Was Hitler good at math

Seminar for general basics:
Mathematician during the Nazi era

 

 

Subject: Persecuted Mathematicians

 

 

Task:

Professor Huckle

 

Task processor:

SteffiLaemmle, Willy Tiabou, ChristophBichlmeier

 

Date of the lecture:

21.5.2003

 

 

 

 

Lecture:

Steffi Laemmle

 

Presentation:

Steffi Laemmle

 

Elaboration:

Willy Tiabou, Christoph Bichlmeier

 

Homepage of the seminar:

http://www5.in.tum.de/lehre/seminare/math_nszeit/SS03/

 

 

 

 

 

List of persecuted mathematicians:

Structure:

 

 

1 term "persecution":
1.1 Why mathematicians - connection between mathematics and politics?
1.1.1 Where were mathematicians persecuted?
Germany, Austria from 1938, Poland (University of Prague) after the invasion of Poland from 1939

1.2 Why was it persecuted?
1.2.1 Political attitude:
1.2.2 Pacifist:
1.2.3 Critical to the regime:
1.2.4 Jewish, non-Aryan, "Jewish-Versippt":

1.3 How is it prosecuted, with what means, with what legitimation?
1.3.1 Public pressure through student boycott, newspaper articles, public letters, conspiracy:
1.3.2 Laws as instruments to legalize persecution:

1.4 What consequences did the mathematicians concerned have to conclude from the politically motivated measures against them or what consequences did they have for them?
1.4.1 Voluntary resignation from civil service, post abandonment:
1.4.2 Resignation from the civil service brought about by law, post abandonment:
1.4.3 Emigration:
1.4.4 Detention, protective custody:
1.4.5 Suicide:
1.4.6 KZ, death:
1.4.7 Statistics:

1.5 Epilogue:

1.6 Bibliography

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1 Term "persecution":

Let us begin by defining the term "persecution" more precisely. This is used when in research there is talk of the treatment of people who are unpopular to the Hitler regime in various forms and dimensions. Persecution is defined as:

  • Harassment e.g. through student boycott
  • Denunciation e.g. via newspaper reports
  • Disadvantage, e.g. in the case of transport
  • Exclusion of a university
  • Withdrawal of the license to teach
  • temporary arrest (protective custody)
  • Imprisonment
  • assassination

 

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1.1 Why mathematicians - is there a connection between mathematics and politics?


What significance did mathematicians have for the National Socialists? This question and thus also the question of the social and legislative developments of the Hitler regime on this science and its representatives should be briefly summarized here.
On the one hand, in the National Socialist conception, there was a need for mathematics for military purposes and organizational tasks; on the other hand, the Nazi ideology was opposed to the stubborn funneling of knowledge. Rather, it aimed at "growing perfectly healthy bodies" and "the development of character, especially the promotion of willpower and determination combined with the education for responsibility and only as the last scientific training" (Hitler's "Mein Kampf", 2nd volume, Munich 1927, p.452).

So-called research groups, which were subordinate to a ministry such as the Reich Ministry of Aviation, recruited mathematicians loyal to the regime from the universities, e.g. to promote armament.
Mathematics in the scientific sense had become unimportant and its representatives inconvenient.

Since the mathematicians became more and more important as the war progressed due to the development of new technologies of the war machine and espionage, they were in the focus of the authorities, who wanted to ensure that these were people loyal to the regime, as was the case in the 1933 law on the restoration of civil servants (BBG) was formulated in § 4. Only civil servants, such as academic staff at universities and professors, were affected. Civil servants who did not "always stand up wholeheartedly for the national state" could be dismissed under the law.

 

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1.1.1 Where were mathematicians persecuted?

Almost all professional groups suffered from the reprisals of the National Socialists, including mathematicians.

