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\title{Mathematicians Going East}
\author{Pasha Zusmanovich \\
University of Ostrava, CZECH REPUBLIC\\ {\tt pasha.zusmanovich@osu.cz}}
\begin{document}
\maketitle
\begin{abstract}
{I} survey emigration of mathematicians from Europe, before and during WWII,
to Russia. The emigration started at the end of 1920s, the time of
``Great Break'', and accelerated in 1930s, after the introduction in Germany of
the ``non-Aryan laws''.~Not everyone who wanted to emigrate managed to do so,
and most of those who did spent a relatively short time in Russia, being
murdered {or} deported, or fleeing the Russian regime. After 1937, the year of
``Great Purge'', only {a} handful of emigrant mathematicians remained, and even {fewer}
managed to leave a trace in the scientific milieu of their new country of
residence. The last batch of emigrants came with the beginning of WWII, when
people were fleeing eastwards {from} the advancing German army.
\end{abstract}
\section*{Introduction}
A lot {has been} written about emigration of scientists, and mathematicians in
particular, from Germany and other European countries between the two world
wars. First and foremost, one should mention a detailed study \cite{ss-fleeing},
concentrating mainly on emigration to the U.S., but also briefly covering
emigration to other countries; then there are a lot of papers concentrating on
emigration to specific countries: \cite{bers}, \cite{us} (U.S.), \cite{fletcher},
\cite{nossum-kotulek} (UK), \cite{rider} (both U.S. and UK), \cite{denmark}
(Denmark), and \cite{turk} (Turkey). In absolute figures, the largest number of
mathematicians emigrated to the U.S. (over {a hundred} by many accounts), while in relative
numbers (say, proportional to the size of the population, or to the number of
actively working mathematicians in the host country) the first place belongs to
the UK.
Concerning emigration to Russia, there is a recent interesting book
\cite{odinets}\footnote{{ }{I} have learned about the cycle of historical papers of Odyniec (the first of
them being \cite{odinets-walf}, published in 2016) on which the book
\cite{odinets} is based, in 2018, when the first version of this {article} was
finished. Though there are many intersections between \cite{odinets} and this
text, {my} emphasis {here} is somewhat different, and {I am} trying to paint as complete {a}
picture as possible, by including borderline cases of emigration at the beginning of WWII, and also
unsuccessful attempts of emigration. Besides, an account in English is desirable.},
as well as a very brief and incomplete survey in
\cite[p{ages} ~132--135]{ss-fleeing}. This {article} is another attempt to present a detailed
survey of emigration of mathematicians to Russia in the specified period. {I} do
not claim any originality, {my} account is prosopographic, and most of {my}
sources are secondary and tertiary ones. The tremendous impact of European
emigrants on American mathematics, and, to a lesser degree, on mathematics in
other countries, is well{-}known, and {I} find it interesting to compare the
situation with those in Russia.
A few words {on} what is {meant by} ``emigration of mathematicians before or
during WWII'' are in order. As curious as it may sound, we need to clarify all
the terms used: what is a mathematician, what is emigration, and what is
``before and during WWII''. {Here, I} treat the term ``mathematician'' liberally and
inclusive{ly}; for example, {I} include in {my} considerations the logician
\textbf{Chwistek}, the statistician \textbf{Gumbel}, the chess player
\textbf{Lasker}, the physicist \textbf{Mathisson}, the electrical engineer
\textbf{Pollaczek}, the mechanical engineer \textbf{Sadowsky}, and the
philosopher \textbf{Wittgenstein}. While the main occupation of these men was
outside mathematics proper, the mathematical component of their deeds, at least
in a certain period of their lives, was strong enough to consider them as
mathematicians (even if by purely formal criterion to have works listed in
\emph{Jahrbuch \"uber Fortschritte der Mathematik} or \emph{Zentralblatt}).
Still, {I} have to draw a line between mathematics and (theoretical) physics
somewhere, and {so I} do not include in {my} considerations such theoretical physicists
as Guido Beck, Max Born, Boris Podolsky, or Victor Weisskopf (but, for example,
do include \textbf{Rosen}, a coauthor---together with Einstein---of Podolsky,
or \textbf{Lustig}, an experimental physicist turned mathematician---if a minor
one---\emph{after} the emigration)\footnote{{ }Emigration of physicists to Russia is briefly discussed in \cite[\S 2]{hoch}.}.
On the other hand, following the definition of a mathematician accepted by the
community as someone who is doing (or did) mathematical research, {I} do not
include persons with a mere mathematical education, but who did not publish a
single paper, like, for example, Henryk Gustaw Lauer, {a Pole,} who, after
emigration to Russia, held a high post in Gosplan (the central Russian planning
agency at the time), and was murdered in 1937\footnote{{ }
In some Polish literature, it is claimed that Lauer ``wrote several papers'';
{I was} unable to find any traces of them, except of one-page answer to a
question in \emph{L'Interm\'ediaire des Math\'ematiciens}.
}.
In the {European} turmoil in the first half of {the twentieth} century with
drastically changing borders, there is no clear-cut definition of what should be
considered as emigration. {I interpret} ``emigration'' in cultural terms, rather
than in political or bureaucratic ones. Some of our protagonists, such as
\textbf{Grommer}, \textbf{Plessner}, and \textbf{Walfisz}, were born in the
territories which at the time belonged to Russia, or even, like in the case of
\textbf{Plessner}, at the time of settling in Russia had a Soviet citizenship.
Still, as all their formative years, including secondary and higher education,
were spent in the German-speaking and cultural environment, it is proper to
count them as emigrants. Also, {I} include the cases when, at the outbreak of the
war between Russia and Germany, people were fleeing the advancing German army
from the territories recently annexed by Russia (eastern Poland\footnote{{ }
Or, western Ukraine, according to Ukrainian terminology.
}
and Baltic states). On the other hand, {I} do not consider the cases where a
person just remained on these territories after annexation (like, for example,
the Ukrainian mathematicians who remained in Lviv, and most of the
mathematicians from the Baltic states and Bessarabia; however, the case of
\textbf{Lewicki} emphasizes the complexity of the situation: he is listed below
under the cases of ``Emigrations that did not occur'', as he did not emigrate,
despite not small efforts from the Ukrainian side, to the Russian part of
Ukraine before WWII, but after the war he became a Soviet citizen by the fact of
annexation of eastern Poland). Neither do {I} consider the cases when a person
was raised and educated in Russia, and then lived abroad, as, for example, the
case of Alexander Chuprov, an eminent statistician, who in 1925 declined a call
to return to Russia. Victor Levin, who was born and raised in Russia, got {a}
university education and {a} first academic post in Germany, was forced to leave
Germany in 1933, and after many adventures, returned to Russia in 1938, is an
interesting borderline case which {I} have decided not to include{,} either.
As in the case of emigration to the West, most of the emigrants came from
Germany or German-occupied territories; and most of them were either Jewish,
or of a left-wing political persuasion (or both). {I} have also included the
cases when people emigrated as early as in the second half of the 1920s, i.e.,
before the rise of the Nazi regime in Germany: the emigrants were, again, either
Jewish, for whom, due to official or unofficial antisemitic policies, it was
impossible to find a suitable academic position in their home countries, or
left-wing political activists. But we have to set a lower bound somewhere, so {I}
exclude, for example, the appearance in Russia of Ernst Kolman\footnote{{ }
Ernst Kolman (1892--1979): a native of Czech lands (then part of
Austro-Hungary), a high-ranking Soviet government official, and a
Marxist-Leninist ``philosopher''. He actively participated virtually in all
assaults of the Russian communist regime on mathematics in 1920--1930s, spied
on behalf of Russian authorities on scientists during their trips abroad, and
penned many secret denunciations to OGPU/NKVD (the Russian secret police) on
various mathematicians. ``An authoritative person'' according to Kolmogorov,
``a dark angel of Soviet mathematics'' according to others. As controversial as
it may sound -- and contrary to many claims in the literature -- Kolman was an able
mathematician. True, the most of his writings were a mix of mathematical
gibberish and a blatant communist propaganda, and he was ridiculed at the 1932 International Mathematical Congress in Z\"urich after
delivering a talk about ``Karl Marx's foundations of differential calculus'', but this does not invalidate the fact that he has a
couple of genuine and interesting mathematical papers under his belt.
}\label{foot-kolman}
whose circumstances of ``emigration'' were entirely different anyway from
all the other cases considered here: he came to (pre-communist) Russia as a
prisoner of war during WWI.
On the other hand, {I} set the upper bound to (the end of) WWII (chronologically
the last case of emigration which did not occur considered by us is that of
\textbf{Banach} in 1945), not considering such interesting cases as
(re)emigration of Lev Kaluzhnin in 1951, or forced labor of German applied
mathematicians in the Russian atomic bomb project.
In the subsequent sections, broken down by year of emigration, {I} list all the {cases of emigration of mathematicians to Russia}
known to {me}. After that, in the
section entitled {\sc Emigrations that did not occur}, {I} list all {relevant}
``unsuccessful'' attempts. The latter list is very eclectic, ranging from
unsuccessful many-years persistent efforts to emigrate to Russia, till a casual
mentioning by a third party about the possibility of emigration of that or
another person. In an attempt to get as complete picture as possible, {I am}
trying to collect all, however small, such evidence, following a short
{\sc Conclusion} at the end. Again, according to {my} criteria, {I am} excluding
such a remarkable case as Oscar Zariski, who got his initial education in Kyiv,
was forced to change his Russian citizenship to a Polish one as a result of
territorial changes after the Russian-Polish war in 1920, and later, to his dismay, was
denied a Russian visa and was unable to return permanently to Russia.
Naturally, while telling {these} stories, we encounter, besides the main
protagonists (whose names are displayed in boldface), a lot of other people. {I}
assume that the reader is reasonably versed in the history of mathematics and
neighboring areas, such as theoretical physics, in Russia and elsewhere, so such
names as Pavel Aleksandrov, Einstein, Gelfand, Kolmogorov, Edmund Landau, Luzin,
Weyl, etc., do not require any explanation. On the other hand, lesser figures,
or persons outside of the mathematical world, usually warrant a brief footnote.
\section*{Year 1925}
\subsection*{Stef\'ania Bauer (nee Szil\'ard)}
(References: \cite[Chapter 3, \S 1]{odinets} and \cite{bauer}, the latter
chiefly describing the fate of her husband, Ervin Bauer).
Born in 1898 in Gy\H{o}r (then Austro-Hungary), sister of
\textbf{Karl Szil\'ard}.
Graduated from the Budapest University in 1919, the same year married Ervin
Bauer, a noted physician and biologist, and a staunch supporter of the
short-lived Hungarian Soviet Republic. After the fall of the Republic in 1919,
and the ensuing ``white terror'', the couple fled the country and lived, under
hardship conditions, in G\"ottingen, Prague, and Berlin. After an invitation to
Ervin Bauer by Semashko, the Russian Commissar (minister) of Public Health of
that time, they settled in 1925 in Russia, ``the country of their dreams'',
first in Moscow, and then in Leningrad.
Stef\'ania became a member of the communist party, and worked, together with her
husband, at the Leningrad branch of the Institute of Experimental Medicine.
According to her contemporaries, she was an able mathematician, but her life
apparently was dominated by the life and deeds of her husband, whom she helped
in his work in theoretical biology. During her life, she published only two
short papers -- one in Hungarian in 1917 in number theory, and another one in
1934 in \emph{Matematicheskii Sbornik} in complex analysis.
The couple was arrested in 1937, and murdered in 1938. Their two sons were
separated, given different family names, and sent to orphanages.
\section*{Year 1929}
\subsection*{Celestyn Burstin}
(References:
\cite[p{ages} ~26--27]{belarus}, \cite[p{ages} ~9--10 of the Russian edition]{volynskii},
\cite{moo}, \cite[Chapter 3, \S 3]{odinets}).
