Transcending Tradition: Jewish Mathematicians in German-Speaking Academic Culture

July 29, 2013 - January 5, 2014
Selz Foundation Gallery

Transcending Tradition highlights the key role of Jewish mathematicians in the German-speaking world before 1933 - in teaching and academic research, in professional organizations and throughout mathematical culture, from academic to popular. Spanning a period of 150 years, it documents their emergence from segregation, their rise to academic prominence, recalls their emigration, flight or death after 1933, and illuminates their lasting legacies. Through photographs, original texts and a new scholarly perspective, the show recounts the lives of young researchers who helped shape modern mathematics and physics, of scholars who went beyond mathematics to make their mark in literature or philosophy, and of the most important female mathematician of the 20th century, among others.

Designed by a group of seven historians of mathematics at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, in cooperation with the Jewish Museum Frankfurt and the German Mathematical Society. For more information about the exhibit, visit

Co-presented with the Leo Baeck Institute.

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David Hilbert with friends, students and family. From left to right: Alfréd Haar, Franz Hilbert, Hermann Minkowski, unknown, Käthe Hilbert, David Hilbert, Ernst Hellinger.