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Die schoensten Lieder der Ostjuden
[Signed Copy] Fritz Mordechai Kaufmann
This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Only edition. VII, , 100 pp., 235:163 mm., wide margins, light age staining, inscribed on title. A very good copy bound in the original boards, rubbed and split on spine.
Fritz Mordechai Kaufmann (1888–1921), German essayist and writer on Yiddish folklore. Born in Eschweiler, Kaufmann studied medicine and history. He joined a Zionist student group while he was at Leipzig University, and came in contact with East European Jews. Their folkways fascinated him and he began to study Yiddish. He came to know Nathan Birnbaum, and was profoundly influenced by the latter's zeal for the organic culture of unassimilated Jewry. Kaufmann's first essays appeared in the Juedische Rundschau in 1912. In the following year he founded his own periodical, Die Freistatt, which he symbolically subtitled Alljuedische Revue, thus affirming his faith in Jewish national unity. It ceased publication when Kaufmann was mobilized in 1914. Disabled by typhus, he resumed writing for the Jewish press in 1916. After the war he published Vier Essais ueber ostjuedische Dichtung und Kultur (1919), the pamphlet Das juedische Volkslied (1919), and the anthology Die schoensten Lieder der Ostjuden (1920). He then began a German translation of Mendele Mokher Seforim's Yiddish works but committed suicide before he had completed it. Although he accepted Jewish nationalism, Kaufmann opposed Zionism's emphasis on Palestine and its negation of the Diaspora. He believed in Alljudentum, the strengthening of Jewish culture everywhere, especially in the Yiddish-speaking communities. There, in his opinion, Jewish life had not degenerated as it had among the Central and Western European intellectuals who had lost their Jewish roots. Kaufmann sought particularly to instill in his readers a love for the Yiddish language, literature, folklore, and customs.
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Kind of Judaica