Mathematician, a Woman of Strength, Tenacity, and Dignity: Hilda Geiringeri
Arnold Reisman was born in Lodz Poland in 1934 and emigrated to the US in 1946 having spent the war years in the Soviet Union where his father took the family after three months of being under Nazi occupation in Lodz. He received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees in engineering from UCLA and is a registered Professional Engineer in California, Wisconsin, and Ohio. After 27 years as Professor of Operations Research at Case Western Reserve University, Reisman chose early retirement in 1994. During 1999-2003, he was an invited Visiting Scholar in Turkey at both Sabanci University, and the Istanbul Technical University. His current research interests are technology transfer, meta research, and most recently, the history of German-speaking exiled professors starting in 1933 and their impact on science in general and Turkish universities in particular. In this regard Reisman is also researching Albert Einstein's role in saving Nazi persecuted intellectuals. Reisman is still actively pursuing his lifelong interest in sculpting. He is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, American Men and Women of Science, and Two Thousand Notable Americans, and he is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Among his 200-plus publications in refereed journals and 14 books Reisman's most recent book is: TURKEY'S MODERNIZATION: Refugees from Nazism and Atatürk's Vision. It has received many outstanding pre and post publication reviews.
In 1933 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, President of the 10 year old Republic of Turkey felt it was time to modernize and reform the system of higher education in his country. Outdated modes of thinking and methods of teaching left over from the old Ottoman Empire were unsuitable for the 20th century and his vision of what a modern country should be.
Because there were few Turkish citizens sufficiently educated to accomplish these educational reforms, the new government turned a tragedy into an opportunity for the new Republic. Starting in 1933 Nazi Germany passed the Gesetz zur Wiederherstellung des Berufsbeamtentums or the Reestablishment of the Civil Service Lawii, and expelled many citizens from their positionsiii. Some 190iv eminent intellectuals were invited to Turkey and rescuedv from what we know was a horrible fate – a fact hardly known outside of that country.
The collective impact of these luminaries on all aspects of Turkey's system of higher education was monumental. "In its essence, the affair that we call or understand as Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's (1881–1938) Üniversite Reformu was not merely a university reform, but the ultimate apex of the Atatürk cultural movement started in the years 1925 to 1926."vi
For many of the displaced German intellectuals America was out of reach during the 1930s because of restrictive immigration laws and wide spread anti-Semitic hiring bias at its universities. The fact is that no matter what statistical or quantitative measure one might use, the results would uniformly show that prior to 1933 each of the major German universities employed more Jewish professors than did Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Princeton combined at that time and for over a decade beyond. These American Ivy League schools had no Jewish faculty.vii
Recognizing the desperate situation of his colleagues, Philipp Schwarz a German Jewish physician set up a Swiss-based organization to help place as many of his contemporaries as possible outside Nazi-dominated lands. One of the countries contacted was Turkey. The expelled Germans, though not all Jewish were the intellectuals and the professionals. Since they could not go West, those who were chosen for the knowledge, skills, and prestige they could bring with them could look to Turkey as a safe haven. This held true from 1933 and through almost the war's endviii in 1945ix. Turkey needed the brains and skills these men and women possessed and offered them contracts and accommodations. Hilda Geiringer was among the lucky ones invited.
Hilda Geiringer is widely recognized as a pioneer of applied mathematics, elasticity and plasticity of materials, statistics, and probability among other fields of applied science. Her lifetime contributions to knowledge have been well documented, as has her life story, in part. What has been left unsaid is how this valuable intellectual was saved, and what trials and tribulations she experienced in coming to America. What Hilda Geiringer suffered within a climate of pervasive anti-Semitismx and sexism as she tried to find an adequate job in the United States has been ignored until nowxi. Archival literature does recognize that she had to leave her university post in her beloved Germany due to Nazi racism.