But persecution was also carried out in Austria's universities after the annexation of Austria to the German Empire.
Kurt Gödel, Robert Musil, and Karl Menger were subsequently driven into exile.
After Alfred Tauber had to inform the university administration that proof of his Aryan descent was impossible, his name was found on the list of those who had not taken the oath of service to Hitler. He was later deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp and died.
Persecution and murder also took place outside the university, e.g. the math teacher Viktor Sabbath from Chajesgymnasium in Vienna was murdered by the Nazis.

In 1939, with the invasion of the German armed forces, the criminal policy of Germanization began in Poland. On November 17, 1939, the Gestapo in Prague shot dead nine students under direct influence from Hitler, arrested more than 1,300 people and deported over 1,000 people to the concentration camp. In the shadow of this event, a science policy developed in relation to Prague, in which all relevant party and government agencies participated. Its eventful and confused course was hardly as representative at any other university as at the German University in Prague.
Georg Pick was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in northern Bohemia on July 13, 1942, where he died a fortnight later. Ludwig Berwald was deported to the Lodz ghetto on October 22, 1941, together with his wife.
Tadeusz Wazewski was in Krakow when he was arrested and taken to the Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg concentration camp in Berlin, where he survived for two years. AntoniHoborski, who, like Tadeusz Wazewski, was a mathematics professor at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, died in the Sachsenhausen Oranienburg concentration camp in February 1940. Kazimierz Zarankiewicz from the University of Warsaw lectured at the underground university and was sent to a laboratory camp in Germany by the Nazis.

 

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1.2. What are the reasons for denouncing and persecuting?

The people who did not fit into the ideology of National Socialism or who did not want to fit in were persecuted in various ways under Hitler.

 

 

 

1.2.1. Political attitude:

Some mathematicians showed their anti-Nazi stance and were mostly viewed by the Nazis as opponents of the regime. Felix Bernstein, who was temporarily deputy chairman of the left-liberal Göttingen German Democratic Party DDP, and Richard Courant publicly propagated against bourgeois parties in the election for the National Assembly on January 19, 1919.
Otto Blumenthal was a member of the "Association of Friends of the New Russia". This supposed expression of an intellectual openness was interpreted by the Nazis as an open sympathy for the hated communism.
Emmy Nöther, who was politically active in the USPD during the Weimar Republic and later in the SPD, was considered a communist. Friedrich Hopfner was known as a liberal.
In the spring of 1933 the National Socialists described the mathematical institute of Göttingen as a "stronghold of Marxism" (although one should know that "Marxism" by the Nazis as a communist political position was close to the Social Democratic Party, which was just as despised at the time). Erich Kamke was also criticized by the National Socialists, partly because of his democratic convictions.

 

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1.2.2. Pacifist:

The influence of National Socialism on the population and public life was great and obvious. The apparently military features of the Hitler regime gave an inkling of the outbreak of war even before any fighting began. In view of this background, various organizations were formed to curb the regime. There were various reasons for this: On the one hand, they wanted to keep the peace, on the other hand, they felt sorry for the people who were ostracized by the Nazis because of their origins or their beliefs. Some waged a real struggle for better treatment for people in general, others wanted to save Germany's honor. Hans Rademacher and Fritz Noether were active in the league for human rights. Rademacher was also an important figure in the association for the defense against anti-Semitism. Carl Ludwig Siegel, who refused to support the National Socialists' will to go to war either passively or actively, emigrated to the USA via Norway. Emil Julius Gumbel also had an uncomfortable pacifist outlook for the Nazis, which he tried to spread.

 

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1.2.3. Critical to the regime:

As the excesses of National Socialism got worse and worse, such as military-style mass rallies, open anti-Semitism supported by the authorities, the duty of the Hitler salute and the mutual spying of the population, many recognized the danger that Hitler emanated and that ultimately ended in war and the Holocaust would. Few had the courage to speak out against politics, and those who dared faced serious consequences. Ernst Zermelo, for example, refused to give the Hitler salute. The determined Nazi opponent Erich Kamke categorically refused any expression of acceptance of the Hitler regime and was persecuted for this, among other things.

