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WOLFSOHN, WILHELM:

German poet and essayist; born at Odessa Oct. 20, 1820; died at Dresden Aug. 13, 1865; studied medicine and philosophy at Leipsic. He began his literary career with translations from Latin into German under the pseudonym Carl Maier. In 1843 he traveled in Russia, lecturing on German literature with such success that he was offered a professorship on condition that he would embrace Christianity; this, however, he declined. Returningto Germany, he became assistant editor of the "Blätter für Literarische Unterhaltung," and later edited, in connection with Robert Prutz, "Das Deutsche Museum." In 1852 he moved to Dresden, where he continued his literary activity.

In addition to several volumes of poems, Wolfsoln was the author of the following works: "Jeschurun" (1841), a Jewish almanac; "Die Schönwissenschaftliche Literatur der Russen" (Leipsic, 1843); "Russlands Novellendichter" (3 vols., 1848-51), with an introduction; "Neues Laienbrevier" (1851), an anthology of German poetry; and "Schauspiele" (1857-59). Of his plays, "Nur eine Seele" became very popular, while "Die Osternacht," the plot of which was based on the blood accusation, was less successful. Besides contributing literary essays to the "Leipziger Zeitung," he edited a magazine of his own which from 1862 to 1864 appeared under the title "Russische Revue," and afterward under the title "Nordische Revue." His "Russische Geschichten" were published after his death by his son (Leipsic, 1884). Wolfsohn married outside of his faith, and his children were brought up as Christians.

Bibliography:
  • Unsere Zeit, 1865, p. 713;
  • Georg Ebers, in Ueber Land und Meer, 1865, No. 50;
  • Allg. Zeit. des Jud. 1865, pp. 537, 554, 602;
  • Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie.
S. D.
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