Erwin Fues

17th January 1893 to 17th January 1970

Erwin Fues, signature, University of Breslau, 1936

German theoretical physicist Erwin Fues studied first at Berlin and then at Munich. He fought in the German army for around a year at the start of the First World War; he then saw out the rest of the war years at the University of Tübingen from 1916 to 1918.

Fues completed his doctoral thesis (‘Vergleich zwischen den Funkensprektren der Erdalkalien und den Bogenspektren der Alkalien’; supervised by Arnold Sommerfeld) in Munich in 1920 and passed his qualification to teach at German universities in 1924. From 1925 to 1927 he was an assistant to Erwin Schrödinger at the University of Zurich, and then a research assistant at the University of Copenhagen at Niels Bohr’s Institute of Theoretical Physics.

In 1933, Fues signed Das Bekenntnis der Professoren an den deutschen Universitäten und Hochschulen zu Adolf Hitler und dem nationalsozialistischen Staat (the Loyalty Oath of German Professors to Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist State). Until 1934, Fues worked at Hannover, before moving to professorships at the University of Breslau and the Breslau Technische Hochschule, from 1934 to 1943.


In the 1935-1936 University of Breslau handbook, Fues is listed as a Lehrkörper – a teacher – in the faculty of general sciences

Erwin Fues, University of Breslau handbook, 1935

It can be seen (above) that Fues was a theoretical physicist and Director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics, located at Martini Straße, which can be seen on the map extract below.

Source: fotopolska.eu

Fues taught classical mechanics in Theoretical Physics I, on Mondays and Thursdays from 11am to 1pm in the auditorium, and at Martinistrasse 7/9 on Tuesdays (from 11am to 1pm) and Fridays (11am to 12pm); and he taught Mechanik der Kontinua in Physics II for four hours and three hours at a time, from what I can work out from the extract below.

Erwin Fues, 1935, University of Breslau

Finally, Fues moved to the Vienna Technische Universität, where he remained until 1947.

In terms of his research contribution, Fues explored theoretical physics, especially atomic structure, quantum wave mechanics, and solid-state physics.


All black and white extracts on this page are from the 'Vorlesungs und Personal Verzeichnis der Schlesischen Friedrich Wilhelms Universität zu Breslau Winter Semester 1930/1931', and the equivalent handbook for 1935-1936, available online at the University of Wrocław.

The map extract is from the excellent fotopolska.eu.