 

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1.2.4. Jewish, non-Aryan, "Jewish-Versippt:

Anti-Semitism, which was already widespread in the 19th century, reached a sad climax after the First World War. Hitler used the public demand for a scapegoat for the lost war, which one did not want to understand at home, since the enemy never crossed the German borders. The many financially well-off Jewish academics and business people were a thorn in the side of the National Socialists. The economic crisis in Germany that followed the war and the people's fear of existence resulting from it were ideal breeding grounds for Hitler's politics to stylize the ideal image of the "Germanic master races" and to direct public aggression towards Judaism.
The University of Frankfurt in particular, one third of whose teaching staff was of Jewish descent, was called the "Jewish University" and was thus pilloried.
According to the statistics of Nobert-Schappacher, 46 Jewish mathematicians were expelled from German universities under National Socialism in the years 1933-1934.
Among others, Otto Blumenthal, Emil Julius Gumbel, Otto Toeplitz, Fritz Noether, Ludwig Hopf, Erich Kamke, Robert Remak and Edmund Landau suffered from the anti-Semitic pressure of the National Socialists.

 

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1.3. How is it prosecuted, with what means, with what legitimation?

Jewish mathematicians who were critical of the regime were exposed to reprisals by the National Socialist public in Germany, the population and the media. These include primarily character assassination and agitation in newspapers and at the university against professors. They initially justified their position and tried to hold their own, but then, once the "popular anger" had awakened, resignedly had to abandon their boycotted lectures by students. Hitler legitimized the persecution of unpopular mathematicians with legislative measures such as the Law to Restore Officials and the Race Laws.

 

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1.3.1. Public pressure through student boycott, newspaper articles, public letters, conspiracy:

Even before laws legalized the harassment and marginalization of unpleasant mathematicians in judicial terms, the persecution was promoted by National Socialist student associations (1 *) and the media. Students called for a boycott of lectures by certain professors (Edmund Landau, Arthur Rosenthal). Newspapers denounced faculties and in some cases professors by name (2 *). Jewish, pacifist, mathematicians with socialist or even communist preferences were mopped by colleagues with disciplinary procedures or ignoring doctoral and habilitation procedures. Most of them did not withstand the pressure of the National Socialist German Student Union (NSDStB) and their national socialist academic colleagues or did not want to be further harassed and often left their jobs voluntarily.

1*:
Foundation of the National Socialist German Student Union (NSDStB) in February 1926.
In 1931 a total of 44.6% of all student voters at German universities voted for the National Socialist list. In 1932 this number rose to 49.1%. Similar results were also achieved at the technical universities.
2*:
Otto Blumenthal is mentioned in an article by West German border sheet mentioned in connection with the term "Salon Bolshevism".

 

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1.3.2. Laws as Instruments to Legalize Persecution:

In the context of the Nuremberg Race Laws and the law for the restoration of the civil service, a legitimation of the measures against unpopular people in the sphere of influence of the National Socialists was obtained.
These laws were worded in such a way that, in any case, there was a reason to persecute those who were considered dangerous, inconvenient, or unnecessary
(please refer Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service:§6 or Law on the discharge and transfer of university lecturers on the occasion of the reorganization of the German higher education system:§§3,4).

Compilation of all weighty laws regarding the persecution of mathematicians:

7.4.1933 Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service:

  • Aryan paragraph §3
  • But primarily dismissal due to political unreliability
  • §4: Dismissal of civil servants who were not always ready to “stand up for the national state without reservation”.
  • Gummiparagraph §6 retirement to "simplify administration".
  • §5 Downgrading or relocation of civil servants to other locations.
  • Except from §3: Non-Aryans who were civil servants before 1914 or who had served as combatants in the first WW. Dismissal if necessary with §6
  • Climate of great uncertainty
  • §4 Intimidating Effect

DISCHARGES ACCORDING TO THIS PARAGRAPH

January 21, 1935 Law on the discharge and transfer of university lecturers on the occasion of the reorganization of the German higher education system:

