The Effects of National Socialism on Mathematics in Germany
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The goal of this paper is to provide specific examples and empirical data about mathematics within the Third Reich. It is important to extrapolate on this topic because mathematics is a prime example of the effects of Nazi policy on different aspects of life in Germany. It also demonstrates how policies that make changes to political ideology and the social structure .can even affect areas of science often thought to be outside the reach of social concerns and influences. As mathematics forms the basis of science, it is also important to the study of other areas of science to see how the drastic change in government policy and ideology precipitated by the National Socialists affected the teaching and development of mathematics. This paper will show how mathematics was altered within the Third Reich and the lasting effects this had on mathematics in Germany. In general, it can be proven that the ideology and policies of the National Socialists were highly detrimental to the progress of mathematics in Germany. Their ideology racially characterized certain fields of mathematics and left them underdeveloped while their policies of discrimination against "non-Aryans" led to the expulsion of professors and the diminution of many once prominent mathematical institutions. This racialization and general disregard for the field of mathematics by the National Socialists led to a significant weakening of mathematics programs within Germany that would eventually oust the country from its position as leader in the field of mathematics.