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Mathematicians under the Nazis Mathematicians under the Nazis S A N F O R D L . S E G A L P R I N C E T O N U N I V E R S I T Y P R E S S P R I N C E T O N A N D O X F O R D Copyright 䉷 2003 by Princeton University Press Published by Princeton University Press, 41 William Street, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 In the United Kingdom: Princeton University Press, 3 Market Place, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1SY All Rights Reserved LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA Segal, Sanford L., 1937– Mathematicians under the Nazis / Sanford L. Segal. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-691-00451-X (alk. paper) 1. Mathematicians—Germany—History—20th century. 2. Mathematics—Germany—History—20th century. I. Title. QA28 .S44 2003 510⬘.943⬘09043—dc21 2002070399 British Library Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available This book has been composed in Berkeley Printed on acid-free paper. ⬁ Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 TO THE MEMORY OF JAMES B. COLTON II AND NORMAN OLIVER BROWN, BOTH CLASSICISTS, BOTH HUMANISTS OF BROAD PERSPECTIVE, WHO TAUGHT ME WHAT HISTORY WAS AND ABOUT THE MEANING OF FACTS. “A teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops.” A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas. A painter makes patterns with shapes and colours, a poet with words. . . . A mathematician, on the other hand, [unlike the poet] has no material to work with but ideas, and so his patterns are likely to last longer, since ideas wear less with time than words. —G. H. HARDY A Mathematician’s Apology (1940) Und hat Form nicht zweierlei Gesicht? Ist sie nicht sittlich und unsittlich zugleich—sittlich als Ergebnis und Ausdruck der Zucht, unsittlich aber und selbst widersittlich sofern sie von Natur eine moralische Gleichgultigkeit in sich schleisst, ja wesentlich bestrebt ist, das Moralische unter ihr stolzes und unumschranktes Szepter zu beugen. —THOMAS MANN, Der Tod in Venedig And has not form two aspects? Is it not moral and immoral at once; moral in so far as it is the expression and result of discipline, immoral—yes, actually hostile to morality—in that of its very essence it is indifferent to good and evil, and deliberately concerned to make the moral world stoop beneath its proud and undivided sceptre? —THOMAS MANN, Death in Venice (trans. H. T. Lowe Porter) ...


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