Mieses, Matthias

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MIESES, MATTHIAS (1885–1945), Yiddish philologist. Born in Galicia, he was a prolific writer in Hebrew, Polish, and German. His main interest, however, was Yiddish, about which he wrote much, although little in the language itself. His Hebrew articles in defense of Yiddish against its detractors involved him in a controversy with Nahum *Sokolow. At the *Czernowitz Yiddish Conference of 1908, he created a sensation with his well-reasoned, scholarly espousal of Yiddish. I.L. *Peretz asked for the widest possible distribution of Mieses' speech. In his German study on the origin of Yiddish, Die Entstehungsursache der juedischen Dialekte (1915), a pioneer work in Yiddish philology, Mieses fought for the emancipation of the so-called Jewish "jargon" and its recognition as a language on a par with other European national languages. Another work on Yiddish was Die jiddische Sprache (1924). Mieses spent his last years in Cracow and was sent to Auschwitz with all remaining Jews as the Russian troops approached that city. He died on the way at the Glewitz station.


Z. Rejzen, Leksikon, 2 (1927), 375–9; lnyl, 6 (1965), 566–9; M. Ravitch, Mayn Leksikon, 2 (1947), 42–44; Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 344.

[Sol Liptzin]