Geiringer lost the right to teach at the Berlin Institute of Applied Mathematics in December 1933. Like many of her colleagues she was caught at a crossroads and targeted in the cross fires of history. Events in her native Germany presented her with a "Hobson's choice"—leave if you can or die! She and her daughter Magda were saved because at that time Turkey was transforming itself into a republic and recognized the need to modernize its society, culture, way of living, and system of higher education. The Nazis were ascending. Fascists marched. The times were dangerous. The peril for the persecuted was not simply death but also unimaginable suffering. Anti-Jewish bias in the West, America and its European allies, were silently effective in preventing safe passage across the Atlantic during the 1930s.
Hilda Geiringer's father, Ludwig Geiringer, was born in Hungary. Her mother, Martha Wertheimer, was from Vienna, and Ludwig and Martha had married while he was working in Vienna as a textile manufacturer. While still in high school, Hilda showed great mathematical ability. After receiving her first degree, Geiringer continued her study of mathematics in Vienna. Her Ph.D. was awarded in 1917 for a thesis on the Fourier series in two variables. She spent the following two years as Leon Lichtenstein's assistant editing the Jahrbuch über die Fortschritte der Mathematik, a mathematics review journal. In 1921, Geiringer moved to Berlin where she was employed as an assistant to Richard von Mises at the Institute of Applied Mathematics. That same year she married Felix Pollaczek who, like Geiringer, was born in Vienna to a Jewish family and had studied in Berlin. Pollaczek obtained his doctorate in 1922 and went on to work for the Reichspost (Postal service) in Berlin applying mathematical methods to telephone connections. In 1922 Hilda and Felix had a child, Magda, yet their marriage fell apart. After the divorce, Geiringer continued working for von Mises while raising her child. Her mathematical contributions were noticed by Albert Einstein with whom she corresponded over many years on matters of science and her immigrationxii to the United States.
Although trained as a pure mathematician, Geiringer moved towards applied mathematics to fit in with the work being undertaken at the Institute of Applied Mathematics. Her work at this time was on statistics, probability theory, and also on the mathematical theory of plasticity. She submitted a thesis for her Habilitation to qualify as an instructor at the University of Berlin, but it was not immediately accepted. According to a websitexiii maintained by the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of St Andrews in Scotland which provides biographies of the world's most accomplished mathematicians,
…the controversy surrounding Hilda Geiringer's application for Habilitation at the University of Berlin (1925-1927) sheds some light on the struggle of "applied mathematics" for cognitive and institutional independence. The controversy and Geiringer's unpublished reminiscences reveal the decisive influence of Richard von Mises…. on both her career and the course of applied mathematics at the University of Berlin. ...The debate over Geiringer's theses for Habilitation opens up a new chapter of the history of mathematical statistics.
Although she had been proposed for appointment to the position of Extraordinary Professor in 1933 the proposal was "put on hold" once the Civil Service Law went into effect. Geiringer left Germany after she was dismissed from the University of Berlin and with Magda, she went to Brussels. There she was appointed to the Institute of Mechanics and began to apply mathematics to the theory of vibrations.
In 1934, Geiringer followed von Mises to Istanbul where she was appointed Professor of Mathematics and continued researching in applied mathematics, statistics, and probability theory. While in Turkey, Geiringer became intrigued with the basic principles of genetics formulated by Augustinian monk Gregor Mendelxiv. Between 1935 and 1939, she was preoccupied with uses for the theory of probability to which she and von Mises had made significant early contributions. Indisputably, Hilda Geiringer was one of the pioneers of what emerged as the burgeoning disciplines of molecular genetics, human genetics, plant genetics, heredity in man, genomics, bioinformatics, biotechnology, biomedical engineering, and genetic engineering, among others.