Born in 1888 in Tarnopol (Austro-Hungary, currently Ukraine), graduated from the
University of Vienna in 1911, and got the doctor degree in 1912. Being a Jew and
a communist, he had difficulty to get an academic appointment in German-speaking
lands, and moved to Minsk in 1929, where he was appointed as a professor of the
Belarusian State University, and as the director of the Institute of Mathematics
of the Belarusian National Academy of Sciences; shortly thereafter he was also
elected as a member of the Academy.
In 1925 he joined the Austrian communist party, and after emigration to Russia,
the Soviet communist party. In 1931, after a coup d'\'etat in the Moscow
Mathematical Society, led by the communist zealots preaching the ``class
character of science'', became a member of the Society's ruling board.
Arrested in 1937, died in prison in Minsk in 1938.
There are very few sources about Burstin. The references above contain his
formal and short biography, as well as a very limited piece of information about
Burstin's administrative activities in the Belarusian academy.
Works in differential geometry, measure theory, and general algebraic systems.
\subsection*{Mikolaj Czajkowski (Nikolai Andreevich Chaikovskii)}
(References:
\cite{voznyak}, \cite{voznyak-voznyak}, \cite{voznyak-voznyak-0}, \cite{vozna},
\cite[Chapter 6, \S 2]{odinets}).
Born in 1887 in Berezhany (Austro-Hungary, currently Ukraine). Obtained, not
without difficulty, the doctor degree at Vienna in 1911 under Franz Mertens.
Taught at high schools, and at the private Ukrainian underground university in
Lviv in 1922--1924. Being a Ukrainian patriot, he suffered from real and
perceived Polish oppression, and, while in Lviv, had no contact whatsoever with
the flourishing at that time Lviv school of mathematics.\linebreak As early as 1924, he
attempted, via Mikhail Kravchuk\footnote{{ }
Mikhail Kravchuk (1892--1942): a noted Russian-Ukrainian mathematician (of the
Kravchuk polynomials), arrested by NKVD in 1938, died in 1942 in a
concentration camp.}\label{foot-kravchuk},
to get a post in the Russian part of Ukraine (``the Great Ukraine'', as he put
it) with aspirations to build ``Ukrainian mathematics''. These efforts succeeded
only in 1929, when he got a position at one of the institutes of higher learning
in Odessa. He started to work there enthusiastically; in letters to his father
who remained in Poland, he praised his life and working conditions, but at the
same time complained about ``Jewish dominance'' and his ``lack of knowledge of
the Marxist-Leninist theory''.
Czajkowski was arrested in 1933, and spent {ten} years in Gulag (the Russian system
of concentration camps); meanwhile, his family was deported from Odessa. At 1956
he managed to return to Lviv, and later he was appointed as a professor there.
Died peacefully in 1970.
Czajkowski was a multifaceted person: he was a conductor in a professional
choir, wrote popular science articles, as well as science fiction (apparently
the first in this genre in Ukrainian language).
He published a few papers on Galois theory and elementary number theory, but as
they appeared in Ukrainian and in obscure periodicals, these works seemingly
remained unknown. Later in his life he has switched to history of mathematics,
pedagogy, writing encyclopedia articles, developing Ukrainian mathematical
terminology, translation of classical mathematical works to Ukrainian, etc.
\subsection*{Felix Frankl}
(References:
\cite[p{age} 325 of the English edition]{alexandrov-autobiog},
\cite[p{age} 120]{vucinich}, \cite[p{age} 64]{lapko-lyusternik}, \cite{moo},
\cite[Chapter 2]{odinets}).
Born in Vienna in 1905, got the doctor degree in 1927 under Hans Hahn. Since
1928, member of the Austrian Communist party. He befriended Pavel Aleksandrov
during the latter's stay in Vienna, and asked him to facilitate his emigration
to Russia. For that, Aleksandrov lobbied Otto Yulievich Schmidt\footnote{{ }
Otto Yulievich Schmidt (1891--1956): a colorful, influential, and controversial
figure in the Russian science in 1920--1940s: mathematician (seminal works in
group theory and cosmology), explorer of Arctic (Hero of the Soviet Union and a
honorary member of the New York Explorers Club), mountaineer, high-ranking
Soviet government official, chief of naval military expeditions, chief editor of
\emph{Matematicheskii Sbornik} and a dozen of other periodicals, director of the
main state publishing house and a few academic institutes, professor of a number
of Moscow universities admired by students, expert in monetary and taxation
policies, and lady's man. ``A Renaissance man'', according to Kolmogorov. Was
fiercely attacked by Kolman and Yanovskaya (of whom see a footnote below) on
political and ideological grounds.
},
with success\footnote{{ }
According to Aleksandrov, Schmidt's first reaction was: ``We have enough
communists of our own; let him stay in Vienna and start a revolution in
Austria'', but then he relented and changed his mind.
}.
In 1929 Frankl emigrated to Russia, and immediately was commissioned with an
important political task: to report on ``Soviet works on topology'', first in
the planned series of such reports on various branches of mathematics, in the
framework of the ongoing attempt to introduce a centrally coordinated, and
subject to communist guidance, five-year planning of mathematics. Apparently,
the report was too mathematically competent and void of communist phraseology to
please his political bosses; instead, it became a standard reference in Russian
topological books for years to come.
Frankl's first workplace in Russia was the so-called Communist Academy. At the
first USSR mathematical symposium in 1930, he made a talk with a telling title
``Dialectical logic and mathematics''. In 1931, as a result of the coup
d'\'etat in the Moscow Mathematical Society mentioned under \textbf{Burstin},
he, together with the latter, emerged as a member of the Society's ruling board.
Since that time, and until 1935, he was also a member of the editorial board of
\emph{Matematicheskii Sbornik}, a flagship Russian mathematical journal of that
time.
Later Frankl has drastically changed his topic (topology), and worked in the
area of mechanics, in various research institutes in Moscow\footnote{{ }
It is reported in \cite[p{age} 56]{myshkis}, that in a certain American scientific
directory of that time, two F. Frankls were mentioned: one from Vienna working
in topology, and another from Moscow working in aerodynamics.
}.
In 1950 he was expelled from the communist party (a grave punishment in Russia
of that period), and was deported to Frunze (today Bishkek) in Kyrgyzstan. He
was unable to return to Moscow, and died in 1961 in Nalchik, a small town at the
outskirts of Russian empire. This last period of his life he worked in
differential equations. During his forced work in the province (Frunze and
Nalchik) he supervised many PhD theses.
\subsection*{Jacob Grommer}
(References:
\cite[p{ages} ~64--66]{transcending}, \cite{einst-1917}, \cite{einst-ioffe},
\cite[Chapter 3, \S 4]{odinets}).
Born in 1879 in Brest-Litovsk (then Russia, currently Brest, Belarus).
At the young age, he suddenly became interested in mathematics, and in a short
time underwent a transformation from an uneducated Yiddish-speaking Jew from
a shtetl, ignorant of world science, culture, and anything else but Talmud, to
a brilliant doctoral student under Hilbert in G\"ottingen\footnote{{ }
``If students without the gymnasium diploma will always write such dissertations
as Grommer's, it will be necessary to make a law forbidding the taking of the
examination for the diploma'', reportedly said Hilbert
(\cite[p{age} 143 of the 1996 edition]{reid-hilbert}).
}.
After completing his doctoral thesis in 1914, for more than 10 years served as
an assistant of Einstein, working with him in (unsuccessful) attempts to build
a unified field theory.
As early as in 1917, Einstein asked Paul Ehrenfest for help to find a place for
Grommer, a ``true Russian''\footnote{{ }
Much later a ``true Russian'' Grommer was allowed to lecture in the Belarusian
State University in Yiddish.
}
in his words, in Russia. Later Einstein facilitated Grommer's contacts with
Russian physicists to arrange his appointment as a professor of the Belarusian
State University in Minsk in 1929. Shortly afterwards, Grommer was elected as a
member of the Belarusian Academy of Sciences.
He died peacefully in 1933. Starting from 1937, he was a non-person in the
annals of the Belarusian Academy, and in Russia in general.
Works in mathematical physics, complex analysis, and analytic number theory.
\subsection*{Chaim (Herman) M\"untz}
(References:
\cite{muntz}, \cite[p{age} 189]{lorentz}, \cite[p{age} 254]{einst-files},
\cite[p{age} 47]{dmv}, \cite[p{ages} ~185--187]{pinl}, \cite[p{age} 135--136]{ss-fleeing},
\cite{muntz-let}, \cite{muntz-let-2}, \cite{izvestiya}, \cite{freytag},
\cite[Chapter 1, \S 1]{odinets}).
Born in 1884 in {\L}odz (then Russia, currently Poland). Studied at Berlin with
Frobenius, Edmund Landau, and Schottky, doctoral dissertation in 1910 under
Hermann Schwarz.
He was unable to habilitate due to some bureaucratic obstacles, and, as a
result, never got a university position in Germany. He worked as a school
teacher, translator, and editor of some obscure periodicals and encyclopedias.
Having multiple interests outside mathematics, he also wrote many papers and
several books mixing philosophy, politics, and Jewish questions.
In 1925 he pulled all the strings to get the post of a professor at the newly
established Hebrew University of Jerusalem, unsuccessfully (the chair went to
Landau, who, however, has left back for Germany in one year).
Around 1928--1929 he briefly collaborated with Einstein (but, unlike most of the
other Einstein's collaborators, they did not produce any joint work).
In 1929 he managed to emigrate to Russia and worked at the Leningrad University,
where in 1935 he was awarded the doctor of science degree (a Russian equivalent
of habilitation).
In 1930 he was entrusted to participate, as a key figure, in a politically
important debate, mixing the mathematical questions of intuitionism and logicism
with ``bourgeois'' or ``Marxist'' character of mathematics.
In 1931, he managed to get a public statement from Einstein: the latter
retracted his signature under the document condemning political trials in
Russia, and praised Russia to the highest degree instead; after that
Einstein, as a German civil servant, had some troubles with the German
authorities.
In 1932, M\"untz -- along with Aleksandrov, Kolman (see footnote on
p{age} \pageref{foot-kolman}), and Kravchuk (see footnote on
p{age} \pageref{foot-kravchuk}) -- was one of the very few politically appointed
Russian delegates at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Z\"urich.
His distinguished career in Russia came to an abrupt end in 1937, when he was
deported on a short notice to Estonia. In his letters sent from Tallinn, he
begged Einstein for help, to find him a visiting professor position in the
``great democratic America''. According to Weyl, Einstein was unwilling to do
that due to M\"untz's ``somewhat unbalanced personality''.
As a ``veteran'' emigrant, M\"untz was instrumental in bringing to Russia
\textbf{Bergman}, \textbf{Cohn-Vossen}, \textbf{Plessner}, and \textbf{Walfisz},
and in a letter to Landau sent from Tallinn expressed worry about the fate of
all these persons.
M\"untz managed to settle afterwards in Sweden, but his mathematical work -- in
approximation theory, calculus of variations, projective geometry, and
mathematical physics -- has been stopped at that point.
\section*{Year 1932}
\subsection*{Abraham Plessner}
(References: \cite{plessner} and references therein, \cite{plessner-umn},
\cite[p{ages} ~223--224]{pinl}, \cite[Chapter 4, \S 2]{odinets}).
Born in 1900 in {\L}\'od\'z. Studied at Giessen, G\"ottingen, and Berlin,
completed the doctorate at Giessen in 1922 under Friedrich Engel, and after that
worked at Marburg. His habilitation submitted in Giessen in 1929, was rejected
on the pretext that he was formally a Soviet citizen. In 1932, he managed to
move to Moscow (apparently, as a Soviet citizen, he was able to do so relatively
hassle-free, though he was also helped by \textbf{M\"untz}), and joined the
group of Luzin.
