Gumbel, Emil julius

(1891-1966)
   mathematician and pacifist; his doc-umentation on political murders, published in 1922, established him as one of Germany's noted pacifists. Born to a Munich banker, he completed studies in mathematics and economics in July 1914, just before volunteering for military service. The war soon converted him to pacifism; in 1915 he joined the Bund Neues Vaterland, an organization committed to Franco-German understanding.
   By January 1922, when the Bund became the Deutsche Liga fur Menschen-rechte (German League for Human Rights), Gumbel was widely reviled for promoting reconciliation with France and disclosing information on Femege-richt* and the Black Reichswehr.* Among his significant writings were Vier Jahre Luge (Four years of lies), published in 1919, and Vier Jahre politischer Mord (Four years of political murder), published in 1922. He dealt with the same themes, both in Germany and abroad, in lectures presented before pacifist groups and articles published in Die Weltbuhne,* Menschenrechte, and several newspapers.*
   In 1923 Gumbel completed his Habilitation in statistics at Heidelberg. Ap-pointed Privatdozent at the university, he was soon in trouble with colleagues and students for comments made about the war. Although his scholarship in mathematics bred international esteem, when Baden's Education Ministry reluc-tantly appointed him ausserordentlicher Professor in 1931, Heidelberg's social politics spawned a right-radical student campaign (supported by a faculty ma-jority) that demanded his termination. In mid-1932 riots finally forced the uni-versity to dismiss its embarrassing professor. An invitation to teach in Paris was followed in 1934 by appointment as Maître de Recherches at Lyons. Fleeing to the United States in 1939, he taught during 1940-1966 at several colleges (in-cluding Columbia University). Also interested in philosophy, he translated Ber-trand Russell into German.
   REFERENCES:Benz and Graml, Biographisches Lexikon;Deak, Weimar Germany's Left-Wing Intellectuals; Fritz Ringer, Decline of the German Mandarins.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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