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In Search of Shadows: The First Topological Conference, Moscow 1935

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  1. 1.

    Note that Cohn-Vossen is classed among the speakers from the Soviet Union. He was barred from lecturing in Cologne in 1933 under the Nazi racial laws. After spending a year in Switzerland, he immigrated to the USSR at the end of 1934. Up to his death from pneumonia in 1936, he worked at the Steklov Mathematical Institute, first in Leningrad, then in Moscow. See in this regard the talk presented by Cohn-Vossen at the beginning of his work in Leningrad [11].

  2. 2.

    The talk by Gordon is also mentioned in the report by Tucker [31] and in the reminiscences of Hopf [17], while Whitney in his historical note [32] points out that he gave two talks at the Moscow conference.

  3. 3.

    Nevertheless, there is a reference to the “abstract” of talk 1 in [29].

  4. 4.

    We emphasize that each conference talk in the proceedings is in one of the four languages English, French, German, and Russian. For the reader’s convenience, we give all the titles in English.

  5. 5.

    Freundenthal later proved that these constructions are isomorphic.

  6. 6.

    In [32], Whitney explained that he decided to give “two shorter talks” under the influence of Hopf’s presentation.

  7. 7.

    We emphasize that the number of talks announced in the program is also equal to 44.

  8. 8.

    Prof. Jerzy Mioduszewski, a former student of Knaster, guesses that Knaster may have attended the conference informally.

  9. 9.

    Julia A. Różańska was a topologist. A student of P. S. Aleksandrov, she was an associate professor at Moscow State University and a member of the Moscow Mathematical Society.

  10. 10.

    Maria A. Nikolaenko was a geometer, an associate professor at Kharkov University.

  11. 11.

    In some sources, Tumarkin’s year of birth is erroneously given as 1901. We follow the information given in [7].

  12. 12.

    More information about these persons can be found in [20].


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We are grateful to Lech Maligranda, who pointed out earlier unknown names from the conference photo and provided us with the paper [35]. We also would like to thank Jerzy Mioduszewski, Roman Duda, and Galina Smirnova for useful discussions, and Semën S. Kutateladze, Ignat Soroko, David Kramer, and the anonymous referee for valuable comments. The first author was partly supported by the “RUDN University Program 5-100.”

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Correspondence to Darya E. Apushkinskaya.

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Apushkinskaya, D.E., Nazarov, A.I. & Sinkevich, G.I. In Search of Shadows: The First Topological Conference, Moscow 1935. Math Intelligencer 41, 37–42 (2019).

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