Manfred Lorenz

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Manfred Richard Louis Wolfgang Lorenz (born October 6, 1929 in Triebes near Zeulenroda, Thuringia; † May 25, 2017 in Berlin ) was a German linguist , translator and Iranist .

Manfred Lorenz (2008)


Lorenz was born as the first of three children to the married couple Hildegard and Richard Lorenz in Triebes near Zeulenroda in the state of Thuringia. He grew up in Börthen , a small village north of Neustadt an der Orla in Thuringia, and attended secondary school in Neustadt an der Orla until he graduated from high school in July 1948.

In the spring of 1945 he had to go to war with the “ Volkssturm ” at the age of 15; but he was spared shooting. After a short job at the employment office in Neustadt, Manfred Lorenz went to the pedagogical college for Russian in Weimar , where he was trained as a Russian teacher from September 1948 to August 1949. From 1949 to 1952 he was a teacher at the secondary school in Neustadt an der Orla; partly of the same age as his students in the Abitur level. In September 1952 he went to study at the Humboldt University in Berlin - first Slavic studies until December 1953 , then from January 1954 Iranian studies with Heinrich Junker and linguistics with H. Pätsch. Here he also met his teacher, mentor and friend Bozorg Alavi , with whom he wrote many textbooks and publications. In June 1957 he passed his diploma in Iranian Studies. From September 1957 to July 1958 partial internship in Dushanbe (Tajik SSR), then three more years of internship at the HU Berlin up to the doctorate to Dr. phil. on April 12, 1961. Subsequently, he was a habilitation candidate at the HU Berlin until November 1965 and completed his habilitation in Iranian Studies on May 27, 1968 (Dr. phil. habil.). From December 1965 to January 1977 he was a research assistant or senior assistant at the Asian Studies section, Iranian Studies at the HU Berlin.

On February 1, 1977 he was appointed lecturer for Tajik and Ossetian languages ​​and literature, on September 1, 1982 as associate professor and finally on September 1, 1987 as full professor with a chair for Iranian Studies at the HU Berlin, which he held until his Retired in September 1993. After that, he held several teaching positions at the HU Berlin, the Free University of Berlin and the University of Krakow (Poland) until 2003 .

In the 1980s, Manfred Lorenz was frequently requested by the GDR government for interpreting assignments in Berlin as well as in Iran and Afghanistan . Study trips took him in the course of his professional career to Vladikavkaz (Ossetia), Tehran , and often to Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

The focus of his academic work was on the Iranian languages, which in addition to classical Persian also include Tajik (in Tajikistan), Ossetian (in the Caucasus) and Pashto and Dari (in Afghanistan and Pakistan).

In May 1990 he was awarded an honorary doctorate (Dr. hc) from the Tajik State University and in September 2001 from the Slavic University in Dushanbe. Manfred Lorenz has been a member of the Tajik International Branch of Academy of Higher Education since May 2002. In December 2011 Manfred Lorenz was honored by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan with the Order of Friendship, the highest honor in his country, for his life's work during his state visit to Berlin.

On July 13, 1957, Manfred Lorenz Hiltraud, b. Willemeit († 1994). The marriage produced three sons. Manfred Lorenz lived in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg since 1961 .



  • With Bozorg Alavi : Textbook of the Persian Language. Verlag Enzyklopädie, Leipzig 1967; 8th edition: Langenscheidt, Leipzig a. a. 1999.
  • Textbook of Pashto (Afghan). Verlag Enzyklopädie, Leipzig 1979; 2nd, revised edition 1982; Unchanged reprint: Kabul 2010.


  • Sadegh Hedayat : The Legend of Creation. Rütten & Loening, Berlin 1960.
  • Bozorg Alavi: The white wall. Rütten & Loening, Berlin 1960.
  • Abdelhussein Nuschin: The Chan and the others. Rütten & Loening, Berlin 1961.
  • L. Fekete: Introduction to Persian Paleography: 101 Persian Documents. Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 1977.
  • Bozorg Alawi: The two husbands. Stories from Iran. Rütten & Loening, Berlin 1984.


  • The magic fountain. Fairy tales and stories from Afghanistan. Kiepenheuer, Weimar / Leipzig 1985.
  • The Seven Adventures of Prince Hatem. An Iranian fairy tale novel. Kiepenheuer, Leipzig and Weimar 1990 (original title: Sem 'priključenij Chatema. From: Iranskaja skazočnaja ėnciklopedija, Chudožestvennaja literatura. Moscow 1977, translated from Russian by Rainer Schwarz), ISBN 3-378-00250-6 .

Individual evidence

  1. Thomas Ruttig: pioneer of Afghan studies died: Manfred Lorenz (1929-2017). June 3, 2017, Retrieved June 5, 2017 .