history of the Lviv (Lemberg, Leopol,
Lviv before 1939
mathematicians in Lviv before 1939: Mathematics from the Scottish Café (Café
Szkocka in Lviv)
Henri Lebesgue visited Lviv in 1938
and obtained honorary doctorate from Jan Kazimierz
University (now Ivan Franko National University of
mathematicians, economists and lawyers who called the city Lviv home
of the city Lviv (Lemberg, Lwow,
founded as a fort in the mid-13th century by Prince Danylo
Halitski of Galychyna
(Galicia), a former western princedom of Kievan Rus Empire (ancient Ukraine with its capital city Kiev -
the most powerful and, geographically, largest state in Europe in the 11th
century; Kiev was razed by Mongol raiders in the 12th century). The Galicia became the Kingdom of Galicia after Danylo had been
crowned in Peremyshl (now Przemysl, Poland). The city Lviv was named after King Danylo’s son Lev (Leo). The first mention of Lviv in early
chronicles is from 1256, although archaeological excavation in 1993 revealed
that the first settlements appeared in the 6th century. Galicia, with Lviv as its chief city, has kept its identity
despite many boundary changes and centuries of rule by outside powers.
Danylo – King of the Kingdom of Galicia (Western Ukraine)
became the centre of trade and commerce for the region. The city's favourable location
on the crossroads of trade routes led to its rapid economic development.
Galicia was taken over by Poland in the 14th century. Its nobility eventually adopted
the Polish language and religion - Roman Catholicism but the vast majority of
people remained Ukrainian Orthodox (Greek form of Christian worship accepted
from Constantinople by Kievan Rus
in 988) and later joined the Ukrainian Catholic Church which acknowledged the
Pope's spiritual supremacy but adhered to the area's Greek Orthodox forms of
worship. Poland changed the name of Lviv to Lwow.
From 1356 the burghers had the right of self-government, which implied that all
city issues were to be solved by a city council, elected by wealthy citizens.
In 1661 the first university was opened and was named after the name of the
King of Poland, Jan Kazimierz II (now Ivan Franko National University of Lviv).
In the First
Partition of Poland (1772), Galicia became part of the Hapsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire
but remained dominated by Poles. Austria changed the name of Lwow to
Lemberg and made it the capital of the Kingdom of Galicia.
after break the former Jan Kazimierz University was reopened and then renamed after Austrian emperor
Kaiser Jozef II. Lectures were held in Latin, German,
Polish and Ukrainian.
In 1844 the Technical Academy was opened
in Lemberg (later it became Technical School in 1877,
Lviv Polytechnic Institute in 1939 and National University “Lviv Polytechnic”
In the second
half of the nineteenth century, construction, trade, transport and industry
started to develop rapidly until the First World War started. Austria contributed parks, cobble stone streets, quality
architectural buildings and Lviv Opera House (a small copy of the Opera House
end of the 19th century, Lviv became the centre of a new Ukrainian national
movement. Many prominent cultural and political leaders lived in Lviv, among
them Ivan Franko, Mykhailo Hrushevsky, it was a meeting place of Ukrainian, Polish,
and Jewish cultures.
collapse of the Hapsburg Empire at the end of Word War I, Lviv was proclaimed
capital of the independent Republic of West Ukraine. But the troops of the re-emergent Poland seized the
city, and Lviv returned to Polish rule until the Soviet Army took control in
September, 1939 (In accordance with the Ribbentrop-Molotov
Pact Lviv together with Western-Ukrainian lands was
annexed to the Soviet Union). Lviv was
occupied by Germany from 1941 to 1944. Almost entire Jewish population of
Lviv was murdered by Nazis. In 1944, Lviv again went under Soviet rule.
During the periods 1939-1941 and 1944-1949 hundreds of thousands of Western
Ukrainians were treated by Stalin regime as an
enemy of Soviet Union,
and as a result they were murdered or exiled to labour camps in Siberia
(Eastern part of Russia). Part of Ukrainian and Polish populations of Galicia
did manage to escape to Western Europe, North
America and Australia
before Soviet occupation.
Union changed the
name of Lviv to Lvov. Lviv was an important centre of activities of
Ukrainian dissidents in 1960s. Since late 1980s, during Gorbachev’s
perestroika, the city became a leading force in Ukraine's movement towards sovereignty and democracy.
of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, prohibited in 1946, started again, the RUKH
movement won the elections. On August 24, 1991 Lviv began a new era as the Supreme Council of Ukraine adopted a
declaration of independence.