  • §3, §4 transfer or release from official duties of professors, "if the interests of the Reich so require".
  • §1, §2 on completion of the 65th year of age, retirement

DISCHARGES ACCORDING TO THIS PARAGRAPH

  • §4 no dismissals of mathematicians
  • §1 Felix Hausdorff at the beginning of 1935 (66 years of age, Jewish descent)

9/15/1935 new race laws:

  • Reich Citizenship Act (RBG) §2 "A citizen of the Reich is only a citizen of German and related blood who proves through his behavior that he is willing and inclined to serve the German people and the Reich in loyalty."
  • Implementing ordinance for the RGB: "Jewish civil servants will retire at the end of December 31, 1935."

January 26, 1937 New German Civil Service Act:

  • §59 "Civil servant is to be dismissed if he or his spouse is not of German or related blood .."
  • not used to dismiss civil servants with "Jewish infiltration": other method:

April 19, 1937 "Flaggenerations":

  • Civil servants who live in a "German-Jewish mixed marriage" are not allowed to hoist the national flag. "Since this situation is unsustainable, the civil servant with Jewish infiltration is to be retired in accordance with Section 6 of the BBG."

DISCHARGES UNDER THIS DECREE

 

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1.4. What consequences did the mathematicians concerned have to conclude from this?

 

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1.4.1. Voluntary resignation from the civil service, post abandonment:

Since Hitler came to power, many mathematicians viewed the development of the new regime with suspicion. Some of them, including Ernst Zermelo, were soon no longer ready to endure the grievances in Germany and gave up their post at the university as an act of political protest.
Many Jewish mathematicians (including Paul Epstein) already suspected that anti-Semitism would soon make further research impossible for them and their application for retirement prevented them from being dismissed. Even mathematicians like HerrmanWeyl, who corresponded to the “Aryan ideas” of the Nazis from a “racial point of view” but had a Jewish spouse, soon had to fear for the safety of their families due to the increasing discrimination and persecution of the Jews. Many of them therefore decided to give up their posts at the university in order to be able to offer their relatives a secure life abroad.
Most of the “voluntary” resignations were, however, also brought about by public pressure. Lecture boycotts on the part of National Socialist students were actions that were often openly approved by the ministries and forced many professors to apply for their retirement or retirement themselves. Corresponding student actions can be proven at least in the cases of the mathematicians Otto Blumenthal, Arthur Rosenthal, Friedrich Willers and Edmund Landau.

 

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1.4.2. Resignation from the civil service brought about by law, post abandonment:

The pseudo-legalization of the new university laws, which relied on the traditional subservience of academic officials, was complemented by an atmosphere of arbitrary accusation and denunciation by students or colleagues. The central pseudo-legal handle for the dismissal of university teachers was the notorious law for the restoration of the civil service of April 7, 1933. Section 3 called for the immediate dismissal or retirement of Jewish civil servants. According to Section 3, Emmy Noether and Ludwig Hopf, among others, were dismissed. The arbitrary handling of the various paragraphs created a climate of great uncertainty. Authorities often did not adhere to the wording of the law themselves, dismissing scientists despite the exception clause in Section 3, which exempted former civil servants and combatants from being dismissed in order to temporarily reinstate them from time to time. The application of rubber paragraph 6, which was often used to dismiss politically abusive scientists, was on the same level. Other mathematicians who were dismissed after the BBG are Felix Bernstein, Otto Blumenthal, Hans Rademacher, Max Dehn.
Anti-Semitic legislation tightened continuously over the following years. As a result of the Reich Citizenship Act of September 1935, the exception clause in Section 3 of the BBG was repealed. In 1937 mathematicians with “non-Aryan” partners were increasingly persecuted and dismissed through the flag decree. Emil Artin in Hamburg, Erich Kamke in Tübingen, Johannes Müller in Bonn and Theodor Pöschl in Karlsruhe were affected by this decree.

