Transcending Tradition

Jewish Mathematicians in German-Speaking Academic Culture

An international exhibition

The exhibition explores the working lives and activities of Jewish mathematicians in German-speaking countries during the period between the legal and political emancipation of the Jews in the 19th century and their persecution in Nazi Germany. It highlights the important role Jewish mathematicians played in all areas of mathematical culture during the German Empire and the Weimar Republic, and recalls their emigration, flight or death after 1933.

A first version of the exhibition was opened on the occasion of the annual conferences of the German Mathematical Society in autumn 2006 in Bonn and in spring 2007 in Berlin. With the financial support of Deutsche Telekom Foundation and in cooperation with the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt, a re-designed travelling exhibition in German language has been on display in many German cities since May 2008. It has received an award from the German Ministry for Education and Research.

Now an English version of the exhibition has been produced with the support of three German ministries: the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, the Federal Foreign Office, and the Ministry of Science of North Rhine-Westphalia. This international version will be travelling to Israel in 2011-12, where it will be displayed in three central institutes.

On 14 November 2011 the exhibition will be opened in Beit Hatfutsot - The Museum of the Jewish People at Tel Aviv University, one of the most important museums for Jewish history worldwide. The museum will also host the International Conference Trends and Perspectives in Mathematics which will take place on the 14-15 november 2011. 

In cooperation with Madatech - The Israel National Museum of Science, Technology & Space, on 19 December 2011 the exhibition will then open in the gallery of the Paul Konrad Hoenich Center for Art, Science and Technology, at the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning of the Technion (the Technical University) in Haifa.

On 12 February 2012 the exhibition will open in the National Library of Israel, situated in the Givat-Ram Campus of Hebrew University, Jeruslaem.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a program of mathematical events for school pupils and the general public. An English catalogue published by Springer and an English website will soon be available as well.

The aims of the exhibition

The structure of the exhibition

The project team

The exhibition was designed by a group of seven historians of mathematics in cooperation with the Jewish Museum Frankfurt and the German Mathematical Society.

Prof. Moritz Epple (head of the international project), Dr. Ruti Ungar (project manager), Birgit Bergmann (all History of Science Group at Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main)


Prof. Walter Purkert (Arbeitsstelle Hausdorff-Edition der Nordrhein-Westfälischen Akademie der Wissenschaften), Prof. Volker Remmert (Wuppertal University, Interdisziplinäres Zentrum für Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung), Prof. David. E. Rowe (Mainz University, History of Mathematics and Natural Sciences), Prof. Erhard Scholz (Wuppertal University, History of Mathematics), Dr. Annette Vogt (Max-Planck-Institute for History of Science, Berlin) 


Prof. Wolfgang Lück,  Director of the Hausdorff Research Institute for Mathematics
Prof. Günter M. Ziegler, Head of the Media Office of the German Mathematical Society
Prof. Matthias Kreck, Hausdorff Research Institute for Mathematics
Prof. Leo Corry, Cohn Institute for the History of Science and Ideas, Tel Aviv University
Prof. Mina Teicher, Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv
Prof. Raphael Gross, Director, Jewish Museum Frankfurt am Main
Fritz Backhaus, Co-Director, Jewish Museum Frankfurt am Main


Atelier Markgraph, Frankfurt am Main


The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research
The German Foreign Office
The Ministry of Innovation, Science and Research of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia
Deutsche Telekom Stiftung


For further information please send an email to: info [at] (replace [at] by @).

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