Donath, Adolph

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DONATH, ADOLPH (1876–1937), Austrian poet and art historian. Donath was born in Kremsier (Moravia) and, after studying law and philosophy at Vienna, began composing poetry on Jewish themes. The poems were published in the following year under the title Tage und Naechte, with a laudatory introduction by Georg *Brandes. Donath's early Judenlieder (1895) were set to music by Béla Nemes (1899, reprinted 1920). The poems in Mensch und Liebe (1901) bewailed the fate of the Jewish people without a homeland. From 1900 to 1904, Donath contributed regularly to the Viennese Neue Freie Presse and in 1904 he edited a Festschrift of Austrian poetry dedicated to poet Detlev von Liliencrons. In 1903, some of his poetry was included alongside those of Richard *Beer-Hofmann, Martin *Buber, and Stefan *Zweig in an anthology of Jewish poetry, entitled Junge Harfen. Eine Sammlung jungjüdischer Gedichte. In 1905 he moved to Berlin, where he devoted his writings mainly to art criticism, as well as the technique and psychology of art collecting. In 1910 he founded a bi-weekly art journal, Der Kunstwanderer, and from 1921 to 1925 edited the Jahrbuch fuer Kunstsammler; his book Judenlieder was published in 1920 in Vienna. After the advent of Nazism Donath moved to Prague, where he continued to write on art; his last book, Wiedie Kunstfaelscher arbeiten, was published in 1937.


Winninger, Biogr, 2 (1927), 66–67. add. bibliography: D. Bensimon, Adolph Donath: parcours d'un intellectuel juif germanophobe: Vienne, Berlin, Prague (2000); idem, Adolph Donath. Ein juedischer Kunstwanderer in Wien, Berlin und Prag, tr. C. Tudyka (2001).

[Sol Liptzin /

Lisa Silverman (2nd ed.)]