Käte Fenchel

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Käte Fenchel
Käte Sperling

(1905-12-21)December 21, 1905
DiedDecember 19, 1983(1983-12-19) (aged 77)
Alma materUniversity of Berlin
Spouse(s)Werner Fenchel

Käte Fenchel née Käte Sperling (21 December 1905 – 19 December 1983) was a Jewish German mathematician, best known for her work on non-abelian groups.

Born in Berlin of a newspaper reporter and a bookkeeper, young Käte learned to read and write sooner than most children, and after skipping a few grades, was given scholarships to attend private school. She faced some gender discrimination in attempting to complete her studies in pure mathematics at the University of Berlin, and went into mathematics education as a fallback at first. As Adolf Hitler came to power, she lost her job and married Werner Fenchel, also a Jew. The newlyweds escaped to Denmark, where she helped other German Jews escape Nazi persecution. But when Denmark was occupied by the Nazis, they had to flee to Sweden. After the war, the Fenchels returned to Denmark, but Käte did not publish any papers until two in 1962, and another in 1978.


  1. E. Høyrup ``Käte Fenchel" in Women of Mathematics: A Bibliographic Sourcebook L. Grinstein, P. Cambpell, ed.s New York: Greenwood Press (1987): 30–32

External links[edit]

This article incorporates material from Käte Fenchel on PlanetMath, which is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.