Thekla Schmitz

*November 30, 1890 (Niederhövels - Enpel, Altenkirchen, Germany)

Thekla Schmitz studied at the Friedrich’s Wilhelm University of Bonn from the winter semester 1912/13 until the summer semester 1916 (in the SS 1913 she was at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich). She passed her first examination as a teacher on July 22, 1916. The subjects, in which Thekla Schmitz gained the authorization to teach, were mathematics (first level), physics (first level), and chemistry, along with mineralogy (second level).

In the following years, Thekla Schmitz was a teacher at the “Hildaschule” at Koblenz. In October 1918, she became a teacher at the “Städtisches Lyceum” in Viersen (today: Erasmus von Rotterdam-Gymnasium Viersen). From Easter 1921 to Easter 1922 she was on leave of absence for study purposes and received her doctorate in Philosophical Propaedeutics in December 1921. Adolf Dyroff was the supervisor of her dissertation about Poincaré. After finishing her PhD, she worked again at the Städtisches Lyzeum in Viersen until she retired in 1956. No further publications are known.

Thekla Schmitz’s work on Poincare is divided into an introduction, four main sections and a final chapter. In the introduction, Poincare’s scientific character is introduced. Section I deals with the mathematical concepts of quantity and number (“The origin of mathematical quantity”; “the continuum of numbers and the problem of incommensurable quantities”; “the nature of mathematical reasoning”; “mathematical infinity”). Then follows section II on space (“the relativity of space”; “the formation of the concept of space”; “geometric space and imaginary space”; “geometry”) and section III on time. Section IV discusses Poincare’s concept of space and time with regard to modern physics. The work ends with reflections on Poincare’s philosophy of mathematics as a whole.


Schmitz, Thekla (1921). Poincaré über die Grundbegriffe der Mathematik. Darstellung und Kritik. Phil. Diss. Universität Bonn.


Archiv der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität Immatrikulationsalbum Promotionalbum „B” (1921–1933)

Akte der Wissenschaftlichen Prüfungskommission Nordrhein-Westfälisches Hauptstaatsarchiv Schloß Kalkum Düsseldorf Personalakte Thekla Schmitz