Heimann, Moritz

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HEIMANN, MORITZ (1868–1925), German author and essayist. Heimann was born into an Orthodox family in Werder. He received his Jewish education at home since his was the only Jewish family in the village. Despite Heimann's devotion to German culture and language, he appreciated Zionist and national Jewish thought. In his essay Zionismus und Politik (1917), written under the impression of World War i, he described the Jewish longing for a homeland as mainly a political issue, which should find its pragmatic solution apart from religious visions.

Heimann worked as the chief literary adviser to the Berlin publishing house of S. *Fischer between the years 1895 and 1923. There he had a profound influence on German literature during the first quarter of the 20th century. In those years he discovered and encouraged many talented young writers. His aphorisms, short stories, and psychological novellas were collected and edited by Oskar Loerke as Prosaische Schriften (5 vols., 1918–26). Of Heimann's plays, only Armand Carrel (1920) was moderately successful. Heimann's poems on Jewish themes include "Der Rabbi und der Fluss," a reworking of the talmudic legend about R. Phinehas ben Jair (Hul. 7a). His essays include an appreciation of his friend M.J. *Berdyczewski and a defense of the right of a Jew, Walter *Rathenau, to become a German cabinet minister. Heimann's drama Das Weib des Akiba (1922) idealized Jewish womanhood, personified in the wife of the heroic sage R. *Akiva, and was largely based on talmudic sources. Two posthumous volumes were Die Spindel (ed. I. Bin Gorion, 1937) and Die Wahrheit liegt nicht in der Mitte (1966), a collection of essays edited by Heimann's biographer, Wilhelm Lehmann.


Bab, in: G. Krojanker (ed.), Juden in der deutschen Literatur (1922), 260–392; W. Lehmann, Moritz Heimann, eine Einfuehrung in sein Werk (1960). add. bibliography: D.Rodewald, in: Juedische Intellektuelle und die Philologien in Deutschland, 18711933 (2001), 41–51.

[Sol Liptzin /

Noam Zadoff and

Mirjam Triendl (2nd ed.)]