Talk:Gerhard Gentzen

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Why have substantive edits to this page (eg concerning Gentzen's being appointed as assistant to Hilbert) been reverted? There are no sources cited for the rest of the article (at least not for other information of a comparable kind). The correct wiki response is to put citation needed markers in not to revert the efforts of a new editor (who, as it happens, is a lecturer in philosophy and logic and a potentially valuable contributor)?

If I don't see a justification for the removal, I'll put the edits back, with cite tags. Francis Davey 12:30, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, it seems contrary to information in David Hilbert, but go ahead and reinsert it with {{fact}} tags. I'm dealing mostly with admitted vandals in various clusters of articles, and I sometimes forget to WP:AGF when there are edits which seem problematic. — Arthur Rubin | (talk) 17:16, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I'm unwell at the moment, but I'll see if I can get a reference from the original editor. Francis Davey 12:01, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Gentzen was assistant of Hilbert between 1934 and 1943 in Göttingen. You may read this in the Menzler-Trott book or any other book about Gentzen. (Hilbert was THE famos mathematican, so he was able to hold an assistant though he formaly was not active at the university any more.)--Paul Conradi 19:15, 11 March 2007 (UTC)


This is interesting: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:40, 28 January 2010 (UTC)


Quite aside from Gentzen's merits as a logician - the article as it stands contain several phrases (generally unsourced) that are clearly meant to present him as an innocent lamb. This is blatant POV. Compare to, which states simply: "il est mort dans un camp de prisonniers de guerre en 1945, après avoir été arrêté par les soviets à cause de ses loyautés nazies."

I see nothing cited in this page that confirms the point of view that Gentzen's Nazi loyalties were insincere. (No doubt such a point of view exists, but whether it can be sustained is a different matter.) Clearly one can be a good professional and deeply involved in Nazism; we should not try to whitewash any such individual. Whether his Nazism influenced his work at all is a different matter - one that is interesting, but still essentially untreated (aside from a brief reference to 'Deutsche Mathematik'). Feketekave (talk) 11:37, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Once the page becomes better sourced, we will face another problem: one of the main sources now available to most editors - a recent English translation of a German biography by Eckart Menzler-Trott - is hardly NPOV in itself; even its style is oddly engaged. (On page 263: "In every case it is agreed that Gentzen was in the Party and in the SA, but made no use of that. He never harmed a fly. That is verifiable." How does one go about verifying that?) Its account of Gentzen's death (officially due to circulatory failure, allegedly due to malnutrition; note that, according to [[1]], his health was already poor before captivity - he was sent back from the Wehrmacht) is a long verbatim quote of a fellow prisoner who shared Gentzen's background (and his sympathies?). Feketekave (talk) 11:53, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

    • In general, the question of loyalty under a circumstance of hostage state does not avail to us much about a person's mind. The whole country was sticking its right arm out at 45 degrees upon some duress and some confusion. They were sold a bill of goods deliberately and willfully using a process involving at first and very early assassination of political opponents to the would-be NAZI regime. I agree, that loyalty to the NAZIs was (and is and always will be) a 100% evil, and also that the Soviet state--and its soldiers in particular--had some rights as captors; but I was thinking it was merciful he did not hear about what happened a couple of days later..., and also that there is something in a book in front of me that requires an article here at wikipedia.Julzes (talk) 22:15, 12 September 2012 (UTC)