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Einaudi, Torino, About this Item: G. From: diceddeals Fontenay sous bois cedex, France. Condition: Used: Very Good. Condition: Brand New. Italian language. In Stock. Seller Inventory zk Condition: New. Seller Inventory AA Condition: bon. R Seller Inventory R Item added to your basket View basket. Proceed to Basket. View basket. Moreover, the racial campaign was launched through the Manifesto degli scien- ziati razzisti. Undoubtedly, in this active participation of such a huge chunk of Italian sci- ence in the racial policy, one can identify some characteristics that were typical of a racial view of a certain Italian political and cultural context described earli- er under the heading of "spiritualistic" view.
Within Fascism, there were influent trends going back to the dogmas of German biological racism and that, there- fore, put the Jewish question in the same context as Hitler's theoreticians. But this was not the dominant trend. A historical reconstruction which does not limit itself to the surface, would throw light on the conflict between German-like biological trends and the majority view, represented by Pende and Visco, sup- porting a "spiritualist" view of racism that could be easily acceptable to the Catholic world and the Vatican and which translated itself into a racial policy of total exclusion of the Jewish component from national life possibly in the hope of causing a massive emigration , without resorting to direct suppression mea- sures.
A good historical analysis must therefore take into account this evident and significant phenomenon: the strict correlation existing between Fascist political choices in the area of population, demography, eugenics and race and the prac- tical and theoretical views of the majority of the scientific world on these themes. It certainly cannot be said that the racial questions obsessing most of the scientific world could by themselves determine a choice in the area of racial politics and the elaboration of a racial legislation.
In order for these choices to be made, the determination of a totalitarian and imperialistic regime such as the Fascist regime was necessary. But this determination alone would not have been sufficient if a large enough consensus had not existed, particularly in the nation's ruling class and in the section which was directly involved in demographic- anthropological-racial questions, that is the scientific and university world. That background was the essential basis of this consensus on which the totalitarian policy was able to base itself and from which it drew its themes and its theoret- ical elaborations.
It is not a coincidence that Italian racism had some peculiar "spiritualistic" characteristics that could not be found in other countries, such as Germany. The different routes which racism takes in the two Iron Pact countries' political arenas correspond very precisely to the two countries' different domi- nant views on race as well as to the different views of the scientific world in this area. When talking about the theoretical characteristics of Fascist racism, those sci- entific circles that were more directly involved were anthropological, biological and social sciences.
Biologists, anthropologists, physicians, geneticists, statisti- cians, demographers, jurists were called upon to build Italian Fascism's theoret- ical framework and they replied zealously and in unison to this appeal. But what can be said of the rest of the scientific community? In what measure, was it involved in this action? If physicists, mathematicians, chemists and scientists in other branches had kept away from these themes, or even opposed them, we Mathematics and Culture I could consider the themes described in this paragraph as an incoherent digres- sion from the situation among the rest of the mathematical community.
At first sight, one could get the impression that this was indeed the case, because it is dif- ficult to find explicit contributions to the racial policy by scientists not belong- ing to the abovelisted categories. But here, too, one should avoid drawing hasty and superficial conclusions. As it happens, even though there was no explicit involvement in the specific theme of race, the scientific community as a whole allowed itself to be dragged into the racial policy by its most active sections, i.
Federigo Enriques (1871–1946) and the Training of Mathematics Teachers in Italy
The objective that Italian science accepted without any complaint, and even zealously and faithfully strove for, was the following: the Italian population, culture and, in particular, Italian science had to be purified of its Jewish elements. After all, the regime had set out a cru- cial doctrinal and practical point: to rebuild the Italian people, it was necessary to start from the foundation, by focusing on the education of the young, the brandnew Italians.
Therefore, the realisation of a racially pure school was the main tool to realise this objective. It certainly was no coincidence that the first legislative measures for the "defence of the race" promulgated in had as their objective the school and university system and the elimination of their Jewish elements. This objective was accepted and zealously followed by the academic and uni- versity community and in particular by the scientific community.