Time spent in Germany during 1932, where he lectured at Göttingen, Berlin, and Hamburg gave Oswald Veblen, the Henry B. Fine Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, "a first hand glimpse of the approaching turbulence in Germany." After this experience, Veblen resigned his chaired Professorship at Princeton University in order to organize the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, - an independent institution. He became the first professor at the Institute in 1932xv. From 1933, through the war and the late 1940s Veblen and his Institute colleagues Albert Einstein and Hermann Weyl worked tirelessly to help bring refugees to the United States and place them in good positions. One of these refugees they tried to help was Hilda Geiringer. On May 13 1940 while trying to place her at Queens College in Flushing, New York, because Harvard would not even contemplate hiring a female, Veblen wrote that "Mrs. Geiringer was already well known at the time of the Nazi uprising in 1933. She went with a group of mathematicians to Istanbul in 1934."xvi Geiringer had already published (in 1931) what are now referred to as "the fundamental Geiringer equations for plane plastic distortions of solids."xvii A recommendation was made to the Minister of Education in Ankara summarizing Hilda Geiringer's contributions to Turkey as well as her tenuous predicament therexviii. Accordingly,
Frau Dr. Geiringer (under contract until 1.30.36) took over most of the mathematical instruction. Without her, a smooth continuation of the teaching program would be impossible. A prolonging of her contract is of great importance.xix
With her colleagues Richard von Mises and William Prager, Geiringer taught several cohorts of Turkish citizens. Many of these students became the mentors of generations- of Turkish mathematicians, physicists, statisticians, actuaries, and computer experts.
Following Atatürk's death in 1938, Geiringer and her daughter Magda went to Bryn Mawr (Women's) College where she was appointed to a lecturer position. Geiringer had to learn yet another language in order to teach. (She may well have been conversant in English as it related to her field.) She also had to adjust to what she referred to as "the American form of teaching." In addition to her lecturing duties at Bryn Mawr College and as part of the war effort, Geiringer undertook, classified work for the National Research Council. During 1942, she gave an advanced summer course in mechanics (then a very theoretical branch of engineering science) at Brown University with the aim of raising the American standards of education to the level that had been attained in Germany a decade earlierxx. She wrote her outstanding series of lectures on the geometrical foundations of mechanics and, although never properly published, these were widely disseminated and used in the United States for many years. Though Brown University never offered Geiringer permanent employmentxxi, it still takes full birthplace credit for these "mimeographed notes."xxii
At this time the United States was trying to absorb into American employment many leading German scientists fleeing from the their former employers, the Nazis. In fairness to all of America's private, and public universities, a comment by Oswald Veblen made to Hilda Geiringer in a May 4 1939 letter is instructive: "All American colleges which depend upon income from endowments are suffering from the effects of the falling rate of interest. This is obliging them to curtail their expenses in all directions, and of course makes it hard for them to undertake any new commitments."xxiii Apparently a professor Neumanxxiv, who himself had emigrated to the United States, wrote a report about Geiringer in April 1940, shortly after she arrived from Turkey. He was very explicit in his view of where Geiringer fit into the spectrum of professors of mathematics:
Whether she is to be considered outstanding in ability or not depends on the standards of comparison. Among the present day mathematicians, there are few whose names will remain in the history of mathematics.... As for the newcomers to this country, I have not the slightest doubt that von Mises is one of the men of such caliber. ...There will perhaps be a dozen or perhaps a score of such persons all over the world. ...And Mrs Geiringer does not belong in this category. But it may be reasonable to take another standard, that of a university professor of probability and statistics, perhaps an author of the now numerous books on statistical methods. In comparison with many of these people, Mrs. Geiringer is an outstanding person and I think it would be in the interests of American science and instruction to keep her in some university. (emphasis added)
