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Mathematics and German politics: the national socialist experience. (English) Zbl 0629.01023
This article gives and account of a movement in Nazi-Germany called “Deutsche Mathematik”, its content and effects. This movement was carried mainly by the mathematicians L. Bieberbach and Th. Vahlen. After short biographies of them the author reports about two articles by Bieberbach dealing mainly with assumed differences in mathematical style between Jewish (e. g. Landau, Jacobi) and non-Jewish (Gauß, F. Klein) mathematicians with respect to pedagogy and creation, whereby the non-Jewish were estimated higher (“more insight” compared with the “sterile intellectualism” of the Jewish).
In the following the author refers to a psychological background developed by the psychologists E. R. Jaensch and his student F. Althoff. It consists of a typology which was brought into correspondence with racial differences between Arians and Jews. Famous mathematicians were classified according to this typology. Further it is reported that this kind of discussion in Nazi-Germany was embedded in a more general discussion of racial and sociopolitical typologies which took place in other countries too (e. g. the U.S.A.).
The rest of the paper gives some remarks about the roles of mathematicians like F. Klein, K. Weierstraß, W. Blaschke in this kind of discussion. Finally the conflict about the constitution of the “Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung” (1934) is considered.
Reviewer: Roland Fischer

01A80 Sociology (and profession) of mathematics
01A60 History of mathematics in the 20th century
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