 

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1.4.3. emigration:

Numerous mathematicians who were dismissed from office or voluntarily resigned because of their Jewish descent or political maladjustment turned their backs on Germany and fled abroad. Only in this way was it possible for most of them to save their lives. The emigrants from Hitler's sphere of influence - insofar as they had German citizenship - were faced with considerable obstacles on the German side when applying for an exit visa. They had to pay the so-called Reichsfluchtsteuer and largely forego property and property claims. Many of those released (Edmund Landau, Issai Schur, Otto Toeplitz) tried to delay emigration as long as possible because of their emotional ties to their homeland. However, the longer the Nazi regime lasted, the worse the chances of emigration. For this reason, many scientists who waited too long to emigrate were no longer able to flee abroad later. Unsuccessful emigration attempts are known from Otto Blumenthal, Felix Hausdorff, Robert Remak and Alfred Tauber, among others. However, most scientists can be said to be "privileged victims" because they fell under the exception clause of the strict American immigration law if they could prove a job opportunity in the USA. The United States became the ultimate refuge for more than half of the German-speaking mathematicians who emigrated after 1933. After America, Great Britain and Palestine were the countries that took in the most refugee mathematicians.
The age of the emigrants played an important role in the success of integration abroad. The eldest among the expellees (Felix Bernstein, Max Dehn, Arthur Rosenthal) were the least successful abroad and, despite their prominent past, were no longer able to obtain full professorships. The younger mathematicians were sometimes better able to adapt to the new circumstances abroad and they helped set up important mathematical centers, supported by colleagues who had already immigrated or were American. Richard Courant in particular helped many German mathematicians to integrate into American society. From the families of Alfred Brauer and Abraham Wald, who both emigrated to the USA, one family member each was murdered by the Nazis.

 

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1.4.4. Detention, protective custody:

Especially after the anti-Semitic November pogrom of 1938, many Jews were taken into “protective custody” by the Gestapo. The group of people affected by the arrests was determined in advance: According to Heydrich's orders, "healthy male Jews who were not too old" were to be arrested, especially "wealthy" ones, revealing the financial background of the action. Prominent community members were deliberately arrested, thereby weakening Jewish self-organization and possible resistance. The Berlin mathematician Robert Remak, who was arrested by the Gestapo on Reichskristallnacht, was also affected. The Aachen professor Ludwig Hopf also barely escaped arrest in 1938. The release of those arrested as part of the November pogrom happened in several waves: First of all, at the end of November all soldiers from the front were released. Then, on December 12, all those over 50 years of age followed. Robert Robert Remak was also released after eight weeks in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Upon release, the prisoners had to sign a lapel in which they undertook, under threat of renewed concentration camp imprisonment, to keep silent about everything they had experienced in the camp. After returning to their place of residence, the former prisoners were required to report to the police. It was not only about checking the whereabouts, but also about emigration efforts. Otto Blumenthal was also arrested.

 

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1.4.5. Suicide:

Suicide
Some mathematicians, who saw no way out of their life situation, which had become unbearable, resorted to the last resort to escape Hitler's power and chose suicide. After their dismissal from university posts, a few scientists saw no more meaning in life and killed themselves.
Above all, however, Jewish mathematicians who could not or did not want to emigrate after their release, often prevented the murder by the Nazis by suicide. (Paul Epstein, Felix Hausdorff)

 

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1.4.6. Concentration camp, death:

As the Hitler regime progressed, the persecution of the Jews took on more and more extreme forms and all Jews who were no longer able to escape abroad were deported to concentration camps. The regime of terror did not stop at famous Jewish scientists, such as Otto Blumenthal and Robert Remak, who had fled to Holland. After the occupation of the Netherlands, both were arrested by the Nazis, taken to a concentration camp and murdered there. Alfred Tauber died in the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Robert Remak, who initially survived Sachsenhausen between 1938-1939, died in Auschwitz in 1942. Ludwig Berwald perished in the Lodz ghetto. Stefan Schwarz survived imprisonment in the Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald concentration camps.
Tadeusz Wazewski, who was also imprisoned in Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen, survived, as did Jean Leray, who was held in a war camp in Austria from 1940 until the end of the war, and Ernst Hellinger, who was in Dachau. Kazimierz Zarankiewicsz sent the Nazis to a labor camp in Germany and survived. Alfred Renyi was detained in a labor camp in 1944 and escaped. Paul Turan spent 32 months in a Nazi labor camp in Hungary from 1941 to 1944 and survived the hardships

