Max Ring

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Max Ring

Max (actually Marcus) Ring (born August 4, 1817 in Zauditz , † March 28, 1901 in Berlin ) was a German doctor, journalist and writer.


Max Ring was the son of a farmer in the Silesian town of Zauditz (today Sudice) near Ratibor (today Racibórz), who also ran a brewery and a distillery. Ring lost his mother when he was only 14 weeks old. He spent his childhood in Zauditz, attended the Jewish community school in Gliwice , the grammar school in Opole and Ratibor and studied medicine at the University of Breslau from 1836 . To complete his medical studies, he went to Berlin with his childhood friend Ludwig Traube in 1838 , where he met critical young intellectuals such as Moritz Carrière , Karl Grün and Heinrich Bernhard Oppenheim . Letters of recommendation from his homeland opened the houses of established scholars such as Eduard Gans and Leopold Zunz to him . Bettina von Arnim , whom he also met , made a great impression on Ring . Ring made his debut as an author in 1839 with a volume of poems that he edited together with his friend Moritz Fränkel.

On August 7, 1839, Ring received his doctorate from the University of Berlin and, since his father had died in the meantime and he had to pay for his own living, he became a general practitioner - first in Pleß (today Pszczyna), later in Gleiwitz. During the revolution of 1848 , Ring took part in the political movement as a staunch democrat, was attacked in Gleiwitz with an anti-Semitic pamphlet and went to Breslau, where he also worked as a journalist. In 1849 his first novel Berlin and Breslau was published , in which Ring processed the events of the revolution. In 1850 he moved to Berlin, where he quickly made contact with literary circles. He frequented Clara Mundt's salon , got to know Theodor Mundt , Karl Gutzkow and Theodor Mügge here , became a family doctor for Karl August Varnhagen von Ense and was also a welcome guest in his house. On March 28, 1852, Ring joined the Berlin literary association " Tunnel over the Spree " and was active here until 1863. His club name in the "tunnel" was 'Zinzendorf'. Ring was also a founding member of the Berlin Press Association, which was established in 1862 . Since the beginning of the 1850s, Ring was continuously active as a novelist, narrator, critic and columnist. He also emerged as a playwright, wrote dramas, antics and comedies, many of which were performed on the Berlin court stage. In 1856 he married Elvira Heymann (1833-1906), daughter of the Berlin publisher Carl Heymann , gave up his medical practice in 1857 and devoted himself exclusively to his writing. Ring worked for numerous daily newspapers - including the Vossische Zeitung - and for magazines, for many years was a main employee of the gazebo , for which he wrote numerous feature articles from Berlin's city and cultural life. He rarely left Berlin and made only a few long trips to Austria, Switzerland and Northern Italy. In 1890 the King of Prussia awarded him the title of honorary professor.

Ring, who had moved several times in Berlin since 1850, lived in Potsdamer Strasse for the last three decades of his life : since 1872 in house no.40 (between Lützowstrasse and Steglitzer Strasse), since 1877 in house no.52 between Kurfürstenstrasse and Bülowstrasse. He died there on March 28, 1901. He was buried on March 31, 1901 in the Jewish cemetery at Schönhauser Allee . The eulogy was given by his friend and fellow writer Robert Schweichel .

While Ring's lyrical, narrative and dramatic works were quickly forgotten after his death, his works on Berlin - sketches, feuilletons, books on local and urban history - have retained their culturally and historically significant value to this day. His comprehensive book The German Imperial City of Berlin was reprinted in 1987 and appeared in both East and West Germany. His memoirs , published in 1898, make a valuable contribution to the literary and cultural history of the 19th century - especially to Berlin's literary history .


