AUERBACH, ELIAS (1882–1971), Israeli physician, biblical scholar, and historical writer. Auerbach emigrated from Berlin to Ereẓ Israel in 1909 and settled in Haifa. He published Die Juedische Rassenfrage; Palaestina als Judenland (1912); Joab, ein Heldenleben (1920), a novel; Die Prophetie (1920), a psychological probe into the nature of prophecy based mainly on the religious experience of Jeremiah; and Wueste und Gelobtes Land (2 vols., 19382), his main work, which also appeared in Hebrew as Ha-Midbar ve-Ereẓ ha-Beḥirah (2 vols., 1957–62), a history of Israel from its beginning until the period of the return from Babylon. From 1950 he lectured on biblical subjects and the history of Israel at various European universities. Auerbach was heavily influenced by Eduard *Meyer. On the occasion of his 70th birthday a volume of essays was published in his honor by the Ḥevrah le-Ḥeker ha-Mikra be-Yisrael, Sefer Auerbach, ed. by A. Biram (1955). Auerbach's autobiography up to 1918 has appeared under the title Pionier der Verwirklichung (1969).
Luschan, in: Archiv fuer Rassen-und Gesellschaftbiologie, 4 (1907), 362–73; R. Weltsch, in: Haaretz (Dec. 5, 1969).