made marriages and even sexual contacts between Jews and non-Jews a punishable offence as “racial disgrace”. Two of many examples of how the Nazi legislature systematically deprived Germans and Austrians of Jewish faith of their rights, “expelled them from the country’s population”, as the Nazis put it.
Death vigil for Dollfuß
Mark was also a thorn in the new rulers’ side because he had been a friend of Engelbert Dollfuß, the Austrian Chancellor between 1930 and 1934. The two of them had become acquainted in the First World War, when they fought in the same battalion (Mark 1993, 65). Opinions about Dollfuß as a politician differ to this day: the fervent Catholic and nationalist undermined democracy, weakened parliament and the constitutional court, banned first of all the Communist Party and then later the Social Democratic Party, governed via emergency decree and turned Austria into an authoritarian state based on “estates” (something that became known as “Austrofascism”) – all of which, however, was in opposition to the national socialism of Germany, as must be added in his defence: “He tried heroically to keep his country independent of the Nazis and the Socialists” (Mark 1993, 65). In his foreign policy, Dollfuß made a pact with Mussolini, in order to create a bastion against Hitler’s expansion plans and to prevent the annexation of Austria. In the course of an attempted coup by the Austrian National Socialists on 25. July 1934, Dollfuß was shot in the Chancellery and bled to death. Hermann Mark held the death vigil by his coffin, which the Nazis took offence at. Although the coup failed, the Nazi terror continued: “The ‘Austro-Nazis’ became increasingly aggressive, blowing up public telephone booths, burning cars that were owned by Jews, and preventing Jewish professors from giving their courses at the university” (Mark 1993, 83). In addition to this, Mussolini had isolated and weakened himself at the diplomatic level in the foreign policy field due to his Abyssinian campaign in 1935/1936, as a result of which he committed himself to closer ties with Germany. From now on, he was no longer an obstacle to annexation of Austria by the German Empire. Which finally happened on 12. March 1938, when Hitler went to Linz and announced publicly:
“If destiny once called me from this town to lead the Empire, then it must have given me an assignment and that assignment can only be to give my beloved homeland back to the German Empire. […] Consider the German soldiers who are marching into the country from all regions of the Empire at this moment as warriors who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the unity of the great German people, for the power, splendour and glory of the Empire now and for evermore.”
Hermann Mark was arrested in Vienna the very same day by the Gestapo, who interrogated him particularly about his relationship to Dollfuß and about his former employer, the central I. G. Farben laboratory, which was located at BASF in Ludwigshafen and for which he had worked from 1927 to 1932. After a few days, Mark was released again, but his passport was confiscated. The Gestapo also explicitly prohibited him from making contact with other Jews. It was high time to leave the country – Mark and his wife Maria (“Mimi”), née Schramek (1900-1970) had already been planning their escape meticulously in secret for months. It had been clear to both of them at an early stage that Hitler would not rest until he had annexed Austria and had created a “Greater German Empire” by force. Since there was no chance of being allowed to cross the border with money or other valuables, the couple – who had been married since 1922 – had spent their savings on buying platinum wire. Mimi Mark, who worked as a designer, bent this wire into coat hangers and camouflaged them by covering them with fabric (Mark 1993, 85). The plan was to melt the platinum down in exile and make money again by selling it.