On March 25 1933, while still at an address in Le Coq-sur-mer bei Ostende, Villa Savoyarde in Belgium Albert Einstein wrote to Frl. [Miss] Dr. Hilda Geiringer. Writing to his colleague in German, Einstein said that "I am formulating a plan to try to establish a university for refugees, i.e., exiled German Jewish docents and students. ...This plan would only work if sufficient numbers of prominent educators are willing to try to make this idea a reality. Since I am estranged from Germany, it would be difficult for me to make contact with the appropriate people. Would you and Herr [Richard von] Mises be interested in this proposition? If so, you have the opportunity to make contact with the appropriate people so that a prognosis for this plan could be made." He continued:
I know plans are being made to find work for Jewish professors at universities outside of Germany, but I am afraid that younger docents and students would be victimized by this plan. It seems to me, that only through the above mentioned plan, that the treasure of culture and development possibilities, which German Jews possess, could possibly be saved. ..... Though I myself don't have organizational abilities but I could, with my influence and connections facilitate bringing this project to fruition, especially the financing of it. Please discuss this plan only with trusted individuals and let me know frankly what you and those close to you think of this plan.xxv (emphasis added)
Urgency to save people was not a priority for most of the bureaucrats at the Department of State. In fact, because of the department's practices "only 21,000 refugees were allowed to enter the United States during the three and one half years the nation was at war with Germany. That amounted to 10 percent of the number who could have been legally admitted under the immigration quotas during that period."xxvi There were exceptions even at the Department of State at certain points in time. A.M. Warren, Chief of its Visa Division circa October 30, 1939, responded to a Miss Marjorie Schauffler of the American Friends Service Committee who intervened on behalf of a mother and her child stranded in Lisbon because they could no longer enter England. Warren wrote: "With reference to your personal call at the Department on October 11, 1939, you are informed that a report has now been received from the American Consular Officer in charge at Lisbon, Portugal, in which it is stated the Hilda Polaczek Geiringer and her minor daughter, Magda, were granted immigration visas on October 23 and were leaving by clipper on October 28."
On March 29, 1939, a few months before assuming a distinguished professorship at Harvard, Richard von Mises wrote from Istanbul to mathematician Oswald Veblen at Princeton: "By an experience of [many] long years I have known Mrs. Geiringer as an extraordinarily good teacher of high pedagogical faculties. About her valuable scientific work you are informed by the joined [attached] papers." In desperation Geiringer accepted a position at Bryn Mawr (Women's) College in Pennsylvaniaxxvii after having been told that monies were unavailable. "My contract with the Turkish government expires in the fall of this year" she wrote to Princeton mathematician Oswald Veblen on March 29, 1939. She went on to say that "as the general political situation is insecure I am almost sure that it will not be renewed." She then asked Veblen "to add some lines to the Bryn Mawr College in favour of [her] case." Esther Simpson, Assistant Secretary of the Society for the Protection of Science and Learning, of London, England, also wrote to Veblen pleading Geiringer's case. Esther Simpson described yet another saga variant faced by many of the émigrés when she wrote "we doubt very much whether a non-quota visa will be given to her for an unpaid appointment, and we know how difficult it is to obtain a paid position without being on the spot" xxviii
She arrived in America, but she was never offered the kind of job in the US that she enjoyed both in Germany and in Turkey. America was decades behind those countries in terms of providing women equal access to professional opportunities. On 23 June 1939, Harvard's astronomy professor Harlow Shapley wrote on her behalf to Radcliffe College which operated as Harvard's little sister school. Though it drew instructors and other resources from Harvard, Radcliffe graduates were not granted Harvard degrees until 1963. Even though Geiringer was a better mathematician and a better teacher than Harvard could provide to the women of Radcliffe, Geiringer was never offered a a teaching position by either.
Oswald Veblen did not mince words in his letter of April 18, 1940, to Dr. Wilbur K. Thomas at the Oberlaender Trust in Philadelphia. "As you doubtless know better than I do, Bryn Mawr is hard up for funds, and they are therefore trying to get some temporary support for Mrs. Geiringer." In another attempt to raise money to subvert Hilda Geiringer's meager salary, Bryn Mawr University's president Marion Park approached the German émigré mathematicians who held good positions in American universities. She received a reply from Hermann Weyl on March 10, 1941, saying sadly "almost every one of us has to carry heavy personal obligations towards close relatives or friends whom he is trying to help to safety from concentration camps and Nazi persecution in Germany, France, Czechoslovakia, Norway etc., or to whose substance he contributes."
