To the Executive Committee of the International Mathematical Union
The German Mathematical Society invites the International Congress of Mathematicians 1998 to Berlin. I herewith submit to you the official application with all the necessary information. I do this on behalf of the Provisional Organizing Committee which was appointed by the German Mathematical Society.
The mathematical tradition in Germany is linked to the International Congresses. Felix Klein at the opening of the Congress on Mathematics and Astronomy in Chicago on August 21, 1983, stressed that the mathematicians must form international unions and said "I trust this present World's Congress at Chicago will be a step in that direction." (Gesammelte Abhandlungen Vol. 2, p. 615). The sequence of International Congresses started in 1897 in Zürich. At the second one in Paris David Hilbert presented his famous list of problems, the third one was in Heidelberg in 1904. Since then the Congress was not held in Germany. After the terrible period of World War II there were attempts to invite the Congress to Germany (beginning in the sixties). They did not succeed for understandable reasons. Now we want to try again.
Berlin has a long mathematical tradition. For the 19th century the names of Dirichlet, Jacobi, Kronecker, Kummer and Weierstraß stand out. The exodus of mathematicians from Berlin because of the Nazi terror was dramatic and tragic. Richard von Mises, John von Neumann, Issai Schur and many others left. After World War II the city was divided and the development of mathematics had to overcome many difficulties. Now the city is united again and promises to become a great mathematical center through its three Universities and two research institutions, the Konrad-Zuse center and the Weierstraß- Institute for Applied Analysis and Stochastics, a successor to the Karl-Weierstraß-Institute of the former Academy of Sciences of the DDR. Many Berlin mathematicians are eager to help to make the congress a success. Already now the necessary facilities, assembly halls, lecture rooms, hotels are reserved. I believe that a perfect organization can be expected. The financial outlook is good.
As a formerly divided City Berlin is a symbol for the improved cooperation between East and West. The congress and its satellite congresses will play an important role for this cooperation and, of course, for the international cooperation of mathematicians in general. The organizing committee plans to provide fellowships for young mathematicians and for mathematicians - young and senior - who come from countries with difficult financial conditions.
Berlin is a wonderful city with lakes and woods, historical buildings, museums, theatres and concerts. There will be enough to do and to see for the accompanying member and for the ordinary member if the mathematical activities leave free time for her or him.
The German Mathematical Society hopes to see you all in Berlin for ICM 1998.
Please send suggestions and corrections to: email@example.com
Last modified: December 11, 1997