On 5th October , Vita Universitaria, the magazine of the University of Rome, published ahead of time the full "authorised" list of lecturers who, by force of the new laws, were to abandon teaching on 16th October. The university community was therefore all set to fill the gaps which were to be created by the leaving of about a hundred lecturers and many more assistants and researchers of Jewish descent. From that point onwards, it was like a choir that, in unison, continued to state that the sending away of Jewish colleagues would not create problems to the university, but, on the contrary, would start a new glorious phase in the academic and scientific life of the university, now that it was finally free of racial contamination.
The university world adhered to the racial policy of the regime in a dual way: theoretically and practically. On a theoretical level, all the specific and superior characteristics of Italian science were highlighted and the need to free it from the presence of contaminating contributions from totally different races was stressed: hence the development of a campaign aiming to claim the values of the Italian race and science, its undisputed superiority and the necessity of its autarchic development. On a practical level, the regime's measures were scrupu- lously applied, thus punctiliously excluding all Jewish colleagues from partici- pating in university and scientific life.
This is the way in which the university world actively collaborated in the policy of race. The next section will briefly examine how Italian mathematicians were implicated, and allowed themselves to be involved, in that policy. Italian Mathematics, Fascism and Racial Policy Italian Mathematics and the Racial Laws The events that characterised the behaviour of the Italian mathematical com- munity towards the racial laws have already been described and analysed else- where Without doubt, the most significant event from an institutional viewpoint was represented by the decision taken by the Commissione Scientifica dell'lJnione Matematica Italiana shortly after the promulgation of the racial measures.
At a meeting on 10th December , the Commission published a statement amounting to one of the most shameful and compromising act of the scientific world with regard to the anti-Semitic racial campaign: The Scientific Commission of U. Apologies: Prof. Meeting chair: Prof. Secretary: Prof. After a friendly, exhaustive discussion, the follow- ing decision has been taken: a group of representatives of U. I, will visit the Ministry of National Education to communicate the Commission's vote to the effect that none of the chairs in mathematics left vacant by the application of the measures for the integrity of the race is taken away from mathematical dis- ciplines.
Even after the elimination of some lowly Jewish scholars, the Italian mathematical school has preserved enough scientists, in both quantity and quality, to maintain the high standard of Italian mathematical science with respect to other countries. These master scientists, with their intensive work of scientific conversion assure the Nation of the existence of enough worthy elements to cover all necessary university chairs.
It was a document that, with its impudent topic - the pupils rising to the role of "masters worthy of covering all necessary university chairs" while declaring the marginality of the masters demoted to the standing of simple "lowly Jewish scholars" - proclaimed the intention of immediately rushing to take on the posi- tions left uncovered. Subsequent quotes in this chapter are taken from these works. Note that all quotes are contained in the second book. Mathematics and Culture I tears. One such example was that of Antonio Signorini who, after occupying the chair of Tullio Levi-Civita, wrote of his Jewish master: "I am still very troubled by the recent events and I ask myself with apprehension if I didn't do wrong by you by accepting the offer of the Roman mathematical group".
The latter, when putting Max Born's name forward for the Nobel Prize in his December letter, declared his difficulty in providing precise details in his proposal "because of the anti-Semitic campaign raging here" which did not allow him to have "sufficient contact with the Italian academic world" so as to be "fully informed". Moreover, with similar hypocrisy to that of Signorini, Severi sometimes visited Levi-Civita at home to give him some issues of scientific reviews that he could no longer read.
Its lead was given to one of the mathematicians most faithful to the regime, Francesco Severi, and the institute was inaugurated in the presence of the Duce himself The two great Fascist mathematicians were therefore competing for the title of champion of Fascism in mathematics as well as champion of mathematics in Fascism , argu- ing over whether the preferred and most convenient approach for Fascist soci- ety was the "pure" approach Severi or the "applicative" one Picone.
The absence of later self-criticisms or repentance statements confirms the sor- did nature of the vote by the Scientific Commission of UMI. Unless one decides to considers a form of self-criticism, rather than further hypocrisy, statements like Mauro Picone's obituary notice for Guido Ascoli written in Unfortunately, Guido Ascoli's university life was painfully interrupted for seven years, from to , because of those senseless racial measures which deprived Italy, in that long and difficult period, of the precious work of citizens of very high moral, spiritual and intellectual standing.