In a March 7 1941 letter, writing on her behalf, Oswald Veblen stated what is still the case when he said: "You know of course that there is more and more demand for knowledge of statistics in several sciences. It is very desirable that when possible the courses in statistics should be given by people who are well-grounded mathematically as well as interested in its applications. Teachers who satisfy both of these conditions are by no means common." He concluded that thought with "Mrs. Geiringer is perhaps the only woman who satisfies both conditions." Three days later, Hermann Weyl wrote: "In her field of applied mathematics, and especially in mathematical statistics, she is a first-rate scholar of great experience and accomplishment." He then added, "in my opinion applied mathematics, which forms the bridge from abstract mathematics to the more concrete neighbor sciences, has up to now been unduly neglected in this country; that in the present circumstances its importance has increased considerably."xxix
In 1942, the days when "Rosie the Riveter" posters abounded soliciting women to enter the workforce so that ships could be floated and aircraft sent aloft, American universities shied away from hiring female mathematicians. As a case in point, on April 13th of that very year Queens College was barely five years old and growing rapidly as part of the budding New York City university system. Seeing a possible opportunity to place Hilda Geiringer Hermann Weyl wrote from the Princeton Institute to Queens College mathematics Professor T.F. Cope. "In view of the growing shortage of well-qualified teachers of mathematics at the university level - probably soon to be aggravated by various naval and air-force training courses – I should like to draw your attention to the good services which could be rendered by European refugee mathematicians of high rank." After describing Geiringer's qualifications, the fact that she already had over a year's teaching experience at American colleges, Weyl felt a need to add that "there is no doubt whatsoever of the political reliability of either of them." Weyl also pointed out that "Mrs. Geiringer is of that type of applied mathematician who could be of great service in the present emergency." Before sending the letter to Queens College, Herman Weyl posted an identical plea to professor Harold Hotteling at Columbia University on February 12th, to Professor Griffith C. Evans at the University of California, Berkeley, on February 26th, and to Professor Tibor Rado at Ohio State University on 21 Marchxxx. In all likelihood Weyl was aware that these particular institutions employed Jewish faculty members. So anti-Semitism was not an issue everywhere. The bottom line however is that there is no record of Queens College nor the other more established universities ever hiring Geiringer.
Geiringer and von Mises, her long time mentor, colleague, and collaborator, married in 1943 and the following year she left her part-time, post at Bryn Mawr College to be nearer to him and was offered her first permanent position in the USA by Wheaton (Women's) College. She accepted a post as Professor and Chairman of the Mathematics Department at the college in Norton, Massachusetts. During the week, she taught at the college, then traveled to Cambridge to be with von Mises on the weekend.
For many reasons this was a poor arrangement. There were only two members in the mathematics faculty at Wheaton College and Geiringer longed for a situation where she was among mathematicians who were carrying out research. She applied for positions at other New England universities but these failed due to fairly open and obvious gender bias. Geiringer had another obstacle to overcome. Unlike many other German professionals she never disassociated herself from her Jewish heritage. She took all the disappointments remarkably calmly believing if her struggles had an effect on future generations of women then she would have achieved something positive.
One response to a job application she received was quite typical: "I am sure that our President would not approve of a woman. We have some women on our staff, so it is not merely prejudice against women, yet it is partly that, for we do not want to bring in more if we can get men." For Geiringer who had been the object of discrimination in Germany because she was Jewish, to be discriminated against now because she was a woman must have been difficult to say the leastxxxi. After a while, all the people trying to have her placed in a permanent position were contacting Women's schools only.
