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Felix Hausdorff was of course a great mathematician, who had major effects on several branches of mathematics. However he also wrote literature and philosophy and was affiliated with important German musicians. When Nazism came to power, Hausdorff failed to escape in time, lost his job, and finally committed suicide in order to avoid being sent to concentration camp.

The above summary of Hausdorff's life comes from reading his wikipedia page and other similar documents. I would like to learn more about him, but for some reason I don't seem to be able to find a book-length biography. (Can there really not be one?)

Question: What is a good source for a detailed biography of Felix Hausdorff?

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Only short <a href="…;. – Bruce Arnold Mar 2 '11 at 14:58
up vote 11 down vote accepted

There is the "Hausdorff edition" project (E. Brieskorn, F. Hirzebruch, W. Purkert, R. Remmert and E. Scholz) which will entail all collected works and is supposed to have a decent biography as well. Out of the planned nine volumes only four have been published. It seems like the first volume where the biography is supposed to appear is still in work. Here is the website:

There you can already find some material which is a bit more extensive than the online articles (such as this one).

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It looks like actually eight of the volumes have been published (at least Amazon is offering to sell them to me). The only one that is still missing is volume 1, which will contain the biography. I will await its coming! – Oliver Mar 2 '11 at 3:14
That's nice! On the other hand, I don't know if you should expect much from the coming book. (I think it will be quite similar to the preview me and J Verma linked to.) – Gjergji Zaimi Mar 2 '11 at 5:10

one place I know is the website of Hausdorff Institute website, particularly this short biography(62 pages).

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Thank you for this! It was an interesting read, though not as thorough as I would have liked and a bit too focused on making a case for Hausdorff's importance. – Oliver Mar 2 '11 at 3:16

The book Paradoxes of Measures and Dimensions Originating in Felix Hausdorff's Ideas By Janusz Czyż contains a 40 pages biographical sketch. It is available on Google books, most of it can be read free, including the biographical chapter.

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