KALISCH, DAVID (1820–1872), German playwright and humorist. Kalisch was born in Breslau. After a brief business career, he visited Paris in 1844 and there associated with a group of poets and socialists, among them Heinrich *Heine, Georg Herwegh, and Karl Marx. When his funds were exhausted he returned to Germany and in 1846 started writing comic sketches and farces for various theaters, first in Leipzig and later in Berlin. The couplets of his comedy Einmal Hunderttausend Taler (1847) became extremely popular. In 1848 Kalisch founded the humorous and satirical weekly Kladderadatsch and edited it together with Ernst Dohm and Rudolf Löwenstein. This periodical spread his fame quickly throughout the German-speaking world. His successful farces and light comedies, some of which he wrote in collaboration with other playwrights, were popular on the Berlin stage for many years. His humorous writings were collected in Berliner Volksbuehne, 4 vols. (1864), and Lustige Werke, 3 vols. (1870).
M. Ring, David Kalisch (Ger., 1873). add. bibliography: R. Freydank, Theater in Berlin (1988), 270–84; H.P. Bayerdörfer, in: R. Schöwerling (ed.), Die fuerstliche Bibliothek Corvey, (1992), 294–318.
[Sol Liptzin /
Noam Zadoff (2nd ed.)]