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Ludwig Jacobowski

JACOBOWSKI, LUDWIG (1868–1900), German poet and author. Born in Strelno, Posen, Jacobowski spent most of his short life in Berlin. He edited the newspaper Die Gesellschaft and wrote several volumes of poetry including Funken (1891), Satan lachte (1898), Aus bewegten Stunden (1899), Ausklang (1901), and Leuchtende Tage (1901). His novel Werther, der Jude (1892), which expressed his inner turmoil, provoked more interest than his verse. In a second novel, Loki, Roman eines Gottes (1899), the eponymous figure of the lonely dark god rejected by the blond Teutonic deities symbolized the isolation of the Jew in Germanic culture. Jacobowski was also an essayist and author of a comedy, Diyab der Narr (1895). A significant Jewish figure in the last decade of 19th-century German literature, he conducted an interesting correspondence with many of the leading writers of his time, including Karl *Kraus, Alfred *Kerr, and Jacob *Wassermann. He was an active defender of Jewish rights in the Verein zur Abwehr des Anti-semitismus and entered into a controversy with Hermann *Ahlwardt, whose anti-Jewish "racial" work Der Verzweiflungskampf der arischen Voelker mit dem Judentum provoked Jacobowski's spirited reply, Offene Antwort eines Juden (1891). He also published Der Juden Anteil in Verbrechen (1892) and Der christliche Staat und seine Zukunft (1894). The works of Jacobowski reflect both his attempt to find a synthesis between Judaism and German culture and his own personal tragedy. His collected works (Gesammelte Werke in einem Band, ed. Alexander Mueller) appeared in one volume in 2000.


F.B. Stern, Ludwig Jacobowski; Persoenlichkeit und Werk eines Dichters (1966); idem, in: BLBI, 7 (1964), 101–37. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: H. Friedrich, Ludwig Jacobowski. Ein modernes Dichterbild (1901); M. Scholz (ed.), Ludwig Jacobowski im Lichte des Lebens (1901), Auftakt zur Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts. Briefe aus dem Nachlass von Ludwig Jacobowski, ed. by F.B. Stern (1974); A. Martin, "Heinrich Mann und die 'antinaturalistische Richtung'. Bemerkungen zu einem wenig bekannten Brief des jungen Autors an Ludwig Jacobowski," in: Heinrich-Mann-Jahrbuch, 16 (1998), 133–144; M.M. Anderson, "'Jewish Mimesis?' Imitation and assimilation in Thomas Mann's 'Wälsungenblut' and Ludwig Jacobowski's 'Werther, der Jude'," in: German life and letters, 49 (1996), N. 2, 193–204.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.