  • Poems. Leipzig, 1839 (with Moritz Fränkel)
  • De Typho Abdominali , Berlin 1840 (Diss .; digitized )
  • Revolution. Breslau, 1848. (poem)
  • Berlin and Breslau. 1847-1849. Novel . 2 vols., Breslau, 1849
  • The Geneva. Tragedy in 5 acts . Wroclaw, 1850
  • The children of God. Novel. 3 vols. Breslau, 1851
  • The great elector and the master maker. Historical novel from Prussia's past. 3 vols. Breslau, 1852
  • City stories. 4 vols. Berlin, 1852
  • From the diary of a Berlin doctor. Berlin, 1856
  • Behind the curtains. Humorous sketches from the world of theater. Berlin, 1857
  • John Milton and his time. Historical novel. Frankfurt a. M., 1857
  • Rosicrucians and Illuminati. Historical novel from the 18th century. 4 vols. Berlin, 1861
  • Patriotic stories. 2 vols. Berlin, 1862
  • New city stories. 2 vols. Berlin, 1865
  • A lost sex. 6 vols. Berlin, 1867
  • Laurel and Cypress. Literary images . Berlin, 1869 (therein, among others, about Johann Christian Günther , Moses Mendelssohn , Heinrich von Kleist , Friedrich Hölderlin )
  • Idols and gods. Novel . 4 vols. Berlin, 1870
  • In Switzerland. Travel pictures and novellas . 2 vols. Leipzig, 1870
  • World history is the world judgment. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte . Berlin, 1870
  • Carl Sand and his friends. A novel from the time of the old fraternity . 4 vols. Berlin, 1873
  • David Kalisch , the father of Kladderadatsch and founder of the Berlin local posse . Berlin, 1873, urn : nbn: de: kobv: 109-1-12895519 .
  • The small townsperson in Berlin . 2 vols. Berlin, 1873
  • Infallible. Time novel . 4 vols. Jena, 1874
  • The big noise. Novel . 4 vols. Jena, 1875
  • New city stories . 3 vols. Leipzig, 1876
  • The Hillel House. Historical novel from the time of the destruction of Jerusalem . 3 vols. Berlin, 1879
  • The Women's Conspiracy , two-act operetta, music by Gustav Hinrichs , using the material from Arthur Müller's comedy The Conspiracy of Women or The Prussians in Berlin from 1858, 1886
  • Berlin life. Cultural studies and moral images . Leipzig, 1882, urn : nbn: de: kobv: 109-1-13949317 .
  • Berlin children. Novel . 3 vols. Berlin, 1883
  • The German imperial city of Berlin and its surroundings . 2 vols. Leipzig, 1883–1884
  • The spiritualists. Narrative. Berlin, 1885
  • Memories . 2 vols. Berlin, 1898


  • Adolph Kohut : Max Ring. For his 80th birthday . In: Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums. Berlin. No. 31, July 30, 1897, pp. 369-370.
  • [Anon .: Nekrolog auf Max Ring.] In: Der Gemeindebote. Supplement to the Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums . Berlin. No. 14, April 5, 1901, p. 2.
  • Franz Brümmer : Lexicon of German poets and prose writers from the beginning of the 19th century to the present . Leipzig 1913, Vol. 5, pp. 476-477.
  • Rosemarie Köhler, Ulrich Kartz-Whan: The Jewish cemetery Schönhauser Allee . Berlin 1922, pp. 157–158.
  • Elke-Vera Kotowski : Jews in Berlin. Biographies. Berlin 2005, p. 229.
  • Hugh Ridley: Anthropological Approaches in the Berlin Literature Max Rings. In: Roland Berbig, Iwan-M. D'Aprile, Helmut Peitsch u. Erhard Schütz (Ed.): Berlins 19th Century. A metropolitan compendium. Berlin 2011, pp. 375-380.

Web links

Commons : Max Ring  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Max Ring  - Sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. This date is given in almost all sources; In contrast to this, however, Brümmer is bringing July 22nd and is referring to Ring's “own statements”. The question of the date must therefore still remain open.
  2. Reclam's Universal Library No. 4669, foreword by Georg Richard Kruse p. 4, Leipzig