Brann, Marcus

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BRANN, MARCUS (1849–1920), historian. Brann was born in Rawicz, Poland, where his father was rabbi. He studied under Z. *Frankel and H. *Graetz at the Jewish Theological Seminary and at the University of Breslau. From 1875 to 1883 he served as assistant rabbi in Breslau and from 1883 to 1885 as director of the Berlin Jewish orphanage. He was rabbi in Pless from 1885 to 1891, when he received a call to the Breslau Seminary as Graetz's successor, receiving the title of professor in 1914.

Brann's early studies dealt with the house of Herod (in his doctorate thesis, which was published in Latin in 1873), and Megillat Ta'anit (mgwj, 25, (1876)). Later he turned to German-Jewish history. He was the first among German-Jewish historians systematically to use Jewish and general archives. Brann made a thorough study of the history of the Jews of Silesia and published in particular Geschichte der Juden in Schle sien (6 vols., 1896–1917). He became widely known through some more popular works such as Geschichte der Juden und ihrer Literatur (2 vols., 1893–95; 1910–133) and a textbook on the history and literature of the Jewish people, Lehrbuch der juedischen Geschichte (4 vols., 1900–03). The historian Dubnow made great use of Brann's work in the first editions of his History of the Jews. In addition to the above, Brann (with others) published and annotated the posthumous editions of Graetz's Geschichte der Juden (1890–1909). In his popular works Brann followed the general pattern established by Graetz; in his independent scientific publications he was a faithful disciple of his mentor in his analysis of the sources and systematic presentation. In 1893 Brann revived the publication of Monatsschrift fuer Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums (mgwj), which had been discontinued in 1887. Until 1899 he was coeditor with David *Kaufmann, continuing alone after the latter's death. Brann also edited: D. Kaufmann's Gesammelte Schriften (3 vols., 1908–15); Gedenkbuch zur Erinnerung an David Kaufmann (with F. Rosenthal, 1900); Festschrift zu Israel Lewy's siebzigstem Geburtstag (with I. Elbogen, 1911); and Festschriften in memory of the 100th anniversary of Zacharias Frankel's and Heinrich Graetz's birth (in 1901 and 1917). Brann was also editor of part 1 (A through L) of volume 1 of the Germania Judaica (with A. Freimann, 1917). He also wrote Geschichte des juedisch-theologischen Seminars in Breslau (1904); Brann's bibliography was partly reproduced in G. Kisch (ed.), Das Breslauer Seminar 1854–1938 (1963), 394–5. In addition to his literary activity, Brann was active in various Jewish organizations.


W. Cohn, in: Schlesische Lebensbilder, 4 (1931), 410–6. add. bibliography: R. Heuer (ed.), Lexikon deutsch-juedischer Autoren, 3 (1995), 403–9, bibl.