Krojanker, Gustav

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KROJANKER, GUSTAV (1891–1945), German author and Zionist editor. Born in Berlin, Krojanker studied economics in the universities of Berlin and Munich. Under the direction of the economist Lujo Brentano he published his dissertation Die Entwicklung des Koalitionsrechts in England in 1914. He began his Zionist activity at the age of 18 among Jewish students, editing a collection of essays Der zionistische Student (1912) and their paper Der juedische Wille (1918–19). After serving in the German army in World War i he was active in the German Zionist movement as a writer, publisher, editor, and translator. Taking a liberal Zionist position, he participated in the controversial debate on the role of the Jews in German culture and literature by editing an important work titled Juden in der deutschen Literatur (1922, repr. 1926), including essays on the young generation of German-Jewish writers from Paul *Adler and Albert *Ehrenstein up to Franz *Kafka, Else *Lasker-Schüler and Arnold *Zweig. In 1920 he became the literary director of the Zionist publishing house Welt-Verlag, later also working for the *Juedischer Verlag and co-editing the papers Der Jude, Juedische Rundschau, and Juedische Revue. Krojanker studied Hebrew and began to publish essays on Hebrew literature, first in German and later in Hebrew. He also traveled to Poland to research the problems of East European Jewry. He was among the first to recognize the danger to the Jews and Zionism posed by the post-liberal nationalism, as he argued in his widely discussed essay "Zum Problem des neuen deutschen Nationalismus; eine zionistische Orientierung gegenueber den nationalistischen Stroemungen unserer Zeit" (1932). Krojanker settled in Palestine in 1932; was active in the Aliyah Hadashah Party, established by immigrants from Germany; and contributed essays on Hebrew literature to Haaretz (particularly on the works of Shemuel Yosef Agnon and Joseph Ḥayyim Brenner) and to the Hebrew newspaper of the Aliyah Ḥadashah Ammudim, which he also edited. At the same time he translated Hebrew literature into German (S. Ben Zion, Die Bilu auf dem Wege and Die Bilu am Ziel, 1935); collected and wrote an introduction to the speeches of Chaim Weizmann from 1901 to 1936, Reden und Aufsaetze (1937); and published a number of pamphlets in German and Hebrew on the question of aliyah from Germany, Aliyah ve-Yeridah ba-Yahadut ha-Germanit (1937), and Ha'avarah, The Transfer (1936; capital transfer of immigrants from Nazi Germany to Palestine).


H. Tramer, in: blbi, 7 (1964), 264; A. Schenker, Der juedische Verlag (2003).

[Getzel Kressel /

Andreas Kilcher (2nd ed.)]