Adalberg, Samuel

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ADALBERG, SAMUEL (1868–1939), Polish literary historian and folklorist. Born in Warsaw, Adalberg studied in a number of European capitals. His main work, a compendium of Polish proverbs, sayings, and proverbial phrases, Księg przysłów, przypowieści i wyrażeń przysłówiowych polskich (1889–94), remains the most extensive collection ever made in this field. Its 40,000 entries include both folk proverbs and quotations from major Polish writers of the 16th to 18th centuries that have become proverbs. For this work Adalberg was rewarded with membership of the philological section of the Cracow Academy of Science. He also translated and annotated 580 Yiddish proverbs drawn from the collection of Ignatz *Bernstein. This was published in the Polish ethnographical journal Wisła (vol. 4, 1890) and was also issued as a separate booklet. From 1918 Adalberg was an adviser on Jewish matters to the Polish Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, and was thus able to do much for Jewish communal and educational institutions. He committed suicide when the Nazis occupied Warsaw.


J. Krzyżanowski, Mądrej gl̑ owie dość dwie sl̑owie, 2 (1960), index. add. bibliography: Y. Gruenbaum, Penei ha-Dor, 1 (1958), 363–66; S. Netzer, Ma'avak Yehudei Polin al Zekhuyoteihem ha-Ezraḥiyot ve-ha-Lu'umiyyot (1980), 48.

[Dov Noy]