 

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1.4.7 Statistics:

Expulsion of university mathematicians during National Socialism between 1933 and 1937 (after Norbert Schnappenbacher from the book Mathematicians on the Flight from Hitler by Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze):

 

 

total

Ordinaries

Duration:

1931

197

97

Losses:

1933-1934

35 (30)

15 (11)

 

1935-1936

19 (16)

11 (10)

 

1937

5 (0)

3 (0)

 

 

 

 

 

total

59 (46)

29 (21)

The numbers in parentheses represent the number of mathematicians of Jewish descent.

 

 

 

1.5 Epilogue:

Since during the Nazi era in Germany every person who was critical of the regime or who did not meet the Aryan criteria of the National Socialist ideal was confronted with the threat from Hitler's supporters, it turned out to be difficult to identify the special role of mathematicians in the to recognize the process initiated by the National Socialists.

The structure of our elaboration and the lecture should illustrate in terms of time how the social situation in Germany has worsened.In addition, it should be shown clearly with what justification and in what form the people were persecuted and what consequences this resulted for them.

The admittedly brief biographies are by no means sufficient to honor the achievements of these mathematicians. We mainly concentrate on their fates, caused by persecution under National Socialism.

 

 

 

1.6 Bibliography:

Book:
Mathematician on the run from Hitler by Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze

Sources from the internet:
http://science.orf.at/science/news/23003 (Wiener Math)
http://www.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/helios/fachinfo/www/math/zitat/rosenthal-em.htm
http://at.yorku.ca/t/o/p/c/71.htm
http://www.math.purdue.edu/generalInfo/newsletter/winter99/article07a_golomb.html Golomb
http://www.math.uni-frankfurt.de/~steuding/schwarz/dehnmat3.pdf
http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/~landc/fulltext/LandC_34_1_Sroka.pdf
http://webhost.math.rochester.edu/sums/ Segal Mathematicians under the Nazis
http://at.yorku.ca/t/o/p/c/72.htm
http://www.maa.org/reviews/rockefeller.html
http://www.uni-protocol.de/buecher/isbn/3528069937/
http://www.mathematik.uni-bielefeld.de/DMV/archiv/geschichte.html
http://www.aleph99.org/etusci/ks/t2a2.htm
http://www.biography-center.com

 

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List of mathematicians:

List of mathematicians with short biography:

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Otto Blumenthal
Paul Epstein
Emil Julius Gumbel
Fritz Nöther
Emil Artin
Erich Kamke
Felix Hausdorff
Felix Bernstein
Ludwig Hopf
Max Dehn
Robert Remak
Arthur Rosenthal
Emmy Noether
Edmund Landau
Richard Courant
HerrmanWeyl
Friedrich Willers
Ernst Zermelo
Carl Ludwig Siegel
Kurt Godel
Otto Toeplitz
Karl Menger
Ludwig Berwald
Alfred Tauber
Paul Turan
Alfred Renyi
Jean Leray
Stefan Schwarz
Tadeusz Wazewski
Kazimierz Zarankiewicsz
Ernst Hellinger
Issai Shur
Alfred Brewer
Abraham Woods

Otto Toeplitz (1881 Breslau - 1940 Jerusalem)

Toeplitz came from a Jewish family. His father was a high school teacher. Toeplitz studied mathematics in Breslau and Göttingen and received his doctorate in 1905 with a thesis on "Systems of forms whose functional determinant disappears identically". In 1907 he completed his habilitation at the University of Göttingen, and in 1914 was a.o., 1920 o.Prof. at the University of Kiel and has taught at the University of Bonn since 1928. In 1933, however, as a Jew, he had to give up his professorship. He then worked for the Bonn Jewish community, organizing, among other things, the emigration of students; From 1935 to 1939 he was head of the university department of the Reich Representation of German Jews. In 1939 he emigrated to Palestine and taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Toeplitz worked in particular in the field of algebra and analysis.

