All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

An intelligent and powerful professor at the National Institute school that Werner attends, Dr. Hauptmann is at first a powerful ally for Werner, giving his bright student science projects and special assignments that win him the good graces of the entire faculty. But when Werner begins to express his doubts about the morality of the Nazi regime, Hauptmann exposes his true pettiness and spitefulness: he lies about Werner’s age, forcing him to be sent to fight in the German army.

Dr. Hauptmann Quotes in All the Light We Cannot See

The All the Light We Cannot See quotes below are all either spoken by Dr. Hauptmann or refer to Dr. Hauptmann. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Fourth Estate edition of All the Light We Cannot See published in 2015.
Three (June 1940): Blackbirds Quotes

Why always triangles? What is the purpose of the transceiver they are building? What two points does Hauptmann know, and why does he need to know the third? “It’s only numbers, cadet,” Hauptmann says, a favorite maxim. “Pure math. You have to accustom yourself to thinking that way.”

Related Characters: Werner Pfennig (speaker), Dr. Hauptmann (speaker)
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:

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Dr. Hauptmann Character Timeline in All the Light We Cannot See

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Hauptmann appears in All the Light We Cannot See. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Three (June 1940): Hauptmann
Fate, Duty, and Free Will Theme Icon
Science and “Ways of Seeing” Theme Icon
One day, Werner and his peers are taught by an old doctor named Hauptmann. Hauptmann gives every student a small metal box and tells them to build a simple... (full context)
Three (June 1940): The Sum of Angles
Fate, Duty, and Free Will Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Science and “Ways of Seeing” Theme Icon
After his spectacular performance as an engineer for Dr. Hauptmann, Werner is summoned to the technical sciences professors, and asked about his interest in the... (full context)
Three (June 1940): Letters #2-4: Werner to Jutta
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
Interconnectedness and Separation Theme Icon
Fate, Duty, and Free Will Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Science and “Ways of Seeing” Theme Icon
Werner writes a letter to Jutta, telling his sister that Dr. Hauptmann is planning to recommend him to high-ranking Nazi officials, who’ll set him up with a... (full context)
Three (June 1940): Blackbirds
Science and “Ways of Seeing” Theme Icon
...for his weakness, and slowly other boys follow him. Werner savors his evenings with Dr. Hauptmann, who tells him about relativity, quantum mechanics, and other cutting-edge science. Werner thinks of the... (full context)
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
Fate, Duty, and Free Will Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Science and “Ways of Seeing” Theme Icon
...loves classical music, and savors the work of Bach, Mozart, and Vivaldi. In the evenings, Hauptmann puts Werner to work on a transceiver. Werner asks repeatedly what this device is for,... (full context)
Five (January 1941): Entropy
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
Fate, Duty, and Free Will Theme Icon
Science and “Ways of Seeing” Theme Icon
...then beaten for failing to do so. Werner tries to focus on his work in Hauptmann’s laboratory. Hauptmann continues to lavish Werner with praise. (full context)
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
Science and “Ways of Seeing” Theme Icon
...for Frederick by helping him with work and polishing his boots. One day in class, Hauptmann discusses the principle of entropy with his students. Entropy laws dictate that every process “must... (full context)
Five (January 1941): Nadel im Heuhaufen
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
Interconnectedness and Separation Theme Icon
Science and “Ways of Seeing” Theme Icon
Late at night, Werner, Volkheimer, and Dr. Hauptmann go outside to test their transceiver. The purpose of the device, Hauptmann finally reveals, is... (full context)
Five (January 1941): You Have Other Friends
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
Fate, Duty, and Free Will Theme Icon
Science and “Ways of Seeing” Theme Icon
...looks out for his friend, helping him whenever he can. Late at night, Werner and Hauptmann test their transceiver with Volkheimer’s help. (full context)
Five (January 1941): Intoxicated
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
Fate, Duty, and Free Will Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
Science and “Ways of Seeing” Theme Icon
...to the teachers—they wonder why Jutta is asking so many questions. Only Werner’s work for Hauptmann keeps him safe from bullying and from Bastian. One evening, Werner is working in the... (full context)
Five (January 1941): No Out
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
Interconnectedness and Separation Theme Icon
Fate, Duty, and Free Will Theme Icon
Family Theme Icon
It is January, 1942, and Werner has just asked Dr. Hauptmann to be sent back to his home in the orphanage. Hauptmann is furious with Werner’s... (full context)
Five (January 1941): Everything Poisoned
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
Science and “Ways of Seeing” Theme Icon
In 1942, Dr. Hauptmann calls Werner to his office. Hauptmann reports that he’s being called to Berlin to serve... (full context)
Five (January 1941): Orders
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
Fate, Duty, and Free Will Theme Icon
Science and “Ways of Seeing” Theme Icon
...16. Werner doesn’t understand, as this information is false. The commandant informs Werner that Dr. Hauptmann has pointed out the age discrepancy. Hauptmann has arranged for Werner to be transferred to... (full context)
Seven (August 1942): Sunflowers
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
Fate, Duty, and Free Will Theme Icon
...to radio broadcasts. He thinks about his time with Jutta, and his education with Dr. Hauptmann. All this has led him to being a soldier for the German army. (full context)
Seven (August 1942): White City
World War II, the Nazis, and the French Resistance Theme Icon
Interconnectedness and Separation Theme Icon
Fate, Duty, and Free Will Theme Icon
...There, they enjoy the fun of the town—good food and beer, etc. Werner remembers Dr. Hauptmann, and imagines him as a young man in Vienna, enjoying the nightlife. He wonders if... (full context)