They always loved Italy in its dangerous and bloody undertakings, tirelessly fighting in its defence, just like Ascoli himself had done in World War I. Also, the great math- ematician Eugenio Elia Levi, who, during this war, heroically perished in those unfavourable days in Caporetto, hit in the forehead by an enemy with whom he was contending his beloved Soil, after all our defences had all been swept away.
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The hypocrisy of these attitudes was proportional to the committed crimes, which were not limited to that vote. One of the most significant episodes was the October decision to offi- cially replace the only Italian representative in the editorial office of the Zentralblatt fur Mathematik, the main international journal reviewing mathe- matical publications, published in Germany: the only national representative was a Jew, Tullio Levi-Civita. The mathematicians they had decided to replace him with were Enrico Bompiani and Francesco Severi.
It should be noted that this exclusion was an excess of zeal. In fact, although anti-Semitic persecution in Germany had much more violent characteristics than in Italy, the management of the Zentralblatt had turned a blind eye to the presence in its office of some Jewish mathematicians such as Richard Courant, famous German Jewish math- ematician who had long emigrated from Gottingen to the United States. This shows how, even in Germany, an effort was being made to maintain some of the remaining relationship between the German scientific world and the interna- tional scientific community.
The top of the Italian mathematical community was even more extremist than German mathematicians: they chose to break this last delicate thread of inter- national relationships. It was however evident how, if and when the problem of the presence of Jewish scientists in the editorial office of the Zentralblatt was brought into light, Nazi authorities would not have been able to ignore this situ- ation any longer. The reaction of the editorial office director of the Zentralblatt, Otto Neugebauer, to the decisions of the top of the Italian mathematical com- munity was prompt.
First of all, he got confirmation of the exclusion from Levi- Civita and from the journal's editor, Ferdinand Springer. When the situation was clear and it was evident that the reason behind the replacement was racial, Neugebauer resigned and so did Courant, American mathematicians Oswald Veblen and J. Tamarkin, the Danish H.
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Bohr and the English G. In a letter to the editor, Veblen brought to light the gravity of this tragedy: interna- tional scientific solidarity had been wounded and the remaining threads linking the world of international mathematical research to German and Italian research had been severed and the Zentralblatt could no longer consider itself "a useful scientific undertaking". The reviewing activity had to move elsewhere, to the United States, not for nationalistic reasons, or a concept such as "national mathematics" proposed by Veblen, but because only in that country could it ben- efit from the necessary freedom of expression.
It was the birth certificate of a new international review journal, the Mathematical Reviews. The excess of zeal with which Italian mathematicians collaborated to the "Aryanisation" of the Zentralblatt was no isolated case. Francesco Severi was the protagonist of another, just as serious episode. In fact, at the first wind of the anti-Semitic measures, he actively started working towards the "Aryanisation" of the most prestigious review in Italian mathematics, the Annali di Matematica Pura e Applicata, whose editorial committee was composed of Severi himself Mathematics and Culture I and three Jews: Guido Fubini, Tullio Levi-Civita and Beniamino Segre.
As shown in a letter sent on 16th October by Beniamino Segre to Tullio Levi-Civita, Severi had asked for the backing of the President of the Accademia d'ltalia in exonerating Levi-Civita from his position of editor in chief of the Annali and expelling the other two members of the Jewish race.
As in the case of the university chairs, the Annali were completely "Aryanised": Severi proclaimed himself editor in chief and the new Aryan members of the editorial committee were Enrico Bompiani, Michele De Franchis, Antonio Signorini and Leonida Tonelli. The activism of figures such as Enrico Bompiani deserves a special mention. He prepared a large universal exhibition called E42, which should have taken place in the new Roman quarter of the EUR but was cancelled at the outbreak of the war.
As part of this show, an "Exhibition of Science" had been scheduled and the mathematical part was entrusted to a special subcommittee. Bompiani soon distinguished himself by stressing the need to develop an autarchic and vindicating viewpoint, stating that it was necessary "not only to illustrate the principles, but also to claim Italians' research excellence, as much as possible without distorting the history of science". The first product of the subcommittee's work, "Index and norms for the pre- sentation of Mathematics in the Italic Civilization Exhibition" specifies that such index has the purpose of indicating the people who "must not be forgotten".
Moreover, it must have as its main guide the principle "that the Italian contribu- tion constitutes, in several essential moments, one of the highest symbols of the intellectual value of the Italic race and that it therefore should be put in the fore- front; particularly since it is systematically ignored in foreign works on the his- tory of Mathematics".
The result of this intention is clear: there are no names belonging to Jewish mathematicians in that list, not even by mistake. This "eth- nic cleansing" line was all the more evident in the long historical essay by Enrico Bompiani, which was seen as a "theoretical" contribution to the exhibition and whose title was Italian Contributions to Mathematics. It contained no explicit anti-Semitic statements, but the effort to produce an image of Italian mathemat- ics purified of any Jewish contributions went beyond any limit inspired by decency.
The introduction by the editorial committee clarified, beyond any shade of doubt, the intentions by stating that "the Italian contribution to Mathematics constitutes, in several essential moments, one of the highest sym- bols of the intellectual value of the Italic race".
The fact that the text mentioned no names of Jewish mathematicians led to a farcical representation of some research developments.
For example, in functional analysis, the name of Volterra creator of the concept of "functional" and of the concepts in this discipline was omitted. Even more sensational was the contribution of Tullio Levi-Civita to the Italian Mathematics, Fascism and Racial Policy foundation of absolute differential calculus that, according to Bompiani, was the exclusive work of Gregorio Ricci Curbastro.
A peak was eventually reached in the presentation of the contribution of the Italian geometric school that, as Bompiani observed, "holds a position of absolute supremacy in the algebraic approach". This supremacy was gained also and mainly thanks to the research by Jewish mathematicians like Corrado Segre, Guido Castelnuovo and Federigo Enriques, whose names were left out.
Forgetting his promise to "claim Italians' research excellence, as much as possible without distorting the history of sci- ence", Bompiani stated, without heeding the ridicule, that the "extraordinary blossoming of talent and abundance of results which account for Italy being called the"aquilifer16 of Geometry" [sic] had prepared the ground for the further conquests reached by the present generations of Italian geometricians".
But the work of "historiographic review" did not take place only in the context of the preparation to the E42 and Bompiani was certainly not the only one capa- ble of such acts. On the contrary, his review work was practically nothing com- pared to that which was done in the monumental work A century of Italian Scientific Progress published by SIPS in However, the effort of carrying out such careful cleansing operation removing all Jewish contributions turned out to be so difficult that a note taking up a whole page at the beginning of the book stated: For a better understanding of the following Articles, the most relevant contri- butions by Jewish mathematicians, previously professors at Italian universi- ties, have also been quoted.
This is because their work, given the official posi- tion they occupied, could not fail to determine reciprocal exchanges between the contributions they made and those made by Aryan mathematicians. The same criterion was applied to the Articles in all other Sections. In other words, what followed was a list of the leading figures in Italian mathematics.
The Aquilifer was the special standard bearer carrying the Aquila or Eagle , symbol of a Roman Legion, found at the head of the Legion while on the march.
The "fall" or loss of a Legion's Aquila standard was considered a disgrace to the Legion's reputation. Mathematics and Culture I The "rewriting" operation on the history of mathematics aiming to make it autarchic and racially pure found a central actor in the person of historian Ettore Bortolotti. Not only did he distinguish himself for contributions obsessively aimed at claiming the superiority of Italian mathematics, but he also aimed his fierce arrows at another historian of mathematics, a Jewish colleague named Gino Loria, whom he accused of little loyalty to the values of national science and of undeservedly exalting the achievements of foreign mathematics.
The theme of the superiority of Italian mathematics and of the substantial irrelevance of any Jewish contributions to it appears therefore as a leitmotiv in Italian mathematics at the time of the Fascist racial campaign. In occasion of the Second National Congress of the Unione Matematica Italiana in , president Luigi Berzolari sent the prefect in Bologna-a letter asking for help for this organ- isation.
In this letter, the themes of the famous decision arrived at by the scien- tific commission of the UMI are taken up again: This congress will really have a national interest, because it will be a review of Italian mathematical production in the last three years and will demonstrate that, even after the departure of our Jewish professors, the scientific produc- tion in our country has not declined and, on the contrary, it has taken on new life and vigour in the Fascist climate.
The regime was sensitive to so much activism on the racial front and delegat- ed to Giuseppe Bottai, its main representative in the field of autarchic and racial cultural policy, the task of inaugurating the congress.
He was greeted by huge applause when, remembering the first congress of UMI in , he listed as Aryan achievements just those sectors in which the contributions of "geometri- cians belonging to other races" had been the strongest. That congress affirmed the supremacy of Italy in the fields of algebraic geom- etry, calculation of variations, projective differential geometry as well as its fore- front position in functional theory, differential equations, algebras, relativity, thermoelastic transformations, study in probability and actuarial calculus, his- tory of mathematics and history of numbers.
More than a triumph, it was a rev- elation: Italian mathematics, no longer the monopoly of geometricians belong- ing to other races, found again its own geniality and eclecticism which had made great people such as Casorati, Brioschi, Betti, Cremona, Beltrami and took up again, with the power of a purified and freed race, its ascending path. What ascending path In spite of the triumphant claims of the Unione Matematica Italiana and the support given by the regime, it was by no means easy to "fill the gaps" and show the "power of a purified race".
The application of the racial policy to scientific research represented the greatest expression of an autarchic nationalist view that would have isolated Italian mathematics from international mathematics, closing it in a "ghetto" and causing it nearly irrepara- ble damage. The isolation of Italian mathematics during the war was extreme, as witnessed by the international congress organised by Seven's INDAM and held in Rome in November The proceedings of this congress, which was attend- ed only by mathematicians from Fascist or "fascistised" countries, show a total Italian Mathematics, Fascism and Racial Policy absence or only a marginal and occasional presence of Italian mathematics in central sectors of research such as number theory, topology and topological groups or commutative algebra.
We noticed from the beginning that the first signs of this involution of Italian mathematics had appeared even before the advent of Fascism. However, since they were strictly linked to a condescending attitude of disinterest towards the new developments in research, the process of involution could not fail to worsen at each push aiming to stimulate the isolation of Italian mathematicians in their small vegetable garden.
The autarchic policy of the regime encouraged the worse feelings of loathing and refusal towards all that came from abroad, bearing out the illusion of an indisputable and unshake- able supremacy of "Italic" mathematics. The racial policy was the most extreme expression of this trend: not only could foreigners be done without: even the most eminent and illustrious Jewish mathematicians could. It was sufficient to annul their presence and cancel their memory.
In conclusion, the racial laws constituted the final blow that worsened and made irreversible a crisis in Italian mathematics that could have been healed simply by a closer relationship with international research. The isolation and decline that had been showing for a long time, both in terms of internal and institutional dynamics, were accelerated and made worse by the material and intellectual autarchy and the policy for the purity of the race.
A complete bal- ance of the effects that such sad events have had on the evolution of Italian math- ematics in the second part of the twentieth century has not yet been made. Battimelli, M. De Maria, A. Rossi 2 voll. Related Papers. Volterra, Fascism, and France.
By Annalisa Capristo. By Salvatore Garau. The Great Divide? By Patrick Bernhard. Download pdf. Remember me on this computer. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link. Need an account? Finally, three appendices containing previously unpublished letters and documents conclude the essay. My most sincere thanks go to Kim Williams, who with intelligence and professionalism translated the text. Skip to main content. Advertisement Hide. Chapter First Online: 01 December This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Avellone, M. Brigaglia and C. Google Scholar. Berzolari, L. Bonola, Padova: Premiata Societ Coperativa. Biggiogero, G. Periodico di matematiche 4, 69— Brigaglia, A. Italian Algebraic Geometry between the two World Wars. Bolondi, G. Filosofia e storia del pensiero scientifico , O.
Pompeo Faracovi and F. Speranza, eds. Livorno: Belforte. Note di Matematica, Storia, Cultura 5, G. Bolondi, ed. Milano: Springer. Pompeo Faracovi, ed. Sarzana: Agor. Bottazzini, U. Conte and P. Riposte armonie. Lettere di Federigo Enriques a Guido Castelnuovo. Torino: Boringhieri. Campedelli, L. Rome: Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.
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