Fritz Noether

Fritz Alexander Ernst Noether (7 October 1884 – 10 September 1941) was a famous German mathematician arrested in the Soviet Union and executed by the Stalinist NKVD.[2]

Fritz Noether
Born(1884-10-07)7 October 1884
Died10 September 1941(1941-09-10) (aged 56)
Alma materUniversity of Munich
Spouse(s)Regine (died 1935)[1]
ChildrenGottfried, Hermann[1]
Scientific career
ThesisÜber rollende Bewegung einer Kugel auf Rotationsflächen (1909)
Doctoral advisorAurel Voss
Doctoral studentsHelmut Heinrich

Biography

Fritz Noether's father Max Noether was a mathematician and professor in Erlangen. The notable mathematician Emmy Noether was his elder sister; his oldest son was a chemist, Herman D. Noether and his second son was a mathematician Gottfried Noether.

Fritz Noether was also an able mathematician. Not allowed to work in Nazi Germany for being a Jew, he moved to the Soviet Union, where he was appointed to a professorship at the Tomsk State University. In November 1937, during the Great Purge, he was arrested at his home in Tomsk by the NKVD and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for being a "German spy". While in prison, he was accused of "anti-Soviet propaganda", sentenced to death, and shot.

In a letter from the USSR Embassy, the Soviet Government reported that:

On 22 Dec 1988, the Plenum of the USSR Supreme Court passed a decree No. 308-88 which determined that Professor Fritz M. Noether had been convicted on groundless charges and voided his sentence, thus fully rehabilitating him.

On 23 October 1938 Noether had been found guilty of allegedly spying for Germany and committing acts of sabotage and was sentenced in Novosibirsk to 25 years of imprisonment. He served time in different prisons. On 8 September 1941 the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court sentenced Professor F. Noether to death on the accusation of engaging in anti-Soviet agitation. He was shot in Orel (Oryol) on 10 September 1941. His burial place is unknown but there is a memorial plaque in the Gengenbach Cemetery, Germany, at the site of his wife's grave.

Gottfried E. Noether, Fritz Noether's other child, wrote a brief biography of his father. He was an American statistician and educator.

See also

References

  1. Tollmien, Dr. Cordula (13 June 2006) [1990]. "Lebensdaten" [Lifetime dates]. Lebensläufe Emmy Noethers (in German). Mathematischen Institut der Universität Göttingen.
  2. Misha, Shifman (2017-01-16). Standing Together In Troubled Times: Unpublished Letters Of Pauli, Einstein, Franck And Others. World Scientific. ISBN 978-981-320-103-3.

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