Nye erkendelser vedrørende matematikeren Georg Cantors afstamning
Until today the names of the grandparents on father’s side of the famous mathematician Georg Cantor – the founder of the “set theory” – have been unknown. Despite information in letters from Georg Cantor to friends that his father Georg Woldemar Cantor was born in Copenhagen to Jewish parents that information was disputed in a responsum from the leading Danish genealogist Theodor Hauch-Fausbøll in 1937, stating that his grandparents were not Jewish. In later biographies that opinion has prevailed although today it must be obvious to everybody that the responsum was made at a time when it was a matter of life and death for the descendants – who assumedly had required this responsum – to be able to produce evidence that they did not have Jewish roots. On the basis of material from Danish Archives the German mathematician Georg Singer has established beyond doubt that Georg Cantor’s father was indeed of Jewish origin, as claimed by Georg Cantor in his abovementioned letters. His original article in German was published in MAAJAN No. 4, August 2019, edited by “Die Schweizerische Vereinigung für Jüdische Genealogie”. The article in Rambam is an abbreviated translation hereof. Georg Woldemar Cantor was born in Copenhagen on May 6th, 1814, as Hirsch Cantor. His mother was Esther Abraham Meyer who was married for the second time to Lipman Cantor, the father of Georg Woldemar. Esther had been married before to Moses Levy who presumably had died in 1807, leaving Esther with seven children. She had remarried Lipman in 1811. Esther left Copenhagen around 1820 and went to Saint Petersburg where two brothers and a sister were living, bringing with her Hirsch and at least one child from her first marriage. That has been established by Galina Sinkevich in her newly published biography about Georg Cantor. In Saint Petersburg Hirsch was baptized and changed his given name to Georg Woldemar. He most likely stayed in Saint Petersburg and was raised by an aunt whereas his mother went back to Copenhagen – she died in 1840 in Aarhus. To the register of the probate court one of her sons from her first marriage, Joseph, declared that his mother from her second marriage had a son named Georg in Saint Petersburg. Likewise, the widower Lipman Cantor declared to the probate court register in Copenhagen that Esther with him had a son named Georg in Saint Petersburg.