Now, Lviv is a
major economic and cultural centre on the Western region of independent
Ukrainian state. Despite tremendous difficulties, economics reforms (among them
privatization of enterprises and land) proceed in Lviv more rapidly than in
many other Ukrainian economics centres.
In 1998 Lviv was
inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Cities.
Actuaries in Lviv before 1939
The UAS Actuarial Education and Reference Centre is looking for historical materials about actuarial activity
in Western Ukraine before 1939.
So far the Centre has already found some citations of three actuaries
that worked in Lviv in insurance companies as actuaries. The names of first two
– actuary of the Insurance Company “Dnister”, 20 Ruska st., Lemberg,
Kulaczkowski Jaroslaw – Dr., actuary, Director of the Insurance Company
“Dnister”, 20 Ruska st., Lemberg, 1909
and they were found on the list of Members of the International
Actuarial Association in the Proceedings of the Sixth International Congress of
Actuaries that was held in Vienna, June 7 to 13,
1909. Please see excerpts of the Proceedings in PDF
format (page 6).
The name of the third actuary is
– actuary of “l’Etablishment d’Assurance
des employes a Leopol”, 1 Piekarska st., Leopol ( Lwow), 1930
and it was found on the list of Members of the
International Actuarial Association in the Proceedings of the Ninth
International Congress of Actuaries that was held in Stockholm, June 16 to 20, 1930. Mr. Taborski attended the International Congress of Actuaries
in Stockholm in 1930. Please see excerpts of the Proceedings in PDF
format (last page).
It seems that in Russian Empire before Bolshevik
Revolution 1917 (at that time both Central and Eastern parts of Ukraine belonged to Russia) the actuarial activity mostly was viable in St Petersburg and was represented by the following three famous
Prof. Savitch Sergei
They were active members of the IAA. For many years
Prof. Savitch was a Delegate of the Russian Actuarial Society in the IAA and
occupied a post of vice-president of the International Congress of Actuaries
(ICA). Prof. Savitch
was the main organiser of the ICA in St. Petersburg in 1915, but unfortunately the congress was not
held because of the World War I. Wrote a textbook in Russian on actuarial
mathematics (this book was republished by Dr.
Vsevolod Malinovski in Moscow in
2003). Prof. Savitch escaped to Paris just
after Bolshevik Revolution and worked there as an actuary.
The Centre is grateful to Mr. Yuri Krvavych who
found out these materials and sent them to us.
World-class mathematicians in Lviv before 1939: Mathematics from the
history of the Scottish Book provides amazing insight into the mathematical
environment in Lviv (Lwow) before World War II.
Before World War II, the city of Lwow
belonged to Poland.
A group of mathematicians, including Stanislaw Ulam, Stefan Banach, Mark Kac,
S. Mazur, Hugo Auerbach, Hugo Steinhaus, W. Orlicz, Juliusz Schauder
and many others, frequently met in coffee houses "Cafe Roma" and
"Cafe Szkocka" ("Scottish Cafe"), where they discussed many
mathematical problems from a wide range of mathematics: summability theory,
functional and real analysis, group theory, point set topology, measure theory,
On both pictures the Scottish Café is on
the right, with the café Roma on the left.
At present the Bank “Universalny”
is located in the building of the Scottish Café.
1935 a large notebook was purchased by Banach and
deposited with the head waiter of the "Scottish Cafe". Mathematics
questions/problems which after considerable discussions were found suitable
were recorded in the "book". Occasional visitors (Henri Leon
Lebesgue, John von Neumann, Waclaw
Sierpinski) also recorded their problems there. Some
of the problems were solved immediately or shortly after they have been posed.
Quarter of the problems remain unsolved to this day. When World War II started,
Lwow was occupied by the Soviet
Union. The last entry into the book was made
on May 31, 1941,
- less than a month before the war betweeen Germany
and Soviet Union began. When
the World War came Mazur putted the book in a little box and buried near the
goal post of a certain soccer field in Lviv. The book survived and was found
after the war by the son of Banach (who died in 1945)
in Lviv. It was given to Steinhaus who in 1956 sent a
copy of it to Ulam in US (Los
Alamos, New Mexico).
Every problem in the book carries the name of the person who suggested the
problem. Frequently a prize is offered for solution of the problem. Prizes
range from "two small beers" to "fondue" in Geneva.
