HEILBORN, ERNST (1867–1942), German author and literary historian. Born and educated in Berlin, Heilborn became the Berlin drama critic of the Frankfurter Zeitung in 1901. From 1911 he edited Das literarische Echo, a fortnightly of international character which, in 1924, changed its name to Die Literatur. He wrote realistic short stories and novels mostly set in the middle-class society of Berlin. The best known of these were Die steile Stufe (1910) and Die kupferne Stadt (1918). In Zwischen zwei Revolutionen (2 vols., 1929), Heilborn dealt with the social and artistic history of the German capital. The first volume, Der Geist der Schinkelzeit, surveyed the years from 1789 to 1848, while the second, Der Geist der Bismarckzeit, covered the period from 1848 to 1918. Heilborn's other works include Novalis der Romantiker (1901), Das Tier Jehovahs (1905), Josua Kersten (1908), and E.T.A. Hoffman: der Kuenstler und die Kunst (1926). He published a critical edition of the 18th-century German romantic poet Novalis' works: Novalis: Schriften; Kritische Neuausgabe auf Grunddes handschriftlichen Nachlasses (1901). In 1936 he was forbidden to continue to write. In 1937, after a trip to Palestine, he returned to Germany. In 1942 he attempted to flee to Switzerland but was arrested and died in Nazi "protective custody."
B. Wegener, Bibliographie Ernst Heilborn, (1994); A. Hartmann, in: W. Killy (ed.), Literaturlexikon 5 (1990), 121.
[Rudolf Kayser /
Konrad Feilchenfeldt (2nd ed.)]