In 1953, Richard von Mises died and the following year Geiringer, although retaining her job at Wheaton College, began to work at Harvard completing and editing many of von Mises' unfinished works. To do this, however, she had to secure a grant from the Office of Naval Researchxxxii and it was then that Harvard offered her a temporary position as a Research Fellow in Mathematics. It is interesting to note that even though Hilda Geiringer was never offered a professorial appointment, in its Archives at Harvard University one can find no fewer then eight boxes bearing the caption "MISES, HILDA VON ( Mrs. Richard von Mises, known professionally as Hilda Geiringer ) (Applied Mathematics)" HUG 4574.142. The contents of these boxes involve only professional matters such as her "speeches and variants of published works…a few related letters and two notebooks. Boxes 2 and 3 contain manuscripts relating to published items and have numbers referring to the bibliography in HUG 4574.160." In 1956, the University of Berlin, perhaps to assuage guilt or perhaps to add a luminary name to its roster, elected her Professor Emeritus and placed her on full salary. In 1959, she formally retired from Wheaton College and in the following year, Wheaton honored her with the award of an honorary Doctorate of Science.xxxiii
When Atatürk died in 1938, many in the émigré community feared that their safe haven would cease to exist. Richard von Mises left Turkey in 1939 for a position at Harvard. Aware that a visa to America would be difficult, Geiringer wrote to von Mises from Istanbul: "Is there no way to marry pro cura? Here an emigrant who has a resident's permit has married his ‘bride' and she was then allowed to come to him straight from Vienna." The Ivy League's view of who was Jewish was not the same as the Nazis'. Richard von Mises was hired by Harvard even though he was born Jewish. Conversion to Catholicism sufficedxxxiv. It was different with Hilda Geiringer. She was hired by Harvard to organize the von Mises archives after she became his wife and after his death. She was never offered a professorship. Five years after von Mises' death, Hilda Geiringer completed and had published his seminal work in fluid mechanics The Mathematical Theory of Compressible Fluid Flow in 1958.xxxv
When seeking a modest subvention from the Rockefeller Foundation to the meager pay given her at Bryn Mawr, Hermann Weyl wrote. "Mrs. Geiringer has been invited to lecture at the newly established School of Applied Mechanics at Brown University during this summer."xxxvi In fact her contributions to that 1942 Summer Program were discussed a year later in the prestigious American Journal of Physicsxxxvii. Even though she was kept being re-invited to give lectures at Brown, Geiringer was never offered a faculty rank Brown University appointment. Was it because Geiringer never renounced her Jewish roots or is it because she was female, or was it due to both? The answer may well lie in the university's archives. However, Dr. Ruth Simmons, Brown University's 18th President, personally, has placed such archives out of reach to this author. Times have really changed at Brown and elsewhere in America since the 1930s and 1940s – Dr. Simmons is an African-American woman.
The papers and books that Geiringer wrote, her research, the students she taught, and the defense programs for which she consulted have greatly affected mathematics and engineering education in her native Germany, in Turkey, a country that provided her safe haven from annihilation when no other country would, and in the United States. This is part of her legacy.
The Turkish nation, including members of its Diaspora, remember and continue to acknowledge the émigrés' multifaceted impact on Turkish society. Several stories documenting the gratitude felt for the émigrés' contributions have recently been published in the Turkish mediaxxxviii. There are memoirs written by the émigrés themselves and by their progeny who were old enough to remember their years of exilexxxix. Yet in the English language literature this episode/epoch remains history's monumental blind spot.xl
Hilda Geiringer was a survivor. She had tenacity as well as dignity. She tolerated being passed over again and again by America's best rather gracefully. As late as May 28 1943, she wrote to Herman Weyl at the Institute for Higher Studies in Princeton. "I am certainly conscious of the fact that it is hard for a refugee + woman to find something. Nevertheless, I have not quite given up hope. I need not say that a research position would be just as welcome to me as teaching."xli "I hope there will be better conditions for the next generations of women," she also wrote. "In the meantime, one has to go on as well as possible."xlii