Contact to Canada
The destination they were aiming for when escaping had also been chosen: it was Canada or, more exactly, Hawkesbury, a little town with 6,000 inhabitants in the province of Ontario, half way between Ottawa and Montreal. Because Mark had been guaranteed a job in the paper mill there – Canadian International Pulp and Paper Mill (CIP) – as head of the company’s research laboratory. The Technical Director of CIP, Carl Busch Thorne (1876-1945), had contacted Mark by letter as early as the summer of 1937 and had then met him in Dresden in September with the aim of persuading him to come to Hawkesbury. CIP produced around 1,500 tonnes of wood pulp there every day that was processed into viscose (rayon and cellophane) and cellulose acetate fibres and webs. According to Thorne, the company’s basic know-how left a lot to be desired, however: the entire production process was based purely and simply on trial and error (Mark 1993, 84). Thorne considered Mark to be the ideal candidate to modernise the completely outdated research laboratory, i.e. to make a thorough update of the methods, equipment and personnel. After all, Mark had in the years 1922 to 1927 done detailed research into the molecular structure of cellulose and other natural high polymers at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (KWI) for Fibre Chemistry in Berlin-Dahlem with the help of what were at the time the new methods of X-ray diffractometry and ultramicroscopy. In this context, he had been a member of the KWI team led by the physical chemist Michael Polanyi (1891-1976), who was a pioneer in this field. X-ray structural analysis was carried out at a number of other university and industrial laboratories in Germany too and focussed on technically viable organic high polymers. Findings about their molecular architecture were the basis for obtaining important insights into how “they could be produced synthetically at lower cost and, perhaps, more effectively too” (Mark 1934, 65).
Mark was attracted by Thorne’s appealing offer, but he gave precedence to his teaching and research commitments at Vienna University in 1937. He did, however, offer Thorne the alternative of coming to Hawkesbury for a few months a year later to develop a plan for reorganisation of the CIP research laboratory – a stepping stone for Mark, in case the Nazis invaded Austria: “The word ‘Hawkesbury’ never left my mind and, in fact, it provided an escape route for me” (Mark 1993, 85). In early 1938, he started to delegate his administrative assignments at the Chemical Institute to colleagues whose future at Vienna University was not in danger and who were not thinking of emigrating. Mark was therefore ready to go when things got tough for him in March 1938. He got his passport back by bribing a Nazi lawyer; the bribe he had to pay was the equivalent of Mark’s annual salary at the time (Mark 1993, 85 and Jaenicke 2006, 180). He went straight to the Canadian Embassy, which issued him the necessary visa. After that, it was no problem to obtain transit visas through Switzerland, France and Great Britain.
Escape with a swastika
The time finally came at the end of April 1938: Mark attached skis to the roof of his car, so that it looked like they were going on holiday, fitted a swastika flag on the radiator, loaded wife Mimi, his two sons Hans (born in 1929) and Peter (1931-1979) as well as his Jewish niece, the pianist and harpsichordist Greta Kraus (1907-1998) in the car – and left Vienna for Zurich, where the family arrived the next day without being accosted on the way. The journey continued from Switzerland directly through France to England, where the five of them finally made an interim stop of several months in Manchester. Time that was put to good use in preparation for Canada, with particular emphasis on improvement of their knowledge of English. Hermann Mark also spent time at the Shirley Institute in Didsbury near Manchester, which the British cotton industry had established for research purposes in 1920, where he focussed on synthetic fibres. He initially went to Canada alone, embarking on the “Duchess of Richmond” in Liverpool in mid-September, which reached the port of Montreal on 26. of the same month. During the Atlantic crossing, he found the necessary time to polish a lecture about cellulose that he was supposed to give at McGill University in Montreal. Professor Harold Hibbert (1877-1945) had invited Mark to give the lecture and the latter was already contemplating continuation of his career as a university professor, as soon as he had finished his job successfully in Hawkesbury (Mark 1993, 86).
