Following the advent of the National Socialist regime in the year 1938, more than 2,700 mostly Jewish affiliates of the University of Vienna were dismissed and subsequently driven away and/or murdered - lecturers, students and administration employees. Furthermore, over 200 people were stripped of their academic titles.
In 2008, 70 years after the so-called "Anschluss" [annexation] and the pogroms of what came to be cynically called the "Kristallnacht" [Crystal Night], the University of Vienna commemorates this injustice and  ...


Felix Ehrenhaft

  • Born: 04-24-1879
  • Faculty: Faculty of Philosophy
  • Category: expelled teacher

Felix EHRENHAFT (born on April 24th, 1879 in Nußdorf b. Wien, died on March 4th, 1952 in Vienna), was the son of Dr. Leopold Ehrenhaft (medical councillor) and his wife Luise nee Eggar. 
He studied physics at the Technical University of Vienna and at the University of Vienna, among his teachers Franz Serafin Exner jun. (1849-1926) and Ludwig Boltzmann (1844-1906). He was graduated at the University of Vienna and subsequently became assitant at the 1st Physical Department.

In 1905 Ehrenhaft was promoted lecturer ('Privatdozent') at the University of Vienna (habilitation thesis: "Elektromagnetische Schwingungen des Rotationsel-lipsoides". In 1911 he became ao. Professor, in 1920 o. Professor for Physics at the Philosophical School of the University of Vienna and head of the 3rd Physical Department. For his scientific achievements (e.g. to atomic physics), he was awarded the Lieben Prize (1910), the Haitinger Award (1917) and the Voigtlander medal (1918).
In 1908 he married the physicist Olga Steindler. The couple had two children.

Felix Ehrenhaft was persecuted in times of Nazism as a Jew lost his position as a 'o. Prof.' for Physics ('beurlaubt') and was thrown out of the university in 1938. He was able to emigrate to Rio de Janeiro and then to the USA. 

He returned to Austria in 1947 and became Visiting Professor at the University of Vienna.

Lit.: Joseph BRAUNBECK, Der andere Physiker. Das Leben von Felix Ehrenhaft Wien, Graz 2003; ROEDER Vol. 2 1983.

Katharina Kniefacz

zuletzt aktualisiert am 29.01.2019

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