iii. The Nazi definition of who is a "Jew" can be found in the First Regulation to the Reich Citizenship Law (FRRCL), section 5, para. 1 - "A Jew is a person who is a descendant of at least three racially fully Jewish grandparents" (November 14, 1935). However, FRRCL, section 2, para. 2 ruled that, "A grandparent is without question fully Jewish if he or she belonged to the Jewish religious community". According to FRRCL, section 5, para. 2(a) a "half-Jew " descended from two fully Jewish grandparents is also regarded as a Jew if, "at the time of the promulgation of the law he belonged to the Jewish religious community or afterwards joined it" (Ibid. pp. 42-43). To be sure the Ivy league universities did not rely on this definition of who is a Jew in their discriminatory hiring practices. [Back to Essay]
v. One way to recognize the caliber of people involved is to note that prior to, during, and after their exile in Turkey at least sixteen of them are known to have corresponded with Nobel laureates including Max Von Laue, James Frank, Linus Pauling, Max Planck, Max Born, Erwin Schroedinger, Neils Bohr, Enrico Fermi, Herman J. Muller,Albert Szent-Györgyi, Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein. [Back to Essay]
viii. Walter Laqueur dedicated four paragraphs to this refuge. W. Laqueur, Generation Exodus: The Fate of Young Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany, Brandeis University Press, Hanover, NH. 2001 pp 230-231. However, his statement "most of those who had lost their German citizenship during the war were deported by the Turkish authorities to deepest Anatolia, where living conditions were just barely tolerable" is only partially correct. "[T]hose who had lost their German citizenship during the war" were those with Jewish familial connections. They were not deported. They were allowed to hold their positions and live as before. The deportees were the pure Aryans like the Ernst Reuter family whose passports were not withdrawn by the Reich at any time. It was during the waning months of WWII when Turkey finally decided to sever diplomatic relations that the deportations of "enemy aliens" Germans and Austrians, took place. See A.Reisman Turkey's Modernization: Refugees from Nazism and Atatürk's Vision (Washington, DC: New Academia Publishers, 2006) pp. 388, 420, 424. [Back to Essay]
x. Although America's public universities did not have exclusionary faculty hiring practices written into their Charters, de facto a number of them had so-called "gentlemen's agreements" to do so; none would hire Jews through the 1940s and some not even into the 1950s. This legacy was statistically validated by a national survey conducted by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education in 1969. The survey involved 60,000 faculty respondents and showed that Jews in the upper-age brackets were significantly low on America's university campuses e.g., 3.8% Jews vs. 79.0% Protestant and 13.7% Catholic. These data a-posteriori document the historical, pervasive, and indisputable, impact of those "Gentlemen's Agreements." [Back to Essay]
xi. "The first tenured position for a woman at Harvard was created in 1947 – with a tie to Radcliffe, and in 1956 Harvard appointed its own first woman full professor," Women at Harvard University, http://www.news.harvard.edu/guide/underst/under4.html Viewed June 2, 2007. [Back to Essay]
xii. By a letter of letter of September 17, 1933 to Turkish Prime Minister İsmet İnönü (1884–1973) Einstein pleaded to have Turkey invite some of the displaced German Jewish intellectuals such as Hilda Geiringer. For a discussion of this see A. Reisman, (2007) "Jewish Refugees from Nazism, Albert Einstein, and the Modernization of Higher Education in Turkey (1933-1945)." Forthcoming in: Aleph: Historical Studies in Science & Judaism 7 pp 1-29 [Back to Essay]
xiii. http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Mathematicians/Veblen.html Viewed December 8, 2005 [Back to Essay]
xv. http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Mathematicians/Veblen.html Viewed December 8, 2005 [Back to Essay]
xx. For the 25th anniversary celebration on September 7-10 in 1971, Brown University published a commemorative booklet Applied Mathematics at Brown: A Description and History of the Division of Applied Mathematics at Brown University. It includes coverage of the 1942 Summer Program to which Hilda Geiringer contributed as well. [Back to Essay]
xxi. "In the 1970s a large majority of the [Brown] faculty was still male, when Louise Lamphere, an assistant professor of anthropology who had not been granted tenure in 1974, brought a class-action suit against Brown University, charging sex discrimination in hiring, promotion, renewal of contracts, and granting of tenure. The case was settled out of court in September 1977. In addition to granting tenure to Louise Lamphere, and also to Claude Carey, assistant professor of Slavic languages, and Helen Cserr, assistant professor of biomedical sciences, and compensation to Patricia Russian, a former instructor in German, other provisions of the settlement were the establishment of goals and timetables for adding women to the faculty, the development of written standards for faculty employment, and the creation of an Affirmative Action Monitoring Committee. ...The cost of the settlement came to $1.1 million dollars." [Back to Essay]
Martha Mitchell,Encyclopedia Brunoniana | Faculty, http://www.brown.edu/Administration/News_Bureau/Databases/Encyclopedia/search.php?serial=F0010 - 12k Viewed June 2, 2007.