In 1936, he was one of the founders of the Russian flagship journal
\emph{Uspekhi Matematicheskikh Nauk}\footnote{{ }
In later years known in his English translation as
\emph{Russian Mathematical Surveys}.
},
and he took his editorial work there seriously\footnote{{ }
``Your Russian language cuts my ears''
({\rus ``Mne vash russki{\u\i} yazyk obrezaet ushi''}), complained Plessner
in a somewhat broken Russian, while editing papers written by native Russian
speakers (\cite[p{age} 514]{arnold-rokhlin}).
}.
In 1939, he was appointed as a professor of the Moscow University, and
simultaneously had a post in the Steklov mathematics institute. In 1949 he was
dismissed from both posts at the height of the campaign against
``rootless cosmopolitans'' (a Russian euphemism for Jews at the time), and since
then till the end of his life he experienced financial hardship. Around this
time, his mathematical activity also has been stopped. Nevertheless, on his 60th
jubilee he was honored with a laudatory article in the same prestigious
\emph{Uspekhi Matematicheskikh Nauk} he helped to establish 25 years ago.
Among his students was Vladimir Rokhlin. Israel Gelfand has called him ``a great
mathematician and a teacher''. Plessner has introduced in Moscow some areas of
mathematics which have been not practiced there before (spectral theory,
algebraic geometry), and was one of the founders of the Moscow school of
functional analysis.
He died peacefully in 1961 in Moscow.
\section*{Year 1934}
\subsection*{Stefan Bergman}\footnote{{ }
Spelled as Stephan Bergmann before his emigration to US.
}
(References:
\cite[p{ages} ~17--18]{fletcher}, \cite{tomsk}, \cite[p{ages} ~97,245]{ss-fleeing},
\cite{bergman}, \cite{lowner-kufarev}, \cite{tikhomirov},
\cite[p{ages} ~174--175]{pinl}, \cite[p{ages} ~16--17]{terror-and-ex},
\cite[Chapter 1, \S 3]{odinets}).
Born in 1895 in Cz\c{e}stochowa (then Russia, currently Poland). Got an
engineering degree from Vienna Polytechnic in 1920, and a doctorate in
mathematics under von Mises at Berlin in 1922. Habilitated in Berlin in 1932,
then worked as a privatdozent there. Was dismissed from Berlin by the non-Aryan
law\footnote{{ }
The ``Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service'', introduced in
Germany on April 7, 1933. Together with another infamous ``The Reich Citizenship
Law'' introduced on September 15, 1935, made employment and normal life of Jews
in Germany virtually impossible. These laws are referred customarily as the
``non-Aryan laws''.
}
in 1933. He tried to get support from the British \emph{Academic Assistance
Council}. Despite being supported by Hadamard, he was rejected on the pretext
that formally he was a Polish and not a German citizen.
Instead, he managed to come to Tomsk in 1934. There, in 1935, together with the
fellow emigrant \textbf{Fritz Noether} and with Theodor Molien\footnote{{ }
Theodor Molien (1861--1941): a noted algebraist, educated in Dorpat and Leipzig,
settled in Tomsk in 1900.
},
he established \emph{Mitteilungen des Froschungsinstituts f\"ur Mathematik und
Mechanik and der Kujbyschew-Universit\"at Tomsk}. In a short time, the journal
managed to attract such authors as Sergei Bernstein, Erd\"os, Khinchin,
Kolmogorov, Kravchuk, von Neumann, and Sierpi\'nski. A famous and controversial
paper by Einstein and \textbf{Rosen} about gravitational waves
\cite{einst-rosen}\footnote{{ }
Initially submitted, like a few previous papers by Einstein (and \textbf{Rosen})
of that time, to \emph{Physical Review}, a flagship American physical journal.
As was customary for American (but less so for German) journals of that time,
the manuscript was sent to referees, but upon receiving the (just and critical)
referee's report, Einstein was furious, for, according to him, the manuscript
``was sent for publication and not ... to be shown to specialists before it is
printed''. Einstein withdrew the manuscript (``Mister \textbf{Rosen}, who was
left for the Soviet Union, has authorized me to represent him in this matter''),
and ceased any further collaboration with \emph{Physical Review}
(\cite[p{ages} ~82--85,96--97]{kennefick}).
}
was republished there in 1938. Indeed, the whole enterprise looked more like a
(first-rate) German mathematical journal on the Russian soil, and the reaction
of the authorities followed quickly: just one year after its foundation, in
1936, the journal and Bergman himself were under a heavy political attack during one
of the outbreaks of the ``Luzin affair'' on the periphery\footnote{{ }
The ``Luzin affair'' was a complex and highly controversial political campaign
against Luzin, one of the founders of the Moscow mathematical school, charging
him, among other things, with publishing abroad and/or in foreign languages.
Apparently this was a (largely, unsuccessful) attempt to subordinate mathematics
to political and ideological control (the same way as it was done, for example,
with all humanities and with biology). At the same time, some mathematicians of
the younger generation have tried to seize the opportunity to overthrow the
``old guard'' and to shift the balance of powers in the Moscow (and, by extension,
in the whole Russian) mathematical world. Recently a lot has been written about it,
see, for example, \cite{luzin}, \cite[\S 6]{lorentz}, and \cite{neretin} (which treat the story
from entirely different viewpoints), and (numerous) references therein. Among
the persons mentioned in this article, Aleksandrov, Khinchin, Khvorostin,
Kolman, Kolmogorov, Schmidt, Sobolev, and Yanovskaya took part in this campaign
on the accuser's side, while Bernstein and Vinogradov on the defender's one.
According to Aleksandrov, Luzin ``drank to the bottom of the bitter cup of vengeance of which Goethe speaks''. The whole affair has elements of ``Greek tragedy'' (\cite{simon}) or ``Shakespeare drama''
(\cite[p{age} 18]{neretin}).
}:
the charge, unsurprisingly, was that the journal publishes in German.
In 1936, the same year, Bergman managed to escape Tomsk for Tiflis (currently
Tbilisi, Georgia), apparently rightly feeling that the situation in Tomsk is
getting ``too hot''\footnote{{ }
For those who managed to understand the peculiarities of life in Russia at
that times, to change the place of residence, even without much hiding, was a
common tactic to escape arrest: NKVD had quotas for how many people they should
arrest in a given region during that or another campaign, and if they failed to
arrest a person on their list from the first attempt, in most of the cases they
did not bother to try to reach him across Russia: it was much easier to fulfill
the quota by arresting somebody else at the same place.
}.
He unsuccessfully advised his friend \textbf{Noether} to leave Tomsk too.
In 1937 he was forced to leave Russia, and managed to go to Paris, and then in
1939 to the U.S., where he had a long and successful career. It seems, however,
that at the beginning in the U.S. he was not as successful in the university
milieu as he was in Russia.
Bergman was a very active person, and even during his short stays in Tomsk and
Tiflis he managed to attract and to educate a number of students: in particular,
in Tomsk he influenced Boris Abramovich Fuks\footnote{{ }
Boris Abramovich Fuks (1907--1985): a noted specialist in complex analysis.
``A clever person and a skillful organizer'', according to Sergei Petrovich
Novikov.
}, and in Tiflis, Vekua\footnote{{ }
Ilya Nestorovich Vekua (1907--1977): a distinguished Russian-Georgian
mathematician, worked in differential and integral equations.
}.
While in Tomsk, he arranged a visit by Hadamard in the same eventful year, 1936.
Works in complex analysis and differential equations.
He was said to speak all the languages of the places he lived, even for a short
period of time (including Russian and Georgian).
\subsection*{Stefan Cohn-Vossen}
(References:
\cite[p{age} 435]{turk}, \cite{lowner}, \cite[p{age} 32]{khriplovich},
\cite{cohn-v-umn}, \cite[Chapter 4, \S 1]{odinets}).
Born in Breslau (then Germany, currently Wroc{\l}aw, Poland) in 1902.
Co-authored with Hilbert a hugely popular book \emph{Anschauliche Geometrie},
\cite{nagl-geom}.
Doctoral dissertation in 1924 at Breslau under Adolf Kneser, habilitation in
1929 at G\"ottingen. Became a privatdozent at the University of Cologne in 1930,
and was dismissed by Germans in 1934 on the ground of the non-Aryan law.
In 1933, L\"owner recommended him for a position in the U.S. in a letter to the
head of Dartmouth College. \textbf{Courant} recommended him for a chair in the
newly established and ambitious Istanbul University.
He worked briefly as a gymnasium teacher in Switzerland, and emigrated to Russia
in 1934, with the help of \textbf{M\"untz} and Fritz Houtermans, an emigrant
physicist in Kharkiv. In 1935 he was awarded the doctor of science degree and
was appointed as a professor of the Leningrad University. Shortly afterwards, in
1936, he died in Moscow from a natural cause. The official Russian obituary in
\emph{Uspekhi Matematicheskikh Nauk}\footnote{{ }
It is, perhaps, curious to note that this was the first item in the first issue
(under editorship of \textbf{Plessner}, among others), of what later became,
arguably, the most influential Russian mathematical journal.
}
praised him as ``one of the most distinguished contemporary geometers''.
Works in differential geometry.
\subsection*{Fritz Noether}
(References: \cite[p{ages} 60--62]{segal}, \cite[p{ages} 281--293]{berkovich},
\cite[p{age} 97]{ss-fleeing}, \cite{nkvd}, \cite{einst}, \cite{einst-1},
\cite{schlote}, \cite[\S 3]{lowner-kufarev}, \cite[p{ages} ~203--205]{pinl},
\cite[p{age} 47]{terror-and-ex}, \cite[p{ages} 32--33]{khriplovich},
\cite[p{age} 318]{roquette}, \cite[Chapter 1, \S 2]{odinets}.
Also, information about him is scattered over the book \cite{noether} dedicated
to his more famous sister).
Born in 1884 in Erlangen. Brother of \textbf{Emmy Noether}. Studied at Erlangen
and M\"unich, obtained the doctor degree in 1909. Habilitation in 1911 at
Karlsruhe Technische Hochschule. During WWI, served in the German army.
Since 1922 he worked as a professor at the Technical University in Breslau, from
where he was dismissed in 1934. The reason for his dismissal was twofold: on
the ground of the non-Aryan law, and also due to his left-wing political views
and an open anti-Nazi stance (for example, he signed the letter in defense of
\textbf{Gumbel}). Several people, including \textbf{Emmy Noether} and
\textbf{Struik}, tried to bring him to US, but these efforts failed. Instead,
the same year, 1934, Noether was appointed as a professor of the Tomsk
University.
In 1937, he was arrested and charged as a member of ``espionage and sabotage
group'' led by the head of the Tomsk mathematical institute Vishnevskii. His
children were deported from Russia.
A number of prominent people did not spare efforts to rescue Noether. Weyl wrote
a letter to Muskhelishvili\footnote{{ }
Nikolai Ivanovich Muskhelishvili (1891--1976): a Russian-Georgian mathematician,
standing high in the Russian hierarchy of that times.
},
trying to reach through him Beria (a chief of the Russian secret police at that
time and ethnic Georgian). Einstein wrote a letter to the Russian Commissar of
Foreign Affairs with a request to release Noether, and helped his sons to settle
in the U.S. Afterwards, Weyl tried to support Noether's sons financially.
Noether apparently was transferred through multiple prisons within Russia (Fritz
Houtermans, a physicist and a fellow emigrant from Germany, met him in the
infamous Butyrka prison in Moscow in 1940), and finally was executed in Orel in
1941 shortly after the start of the war between Russia and Germany\footnote{{ }
In some older literature it is expressed some doubt about the place and time of
Noether's death. However, the question was settled in 1991 when earlier
unavailable documents from Russian archives became available.