Whether he was in Germany, Austria or – now – America, what was characteristic of Mark and what remained his aim throughout his life was to try and build bridges between university and industrial research, in order to develop technically viable products. In his late work “Giant Molecules”, that was translated into German, he looked back on his time in Ludwigshafen:
“In 1927, the huge I. G. Farben conglomerate recruited a staff of more than 20 scientists (including Herman F. Mark, the author of this book) for a laboratory in which research into high polymers was supposed to be carried out. The success achieved by this team was almost sensational; they developed a sound theoretical basis for the structure of macromolecules and practical instructions for synthesis of them. The chemists from I. G. Farben fine-tuned the original qualitative ideas about the structure of the polymers, so that they were able to use pencil and paper to plan the individual stages that led to the development of new macromolecules from a large number of basic materials. The consequence of this was that the team began to manufacture numerous new polymers in the laboratory, many of which subsequently proved to be extremely valuable. The first of the new polymers that promised to become an economic success was polystyrene, which I. G. Farbenindustrie started to manufacture on an industrial scale in 1929. […] During the time between 1929 […] and 1932, the group developed synthetic polymers at a speed of about one new product a day. It goes without saying that not all of them were viable, but some were of major economic significance. They included the first polyacrylic compounds, some of them were later used to produce excellent materials – such as Orlon and Acrilan […]” (Mark 1970, 103-104).
Mark always emphasised in this context that the essential precondition for the planned development of new high polymers as outlined above was progress in the findings of basic scientific research. A sound understanding of the “laws […] that govern the connection between (molecular, editor’s note) structure and (physical, editor’s note) properties” was the key to enabling “the targeted production of materials with very specific qualities” (Mark 1938, 363), for which “molecular engineering” became the common term (anonymous 1980, 277):
“We know now, for example, that the elasticity of a high polymer substance is connected to the fact that it consists of flexible, chain-like molecules and that it increases as the chain length increases; it has been determined that tear strength and abrasion resistance also depend on the length of the chain molecules as well as on the fact that interconnections can be created between the individual chains, which strengthen and stiffen the entire molecular structure. Whether a high polymer substance swells in water or oil is encouraged by the presence of certain atomic groups (OH, CH3 etc.) and is impeded by their absence as well as by close crosslinking between the chains. The electric insulation properties reach particularly high levels when the plastic consists only of C and H atoms, while heat resistance can in turn be achieved by strong mutual cross and ring bonding. […] So if the assignment is to produce a substance that is as suitable as possible for structuring […] car tyres, then no more anxious attempts will be made to imitate natural rubber with all its properties; instead of this, the properties (abrasion resistance, resistance to ageing etc., editor’s note) will first of all be produced that the new material is particularly supposed to have in view of its proposed application […]; it can be irrelevant here if it has other qualities of natural rubber to a lesser extent than natural rubber itself.” (Mark 1938, 362-364)
It was possible for university and industrial research to benefit from each other if they were governed by scientific findings. As a result, Mark succeeded not only in making major improvements to corporate research departments in Ludwigshafen (BASF), Hawkesbury (CIP) and elsewhere; he also established high polymer physical chemistry research at universities and crowned his academic career in doing so. The latter had begun during the First World War, when Mark was still a soldier and was recovering from a war wound; he enrolled at Vienna University to study chemistry and physics: “They could be studied together at the same time” (Kreuzer 1982, 43). In July 1921, he obtained his doctorate (Dr. phil. – the chemistry department was part of the philosophy faculty at this time) “summa cum laude” as a student of Wilhelm Schlenk (1879-1943). The title of his doctoral thesis was: “Pentaphenylethyl and about a new method for presenting catalytically effective nickel”. The emphasis was on the free pentaphenylethyl radical with trivalent carbon (Mark and Schlenk 1921). Mark 1993, 15 recalled tongue-in-cheek: “The concept of ‘free radicals’ was not known in 1920 – well, perhaps in politics, but not in chemistry.” When Schlenk took up an appointment at Friedrich Wilhelms University in Berlin in 1921 as the successor to Emil Fischer (1852-1919), the winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Mark followed his teacher and became an assistant at the Chemical Institute.
