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Luise Oettinger

Luise Oettinger

Female 1906 - 1971  (64 years)

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  • Name Luise Oettinger 
    Born 22 Nov 1906  Nuremberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Biography Headline News
    Prof publishes long-awaited biography of astrophysicist mother
    It has taken many years of toiling, but York Professor Emeritus Paul Herzberg has now completed a biography of his mother Luise Herzberg, the wife of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Gerhard Herzberg (Hon DSc. '69) and an astrophysicist in her own right. Luise Herzberg, Astrophysicist: A Memoir is more than just a tribute to his mother, it is a chance for Luise to step out of the shadow of her world-famous husband and have her own accomplishments recognized.
    Paul’s mother was born Luise Hedwig Oettinger in 1906 and educated in Germany where she received her PhD in physics in 1933. Her husband lost his academic post because Luise was a Jew. In 1935, they arrived as refugees in Canada. (See YFile, Nov. 15, 2007.)

    In Luise Herzberg, Astrophysicist (York University Bookstore, 2010), Paul describes how Luise met the challenge of combining family and career. When she returned to research in physics and astronomy after the war, she faced nepotism rules and worked largely unnoticed. In the last decade of her life, however, she gained considerable recognition as an astrophysicist. Some of her work is still referred to today, although some is mistakenly attributed to her husband.
    On Luise’s death, a friend wrote: “She remained totally female, despite high intelligence, active work in science and constant contact in the learned circles of the world. It was not her nature to want to shine, but nevertheless she was completely aware of everything that was happening.”
    Luise died in 1971, just months before Gerhard won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, a success which he could not have achieved without her devotion and support.
    Constructing the details of Luise’s extraordinary life was not an easy task. Paul, who was a professor in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health, completed a two-year stint learning German just so he could read the cache of family letters, which would provide further insight into his mother’s life, and interviewed his elderly father several times before his death at the age of 94.
    Paul started down the same path as his parents, but after earning a master’s degree in physics switched fields to specialize in quantitative psychology. He taught at York from 1966 to 2002 where he developed a unique introductory statistics course featuring learning-to-mastery, self-pacing and tutoring by undergraduate student peers.
    In 1996, he received the University-Wide Teaching Award. It had always been in the back of his mind, however, to write about his mother. A biography of his father by Boris Stoicheff, Gerhard Herzberg: An Illustrious Life in Science, was published in 2002.
    Paul's book may be purchased online or directly at the York University Bookstore. For more information, contact Paul Herzberg at herzberg@yorku.ca.  [1
    Hebrew Birth 5 Kis 5667 
    Immigration 1935  Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Hebrew Death 10 Siv 5731 
    Occupation Astrophysicist 
    Residence Nuremberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence Saskatoon, SK, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence Williams Bay, WI, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence Ottawa, ON, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Died 3 Jun 1971  Ottawa, ON, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I3169  Blank Family
    Last Modified 26 Dec 2010 

    Father Paul Oettinger,   b. 12 Mar 1876, Nuremberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Jun 1957, Ottawa, ON, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years) 
    Mother Elsbeth (Else) Eichenberg,   b. 2 Jan 1882, Goettingen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Aug 1949, Ottawa, ON, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Married 11 Dec 1905  Goettingen, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F136  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Gerhard Herzberg,   b. 25 Dec 1904, Hamburg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Mar 1999, Ottawa, ON, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 94 years) 
    Married 30 Dec 1929  Nuremberg, Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Living
     2. Living
    Family ID F279  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 22 Nov 1906 - Nuremberg, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 30 Dec 1929 - Nuremberg, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 1935 - Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Nuremberg, Germany Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Saskatoon, SK, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Williams Bay, WI, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - - Ottawa, ON, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 3 Jun 1971 - Ottawa, ON, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Louise Herzberg 1930
    Louise Herzberg 1930

    Histories
    Luise Retrospective
    Luise Retrospective
    Luise Herzberg Preliminary Memoir
    Luise Herzberg Preliminary Memoir
    Prof publishes long-awaited biography of astrophysicist mother
    Prof publishes long-awaited biography of astrophysicist mother

    Holocaust Records
    Stolperstein of Gerhard and Luise Herzberg
    Stolperstein of Gerhard and Luise Herzberg

  • Sources 
    1. [S612] http://www.yorku.ca/yfile/archive/index.asp?Article=14565, York University.


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