}.
Works mainly in applied mathematics and mathematical physics. In 1920 he
published a pioneer paper where for the first time the index of an integral
operator was introduced, and the first version of the index theorem was proved.
\subsection*{Werner Romberg}
(References: \cite[p{ages} ~77, 125--126]{ss-fleeing}, \cite[p{age} 10]{num-anal},
\cite[Chapter 6, \S 1]{odinets}).
Born in 1909 in Berlin. During his student days in Munich, he was a member of
Socialist Workers' Party and a staunch anti-Nazi. As early as in 1932, he was
denied a price at a student scientific competition, despite stellar performance,
for ``lacking the necessary maturity of mind''.
His thesis adviser Sommerfeld urged him to hurry to submit his doctoral
dissertation until it will be too late; which he successfully accomplished in
1933. Not seeing for him any prospects in Germany, Sommerfeld, being connected
with Russian physicists, recommended Romberg for posts in Russia. In 1934
Romberg got a position at the Physical-Technical Institute in Dnepropetrovsk
(currently Dnipro, Ukraine).
In 1937 he was forced to leave Russia, and after a brief stay in Prague, managed
to escape to Norway, first to Oslo, and later to Trondheim, where he had a long
and successful career. In 1970 he accepted professorship at the University of
Heidelberg, were he built a research school. Died in 2003.
His earlier works were in mathematical physics, and later he switched to
numerical mathematics.
\subsection*{Michael Sadowsky}
(References:
\cite[footnote on p{age} 38, p{ages} ~104,128--129,134]{ss-fleeing},
\cite[p{age} 25]{fletcher}, \cite[p{ages} ~6--7]{terror-and-ex}, \cite{sadowsky}).
Born in 1902 in Estonia, doctoral dissertation in 1927 at Berlin under
Georg Hamel. Habilitation in 1930 at the Technical University of Berlin, after
what he was appointed as a privatdozent there. He left Berlin in 1931\footnote{{ }
In a few sources it is claimed that in 1931 Sadowsky has left his Berlin post
not voluntary, but was dismissed. This seems to be wrong: Sadowsky himself was
not Jewish and not politically active. True, he was dismissed two years later
because of his Jewish wife, but 1931 being not 1933, the non-Aryan laws were not
yet in force, and the only reason for dismissal in 1931 could be an immense
left-wing political activism, like in the case of \textbf{Gumbel}.
}
and during 1931--1933 worked at the University of Minnesota. He returned to
Berlin in 1933, but shortly thereafter was dismissed from the faculty of the
Technical University because his wife was Jewish. After a brief stay in Belgium
in 1934, he went to Russia, for a short time to the Leningrad University, and
then for 3 years to Novocherkassk, a backwater place without any scientific
activity (it is telling that he did not publish anything during his Russian
years).
He was expelled from Russia in 1937 on two-days notice, and briefly stayed
afterwards in Palestine. Neither he was able to find an academic job in
Palestine, as he himself was an ethnic Russian of the Greek Orthodox faith, and
found the Hebrew University, the only university in Palestine at that time, ``of
an extremely nationalistic trend in the Jewish-Orthodox sense''. From 1938 he
was in the U.S., on the faculty of Illinois Institute of Technology.
In \cite{fletcher} it is reported on an incident when Sadowsky returned unopened
correspondence from the British \emph{Academic Assistance Council}, apparently
angry about their unwillingness to help him.
In 1953 he joined the Renssellaer Polytechnic Institute, where he had a short --
until his untimely death in 1967 -- but distinguished career. To celebrate his
memory, the Renssellaer Polytechnic Institute established ``Michael A. Sadowsky
Lectures in Mechanics'', and a Michael Sadowsky prize for the best Master thesis
in mechanics; some of his papers from the 1930s were translated from German and
republished recently.
Works in mechanics, in particular in the theory of elasticity, and in numerical
mathematics.
\subsection*{Karl (K\'aroly) Szil\'ard}
(References: \cite[p{age} 281]{panorama} and \cite[Chapter 3, \S 2]{odinets}; also,
information about him is scattered over memoirs \cite{borin}, \cite{rumer}, and
\cite{eger}).
Born in 1901 in Gy\H{o}r. Brother of \textbf{Stef\'ania Szil\'ard}\footnote{{ }
It is frequently claimed -- for example, in \cite{borin}, \cite{panorama},
\cite{panorama-szilard}, and \cite{odinets} -- that Karl Szil\'ard is a close
relative (either brother, or cousin) of the famous physicist Leo Szilard. This
is not true: Leo Szilard was born as Leo Spitz, and his parents have changed the
family name to Szil\'ard, a common Hungarian surname, afterwards, in an
apparent attempt to appear more Hungarian than Jewish. Also,
\cite{panorama-szilard}, a very brief biographical sketch about Karl Szil\'ard,
contains a lot of other errors.
}.
Studied at Jena and G\"ottingen. After getting the doctor degree at G\"ottingen
in 1927 under \textbf{Courant}, worked in industry.
Was a member of the German communist party. Emigrated to Russia in 1934, worked
in the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI) in Moscow.
Arrested in 1938, worked in ``sharashka'' (a network of secret laboratories and
institutes utilizing forced labor of imprisoned scientists and engineers, in the
framework of Gulag, the Russian system of concentration camps) on the
construction of military aircrafts. His cellmates included his friend, the
famous Russian physicist Yury Rumer (being released earlier then Rumer,
Szil\'ard helped him to smuggle his scientific writings out of the prison), and
the famous aircraft designers Andrei Tupolev and Robert Bartini. According to memoirs of that times, ``Karlusha'', as he was affectionately called by
his colleagues/cellmates, was loved by virtually everybody, including prison
guards.
He was released in 1948, and worked again in TsAGI and in
\emph{Referativnyi Zhurnal ``Matematika''} (a Russian analog of
\emph{Zentralblatt} and \emph{Mathematical Reviews}, currently defunct).
In 1960 returned to Hungary, resumed his work in mathematics, and headed the
Department of Differential Equations of the Institute of Mathematics at
Budapest. Facilitated contacts of his former ``sharashka'' cellmates from the
Tupolev construction bureau with the Hungarian airline company.
Died in 1980.
Works in differential equations, complex analysis, aerodynamics.
\section*{Year 1935}
\subsection*{Emanuel Lasker}
World chess champion in 1894--1921. In 1924 he was the first among chess
international grandmasters to visit the USSR\footnote{{ }
Though this was Lasker's first visit to the USSR, this was not his first visit
to Russia: for example, in 1896 he delivered a talk at the Moscow Mathematical
Society (\cite[p{age} 18]{ag}).
},
where he got a very honorable and enthusiastic reception, and he praised the
``young Soviet state'' in return.
Being Jewish, Lasker was forced to leave Germany in 1933. He emigrated to Russia
in 1935 by the invitation of Nikolai Krylenko, the minister of sport and a great
chess enthusiast\footnote{{ }
Speaks Krylenko: ``We must finish once and for all with the neutrality of
chess ... We must organize shock-brigades ({\rus udarnye brigady}) of
chess-players, and begin the immediate realization of a Five Year Plan for
chess'' (\cite[p{age} 575 of the English edition]{souvarine}).
}
(and concurrently the Soviet Commissar of Justice responsible for political show
trials flourishing in Russia at that time).
Lasker was immediately granted the Soviet citizenship, quickly learned Russian,
and was appointed as a coach of the Russian national chess team. He also got a
position at the Steklov mathematics institute in Moscow. Lasker wrote a few
seminal papers in algebra at the beginning of the 1900s, but by this time he was
over sixty and ceased to do any mathematical work a long time ago, so the latter
appointment seemed to be a purely political one\footnote{{ }
The director of the Steklov mathematics institute, a distinguished
number-theorist Ivan Matveevich Vinogradov, mentioned many years later that
Lasker ``enthusiastically worked on one of the mathematical problems'', without
going into details. It is safe to assume that the main occupation of Lasker at
the institute was playing chess with Vinogradov, about what the latter had vivid
memories (see interview with Vinogradov, \cite{64}). It is also remarkable that
Vinogradov, a notorious anti-semite, apparently befriended Lasker, a Jew.
}.
Fearing the political climate in Russia, Lasker left in 1937 for the
Netherlands, and then for US\footnote{{ }
In the book \cite[p{ages} ~177--178]{zak} another version (also repeated in a few
subsequent Russian publications) is given: Lasker, together with his wife, went
temporarily to the U.S. to visit relatives, with the intention to return to Russia
in 1938. During the U.S. trip, his wife became gravely ill, was unable to travel
further, and so they decided to stay in the U.S. forever. Like any ``politically
sensitive'' material of such sort published in the USSR, this version should be
taken with a big grain of salt.
}.
His patron Krylenko was arrested and murdered in 1938.
\section*{Year 1936}
\subsection*{Myron Mathisson} (Reference: \cite{mathisson}).
Born in 1897 in Warsaw. Mathisson was a maverick, always following non-orthodox
paths. Working at various odd jobs, he pursued independently his mathematical
and physical studies, and engaged in a fruitful correspondence with Einstein.
After Einstein's intervention, he got the doctor degree from the Warsaw
University in 1930.
Einstein went great lengths in trying to arrange for Mathisson a Rockefeller
fellowship, interacting with formal Mathisson's advisor in Warsaw, with the
Rockefeller Foundation officers, and with not less than Rockefeller himself, all
in vein.
Being Jewish, and -- even worse -- refusing to follow the accepted ways of
building an academic career, Mathisson did not see any prospects in Poland, and
expressed wishes to emigrate to Palestine or to Russia. However, in 1932 he
somehow managed to habilitate at the Warsaw University, and worked as a
privatdozent there. In 1935, by the invitation of Hadamard, he lectured in
Coll\`ege de France.
By the end of 1935, Einstein arranged an one-year visiting position for
Mathisson at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, but the letter with
invitation reached him only in 1936, when he was already in Moscow. After
spending a short time in Moscow, he was employed as a professor of the Kazan
University. While in 1936, in a letter to Einstein, he praised his working
conditions in Kazan, in 1937, just a year later, he complained that the
situation there is unbearable, and the same year he fled Russia, leaving behind
him all his books and belongings.
Around the same time, his candidacy was discussed for the chair of mathematical
physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In 1938--1939 he worked at the
Jagiellonian University in Krak\'ow, in 1939 in Paris, and in 1940 in Cambridge,
UK. He died from tuberculosis in 1940, earning an obituary note in \emph{Nature}
from Dirac, \cite{nat}, and a dedicatory paper from Hadamard.
Works in mathematical physics and partial differential equations.
\subsection*{Nathan Rosen}
(References:
\cite{ukr}, \cite{rosen-ukr}, \cite[p{ages} ~96, 192--196]{kennefick},
\cite[p{ages} 146--147]{illy}).
Born in 1909 in New York, PhD in physics from MIT in 1932. Collaborator of
Einstein (Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox), was Einstein's assistant at the
Institute of Advanced Study in 1934--1936.
Einstein was very active in efforts either to find for Rosen a suitable post, or
enable him to continue his work that or another way. One, unsuccessful, scheme
was to do a consultant service for the Radio Corporation of America about some
technical problems Einstein was keen about, and to use the earned fees to
support Rosen.
Another natural possibility, owing to Rosen's socialist political views, was to
seek for him employment in Russia. Einstein asked Molotov\footnote{{ }
Vyacheslav Molotov: a high ranking Russian diplomat, of the Molotov--Ribbentrop
pact fame.}
for help, and this time he was more successful: in 1936, Rosen was invited to
Kyiv, and started to work at the Kyiv University and the Institute of Physics of
the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. As it often happened in such cases, his
initial letters to Einstein were full of praise for his working conditions and
life in Russia. However, in 1938 he returned to the U.S., and later moved to
Israel, where he took a number of high administrative posts in Israeli
academia.