Research scientist for I. G. Farben
Mark moved to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute (KWI) for Fibre Chemistry in Berlin-Dahlem as a member of the scientific staff as early as 1922 and was promoted to departmental manager in 1925. The same year, he qualified to become a professor at Berlin University. On the recommendation of Fritz Haber (1868-1934), the winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, who had already been behind his move to the KWI, Mark then joined the I. G. Farben research laboratory in Ludwigshafen in 1927 and became the most important member of the staff of laboratory manager Kurt Heinrich Meyer (1883-1952). The focus here was on research into the chemical/physical structure of the natural high polymers cotton, wool and silk. The X-ray process introduced by Hermann Mark and other scientists provided unprecedented insights into the structure of the natural fibres and was applied to natural rubber and its transformation products in 1928 as well as to viscose fibres and their upstream products in 1929 (Hölscher 1972, 94) – this will be outlined in greater detail later on.
From 1927 onwards, Mark also held the position of “Privatdozent” for physical chemistry at Karlsruhe Technical University, which soon appointed him an adjunct professor. His students included Edward Teller (1908-2003), the “father of the hydrogen bomb”. Mark refused an offer to become the successor to Arnold Eucken (1884-1950) in Breslau. Instead of this, he accepted an appointment in the Department for Physical Chemistry at Vienna University as the successor to Rudolf Wegscheider (1859-1935) in the autumn of 1932. This made Mark a full professor and institute head. He did not leave Germany completely voluntarily, however: the main reasons were political rather than professional. Mark suspected that it would not be much longer until the National Socialists took over the government and found what was for the time being a safe haven by returning to Austria a quarter of a year before Hitler was elected Imperial Chancellor.
“Völkischer Beobachter“ required reading
Mark’s suspicions were well founded. Since he had read “Mein Kampf”, he realised that the increasing brutalisation of all areas of life in Germany was the implementation of precisely what Hitler’s book had outlined as his plan (Mark 1993, 83). Mark also studied the “Völkischer Beobachter” regularly. He explained to colleagues, who asked him disapprovingly why he was interested in the Nazi newspaper: “If I want to know what is happening in Germany today, I shall read your newspapers, but I want to learn what will happen in Germany 4 or 5 years from now. Therefore, I read and believe the Völkischer Beobachter” (Mark 1993, 49). BASF Operations Manager Wilhelm Karl Friedrich Gaus (1876-1953), Mark’s employer, recognised the signs of the times too. He approached Mark as early as the summer of 1932 and advised him to look for a position outside Germany. Gaus argued that Mark would not be promoted if and when Hitler came into power, as he was not German and was the son of a Jewish father (Mark 1993, 62; see also Deichmann 2001, 183). Gaus regretted having to making this recommendation, emphasised Mark’s impressive national and international reputation as a scientist and guaranteed him continued payment of his salary until the end of the existing employment contract – notice of termination of which had not been given. Not least because of this, Mark was able to establish a large institute for interdisciplinary high polymer chemistry research and teaching in Vienna, “the first institute of this kind at a university in Germany and Austria” (Deichmann 2001, 183) with a matching curriculum. The course proved to be very popular and Mark was awarded the Wilhelm Exner Medal in 1934, not least because of the students recruited by industry. This Medal is named after the honorary president of the Austrian Trade Association and is awarded every year to outstanding scientists and researchers who have promoted economic development by their accomplishments.
Four years later then, in 1938, the decision to go into exile. For Mark, this was a kind of déjà vu situation, since he was now escaping from the Nazis for the second time in his life: “I had already experienced the same thing in Germany and knew: the faster the better. Other people hesitated again and again, because they said: firstly, it won’t be that bad here and, secondly, I hold a position as this or that here and own this or that here. I did not have such illusions” (Kreuzer 1982, 47-48). A loss in two respects – Mark lost his home country and science lost a figure who had tremendous creative powers: “The emigration of Mark and many of his staff […] led to stagnation and decline in academic polymer chemistry in Germany and Austria” (Deichmann 2001, 150). For Mark, on the other hand, involuntary exile was to prove to be a success story, a kind of second life, in which he was to excel as a scientist and was no longer to be brandmarked as “Jewish”, looked down on or harassed.