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Ludwig Berwald (1883 Prague - 1942 Lodz, Poland)

Ludwig Berwald attended the k. u. k. Gymnasium am Graben in Prague, where he was a student with a German mother tongue. In 1899 the family moved to Munich, where Ludwig died in 1902 on the k. Luitpold-Gymnasium (today Einsteingymnasium) passed the Abitur. He then studied mathematics and physics at the Ludwig Maximilians University and the Technical University in Munich. Relations in Prague brought him into contact with Georg Pick and Gerhard Kowalewski, who enabled him to pursue an academic future at the German University in Prague. On October 22, 1941, he and his wife were deported to the Lodz ghetto, where he died four weeks after his wife on April 20, 1942, and thus escaped transport to the Majdanek death camp.

 

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Paul Turan 1910 (in Budapest, Hungary) - 1976 (in Budapest, Hungary) picture ---->

The Ph.D. Paul Turan was supervised by Fejer. As a Jew, he couldn't find a job. From 1941 to 1944 he spent 32 months in a Nazi labor camp in Hungary. From 1949 he was a professor at the University of Budapest. Turan's first work was based on probable number theory, and in 1938 he developed the sum-power method. During his stay in a labor camp, he also worked on graph theory and, together with Erdös, on statistical group theory.

 

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Karl Menger (1902 Vienna - 1985 Chicago)

Menger attended the Doblinger Gymnasium, studied mathematics at the University of Vienna and completed his habilitation in 1925 at the University of Amsterdam. 1928-1936 he taught as a professor of geometry at the University of Vienna, then as a professor of mathematics at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana (USA). In 1946 he accepted an appointment at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where he worked until his retirement in 1971. Menger dealt with many areas of mathematics. Most of his work, however, concerned the topology, especially the theory of dimensions.

 

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Alfred Renyi (1921-1970) picture ---->

Alfred Renyi started with a literary education instead of a scientific education. In 1944 he was held in a fascist labor camp but managed to escape. He received false papers and went into hiding for six months. During this time his parents were imprisoned in the Budapest ghetto. Alfred saved her from a worse fate under adventurous circumstances. Towards the end of the Second World War, Alfred Renyi was appointed Doctor of Philosophy in Szeged under F. Riesz for his work on Cauchy-Fourier series. He later went to Russia and worked with Linnik on number theory, especially on Goldbach's conjecture. After his return to Hungary, he dealt with probability theory, which should become the main topic of his research. Renyi was the founder, and for 20 years director, of the Mathematical Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

 

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Jean Leray (1906-1988)

Jean Leray's father, Francis Leray, was a professor. Jean began his education at the Nantes high school, then moved to the Rennes high school and received his doctorate from the Ecole Normale Supérieure. In Paris he worked on hydrodynamics. On October 20, 1932, he married Marguerite Trumier. In 1940 he was captured and remained in a war camp in Austria until the end of the war (1945). During this period, he stopped his research into the mechanics of fluids for algebraic topology so that the Germans could not benefit from his research for war. After returning to Paris, he continued to study topology and became a professor at the College de France. In 1953 he became a member of the Academy of Science (Mechanics), in 1954 he became chairman of the French Society of Mathematics. In 1979 he received the Wolff Prize, in 1988 the Lomonossov Prize.

 

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Stefan Schwarz (1914-1996)

Stefan was of Jewish descent. He attended high school in his hometown NovéMestonadVáhom. In 1932 he began his academic career at Charles University in Prague, where he did his doctorate in 1937 under Karel Petr on the subject of reducibility of polynomials over finite fields. In 1939 he left Prague, returned to Slovakia and found work in the new Slovak Technical University in Bratislava. In 1944 he was arrested and taken to Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen concentration camp in the north-west of Berlin. He was later deported to Buchenwald, a camp that belonged to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Although there were no gas chambers in Buchenwald, hundreds of people died there of diseases, as a result of attacks and executions, or starved to death. In April 1945, Schwarz, near death, was saved by the liberation of Buchenwald.