Works in mathematical physics.
\subsection*{Arnold Walfisz}
(Reference: \cite{dmv} and references therein, \cite[p{age} 73]{demidovich},
\cite{umn}, \cite{odinets-walf}, \cite[Chapter 5]{odinets}).
Born in 1892 in Warsaw. Studied in M\"unchen, Berlin, Heidelberg, and
G\"ottingen. Defended doctoral dissertation in 1922 under Edmund Landau.
As a Polish Jew, he has no prospect of academic employment neither in Germany,
nor in Poland. Both Landau and Hardy tried, to no avail, to get for him funds
from the Rockefeller Foundation\footnote{{ }
A negative report from the Rockefeller Foundation characterizes Walfisz as being
from ``scientifically backward country'' (\cite[p{age} 86]{rockefeller}); that was
said about mathematics in the inter-war Poland. The Foundation supported
enormously European science in the considered period, but the wisdom of its
officers (some of them being accomplished scientists themselves) had its
limitation.
}.
For a while, he worked as a privatdozent at the Warsaw University, and earned
his living in an insurance company. In 1935, together with Salomon
Lubelski\footnote{{ }
Lubelski, together with \textbf{Lindenbaum}, was on the faculty of Bia{\l}ystok
pedagogical institute in 1940-1941, during occupation of Bia{\l}ystok by
Russians. In 1941 he gave a talk at the Moscow Mathematical Society
(\cite[p{age} 43]{ag}). However, nothing is known about his attempts to emigrate to
Russia. He was murdered by Germans in the same 1941.
}, he
established \emph{Acta Arithmetica}, the third specialized mathematical journal
in the world\footnote{{ }
The first two were also Polish journals \emph{Fundamenta Mathematica}
(set theory and logic, established in Warsaw in 1920), and
\emph{Studia Mathematica} (functional analysis, established in Lviv in 1929).
Prior to that, all mathematical journals were generalist ones, so the idea was
novel and was considered with skepticism by many. Poles were forerunners in this
respect.
}.
In 1936, with the help of \textbf{M\"untz}, he managed to establish contacts
with Georgian mathematicians, and accepted an offer from University in Tbilisi
(Tiflis at that time). He was very satisfied there -- at least at the beginning
-- with everything: working conditions, climate, colleagues. When at a certain
point a prospect arose of his possible return to Poland, due to bureaucratic
difficulties related to his status of a foreigner in Russia, he deemed such an
outcome as a ``catastrophe''. Starting from that period, most of his works were
published in Russian in local Georgian journals.
Walfisz established the Georgian school of analytic number theory.
He refused to speak with anybody on ``political'' topics, and managed to
survive unharmed during the terror times in Russia. He died peacefully in 1962
in Tbilisi, standing high in the official Russian mathematical hierarchy --
high enough to deserve an obituary in the prestigious
\emph{Uspekhi Matematicheskikh Nauk}.
\section*{Year 1939}
\subsection*{Alfred Lustig}
(References: \cite{lustig} and \cite[Volume 2, p{age} 431]{sssr40}).
Born in 1908 in Vienna. Doctoral dissertation in physics in 1932 from the
University of Vienna, where afterwards he worked as an assistant, and authored
a few papers in experimental physics. After the Anschluss of Austria in 1938,
Lustig, being Jewish, had lost his post at the university, and in 1939 was
deported to the German-occupied part of Poland. There he managed to cross the
border into the Russian-occupied part, and, moving further eastwards, after a
series of odd jobs, managed to get a post at the teachers' college (later
Pedagogical Institute) in Yelabuga in Tatarstan. There he worked till the end of
his life, with an interruption for fighting in the Russian army during WWII.
While fighting in the army, he was heavily wounded and decorated with military orders.
Reportedly, he was found by the college authorities not qualified enough to
teach such an important subject as physics, and taught instead first German and
then mathematics. Eventually he was appointed as the head of the department of
mathematics. He published one paper in 1956 in mathematical analysis in a
local journal.
Died in 1985.
Lustig spoke many languages, including the local Tatar, and was loved and
admired by students and colleagues.
\section*{Year 1941}
\subsection*{Leon Chwistek}
(References:
\cite[p{age} 97]{lapko-lyusternik} and \cite{kolm-let-chw}; also, information
about Chwistek, including a few photos, is scattered over Steinhaus' memoirs
\cite{steinhaus}).
Born in 1884 in Krak\'ow. Served in the Polish Legions during 1914--1916.
Painter, writer, philosopher (``A very remarkable man'', according to Mark
Kac).
Got the doctor degree in 1922 at Krak\'ow, since 1930 worked as a professor of
logic at Lviv. Being of Marxist persuasion, after the occupation of Lviv by
Russian forces, publicly praised Stalin. Left Lviv in 1941 with the retreating
Russian army\footnote{{ }
``Professor Chwistek found a spot for himself on a Soviet lorry at the last
minute'', witnessed Steinhaus (\cite[p{age} 278]{steinhaus}).
}.
While in Russia, he corresponded with Kolmogorov (``A good specialist in
mathematical logic'', attests Kolmogorov). In 1941--1943, he taught mathematics
at the Tbilisi State University, after that lived in Moscow. In July 1944,
delivered a talk at the session of the Moscow Mathematical Society.
Chwistek died in 1944 under mysterious circumstances (according to some
accounts, he died of {a} heart attack at {a} banquet in Kremlin in the presence
of Stalin; according to another, he was poisoned by NKVD in his residence
near Moscow).
\subsection*{Zalman Skopets} (Reference: \cite{skopets}).
Born in Latvia in 1917, graduated from the university in Riga, with the
languages of instruction being German and French. In 1941, at the outbreak of
the war between Russia and Germany, he fled the advancing German army to Russia
(Latvia was annexed by Russia in 1940, so, presumably by that time he was a
Soviet citizen by the fact of annexation).
First worked as a school teacher, then managed to convince the Russian
authorities that his Riga high education diploma is equivalent to a Russian one,
and got accepted to graduate studies at the Moscow University. He got his
candidate degree (a Russian equivalent of PhD) in 1946, and afterwards worked
until his death in 1984 at the Yaroslavl Pedagogical Institute. He used to come
regularly to his native Riga, where he lectured in Latvian. He supervised many
candidate and doctor of science theses.
Works in classical---Euclidean and non-Euclidean---geometry, participated in
Kolmogorov's high school education reform.
\subsection*{Mark (Marko) Vishik\protect\footnote{{ }
Spelled as Wiszik in some Polish and Ukrainian literature.}}
(References: \cite{demidovich} and \cite{vishik-umn}).
His fate is similar to that of \textbf{Skopets}. Born in 1921 in Lviv. Studied
in 1939--1941 at the Lviv University with \textbf{Banach}, Schauder, Mazur,
Saks, and Knaster.
In the face of the advancing German army, he fled eastward to Russia. After many
misfortunes, changing many places of residence, and many odd jobs under
extremely hard war-time conditions, in 1942--1943 he studied at the Tbilisi
State University, where he was helped by Muskhelishvili and \textbf{Walfisz}.
Walfisz advised Vishik to move to Moscow, which he did. In Moscow he was
influenced by \textbf{Plessner}, and got the candidate degree (Russian
equivalent of PhD) in 1947. After that he had a distinguished career, first at
the Moscow Power Engineering Institute, and then at the Moscow University. On his 60th and 75th anniversaries he was
honored with laudatory articles in the prestigious \emph{Uspekhi
Matematicheskikh Nauk}.
Works in differential equations and functional analysis.
\subsection*{Stanis{\l}aw Krystyn Zaremba Jr.}
(References: \cite[\S 2.1]{krakow} and \cite[p{age} 245]{steinhaus}).
Born in 1903 in Krak\'ow, son of Stanis{\l}aw Zaremba Sr., a famous Polish
mathematician. Studied in Kr\'akow and Paris, got PhD in Vilno (then Poland,
currently Vilnius, Lithuania), habilitated in 1936 in Kr\'akow. At the outbreak
of WWII, when Germany occupied western Poland, he fled back to Vilnius, then the
capital of independent Lithuania. After Russia occupied Lithuania, and Germans
attacked Russia, fled eastward to Stalinabad (today Dushanbe, Tadzhikistan),
where he worked as a professor at the local teachers' college.
In 1942 Zaremba joined the Russian-supported Polish Armed Forces in the East,
and after many adventures and a long journey through Persia, Palestine, and
Beirut, ended up in the UK, where he worked as a professor at the Polish
University College in London\footnote{{ }
In this regard, Zaremba's convoluted lifepath resembles that of his fellow
countryman Czes{\l}aw Lejewski, a logician and philosopher. However, Lejewski,
before joining the Polish Armed Forces, was taken by Russians as a prisoner, and
spend two years in Russian labor camps, which can hardly be accounted as
emigration.
}.
After the war, he worked in Madison, Quebec, and the University of Wales.
Works in differential equations and stochastic processes.
\section*{Emigrations that did not occur}
\setcounter{subsection}{0}
The list is arranged in alphabetical order.
\subsection*{Nachman Aronszajn}
(Reference: \cite[p{age} 134]{ss-fleeing}).
Aronszajn got his doctorate twice: in 1930 at Warsaw under Stefan Mazurkiewicz,
and in 1935 at Sorbonne under Fr\'echet.
In 1936, in a letter to \textbf{Courant}, Pavel Aleksandrov wrote about his
failure to bring Aronszajn to Russia. In 1930--1940 Aronszajn was in France, in
1940--1945 in the UK, then he came back to France, and since 1948 till the end
of his life he worked in the U.S.
Works in functional analysis and mathematical logic.
\subsection*{Stefan Banach}
(References:
\cite[p{age} 66]{demidovich}, \cite{banach}, \cite{kut}, \cite{banach-umn}).
There is some evidence that a number of top Russian mathematicians (including
Kolmogorov and Sobolev) were interested in Stefan Banach, and planned to bring
him to Moscow and install him as a member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences.
He visited Moscow at least twice, in 1940, when he gave a talk at the Moscow
Mathematical Society (\cite[p{age} 42]{ag}), and in 1945 as an official guest of the
Academy. Banach was known for a very practical apolitical approach of
collaboration with authorities, and was loyal to the Soviet regime (as emphasized in his obituary
published in \emph{Uspekhi Matematicheskikh Nauk}, during the Russian occupation
of Lviv in 1939--1941, he was installed as a dean of the physical-mathematical
faculty, and as a member of the city council). On the other
hand, after the end of the war he was offered a chair in Kr\'akow, while at the same time some
Polish sources claim that he intended to move to Wroc{\l}aw, where most of the
few remaining people from the Lviv University were transferred to. In any case,
Banach was mortally ill at that time, and died the same year, 1945.
\subsection*{Richard Courant}
(References:
\cite{kolm-let}, \cite[p{age} 219]{john}, \cite{reid-courant}).
From the 1932 letter of Kolmogorov to Pavel Aleksandrov: ``By 1936 ... according
to Kolman, Courant will sit in Moscow''\footnote{{ }
In his memoirs Kolman writes that Courant has approached him during the 1932
International Congress of Mathematicians in Z\"urich with an inquiry about
possibility to settle in Russia
(\cite[p{ages} ~237--238 of the 2011 edition]{kolman}). Courant did not consider
emigration until his dismissal in 1933 by the non-Aryan law which took him by
surprise, and which he tried to appeal, and definitely had no ``invitation from
the New York University'' in 1932 as Kolman writes. So the whole story is not
clear (Kolman is an unreliable source, while Kolmogorov is a reliable one), but it is reasonably to assume that
some interest on the part of Courant to Russia did exist at that time.
}.