Initially, however, he was overtaken by Hitler’s invasion of Poland, which meant that Canada – as a member of the British Commonwealth – was at war with Germany as of 10. September 1939. Overnight, as it were, Mark became a foreign enemy (Mark 1993, 91). This foiled his plans, to obtain a position at a Canadian university after completing his Hawkesbury mission. In contrast to Canada, the USA had not yet declared war on Germany, so that Mark looked for openings there. To this end, he was able to take advantage of the contacts between Hawkesbury and the chemical company Du Pont in Wilmington/Delaware, a buyer of cellulose acetate and rayon (Mark 1993, 88). Du Pont chemist William Frederick Zimmerli (1888-1972), who had obtained his doctorate in Heidelberg in 1912, made Mark a technical consultant:
“When I told Dr Thorne of my intention to leave, he was not very happy. However, as soon as he understood that I would become a technical consultant of Du Pont, he realized that now, after the modernization of the Hawkesbury Laboratory, I could be more valuable to his company’s chemical pulp business in the United States than in Canada“ (Mark 1993, 91).
Since Zimmerli was, in addition, on the board of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in New York City, he championed Mark there too – successfully, because Mark was able to start work at the institute as an adjunct professor for organic chemistry. This had consequences: Mark’s family had to bite the bullet and adapt once again to a new country with a different way of life: “In the summer of 1940 (at the height of the war with France), we drove from Hawkesbury to New York City. This was a difficult transition for our two sons, who loved life in the Canadian countryside and were particularly excited about going to school on skis in the winter” (Mark 1993, 91).
(To be continued!)
A selection of publications
Hermann Mark and Wilhelm Schlenk. About free pentaphenylethyl. (A contribution to the findings about the nature of carbon bonding.) In: Chemische Berichte 55 (1922), pp. 2285-2299
Hermann Mark: The use of X-rays in chemistry and technology. A manual for chemists and engineers. Leipzig: Johann Ambrosius Barth 1926 (= Handbuch der angewandten physikalischen Chemie in Einzeldarstellungen, XIV), 528 pages.
Hermann Mark: About the X-ray determination of the structure of organic, particularly high-molecular substances. Lecture summarising the findings, held at the invitation of the German Chemical Society at the 89th meeting of the Society of German Natural Research Scientists and Doctors in Düsseldorf on 23. September 1926. In: Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft 59 (1926), pp. 2982-3000
Hermann Mark and Kurt Heinrich Meyer: About the structure of the crystalline portion of cellulose. In: Chemische Berichte 61 (1928), pp. 593-613
Hermann Mark and Kurt Heinrich Meyer: About the structure of silk fibroin. In: Chemische Berichte 61 (1928), pp. 1932-1936
Hermann Mark and Kurt Heinrich Meyer: About rubber. In: Chemische Berichte 61 (1928), pp. 1939-1948
Hermann Mark and Georg von Susich: About controlled micelle structures of rubber. In: Kolloid-Zeitschrift 46 (1928), pp. 11-21
Kurt H. Meyer and Hermann Mark: The structure of high polymer organic natural substances on the basis of molecular-morphological observations. Leipzig: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft 1930, VII u. 264 P.
Hermann Mark: Cellulose physics and chemistry. Berlin: Julius Springer 1932 (= Technologie der Textilfasern, I-1), XV u. 330 P.
Hermann Mark: About the structure of high polymer substances. In: Scientia 51 (1932), pp. 405-421
Hermann Mark: Can elements be transformed and complicated natural substances be produced? In: Karl Menger et alii: Old problems – new solutions in the exact sciences. Five lectures in Vienna. Second cycle. Leipzig and Vienna: Franz Deuticke 1934, pp. 56-68
Hermann Mark: Chemistry as the groundbreaker for progress. Lecture held at the annual general meeting of the Academy on 2. June 1937. In the almanach for the year 1937 of the Academy of Sciences in Vienna, 87th volume. Vienna and Leipzig: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky 1938, pp. 353-371
Hermann Mark: Small causes – large effects in the progress made in natural sciences. In: Fritz A. Paneth et alii: New paths to exact natural findings. Five lectures in Vienna. Fourth cycle. Vienna: Franz Deuticke 1939, pp. 63-74
Hermann Mark: General basics of high polymer chemistry. Leipzig: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft 1940 (= High-polymer chemistry. A theoretical and practical manual for chemists and biologists, 1), X u. 345 P.
