Ludwig Jacobowski

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Ludwig Jacobowski

Ludwig Jacobowski (born January 21, 1868 in Strelno ( province of Posen ), † December 2, 1900 in Berlin ) was a German poet , writer and publicist .


Ludwig Jacobowski was born in Strelno as the third son of a Jewish merchant. In April 1874 the family moved to Berlin. Here Jacobowski attended the Luthersche boys school and the Luisenstädtische Oberrealschule. After graduating from high school in 1887, he studied literature, philosophy and history at the Humboldt University in Berlin . In 1889 he moved to Freiburg and received his doctorate there in 1891 with his book Klinger and Shakespeare - a contribution to Shakespearomanie of storm and stress . During his studies in 1889 he became a member of the Franconia Freiburg fraternity .

In 1889 he published his first volume of poetry: From moving hours . In 1890 he founded the magazine Der Zeitgenosse with Richard Zoozmann , whose program was to "let everyone have their say in whom there is a whole individuality" . Despite the collaboration of well-known authors such as Detlev von Liliencron , Gustav Falke and Karl Bleibtreu , the paper died within a year.

Jacobowski wrote for over 30 newspapers and magazines over the next ten years . He was co-editor of the bi-monthly magazine for life, criticism and poetry . He later also became editor of the journal Die Gesellschaft. Bi-monthly publication for literature, art and social policy . In the last year of his life he founded a free reading group under the name Die Kommenden , which met weekly for readings and lectures in the Nollendorf casino.

Ludwig Jacobowski had a close friendship with Rudolf Steiner , to whom he also entrusted his literary estate . After Jacobowski's death, Steiner published two volumes with posthumous poems and prose texts and took over the management of those who were to come .

Ludwig Jacobowski died on December 2, 1900 at the age of 32 in Berlin (Hospital am Urban) of the consequences of meningitis .


Beyond his literary work, Ludwig Jacobowski's significance lies in his representative work in Berlin at the turn of the century. The amalgamation of Jewish and Western cultural impulses led to an extraordinarily rich work in a wide variety of social areas. In addition to the extensive journalistic support of his time, his commitment to popular education should also be mentioned here, especially his attempt to make valuable literature available to the general public with “ten-penny notebooks”. His participation in the Association for Defense against Anti-Semitism , founded in 1890 , was also reflected in his work.

Most famous poem

Oh, our bright days
Shine like eternal stars
As consolation for future lawsuits
They glow from a golden distance.
Don't cry because it's over!
Smile because you have been!
And the days also get dreary
Redeem our stars!

An even better known adaptation of these verses is commonly attributed to Rabindranath Tagore .


Original editions

  • From eventful hours . Poems. Pierson, Dresden / Leipzig 1889
  • Spark. New seals . Pierson, Dresden / Leipzig 1890
  • The beginnings of poetry. Foundation for a realistic development history of poetry . Pierson, Dresden / Leipzig 1890 ( digitized in the Internet Archive ).
  • Klinger and Shakespeare. A contribution to the Shakespeareomania of the Sturm und Drang period. Pierson, Dresden / Leipzig 1891 ( digitized in the Internet Archive)
  • The Jews' Share in the Crime , 1892
  • Wilhelm II, romantic or socialist? (published anonymously). J. Schabelitz Publishing Magazine, Zurich 1892
  • Werther, the Jew . Roman, Pierson, Dresden / Leipzig 1892 ( digitized in the Internet Archive)
  • The Christian state and its future. A political study . Duncker, Berlin 1894
  • Diyab the fool. Comedy in 3 acts . Kühling & Güttner, Berlin 1895
  • From day and dream . Poems. Calvary, Berlin 1895
  • Annemarie. A Berlin idyll . Schottlaender, Breslau 1896 ( digitized in the Internet Archive)
  • Satan laughed ... and other stories . Wunder, Berlin 1897 ( digitized in the Internet Archive)
  • The wise sheikh. A moral image from North Africa . Schottlaender, Breslau 1897
  • Loki. Novel of a god . Bruns, Minden 1899
  • From a German soul . A book of folk songs compiled by Ludwig Jacobowski. Bruns, Minden 1899
  • Work . One act, in: Axel Delmar (ed.), The German Century. Five one-act plays from the 19th century . Reclam, Leipzig 1899
  • Shining days. New poems 1896–1898 . Bruns, Minden 1900 ( digitized in the Internet Archive)
  • The blue flower. An anthology of romantic poetry . With introductions by the editor (with Friedrich von Oppeln-Bronikowski ). Diederichs, Leipzig 1900
  • New songs by the best newer poets for the people . Compiled by Ludwig Jacobowski, Liemann, Berlin 1900
  • Luck . Verse drama. Bruns, Minden 1901
  • Finale. New poems from the estate . Edited and with an introduction by Rudolf Steiner. Bruns, Minden 1901
  • Mute world. Symbols. Sketches from the estate . Ed. V. Rudolf Steiner. Bruns, Minden 1901

