Skip to main content

Margul–Sperber, Alfred


MARGUL–SPERBER, ALFRED (1898–1967), German author, translator, journalist. Margul-Sperber grew up in a German assimilated family in Bukovina. After World War i, during which his family fled to Vienna, Margul-Sperber went to Paris and New York (1920–24). Returning to Bukovina, he started to work as journalist for the Czernowitzer Morgenblatt, soon becoming an important figure in the literary circles of Czernowitz and Vienna. In 1934 he published Gleichnisse der Landschaft, the first of 14 volumes of poetry which made him widely known not only for his description of the (symbolic) landscape of Bukovina, but also, especially later, as a political writer, with such poems as "Der Neger Jessy Owens U.S.A. er laeuft den olympischen Weltrekord, Fackellaeufer" (1936) and "Gespraech mit einem Kind. Aus Hitlerdeutschland 1936" (1941), in which he criticized racism and Nazism. In 1940 Margul-Sperber fled from Soviet troops to Bucharest.

As a leftist intellectual he was highly regarded after 1945 in Romania, writing in the style of social realism. Poems like "Auf den Namen eines Vernichtungslagers" (ca. 1959), "Aus dunkelsten Tagen, Der Tod Mosis," and "Nach einer chassidischen Sage and Das Ostermahl" (1941) reflect the Holocaust. At the same time, Margul-Sperber was a promoter of young German Jews writing in German like Rose *Auslaender and Paul *Celan, whom he influenced in his early work.


A. Kittner, in: Alfred Margul-Sperber, Geheimnis und Verzicht (1975), 589–614; B. Rosenthal, in: Bulletin des Leo Baeck Instituts, 68 (1984), 41–58; P. Motzan, in: A. Schwob (ed.), Die deutsche Literaturgeschichte Ostmittel- und Suedosteuropas von der Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts bis heute (1992), 119–36; S.P. Scheichl, in: Suedostdeutsche Vierteljahresblaetter 47 (1998), 219–26.

[Andreas Kilcher (2nd ed.)]

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

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Margul–Sperber, Alfred." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 21 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Margul–Sperber, Alfred." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (March 21, 2019).

"Margul–Sperber, Alfred." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved March 21, 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.