The book contains about two hundred problems, written mostly in Polish, but
also in German, Russian, French and English. The book was translated to English
and published in Los Alamos
by Ulam in 1957. It came to be known among
mathematicians as "The Scottish Book". Later a corrected reprint was
made in 1977. In 1981 a version with comments, as well as lectures of "The
Scottish Book Conference" was published by Birkhauser
under the name "The Scottish Book: Mathematics from the Scottish
Cafe" edited by R. Daniel Mauldin.
Remark: currently the UAS Actuarial Education
and Reference Centre is jointly working with its International Partners
(actuaries and mathematicians) and Bank “Universalny”
(Lviv) on republishing “The Scottish Book” by Daniel
Mauldin in Ukraine in Ukrainian.
Henri Lebesgue visited Lviv in 1938 and
obtained honorary doctorate from Jan Kazimierz University (now Ivan Franko National University of Lviv).
As we can see by perusing the Scottish Book, a
significant number of problems were inscribed by distinguished foreign
mathematicians who passed through Lviv. One of the most famous of these
visitors and probably the most famous one at that time was Henri Lebesgue.
Lebesgue came to Lviv in May 1938 and received an
honorary doctorate from the Jan Kazimierz University (now Ivan Franko National University of
Lviv). Extensive interesting story about
Lebesgue’s visit to Lviv was presented by Marc Kac in "The Scottish Book: Mathematics
from the Scottish Cafe" edited by R. Daniel Mauldin.
Famous mathematicians, economists and lawyers
who called the city Lviv home
(1892-1945) - Mathematician, born in Krakow, Poland but lived and died in Lviv. He is regarded as one of the founders of functional
analysis, and he founded an important school of Polish mathematicians. He made major contributions to the theory
of topological vector spaces. In addition, he contributed to measure theory,
integration, and orthogonal series.
Stanislaw Marcin Ulam
(1909-1984) - from
1936 in USA. Mathematician - born in Lemberg (Lviv), Galicia,
contributed to Polish Mathematical Society in Lviv. He moved to USA in 1936 and joined
Society of Fellows in Harvard. He was a member of the Manhattan Project, which
produced the first atom bomb, 1943-45, and from 1946 collaborated with Edward
Teller on the design of the hydrogen bomb, solving the problem of how to ignite
the bomb. All previous designs had collapsed. He also devised the 'Monte-Carlo
method' widely used in solving mathematical problems using statistical
sampling. He died in Santa Fe, NM, USA in 1984.
(1899-1943) – Mathematician
- born, lived and died in Lviv. Schauder is author of
fixed point theorems for finite dimensional spaces, fixed point theorems for Banach spaces. His 1934 paper on topology and partial
differential equations is of major importance. Existence proofs for complicated
nonlinear problems using his fixed point theorem have become standard. The
topological method developed in the 1934 Leray-Schauder
paper is now utilised not only to obtain qualitative
is now utilised not only to obtain qualitative results
but also to solve problems numerically on computers. He was shot by Gestapo in
October 1943 in Lviv.
(1881 - 1973) – Economist. Mises was born in 1881 in the Austro-Hungarian
city of Lemberg, the son of a successful engineer. At the age of 19, he entered the University of Vienna, and received his doctorate at 27. He taught
economics in Austria, warning against the dangers of both communism and fascism. With the
Nazis threatening Austria, he fled to England (the United Kingdom) where he spent almost the rest of his life. He was
known for his contribution to liberalism in economic theory and his belief in
the power of the consumer. He was one of the most influential capitalist economists
of the twentieth century. See citation of von Mises in the article “Money to the people” by Prof.
Krzysztof Ostaszewski (American-Polish actuary and mathematician).
Ludwig von Mises was one of the greatest economic thinkers in the
history of Western Civilization. - Ronald Reagan, Former President of the United States.
B. Sohn was born in Lemberg
in 1914 (the year World War I began). He earned his first law degree at Jan Kazimierz University
in Lwow. Louis B. Sohn is of
the world's foremost international law scholars. Sohn
began teaching at Harvard in 1946, and was named Bemis Professor of
International Law in 1961. Sohn pioneered courses on
UN law, international human rights, the law of the sea, and the protection of the
environment. He took part in the San Francisco Conference that established the
United Nations. He worked at the United Nations on the settlement of
international disputes, disarmament, human rights, and law of the sea.
with Grenville Clark, World Peace through World
Law, which has been translated into a dozen languages and is now in its
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Actuaries, 2003 – 2004