On an excursion to Indonesia 1930/31 the German Botanist Otto Renner and his Swiss colleague Alfred Ernst developed a friendship. Their mutual understanding allowed them to express their opposition against the Nazi-Regime in a dozen letters exchanged between 1933 and 1945. To encode their secret messages they used ambiguous citations, metaphors about “diseases” and “cures”, irony and presumable Freudian mistakes. From the take-over of the Nazis in Thüringen 1930 to the end of the war not a single year passed without Renner spiting the NS-apparatus at University of Jena in one way or
another. In Switzerland Ernst claimed (1936, 1939, 1941, 1942) human rights and equality in genetics and published studies about labile genes to challenge the dogmatic Mendelism of German race hygiene. Renner used the ‘völkisch’-oriented educational Journal “Der Biologe” to write subversive parodies about NS-ideology and its jargon (1936, 1944). Metaphorically speaking he hid inside a Nazi cell’s core, so as to spread his own dissenting information from there, like a virus spreads its DNA.