Newer editions

  • ... the undivided melody . Poems and stories selected and given a preface by Fred B. Stern. Zbinden, Basel 1966
  • Loki. Novel of a god . With a preface by Fred B. Stern. Zbinden, Basel 1966
  • «Prelude to the literature of the 20th century». Letters from the estate of Ludwig Jacobowski , ed. by Fred B. Stern. 2 volumes, Lambert Schneider, Heidelberg 1974 (= publications of DASD , volume 47), ISBN 978-3-89244-120-5 ( digitized volume 1 in the Internet Archive)
  • Collected works in one volume . Anniversary edition for the 100th anniversary of death - novels, stories, poetry, drama. Critical, essayistic and poetological writings. With a comprehensive bibliography of primary and secondary literature, ed. by Alexander Müller and Michael M. Schardt. Igel, Oldenburg 1999, ISBN 978-3-89621-101-9


Poems by Ludwig Jacobowski were a. a. set to music by:

  • Six, seven or eight for baritone with accompaniment of the pianoforte, Op. 85 II ( digitized version in the Internet Archive)
  • From six songs (op. 3; 1898)
4.  Conclusion ("There will be no suffering") - 5.  Alone ("I probably haven't seen her for weeks")
  • From Five Songs (op.11; 1901)
2.  But I know ("I know, I see you some night")
  • From six songs (op. 40; 1931)
1.  Shining days ("Oh, our shining days")
  • From Four Songs (op. 52) for voice and piano
3.  Shining days ("Oh, our shining days")
  • From Seven Poems (op. 17) for high voice and piano
1.  Renewal of love - 2.  Just like on the raised stem - 3.  Alone (“I haven't seen her for weeks”) - 4.  I loved it - 5.  Wages
Melody (op.17a) for high voice, violin and organ
  • From six poems (op. 23) for low voice and piano
4.  Don Juan (“Whatever keeps lust in the bosom”) - 5.  Sleepless - 6.  Love
  • From four poems (op. 29) for high voice and piano
2.  Go away - 3.  One soul (“My life lives in your songs”) - 4.  I wanted the nightingale to come
  • From Five Poems (op. 34) for high voice and piano
5.  Last spring ("Now spring comes year after year")
  • From Sixteen Chants (op.62; 1901)
12.  Dead language ("I know, I dream in the grave")
  • From Twelve Songs (op.66; 1902)
5. May  blossoms (" Tolerate it quietly when from the branches") - 12.  Children's story ("And the neighbor's son , Ruprecht")
  • From Sechs Gesänge (op. 68; 1902) for medium voice and piano
1.  One soul ("My life lives in your songs")
  • From Seventeen Chants (op. 70; 1902/03)
9.  Longing ("shovel old pits") - 12.  Your picture ("On your picture in a black frame")
  • From Eighteen Chants (op. 75; 1903) for medium voice and piano
13.  The ring ("A ring is bent, it is not bright with happiness!")
  • Hymn of Love (op.136; 1914) for baritone (alto) and orchestra
 (from: "From the family of the Promethids") ("Hear me, eternal merciful")
  • From four songs (op.12)
3.  Shining days ("Oh, our shining days")
  • Shining days ("Oh, our shining days") (1902)
  • May Blossoms (" Have silence when from the branches") (1909)
  • Gravestone ("Far from the eye, close to the heart") (1904)
  • Vitezslav Novák (1870-1949)
  • From "Eight Nocturnes for Voice and Orchestra" Op. 39
No. 7 'Summer Night' (1908)


  • Helge Dvorak: Biographical Lexicon of the German Burschenschaft. Volume II: Artists. Winter, Heidelberg 2018, ISBN 978-3-8253-6813-5 , pp. 358-360.
  • Hermann Friedrich: Ludwig Jacobowski. A modern poet . Cronbach, Berlin 1901.
  • Jonathan M. Hess: Fictions of a German-Jewish public. Ludwig Jacobowski's Werther the Jew and its readers . In: Jewish social studies , Bloomington, Ind. 1939, NF 11 (2004/05), 2, pp. 202-230.
  • Renate Heuer:  Jacobowski, Ludwig. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 10, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1974, ISBN 3-428-00191-5 , p. 240 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Ruth Jacobs: Ludwig Jacobowski. A German Jew , in: Contemporaries of Rudolf Steiner in Berlin at the turn of the century , ed. v. Angelika Oldenburg. Verlag am Goetheanum, Dornach 1988, pp. 45-62.
  • Otto Reuter: Ludwig Jacobowsky. Work, development and relationship to modernity . Calvary, Berlin 1900.
  • Rudolf Steiner: Ludwig Jacobowski. A picture of the poet's life and character . Introduction to Ausklang , Minden 1901; contained in: Biographies and biographical sketches 1894–1905 (= GA 33), Dornach 1967/1992, ISBN 978-3-7274-0330-9
  • Fred Benno Stern: Ludwig Jacobowski. Personality and work of a poet . Melzer, Darmstadt 1966.
  • Walter Stoll: Ludwig Jacobowski. Attempt a monograph . Univ. Diss., Vienna 1952.

Web links