From the memoir of Fritz John about events in 1933: ``Courant pursued various
leads, for example to Istanbul or Odessa, which came to nothing (fortunately, as
it turned out)''.
\subsection*{Werner and K\"ate Fenchel}
(Reference: \cite[footnote 95]{denmark}).
Werner Fenchel was a noted mathematician working in geometry and optimization
theory. His wife, K\"ate, n\'ee Sperling, was a mathematician working in group
theory.
Werner Fenchel was dismissed by the non-Aryan law from his post at G\"ottingen
in 1933, and the couple fled to Denmark, where they remained till the end of
their lives (with a brief escape to Sweden in 1943--1945 as a part of the mass
rescue company of Danish Jews). In Denmark Werner Fenchel had a distinguished
career, while K\"ate worked for a few years as a secretary of Harald Bohr.
However, during the 1930s their future was not certain at all, and Fenchels
applied for support to the British \emph{Society for the Protection of Science
and Learning}, indicating Russia as one of their possible destinations. Yet
there is seemingly no evidence that they made any serious attempt to settle in
Russia.
\subsection*{Emil Julius Gumbel}
(References:
\cite[p{ages} ~117--118,202--203]{rockefeller}, \cite{sheynin},
\cite[p{ages} ~62--63]{segal}, \cite[p{ages} ~255,262]{einst-files},
\cite[\S 1]{gumbel-stat}).
Staunch pacifist, human rights activist, and anti-Nazi.
In 1925 Gumbel approached Einstein, asking for Russian contacts which would
facilitate for him a possibility to get a post in Russia. He visited Russia in
the winter of 1925--1926, worked there on ``mathematical archives of Karl
Marx''\footnote{{ }
``Karl Marx's mathematics'' was, for a long time, a popular speciality among a
number of Marxist philosophers, historians, and mathematicians, in Russia and
abroad, including Kolman, Yanovskaya, and \textbf{Struik}.
},
gave a talk at the Moscow Mathematical Society (\cite[p{age} 33]{ag}), and widely
publicized his positive views of the country. He briefly visited Russia again in
1932.
Gumbel outspoken views and political activism were too radical even for moderate
anti-Nazi supporters of the Weimar Republic, and his political opponents
constantly tried to remove him from his modest university posts in Germany. In
1931 a public letter in Gumbel's defense was signed, among others, by Einstein,
and by \textbf{Emmy} and \textbf{Fritz Noether} (but not by \textbf{Courant},
who refused to sign). Eventually, Gumbel lost his post at Heidelberg in 1932,
and the same year came to Paris, by \'Emile Borel's invitation, to work at the
Institute Henri Poincar\'e, and later was supported by CNRS. He was rejected
several times by the Rockefeller Foundation, apparently to a large degree due to
his political activism. On many occasions, Einstein tried to help him to secure
posts in different countries. Finally, due to the efforts of Einstein and some
leading American statisticians, Gumbel managed to come to the U.S. in 1940.
Still, even in the U.S., as well as in post-war Germany, he was often not welcomed
and got rejected on many occasions.
Works in statistics.
\subsection*{Wladimir Lewicki (Vladimir Iosifovich Levitskii)\protect\footnote{{ }
Spelled as W{\l}odzimierz Lewickij in \cite{duda}, and as Wl. Lewicky and
W. Lewickyj in \emph{Zentralblatt}.}}
(References: \cite[p{ages} ~27--28,151,184]{duda}, \cite{khobzei}, \cite{krav-let},
\cite{lewicki-whole}).
Doctorate in 1901 at the Lviv University under Puzyna. He can be compared with
\textbf{Czajkowski}, a fellow Ukrainian in Lviv at that time: like
\textbf{Czajkowski}, Lewicki was a great patriot of Ukraine, working in Lviv at
the underground private Ukrainian university and in high schools; at the same
time, unlike \textbf{Czajkowski}, he maintained close contacts with the Polish
Lviv school of mathematics, and published, at least part of his papers, in
German (at the same time he was apparently the first person who published a
mathematical paper in Ukrainian, in 1894). In 1929 Kravchuk encouraged Lewicki to emigrate to Ukraine, offering positions either in Kyiv or in Kharkiv,
but nothing came out of these efforts. Lewicki several times publicly
denounced the Soviet regime: in particular, in 1932 he resigned his membership
in the Kyiv mathematical society, in protest of politicization of the society and dismission of Grave from the society's head (\cite{lewicki}), and
later resigned from the Soviet Ukrainian Academy of Sciences
(\cite[p{age} 313]{sakhno}).
Upon Russian occupation of Lviv in 1939, and its subsequent ukrainization,
Lewicki was appointed as a professor at the Lviv University. After WWII, upon
the exodus of Polish mathematicians, he occupied the chair of \textbf{Banach},
and tried to preserve what little remained of the traditions of the Lviv
mathematical school. Died peacefully in 1956.
Works in the theory of analytic functions.
\subsection*{Adolf Lindenbaum}
(References: \cite{slownik} and \cite{lindenb}).
Doctoral dissertation in 1928 at Warsaw under Sierpi\'nski, habilitation in
1934. In 1939, the time of the partition of Poland between Germany and Russia,
Lindenbaum moved eastwards to Vilnius and then to Bia{\l}ystok. During Russian
occupation of Bia{\l}ystok, he was appointed as a docent (associate professor) at the local
pedagogical institute. As claimed in \cite{slownik} (and repeated in
\cite{lindenb}), he was offered a position in Moscow, but refused, apparently
wishing to stay in Poland; no further details are known. In 1941, after German
invasion of this part of Poland, he was arrested and murdered.
Works in logic, set theory, and topology.
\subsection*{Rudolf Karl L\"uneburg}
(Reference: \cite[p{ages} ~134,166,180--185]{ss-fleeing}).
Doctoral dissertation in 1930 at G\"ottingen. Was dismissed in 1933 from his
assistant post at G\"ottingen for political reasons.
In 1935, Pavel Aleksandrov wrote in a letter to \textbf{Courant} about the slim
chances to find a post for L\"uneburg in Russia: the reason, according to
Aleksandrov, was that L\"uneburg publishes less than other mathematicians of his
caliber\footnote{{ }
An evidence that the so-called bibliometrics played a role also in those earlier
years! As an exercise in alternative history, one may speculate on what impact
all these ``Impact factors'' and ``Hirsch indices'' would have on the survival
of that or another mathematician in the Nazi era, would they be invented a
little bit earlier.
}.
In 1934--1935 L\"uneburg worked at Utrecht and Leiden. In 1935 he managed to
come to the U.S. Apparently he has complicated relationship with his colleagues,
including influential emigrants, going back to the G\"ottingen days. On one
hand, Courant tried to help him (\cite[p{age} 176]{reid-courant}), on the other
hand, he had conflicts with Weyl and Busemann. At the end, he failed to find a job in academia, and worked in industry until his death in 1949 in an automobile
accident.
Works in function theory and geometrical optics\footnote{{ }
In \cite{ss-fleeing}, L\"uneburg is wrongly described as a topologist.
}.
\subsection*{Kurt Mahler}
(References: \cite[footnote on p{age} 132]{ss-fleeing} and
\cite[p{age} 165]{nossum-kotulek}).
Kurt Mahler, a distinguished number theorist, got his doctor degree in 1927 at
Frankfurt under Siegel. Before assuming his first post as a privatdozent at
K\"oningsberg in 1933, he decided to leave Germany. He managed to find some
funding in the UK, but his situation was not secure there, and around 1935 he
had a hope to get a position at the Saratov University, with the help of
Khinchin\footnote{{ }
During that time the Saratov University flourished under the rector Gavriil
Kirillovich Khvorostin, an alumni of the Moscow University, visitor to Berlin
and G\"ottingen, and an active and ambitious administrator with connections at
the top of Soviet bureaucracy. During his short reign in 1935--1937, Khvorostin
managed to attract to the mathematics department of the Saratov University such
first-rate people as Israel Isaakovich Gordon, Aleksandr Yakovlevich Khinchin,
Aleksandr Gennadievich Kurosh, Ivan Georgievich Petrovskii, and Viktor
Vladimirovich Wagner (about whom and similar people he once quoted verses of the
Russian poet Sergei Esenin: ``It is hard to handle the cattle with a twig''; the
Russian original ``{\rus Trudno khvorostino{\u\i} upravlyat{\cprime}
skotino{\u\i}}'' is based on a wordplay: Khvorostin vs. ``khvorostina'', a
twig). The glorious period of ``G\"ottingen on Volga'', as Khvorostin liked to
put it, came to the end in 1937, when Khvorostin was arrested and later
murdered, and most of the scientists hired by him were either fired, or left
Saratov voluntary fearing persecution (\cite[p{ages} ~287--288]{umn-chronicle}, \cite[p{ages} ~19--21]{gordon}).
}.
However, nothing came out of these efforts, and Mahler established himself in
the UK, and later in Australia.
\subsection*{Emmy Noether}
(References: \cite{noether}, including \cite{alexandrov}, \cite{roquette},
\cite{shen}, \cite{tobies}, \cite[p{ages} ~67--72]{transcending}).
Emmy Noether has spent the 1928--1929 academic year in Moscow, were she
influenced Pavel Aleksandrov, Pontryagin, Schmidt, and others. She enjoyed this
visit very much.
After the introduction of the non-Aryan laws in Germany, Noether's friend
Aleksandrov tried to arrange for her a chair in Moscow, unsuccessfully.
(Earlier Noether helped Aleksandrov to obtain a Rockefeller fellowship, and
recommended him for the professorship at Halle). Instead, in 1933 she departed
to the U.S. In 1934 she wrote Aleksandrov that she does not want ``commit herself
to algebra professorship in Moscow'' as she has prospects in Princeton. After her
untimely death in 1935, she was honored in a memorial session of the Moscow Mathematical Society, attended by her brother \textbf{Fritz}.
\subsection*{Felix Pollaczek}
(References:
\cite{pollaczek} and references therein, \cite[p{ages} ~111,133]{ss-fleeing},
\cite[p{age} 122]{rider}).
Doctoral dissertation in 1922 at Berlin under Issai Schur. Pollaczek was a
versatile mathematician and electrical engineer, working in number theory,
mathematical analysis, probability, mathematical physics, and other areas. In
1933 he was dismissed by the non-Aryan law from his post at the German Postal,
Telephone and Telegraph Service. He moved to Paris, but was forced to leave
France in 1936 as his visa was not prolonged. Around this time Khinchin and
omnipresent \textbf{M\"untz} have tried to bring Pollaczek to Tiflis or Baku
(currently Azerbaidzhan). These efforts failed\footnote{{ }
In the first issue of \emph{Uspekhi Matematicheskikh Nauk} it is reported that
the department of algebra in the mathematical institute at Tiflis is headed
by ``Professor Pollaczek from France'' (\cite[p{age} 287]{umn-chronicle}), on which
Kolmogorov, criticizing the quality of information in the newly established
journal, sarcastically remarked that ``the information preempted the event''
(\cite{umn-kolm}).
};
Pollaczek was able to come to Russia, by the invitation of Khinchin, only for a
short visit in 1937.
Instead, in 1938 Pollaczek managed to move back to France. Such people as
von K\'amr\'an, Veblen, and Weyl did not spare efforts to bring him to the U.S.,
to no avail. In 1942 Pollaczek managed to get an appointment in Lima, but was
unable to move out of the chaotic war-time France. He survived during the German
occupation, and remained in France till the end of his life. After the war his
only source of income was a meager CNRS stipend, so he experienced a constant
financial hardship, but continued to work fruitfully nevertheless, writing many
more papers.
\subsection*{Erich Rothe and Hildegard Rothe-Ille}
(References: \cite[p{age} 133]{ss-fleeing}, \cite[p{ages} ~208--209]{pinl},
\cite[p{ages} ~13--14]{ille}).
