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Anna Jacobson

JACOBSON, ANNA (1888–1972), U.S. professor of German literature. Born in Lueneberg, Germany, Jacobson received her doctorate in German literature from the University of Bonn in 1918. Two years after immigrating to the United States in 1922, she became an instructor of German at Hunter College. She was promoted to assistant professor in 1927, associate professor in 1934, and achieved the rank of full professor in 1950. When Hunter wanted to eliminate the German department during World War II, Jacobson, who served as its acting chair from 1941–42, successfully defended the importance of continuing to teach German literature and culture at American universities; she chaired this department from 1947 until her retirement in 1956.

Anna Jacobson published books and articles in both German and English on Hermann Hesse, Franz *Werfel, Heinrich *Heine, and Richard Wagner, as well as Charles Kingsley and Walt Whitman. She became best known for her work on Thomas *Mann. Actively involved in the Modern Language Association, she served as president of Hunter College's chapter of the American Association of University Professors (1936–38) and of the New York City chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German (1949–51). Jacobson helped organize fundraising events to aid refugees from Germany, and, after 1940, she became active in the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Upon her retirement from Hunter College, Jacobson lived in Switzerland.


Paula E. Hyman and D. Dash Moore (eds.), Jewish Women in America, I (1997), 686–87.

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