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Frankl, Ludwig August

FRANKL, LUDWIG AUGUST

FRANKL, LUDWIG AUGUST (1810–1894), Austrian poet, secretary of the Vienna Jewish community, and founder of the Laemel School in Jerusalem. Born in Chrast, Bohemia, Frankl was one of the first Jews to attend a Bohemian secondary school. He also received a sound Jewish education under his relative, Zacharias *Frankel. Although he studied medicine at Vienna and Padua, he devoted himself mainly to literature. The patriotic flavor of Frankl's first collection of ballads, Das Habsburgerlied (1832), brought him a reward from Emperor Francis i. It was followed by Morgenlaendische Sagen (1834), a volume of poems on Jewish themes, and by the epic Christoforo Colombo (1836), for which he was made an honorary citizen of Genoa, the explorer's birthplace. In 1838 Frankl was appointed secretary and archivist of the Vienna Jewish community. The post enabled him to publish various works of Jewish interest, including a history of the Jews in Vienna (1853), but he really made his name as editor, from 1842, of the Sonntagsblaetter, which brought him into the circle of Austria's literary elite. In later years he was to publish studies of such of his new acquaintances as the dramatist Franz Grillparzer and the poet Nikolaus Lenau, but he also encouraged new writers, notably Moritz *Hartmann and Leopold *Kompert. His use of the elegant Sonntagsblaetter in support of the 1848 Revolution led to the paper's eventual suppression. During the Revolution Frankl served as an officer in the students' legion and achieved fame with his revolutionary lyric Die Universitaet, the first uncensored Austrian publication, which was circulated in half-a-million copies and was set to music no less than 28 different times: Frankl later edited the works of the revolutionary writer Anastasius Gruen (1877), and their correspondence was published by Frankl's son, Lothar. As the representative of Elisa Herz, Frankl went to *Jerusalem in 1856 and, in memory of her father, founded the Laemel School, which offered Jewish children a secular, as well as a religious, education. This aroused violent opposition on the part of the ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi community, whose rabbinate placed Frankl under the ban of excommunication. He described his experiences in Ereẓ Israel in Nach Jerusalem (2 vols., 1858–60), which gives a valuable picture of the Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem in the mid-19th century. The book was translated into Hebrew and other languages, and appeared in English as The Jews in the East (1859). A third volume, Nach Aegypten, appeared in 1860. Other works of Jewish interest are Frankl's Elegien (1842), Rachel (1842), Libanon (1855), and Ahnenbilder (1864). In 1876 he founded the Vienna Jewish Institute for the Blind, his philanthropic endeavors being rewarded with ennoblement as Ritter von Frankl-Hochwart. His memoirs appeared posthumously in 1910. His son lothar (1862–1914) became professor of neurology at the University of Vienna in 1897.

bibliography:

Oẓar ha-Sifrut, 5 (1896), 129–34, contains bibl.; E. Wolbe, Ludwig August Frankl, der Dichter und Menschenfreund (1910); S. Dollar, Sonntagsblaetter von Ludwig August Frankl (1932); Y. Yaari-Poleskin, Ḥolemim u-Magshimim (1967), 48–56; Schlossar, in: adb, 48 (1904), 706–12. add. bibliography: H.I. Schmelzer, "Briefe von Leopold Zunz und Moritz Steinschneider an Ludwig August Frankl," in: Occident und Orient (1988), 319–29; C. Walker, "Two Jewish Poetry Anthologies – Ludwig August Frankl's Libanon and Sigmund Kaznelson's Jüdisches Schicksal in deutschen Gedichten," in: Jews in German Literature since 1945German-Jewish Literature (2000), 21–34; N. Vielmetti, "Der Wiener jüdische Publizist Ludwig August Frankl und die Begründung der Lämelschule in Jerusalem," in: jidg 4 (1975), 167–204.

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