Alexander Grothendieck

Picture of Alexander Grothendieck

Date of Birth: 03/28/1928

Age: 88

Place of birth: Berlin

Citizenship: France


Parents Alexander Grothendieck - were anarchists (Shurika family nicknames were adopted). Father - a refugee from Russia, Alexander (Sasha) Shapiro (1889, Novozybkov - 1942, Auschwitz), an active participant in the Revolution of 1905, was sentenced to death, commuted because of a minority by imprisonment. Repeatedly tried to escape, during one such escape was shot in the arm, which had to be amputated. In Germany, he arrived with forged documents to the name of Alexander Tanarova under what name his biographers often mention Grothendieck; used also named Sasha Peter secrecy. Considering unacceptable for anarchists to work for the exploiter, it was a street photographer. Mother - Johann (Hanka) Grothendieck (1900-1957) was born in a burgher family in Hamburg, but accepted the idea of ??anarchism, left by their parents in Berlin and wrote an article in the newspaper on the left avant-garde art and politics. As they are not registered marriage opponents of the bourgeois family, so Shura formally considered the son of a single mother and bore her name, that helped him to survive the Nazi regime.

When in 1933 Hitler rose to power, the father of Grothendieck as a Jew forced to flee to France. At the end of the year and mother followed him. Child given to upbringing in a family Geydornov who lived in a suburb of Hamburg. Parents are actively involved in the Spanish Civil War on the Republican side. After Franco`s victory they returned to France. By this time, the terror in Germany increased. Steel not only identify the documents of Jews, but also interested in those who did not conform to the canons of the "Aryan race", so little to be Shurik was dangerous, and his adoptive parents themselves had four children. They are deducted from the parents Shurika and sent it to him, shortly before the war.

In 1940 Grothendieck parents and himself were interned. Father was sent to the Auschwitz death camp, where he died. Mother and son were imprisoned in an internment camp in Riekro (Rieucros). Orders in the camp were quite tolerant, and Shurik was allowed to attend school in a nearby town. In high school he often had to fight with his disciples, who thought he was an occupier, not knowing that his parents were antifascists. Once he even ran away from the camp, determined to get to Hitler, and kill him, but fortunately it does not end bad for him. After two years, mother and son disunited - Hanko camp suddenly sent and Shura was in an orphanage in the city of Shambaugh on Lignon (Chambon-sur-Lignon), headed by the charitable organization "Swiss aid", which rescued the children of Jews, anti-fascists and refugees. To complete secondary education, he enrolled in college Sevennsky (Coll & # 232; ge C & # 233; venol). Even then it was clear that he has great mathematical ability.

When the war ended, the mother found her son, and they began to live in Montpellier, where Alexander enrolled at a local university. He had to look for jobs in the grape harvest, and his mother worked as a housekeeper at the neighboring owners. He already wanted to become a mathematician, but a teacher Sula analysis told him that mathematics is almost completed science, the last great discoveries it made A.Lebeg. An interesting thing - the content of the work of Lebesgue teacher did not know or had forgotten the books there were not any, but Grothendieck quite independently interested in the precise definition of length, area and volume, considering the definition of textbooks insufficiently rigorous and independently came to the basic concepts of the theory of measure and the Lebesgue integral.

In 1948 Grothendieck after graduation went to Paris to continue his education. Already mentioned Sula, Grothendieck recommended to turn to his teacher the famous mathematician Cartan. Grothendieck did not know that Cartan-mathematicians were two - Cartan, who was already at 80, and his son Henri, actively working mathematician, which then led to the Ecole Normale Superieure his famous workshop and went to this seminar. When Grothendieck asked what he was doing in Montpellier, he talked about his work on the theory of action. Seeing that he had made a great discovery, but for a long time made earlier by Lebesgue, and quite independently, it is recommended to continue his scientific work. On Cartan Grothendieck seminar had difficult due to the formation of gaps, resulting in a provincial university, and because of the bad French, especially in the close circle of regular listeners why the advice of Cartan and Zh.D