Fritz Noether

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Fritz Noether

Fritz Alexander Ernst Noether (October 7, 1884 in Erlangen – September 10, 1941 in Orel, Russia) was a German-born mathematician.

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 chemist, Herman D. Noether and his second son was mathematician Gottfried Noether was his son.

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

After WWII, his eldest son, Dr. Herman D. Noether tried innumerable times to learn what had happened to his father. Finally, after appealing to Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev, under glasnost, the truth was learned. 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 October 23, 1938 Professor 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 September 8, 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 on September 10, 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.

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References[edit]

Segal, Sanford L., Mathematicians under the Nazis page 60

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