Hecht, Selig (1892-1947): correspondence regarding anti-semitism in German universities

Scope and Content

Papers of Selig Hecht, 1933, consist of two letters written by Selig Hecht, on a visit to Europe. The first, a letter to a colleague back home, outlines the problems facing Jewish academics in Nazi Germany, and introduces the second which is a much more detailed picture of the privations suffered by Jewish academics and also the indifference of the non-Jewish population, and the culmination of a latent antisemitism in the profession that had long pre-dated the Nazi seizure of power. The latter is addressed to Alfred Cohen. Others mentioned include Willstaetter, Fajans, and Alfred Wiener in his role as Syndikus or Director of the Organisation Centralverein deutscher Staatsbuerger Juedischen Glaubens.

Administrative / Biographical History

Selig Hecht, American biophysicist, was born in Glogow, Austria (now Poland) in 1892. He moved to the United States in 1898 and graduated from the College of the City of New York (BS, 1913) and from Harvard (PhD, 1917). After organising the laboratory of biophysics at Columbia University, he was Professor of Biophysics there from 1926. He pioneered the application of physiochemical principles to sensory physiology and is known for his determination of minimal quantal requirements at the threshold of vision and for his successful laboratory regeneration of visual purple. An advocate of popular scientific education, he wrote Explaining the Atom , 1947 and died in the same year.


Arranged in chronological order.

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Deposited by Mrs Baer.

Other Finding Aids

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue www.wienerlibrary.co.uk

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Geographical Names