Kurt H. Meyer, Hermann Mark and A. J. A. van der Wyk: Macromolecular chemistry. A theoretical and practical manual for chemists and biologists. Leipzig: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft 1950, 2nd, completely revised edition. (from High-Polymer Chemistry, 2 volumes, Leipzig 1930), 1023 P.
Herman F. Mark: Giant Molecules. Weert: Time Life 1970 (= Life – Scientific Miracles), 200 P.
Herman Mark: H. F. Mark. In: R. D. Ulrich (Ed.): Contemporary Topics in Polymer Science. Vol. 1: Macromolecular Science. Retrospect and Prospect. New York and London: Plenum Press 1978, pp. 123-131
Herman F. Mark: From Small Organic Molecules to Large. A Century of Progress. Washington, DC: American Chemical Society 1993 (= Profiles, Pathways, and Dreams. Autobiographies of Eminent Chemists), 148 pp.
Hellmut Andics: Life is all about chemistry. [dialogues from the ORF television series with the same name.] In: Franz Kreuzer: Die ganz besonderen Säfte. Die Chemie und das Leben. Vienna: Franz Deuticke 1982, pp. 82-85
Anonymous: Mark, Herman Francis. In: Jay E. Greene (Ed.): McGraw-Hill Modern Scientists and Engineers. Vol. 2: H-Q. New York: McGraw-Hill 1980, p. 277
Klaus Beneke: Hermann Franz Mark (03. 05. 1895 Vienna – 06. 04. 1992 Austin (USA)). Co-founder of the polymer sciences. Kiel: Institute for Inorganic Chemistry at Christian Albrechts University 2005, 21 P.; http://www.uni-kiel.de/anorg/lagaly/group/klausSchiver/mark.pdf (most recently accessed on 15. 5. 2018)
Ute Deichmann: Escape, Contribute, Forget. Chemists and biochemists during the Nazi period. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH 2001, 596 P.
Johannes Feichtinger: Hermann Mark (1895-1992). Viennese born „Ambassador“ of Macromolecular Research. In: José Ramón, Bertomeu-Sánchez, Duncan Thorburn Burns and Brigitte Van Tiggelen (Ed.): Neighbours and Territories. The Evolving Identity of Chemistry. Proceedings. The 6th International Conference on the History of Chemistry. Louvain-la-Neuve: Memosciences 2008, pp. 219-229
Lothar Jaenicke: Hermann Franz (1895-1938) + Herman Francis (1938-1992) = H. F. Mark (1895-1992) – stands for the polymer sciences. In: BIOspektrum 12 (2006), H. 2, pp. 176-180
Franz Kreuzer: Interview with Hermann Mark. In: F. K.: Die ganz besonderen Säfte. Die Chemie und das Leben. Vienna: Franz Deuticke 1982, pp. 39-65
Stephan H. Lindner: HOECHST. An I. G. Farben plant in the Third Reich. Munich: C. H. Beck 2005, 460 P.
Claus Priesner: H. Staudinger, H. Mark and K. H. Meyer. Theses about the size and structure of macromolecules. Causes of and background to an academic dispute. Weinheim, Deerfield Beach (Florida) and Basle: Verlag Chemie 1980, 389 P.
Wolfgang L. Reiter: Expulsion of the Jewish intelligentsia: double loss – 1938/1945. In: Internationale Mathematische Nachrichten 187 (2001), pp. 1-20
Wolfgang L. Reiter: Innovation and Destruction. About the history of natural sciences in Austria 1850 to 1950. Vienna: LIT 2017 (= Emigration – Exile – Continuity, 15), 472 P.