 

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Tadeusz Wazewski (Sept 1896 - Sept 1972)

Wazewski attended grammar school in Tarnow and had the intention to study physics from the beginning. He did this at first at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, but was then persuaded by Zaremba and switched to mathematics. Wazewski studied set theory and topology and decided to do his doctorate in Paris. After completing his doctorate, he returned to the Jagiellonian University, where he lectured from 1927. Krakow was occupied by the German army at the beginning of World War II. In the course of this, Wazewski was taken to the Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg concentration camp, where he spent two years and survived.

 

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Kazimierz Zarankiewicz 1902 (in Czestochowa, Poland) - 1959 (in London, England) picture --->

Zarankiewicszo attended high school in Bedzin near Czestochowa. In 1919 he began his studies at the University of Warsaw and in 1923 was Ph.D .. In 1924 he became an assistant, in 1929 a lecturer. After the outbreak of World War II, he continued to give lectures at the university and risked his life. In 1944 he was sent to a laboratory warehouse in Germany because of his "stubbornness". He survived and returned to Warsaw after the end of the war. In 1959 he died during the 10th Congress of the International Astronautical Federation in London, where he held the office of President.

 

 

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Alfred Brauer 1894 (Berlin) - 1985 (Chapel Hill) Image --->

Brauer studied mathematics in Heidelberg and Berlin from 1913, interrupted by his voluntary military service 1914-1919. From 1926 to 1928 he was an assistant at the Institute for Mathematics at the University of Berlin, after receiving his doctorate in 1928. He completed his habilitation in 1932 and worked as a private lecturer until his dismissal in 1935. In 1939 he emigrated to the USA, where he worked until 1942 Institute for advancedstudy at Princeton University, New Jersey as an assistant. He became professor of mathematics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and in 1966 he retired. His sister Alice stayed in Germany and was murdered by the Nazis in a concentration camp.

 

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Ernst Hellinger 1883 (Striegau) - 1950 (Chicago) picture ---->

Hellinger studied in Breslau, Heidelberg and Göttingen, where he did his doctorate with the work "The orthogonally invariant, quadratic forms with infinitely many variables" (1907) by David Hilbert, whose assistant he was subsequently. Since 1909 private lecturer in Marburg, in 1914 he became a professor at the University of Frankfurt am Main, where he held a full professorship from 1920 until his dismissal. In 1938 he was arrested and deported to the Dachau concentration camp. In 1939 he emigrated to the USA.

 

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Abraham Wald 1902 (Klausenburg) - 1950 (Nilgiri Hills) picture ---->

Wald was the son of a Jewish baker, studied in Klausburg and received his doctorate in 1931 in Vienna under Carl Menger with a mathematical thesis (on Hilbert's system of axioms). In 1938 he emigrated to the USA when a member of his family was murdered in the gas chambers of the Auschwitz concentration camp. He worked in the Cowles commission for economic research and lectured from 1944 as a professor of mathematical statistics at Columbia University New York. His publications included sequential analysis (1947), statistical decision-making function (1950), and selected papers in statistics and probability calculations (1957). Forest was killed in a plane crash in southern India.

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Issai Shur (1875 in Mogilyov - 1941 in Tel Aviv)

At 13, Schur came to Latvia and attended high school there. He studied at the University of Berlin and got his doctorate in 1901. From 1911 to 1916, he had a professorship in mathematics at the University of Bonn. In 1916 he went back to Berlin, where he became a full professor in Berlin in 1919. He held this position until he was dismissed by the Nazis in 1935. He then received invitations from the USA and England, but declined them because he could not understand that a German is not welcome in Germany. In 1939 he went to Palestine and died in 1941.