Person: Hamburger, Hans Ludwig
Hans Ludwig Hamburger was a German mathematician. He spent the Second World War in England and afterwards was a professor at universities in Berlin, Cologne and Ankara.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Both Karl and Margarethe Hamburger were Jewish but the two boys were both baptised into the Christian Protestant religion in 1896.
- This cultivated conviviality in which he was brought up did much to develop Hans' character and determine the style with which he led his life.
- At these universities Hamburger attended lectures by world-class mathematicians.
- It was at Munich that Hamburger undertook research for his doctorate, advised by Alfred Pringsheim.
- Hamburger then went to Paris to continue his studies at the Collège de France with Jacques Hadamard.
- At this stage Hamburger was a German national in France with the two countries at war.
- Hamburger fought there with the German troops until December 1916 when, because of health problems, he was brought back to Germany to undertake work in aerodynamics.
- Hamburger was delighted to be back in Berlin for he was then able to continue undertaking research at the Friedrich-Wilhelm University of Berlin.
- Hamburger taught at the University of Berlin as a docent from 1919, being promoted to Extraordinary Professor on 1 July 1922.
- At this time there was only one chair of mathematics at Cologne but a second chair was created by the Prussian Ministry of Science, Art and Education and it was to this second chair that Hamburger was appointed.
- Hamburger came under this exemption clause and so remained in his position in 1933.
- Hamburger continued in post at Cologne until 14 November 1935 when he was granted leave.
- Not surprisingly, Hamburger published nothing during the six years he spent in Germany after the Nazis came to power.
- The National Socialist Executive Chairman of the Board, Erwin Fassl, put many obstacles in Hamburger's way.
- Hamburger shortly thereafter changed his request to emigrate to the Netherlands.
- Fassl's objections did not prevent Hamburger being given permission to move to the Netherlands, initially for a period of two years but subject to being recalled at any time.
- On 14 August 1939 Hamburger left Germany and, instead of going to the Netherlands, travelled directly to Britain.
- In January 1940 the Ministry in Cologne asked the Cologne University Administration for Hamburger's address.
- On arriving in England, Hamburger was supported by the "Society for the Protection of Science and Learning" and he took up residence in Croydon where he continued his mathematical research.
- However, in 1940 Hamburger, as a German citizen, was placed in an internment camp.
- We return to describe Hans Hamburger's life in England.
- In Cambridge, Hamburger had great moral support from G H Hardy.
- Hamburger was not only undertaking research in mathematics after he reached England but he was also writing the pamphlet How Nazi Germany has mobilised and controlled labour.
- Mr Hamburger's pamphlet is well documented.
- After serving as a Temporary Lecturer at University College Southampton in 1941-42, Hamburger had his contract extended on 15 June 1942 to cover the following academic year 1942-43.
- Despite the University of Cologne being unhappy that Hamburger tried to keep the Cologne position open while continuing to work in Ankara, he did return to Cologne and take up his former chair on 1 June 1953.
Born 5 August 1889, Berlin, Germany. Died 14 August 1956, Cologne, Germany.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive