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Mathematicians Fleeing from Nazi Germany by Reinhard Siegmund-Schultze

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APPENDIX 2

Excerpt from a Letter by George David Birkhoff from Paris (1928) to His Colleague-Mathematicians at Harvard Concerning the Possibility of or Desirability to Hire Foreigners1

IT SEEMED to me that our department would get very little advantage from any young man of second-rate qualifications and that any really promising material would be likely to receive strong bids to substantial positions in Europe. Furthermore, I knew that there were always a number of moderately good young men, in general publishing as rapidly as possible, whose mathematical promise was not sufficient to secure early recognition here in a substantial way. These men are generally in a very difficult position insofar as money is concerned, and would naturally welcome ...

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