Skip to main content

Karpeles, Gustav


KARPELES, GUSTAV (Gershon ; 1848–1909), literary historian. Karpeles, who was born in Einwanowitz, Moravia, devoted himself to literary research in German and Jewish literature. One of his first studies was a biographical sketch, published anonymously, of Azriel *Hildesheimer (1870). In 1870 he became editor of the weekly Juedische Presse, founded by the latter, and at the same time of the German literary journal Auf der Hoehe. Karpeles edited the literary supplement of the Breslauer Zeitung and from 1878 to 1883 the influential Westermanns Monatshefte. In 1890 he became editor of the Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums, and in 1898 editor of the Jahrbuch fuer juedische Geschichte und Literatur. This publication was a sequel to the founding of the Berlin Verein fuer juedische Geschichte und Literatur, by Karpeles, in association with others, an example soon followed by many other communities in Germany. These were eventually united, under his leadership, into the Verband der Vereine fuer juedische Geschichte und Literatur (1893). Karpeles published five books on *Heine, and four editions of his work. His writings include Goethe in Polen (1890), Allgemeine Geschichte der Literatur… (2 vols., 1891), and Litterarisches Wanderbuch (1898). His most important contribution to Jewish scholarship was the two-volume Geschichte der juedischen Literatur (1886, 1920–213; partial tr. History of Jewish Literature, n.d.). Smaller works in this field are his Die Frauen der juedischen Literatur (1871); Zionsharfe, a German anthology of medieval Hebrew poetry (1889); and Sechs Vortraege ueber die Geschichte der Juden (1896; A Sketch of Jewish History, 1897). Also in English appeared Jews and Judaism in the 19th Century (1905). Karpeles was not an original or profound scholar, but he did much to popularize Jewish literature and history.


K. Kohler, Living Faith (1948), 227ff. (= ajhsp, 19 (1910), 184–9); G. Kisch (ed.), The Breslau Seminary (1963), 422 (incl. bibl.); M. Levin, in: jjgl, 13 (1910), 1ff.; Waxman, Literature, 3 (1960), 618–21.

[Sol Liptzin]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Karpeles, Gustav." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 22 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Karpeles, Gustav." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (March 22, 2019).

"Karpeles, Gustav." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved March 22, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.