Wolfgang Doeblin: The Mathematician Who Committed Suicide To Avoid Snitching

Mathematician Wolfgang Doeblin was a Jewish guy who was born on July 29, 1915, in Berlin, Germany. He was a mathematical prodigy who showed extraordinary talent at a young age. At the age of 21, he earned his doctorate in mathematics from the University of Berlin.

Due to escalating anti-Semitic persecution, Doeblin escaped Germany in 1936 and resided in Paris, France. He continued his mathematical research and produced several papers on stochastic processes and probability theory that are widely recognized as ground-breaking contributions to the subject.

Doeblin’s life, however, took a tragic turn in 1940 when the Nazis invaded France. He had to leave Paris and enlist in the French military. Doeblin was imprisoned in an enemy camp after the Nazi invasion of France.

Doeblin joined the French Resistance after being freed from the camp in 1941. He served as a courier and used his mathematical expertise to assist the Resistance in decoding top-secret messages.

But, in 1942, Doeblin was forced to kill himself to avoid being captured and questioned because his company was surrounded by German soldiers.

He was only 27 years old when he passed away.
Despite having a brief life, Doeblin made significant contributions to mathematics that continue to this day.

The Wolfgang Doeblin Prize was created in 2000 to honour his memory and celebrate excellent work in stochastic processes and probability theory.

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