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Siegfried Jacobsohn

JACOBSOHN, SIEGFRIED (1881–1926), German critic and left-wing editor. Jacobsohn began his career as the drama critic of various Berlin dailies. In 1905 he founded the theater weekly Schaubuehne, and until 1919 published the theater annual, Das Jahr der Buehne. Later he altered the direction of his periodical to give it a political character and changed its name to Weltbuehne in 1918. During the Weimar Republic the Weltbuehne reflected the outlook of independent-minded left-wing intellectuals (called by the Nazis "juedischer Kulturbolschewismus") and was vigorously attacked by the Nazis and the Communists. The periodical was, however, widely read by the German-speaking Jewish intelligentsia throughout Europe. Jacobsohn wrote two books on the Berlin theater, Das Theater der Reichshauptstadt (1904), which dealt with the period from 1870, and a sequel, Max Reinhardt (1910, 19215). Though not a Zionist, Jacobsohn fought assimilation and Jewish "camouflage", and attacked Jewish journalists who worked for right-wing, antisemitic papers. The last lines he published were an attack on the *Verband nationaldeutscher Juden. His closest collaborator was Kurt *Tucholsky, the letters to whom were published in 1989, 19972 (Briefe an Kurt Tucholsky 1915–1926: "Der beste Brotherr dem schlechtesten Mitarbeiter," ed. Richard von Soldenhoff). His collected critical essays on theatre (Jahre der Buehne, ed. Walter Karsch and Gerhard Koehler) appeared in 1965. From 2001 the Jacobsohn-Journal appearedin cooperation with the Tucholsky-Blaetter.


A. Enseling, Die Weltbuehne (1962); J. Ruehle, Literatur und Revolution (1960), 185–6; I. Deak, Weimar Germany's Left-Wing Intellectuals (1968), index. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: V. Otto, "Der Kampf gegen Wagner ist in Wahrheit ein Kulturkampf". Die Wagner-Rezeption in der Wochenschrift 'Die Schaubühne' / 'Die Weltbühne' (1905–1933)," in: Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, 56 (1999), no. 1, 9–28; S. Oswalt, Siegfried Jacobsohn. Ein Leben fuer die Weltbuehne. Eine Berliner Biographie (2000); A. Weigel, "Penthesileen. Siegfried Jacobsohn, "Die Schaubühne" und die Kleist-Ehrung 1911 in Berlin," in: Beiträge zur Kleistforschung, 17 (2003), 164–175.

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