Erich Rothe has defended a doctoral dissertation in 1927 at Berlin under Erhard
Schmidt and Richard von Mises. He habilitated in 1928 at the Technical
University of Breslau, where he worked as an assistant of
\textbf{Fritz Noether}; in 1931--1935 he worked at the University of Breslau,
from where he was dismissed in 1935 by the non-Aryan laws.
In 1934, Oswald Veblen in a letter to Richard Brauer advised Rothe to seek
employment in Russia, where, according to Veblen, he has much more chances than
in the U.S. Eventually, Rothe went to the U.S. in 1937, where, after a number of
temporary posts, he had a long and successful career at the University of Michigan.
Works in partial differential equations and functional analysis.
His wife Hildegard Rothe-Ille has defended a doctoral dissertation in 1924 at
Berlin under Issai Schur. She followed her husband to the U.S., where she taught
at a small private college, and died in 1942 from cancer. Besides her doctoral
dissertation, she published only one short paper in 1926 about
positive-definite polynomials.
\subsection*{Hans Schwerdtfeger}
(References: \cite{aczel}, \cite{born}, \cite{einst-born},
\cite[p{ages} ~123,137,139,165]{ss-fleeing}).
Doctoral dissertation in 1934 at Bonn under Toeplitz.
Schwerdtfeger's friend \textbf{Cohn-Vossen} tried to secure for him a place in
Russia. These efforts were brought to a halt due to \textbf{Cohn-Vossen}'s
death. Max Born also tried to use his contacts with Russian physicists to find
him a place in Russia, and urged Einstein to write on behalf of Schwerdtfeger to
Molotov or Schmidt. Einstein refused: he was of a quite low opinion of
Schwerdtfeger as a scientist, and would not like to compromise his reputation by
recommending ``mediocrity''. Weyl was also of a low opinion of Schwerdtfeger,
and refused to help him to settle in the U.S.
Schwerdtfeger was a staunch anti-Nazi, and in 1936 he was forced to flee the
country to Prague (in Born's version, he went to Prague to facilitate contact
with \textbf{Cohn-Vossen}), then to Switzerland (facing there a threat to be
deported back to Germany). After a long journey involving several other
countries, in 1940 he settled, with the help of Max Born, in Australia, and
later in Canada.
Works in algebra and complex analysis.
\subsection*{Wolfgang Sternberg}
(References:
\cite{sternberg-obi}, \cite[p{ages} ~128--129,134,209]{ss-fleeing},
\cite[p{ages} ~216--217 of the 1996 edition]{reid-courant},
\cite[p{ages} ~209--211]{pinl}, \cite[p{age} 96]{integral-sign}).
Doctoral dissertation in 1912 at Breslau, habilitation in 1920 at Heidelberg.
In 1935 Sternberg was dismissed by the non-Aryan laws from his post at Breslau,
and briefly went to Palestine. However, in Palestine he was unhappy, due to
various factors, such as ``Jewish nationalism'', lack of knowledge of Hebrew,
and bad climate. He worked at the Hebrew University without renumeration, and
actively sought possibilities to emigrate to other places, among them to Russia.
In 1935 he reported to his classmate \textbf{Courant} about a failed attempt to
get a post in Russia, through the Leningrad mathematician Vladimir Ivanovich
Smirnov\footnote{{ }
Vladimir Ivanovich Smirnov (1887--1974): a distinguished Russian mathematician,
worked in complex analysis and numerical mathematics, the author of the famous
5-volume ``Course of Higher Mathematics''.
},
and the biologist and emigrant from Germany Julius Schaxel.
In 1936 Sternberg undertook a costly and difficult trip from Palestine to
the International Congress of Mathematician in Oslo, with hopes to discuss with
Russian mathematicians his job prospects. In the same 1936 letter mentioned
under \textbf{Aronszajn}, Aleksandrov wrote to \textbf{Courant} that he is
dubious about Sternberg's prospects in Russia, as earlier he was unable to do anything for such ``outstanding'', in his words,
people such as \textbf{L\"uneburg}, \textbf{Zorn}, and \textbf{Aronszajn}.
Eventually Sternberg left Palestine for Prague, and in 1939 he managed to reach
the U.S. where he had a great difficulty to find employment, despite help from
\textbf{Courant}. Eventually, he went through a number of temporary jobs at the
Cornell University and other places, until his early retirement in 1948.
Works in potential theory, integral equations, and probability theory.
\subsection*{Dirk and Saly Ruth Struik}
(References: \cite{rowe-interv}, \cite{rowe}, \cite{alberts},
\cite{powell-frank}, \cite{becvarova},
\cite[p{age} 188--189 of the 2011 edition]{kolman}).
Dirk Struik was a staunch Marxist and a member of Dutch communist party (at a
certain point in his life, being criticized by his fellow party members for
studying ``all that bourgeois science'', he deliberated whether to continue his
mathematical studies, or to become a party functionary). Due to his political
views, he had difficulty to get a permanent academic appointment anywhere in
Europe.
His brother Anton, also a communist, went to Russia as early as 1921, where he
worked as an engineer until returning to the Netherlands in 1930. This
experience, quite probably, motivated Dirk to follow the steps of his brother
and to settle in Russia.
In 1926, he had to make a difficult choice between two offers: from Otto
Yulievich Schmidt in Moscow, and from Norbert Wiener in MIT (whom he befriended
during his stay in G\"ottingen). After much deliberation, he chose the latter,
having in mind to accept the Russian offer sometime in the future\footnote{{ }
In the 1987 interview Struik admitted that, would he be settled in Russia, his
``natural Dutch obstinacy ... might have gotten in the way and brought [him]
into conflict'' with Russian authorities (\cite[p{age} 24]{rowe-interv}).
}.
He remained at MIT till the end of his long career (where he had troubles during
the McCarthy era). He visited Russia briefly only in 1934, where he participated
in the famous international Moscow conference on tensor and differential
geometry, stayed with his longtime friend Kolman, and was involved in
``Karl Marx mathematics''.
Works in differential geometry and history of mathematics.
Dirk Struik's wife, Saly Ruth Struik (n\'ee Ramler), also a mathematician, got
the doctorate at Prague in 1919 under Gerhard Kowalewski and Georg Pick. Besides
her doctoral dissertation, she authored a single paper on affine geometry, wrote
commentaries to the Italian edition of Euclid's ``Elements'', and coauthored a
couple of papers with her husband about history of mathematics.
\subsection*{Ludwig Wittgenstein}
(References: Wittgenstein's letters
\cite[letters 190--193 to/from John Maynard Keynes, July 1935]{wittgenstein};
also \cite{moran}, \cite{omahony}, \cite[Chapters 16 and 17]{monk},
\cite{biryukov}, and memoir of Fania Pascal, his teacher of Russian
\cite[p{ages} ~30--31, 37--38 of the original 1973 publication]{pascal}. These
accounts are often contradictory, and accuse each other of a wrong
interpretation of Wittgenstein's intentions, ideas, and works).
Wittgenstein interest in Soviet Russia started, probably, as early as in the
beginning of the 1920s, and intensified in the beginning of the 1930s due to the
influence of his friends Russell and Keynes\footnote{{ }
Russell was overly critical about Soviet Russia; as suggested in
\cite[p{age} 248]{monk}, ``if Russell hated it so much there must be something good
about it''. Keynes presented Russian Marxism as a religious faith; that, again,
according to \cite{monk} could attract Wittgenstein.
}.
During 1933--1935 Wittgenstein learned the Russian language, and tried to secure
the necessary contacts -- including multiple contacts with communists in
Cambridge -- which would allow him to make a trip to Russia, and, ultimately, to
get a permanent residence and employment there.
Apparently, Wittgenstein's desire to go to Russia was so great that he, in
normal circumstances not hesitating a moment to use harsh words towards his
colleagues and friends, and behaving generally in an extremely eccentric way,
demonstrated a lot of uncharacteristic for him humility: in a letter to his
friend with Russian connections he begged to convince Russian authorities that
he is ``in no way politically dangerous'', and during the interview with the
Russian ambassador in London wore a suit, for the first (and, perhaps, the last) time in many years.
He traveled in 1935 to Leningrad and Moscow for 3 weeks in an attempt to
secure employment in Russia, and had encounters with Sofia Yanovskaya\footnote{{ }
Sofia Aleksandrovna Yanovskaya (1896--1966; spelled as Janovskaja or Janovskaya
by the cited English-speaking Wittgenstein scholars), a well-known and
controversial figure in the Moscow mathematical milieu between 1930s and 1960s.
Professor of logic and history of mathematics at the Moscow University, a
combatant in the Russian civil war, and a watchdog of ``Marxist-Leninist
character of logic and mathematics''; at the same time she was credited for
saving mathematical logic in Russia from even more zealous watchdogs, and was
praised as a good saint helping a few brilliant young mathematicians to
establish themselves in Moscow. Criticized Schmidt for ``idealism'' and
deviating from ``communist party analysis'' in his works in group theory, and
advised Wittgenstein ``to read more Hegel''.
}.
According to some reports, Wittgenstein did not want to be employed there in
academia, but had vague ideas ``to practice medicine in Russia'', or to be
somehow involved in ``the newly colonized parts at the periphery of the
USSR''\footnote{{ }
This is, perhaps, not surprising, as at the different moments of his hectic
life, Wittgenstein was employed as a soldier, as a gardener's assistant, as a
packing-cases maker, as an elementary school teacher, and as a hospital
porter.}.
Instead, he was offered employment at the philosophical department either in
Moscow or in Kazan, but shortly thereafter the Russian authorities have changed
their mind and retracted the offer.
Initially Wittgenstein planned to go to Russia together with his homosexual
partner Francis Skinner\footnote{{ }
A promising student of mathematics at Cambridge in early 1930s. Under
Wittgenstein's influence, switched from mathematics to philosophy, and then
abandoned academia altogether. Skinner is not qualified as mathematician
according to our standards, and therefore does not deserve a separate entry
under ``Emigrations that did not occur''.
},
but the plans failed due the serious illness of the latter. This, according to
some sources, could be an additional reason why Wittgenstein has abandoned his
plans to settle in Russia.
\subsection*{Max Zorn} (Reference: \cite[p{age} 134]{ss-fleeing}).
A famous mathematician (of the Zorn lemma) working in algebra and numerical
analysis, doctorate in 1930 at Hamburg under Emil Artin. Zorn worked until 1933
at the University of Halle. In 1933, he was denied habilitation and was forced
to leave Germany, being actively opposed to the Nazi regime.
In the same 1936 letter to \textbf{Courant} mentioned under \textbf{Aronszajn}
and \textbf{Sternberg}, Aleksandrov wrote that he was unable to bring Zorn to
Russia.
In 1934 Zorn emigrated to the U.S., where he had a long and distinguished career.
\section*{Conclusion}
Why there were so few emigrations? One of the reasons was a total absence in
Russia of any central administrative body supervising the situation and helping
the dismissed scholars to find financial sources and jobs. It is somewhat ironic
that with all its self-praised centralized planning, Russia ha{d} nothing like {the}
American \emph{The Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced European Scholars},
or {the} British \emph{Academic Assistance Council} (renamed in 1936 to
\emph{Society for the Protection of Science and Learning}), or {the} French
\emph{Comit\'e des Savants} (operational till the occupation of France by
Germany in 1940), or {the} Swiss \emph{Notgemeinschaft Deutscher Wissentschaftler
im Ausland}. In Russia, unlike all these countries, each case was processed on
an ad hoc basis: interested mathematicians (like Aleksandrov), or administrators
(like Khvorostin), or political figures (like Krylenko) were persuading their
respective political bosses to grant permission to bring to the country that
or another foreign scholar.