Moreover, The Jews of Rhode Island, tells us that it was as late as "1946" when "Israel Kapstein bec[ame the] first Jewish professor to gain tenure at Brown University." Goodwin, G.M. and Smith, E. Ed. (2004) The Jews of Rhode Island, Brandeis University Press, Waltham, Massachusetts. 234
Hilda Geiringer had two strikes against her. She was a Jewish female. [Back to Essay]
xxii. ibid, "Works about Hilda Geiringer" (p 46).Anonymous (undated), "History of the Applied Mathematics Department" 12 pages. Courtesy Brown University Archives. Found and supplied by Holly Snyder, University Archivist, Brown University, on January 1 2006. The text of the document provides indication that this document was created between 1942 and 1945. [Back to Essay]
xxv. Albert Einstein Archives Princeton University, Document No. 53 610. By then, Einstein had a job offered as the first, or at least one of the first two, academic appointees to the newly formed Princeton Institute for Advanced Studies – an institution independent of Princeton University and founded in 1932 with Jewish money. [Back to Essay]
xxvii. In a May 23, 1939 letter to Veblen Geiringer states: "I wrote [to Bryn Mawr] that I am ready to work for one or two terms at the College without remuneration in order to find an opportunity of introducing myself and of getting in touch with competent persons. [Back to Essay]
xxix. Oswald Veblen Papers, Container 31. Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress. In retrospect, one could argue that it was applied mathematics and mathematical statistics that in great measure helped the Allies win the Second World War, and made America the technological and economic powerhouse that has catapulted upward the quality of life for at least two generations so far. [Back to Essay]
xxxiii. O'Connor, J.J. and Robertson, E.F. (2005) http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Mathematicians/Geiringer.html [Back to Essay]
xxxiv. "Von Mises' deepening interest in the poet [Rainer Maria] Rilke and his conversion to Catholicism date from his days in Strassburg." There is much evidence suggesting that Hilda Geiringer von Mises penned the document where this statement is made during the 1960s as part of her editing the von Mises' archives for Harvard. Information presented in the document and its organization, required not only good scientific knowledge of von Mises' many and disparate scientific interests but also a great deal familiarity of his personal life. The end of the document states: "The Richard von Mises Papers occupy 13 linear feet of shelf space and are stored in twenty one five-inch gray manuscript boxes and seven octavo-size four-inch green manuscript boxes. The collection was donated in three parts by Mrs. Hilda von Mises: part I, Boxes I-XIX, 1965; part 2, Boxes XX and XXI, February 1967; part 3, Boxes XXII - XXVIII, November 1967. [Back to Essay]
xxxviii. See Cimen Gunay-Erkol and Arnold Reisman "The Founders of Turkey's System of Modern Higher Education: An Anthology of Testimonials from First, Second, and Third Generation of Students." (2007) Working paper. Available from the authors. [Back to Essay]
xxxix. Most of these are discussed or fully captured in Arnold Reisman, Turkey's Modernization: Refugees from Nazism and Atatürk's Vision (Washington, DC:New Academia Publishers, 2006. [Back to Essay]
xl. A. Reisman "Turkey's Invitations to Nazi Persecuted Intellectuals Circa 1933: A Bibliographic Essay on History's Blind Spot." Working paper, 2007. Available on request from its author. [Back to Essay]
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