Another, related, reason was the byzantine character of the Russian bureaucracy:
to employ a foreigner was a ``political'' decision, requiring involvement on a
higher and higher level of the Soviet hierarchy (some sources report that in
certain cases the decision to offer or to reject employment in the country was
taken by Stalin). Apparently, the political and bureaucratic obstacles were less
at the Russian periphery than in the center: among the 22 emigrants, less than
half were able to settle, if only temporarily, at Moscow and Leningrad, the two
Russian great scientific centers, and the rest found employment at the
periphery. One may speculate that if Aleksandrov {had} lobb{ied} the authorities for
\textbf{Emmy Noether}'s employment not at Moscow, but at Tbilisi, or Minsk, or
Tomsk, he might {have} be{en} more successful. Perhaps, it is also not coincidental, that
most of those very few emigrants who managed to leave a trace in Russian
mathematics, at the time of their emigration had, in that or another way,
certain rights to the Soviet citizenship: either being born on what was Russian territories in the past, or became Soviet citizens by the fact of
Russian annexation of new territories.
One might think that another obvious reason was the troublesome, to put it
mildly, political situation in Russia. However, it appears that in most of the
cases this was not a decisive factor in choosing a possible country for
emigration; the true nature of the Russian political regime became apparent to
people to the full extent only in the hindsight, after they spent some time in the country. In
the considered period, the end of the 1920s {to} the 1930s, Russia appeared as an
attractive destination for many people, especially educated intellectuals with left-wing
political leanings: a country not without its rough edges, but successfully
building a progressive new society, a place where scientists {we}re respected and
highly rewarded for their research and pedagogical endeavors\footnote{{ }Evidence of this abound{s;} here {are} just a couple of quotes from the already cited
sources: ``... all free minded people look at Russia with certain admiration and
with much interest'', wrote Richard Brauer to Szeg\"o in 1934
(\cite[p{age} 133]{ss-fleeing}). ``Go back to Lw\'ow. The Bolsheviks idolize
professors. They won't harm you'', advised to Hugo Steinhaus an officer in
September 1939 on the Polish-Hungarian border, when Steinhaus was deliberating
whether or not to flee the advancing Russian army (\cite[p{age} 224]{steinhaus}).}.
Also, at least for a certain period of time, with all the post-WWI devastation
and later Great Depression, the working and economic conditions of scientists in
Russia seemed to be at least not worse th{a}n those of their colleagues in
Europe\footnote{{ }In 1927 Sergei Bernstein, in a talk with an officer from the Rockefeller
Foundation, claimed that, speaking of Russia, ``the professor's situation from
the material point of view was comparable to that of the French professors;
mathematicians are naturally given all freedom in their work''
(\cite[p{age} 121]{rockefeller}). Bernstein, on several occasions, courageously
raised his voice against Russian authorities, and, by all accounts, this should
be taken as a sincere description of the situation and not as a communist propaganda.}.
The British \emph{Society for the Protection of Science and Learning} in
desperate efforts to help the growing number of displaced scholars, encouraged
them to apply for jobs at Leningrad, among other ``exotic'' places
(\cite[p{age} 139]{rider}).
With the exception of \textbf{Stef\'ania Bauer}, the first wave of emigration
started in 1929, despite that some people (\textbf{Czajkowski},
\textbf{Grommer}, \textbf{Gumbel}) were seeking opportunities to emigrate to
Russia earlier. This is not accidental: 1929 is the year of consolidation of
Stalin's power, and the start of the radical changes in the economic policy --
the so-called ``Great Break'' -- a drastic acceleration of forced
industrialization of the country, and the adoption of five-year plans of
economic development. This, in its turn, required a significant improvement of
education, with a focus on technical and mathematical education, a task hindered
by the lack of qualified mathematics teachers in universities (see, for example,
the talk by Otto Yulievich Schmidt at the first USSR mathematical symposium in
1930, \cite[p{age} 58]{lapko-lyusternik}). It is reasonable to assume that, from the
point of view of Russian authorities of that time, the emigration of scientists could
help in all these noble goals.
The next batch of emigrants came in 1934--1936, after the wave of dismissals in
Germany which started in 1933. The emigration has stopped entirely in 1937, the
year of ``Great Purge'', and has resumed, if only slightly, at the beginning of
WWII (invasion of Poland by Germany and Russia in 1939, and invasion of Russia
by Germany in 1941), under entirely different circumstances.
One characteristic feature is the frequent appearance of Einstein as a
facilitator between potential emigrants and Russian authorities\footnote{{ }
In some recent Russian mass media and popular literature, one can find claims
that Einstein himself was offered and even considered posts in Russia. One of
the most popular repeated accounts goes as follows: in 1935, Khvorostin has
offered to Einstein a position at the Saratov University. Einstein refused on
the pretext that he never will be able to master Russian. Khvorostin countered
with a fantastic plan to establish an Academy of Volga Germans, with German as
an official language, and Einstein, stationed in Saratov, as the head of the
Academy. Neither Einstein archives in Jerusalem and Princeton, nor any other
sources do seem to contain anything corroborating the story; in 1935 Einstein
was firmly established at the Institute of Advanced Study, and did not seek
another positions. Fantastic as it is, this story probably reflects Khvorostin's
high aspirations as mirrored in the public consciousness of later times.
}.
This is hardly surprising: Einstein was a world celebrity with a huge number of
connections, usually was sympathetic to other people's problems, and, being
liberal with left-wing leanings, had quite a soft spot for the communist
Russia\footnote{{ }
As early as in 1923, Einstein was one of the founders of the ``Association of
Friends of the New Russia''. In 1929 he reports on a meeting with some Russian
functionaries who assured him that ``the return of emigrants ready to cooperate
with the Russian regime is highly desirable'', \cite{einst-frank}. Einstein was
changing his opinion about the Soviet Russia back and forth -- see other letters
in the just cited publication, an incident with his public statement described
in connection with \textbf{M\"untz}, and footnote on p{age} \pageref{foot-eins}.
}.
Another important facilitator on the Russian side was Pavel Aleksandrov. This is
natural either: as a frequent visitor to the European mathematical centers in
1920s, Aleksandrov had many personal friends in the West; on the other hand, he
was a patriot of his country, and apparently genuinely wanted to strengthen
Russian mathematics by bringing excellent people from abroad.
Russia had a long tradition, starting from the St.~Petersburg Academy of
Sciences created by Peter the Great, to invite foreign scholars, mathematicians
in particular, and benefit greatly from their presence in the country. This
time, however, the political climate and overall situation were
different\footnote{{ }
This was written in 2018, when the first version of this text was completed.
Today, in 2023, at the time of Russian invasion to Ukraine, and the descent of
Russia to a dictatorship isolated from the West, ``the political climate and
overall situation'' are ``different'' again. One hardly can imagine any
significant scientific immigration to Russia in any foreseeable future.
}. A
crude ``statistics'':\ out of 22 mathematicians who emigrated to Russia between
1925 and 1941, three were murdered (\textbf{Bauer}, \textbf{Burstin},
\textbf{Noether}), one died mysteriously (\textbf{Chwistek}), four were deported
or forced to leave the country (\textbf{M\"untz}, \textbf{Bergman},
\textbf{Romberg}, \textbf{Sadowsky}), four have left themselves after a short
period of time (\textbf{Lasker}, \textbf{Mathisson}, \textbf{Rosen},
\textbf{Zaremba}), four were persecuted in that or another way, being
imprisoned, or deprived from academic employment, or deported from the center to
periphery (\textbf{Czajkowski}, \textbf{Frankl}, \textbf{Plessner},
\textbf{Szil\'ard}), and in one case all the memory about the person was, after
his natural death, erased from the official history (\textbf{Grommer})\footnote{{ }
Another common action of NKVD, especially accelerating during 1939--1941, the
time of Russian-German ``non-ag\-res\-si\-on treaty'', was transferring German
refugees to NKVD's colleagues at Gestapo; for example, this is what happened to
Fritz Houtermans, a physicist mentioned above in connection with
\textbf{Cohn-Vossen} and \textbf{Fritz Noether}. This fate, however, was not
shared by anyone of emigrant mathematicians. (Despite doing some, apparently
serious -- it met approval of van der Waerden -- number theory in his head while
in NKVD captivity, Houtermans still does not qualify for being mathematician,
and is not considered by us here separately).
}.
It seems that among those who emigrated before 1937, only \textbf{Frankl},
\textbf{Plessner}, and \textbf{Walfisz}, and, to a lesser degree (but quite
amazingly, taking into account a very short period of his activity in the
country), \textbf{Bergman}, were able to influence the local mathematical
community in some substantial way. In the last small group of emigrants who came
after 1939, \textbf{Skopets} and \textbf{Vishik} also have benefited
significantly their new country of residence.
On the other hand, some emigrants (\textbf{Burstin}, \textbf{Frankl},
\textbf{M\"untz}) participated, {even} if not actively, in political campaigns
aimed to subordinate mathematics to the communist ideology, and targeting their
colleagues.
The official Russian historiography of that period followed the general trend in
the country to pretend that ``non-desirable'' persons do not exist. After the
war, two big reference works were published, presumably listing all the Soviet
mathematicians, and all their published works for the period from 1917 till 1947
and 1957, respectively (\cite{sssr30} and \cite{sssr40}). As expected, most of
those mathematicians who had left the country, or were imprisoned, or murdered,
are not mentioned there, though there are some inexplicable exceptions (thus, in
both volumes \textbf{M\"untz} and \textbf{Romberg} are mentioned).
Of course, in the considered period Russian mathematics was already the
first-rate one and was developing successfully without ``help from abroad''. Some authors,
describing the fate of that or another person, expressed relief that the
person's emigration to Russia did not materialize (see, for example, a remark by
Fritz John about \textbf{Courant}): indeed, wouldn't it be quite disheartening
to see either \textbf{Courant}, or \textbf{Emmy Noether}, or
\textbf{Pollaczek}, or \textbf{Struik} to suffer under the Russian dictatorship?
Yet other authors -- Russian authors of the Soviet period -- expressed a kind
of patriotic pride that Russian mathematics, a peer, if not superior to American
one, was developed chiefly from internal resources, without the influx of
emigrants. {I} will end with the expression of mere wonder; looking on the life
and deeds of the emigrants to the U.S., the persons who, to a large extent, shaped the American
mathematical culture: Artin, Ahlfors, Bargmann, Bers, Bochner, two Brauers, Busemann, Carnap, Chevalley,
\textbf{Courant}, Eilenberg, Feller, Friedrichs, Hurewicz, John,
von K\'arm\'an, Lewy, Loewner, Menger, von Mises, Neugebauer, von Neumann,
Neyman, Polya, Prager, Rademacher, Rad\'o, Schoenberg, Szeg\H{o}, Tarski,
Taussky-Todd, Uhlenbeck, Ulam, Wald, Warschawski, Weil, Weyl, Wigner, Wintner,
Zariski, \textbf{Zorn}, Zygmund, and the scores of others, one cannot help but
wonder how differently {the} two superpowers used the opportunities provided by {the} exodus
of brilliant mathematical minds from Europe at that times, and what amazing
possibilities for Russian mathematics were lost.
\section*{Acknowledgements}
Thanks are due to Waldemar Ho{\l}ubowski, Willi J\"ager, W{\l}odzimierz Odyniec,
Eugen Paal, Vadim Rudnev, Witold Wi\c{e}s{\l}aw, Maria Zusmanovich, and
especially to Galina Sinkevich, for useful remarks and/or help with the literature; and to Albert Einstein Archives at
the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for providing copies of (yet unpublished)
letters and other documents. A previous version of this text was submitted to
(and rejected by) \emph{Annals of Science}, and I owe the anonymous
referee of that submission some useful remarks as well.
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\end{thebibliography}
\end{document}
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