Stein, Edmund Menahem

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STEIN, EDMUND MENAHEM (1895–1943), Polish scholar and writer. Born in Dobromil, Galicia, from 1929 he was a professor at the Institute of Judaistic Sciences (Instytut Nauk Judaistycznych) in Warsaw, teaching the history of the Jews during the Hellenistic period, Jewish philosophy in the Middle Ages, and Midrash. In 1935 he was elected rector.

Among his numerous works in Polish, Hebrew, German, and Latin was his famous polemical work Judaizm i Hellenizm (1929) in which he subjected Tadeusz Zieliński's Hellenizm i Judaizm (2 vols., 1927) to devastating criticism. Zieliński belittled the influence of Judaism on Christian civilization and condemned what influence there was as negative and even destructive. Among Stein's other major works are Pilon Alexandroni ("Philo of Alexandria," 1937); Dat ve-Da'at ("Faith and Wisdom," 1939); and Hebrew translations from the Latin of Josephus' autobiography, with an introduction (1933); of the works of Philo (1937), and of the popular philosophical works of Cicero (1937).

Stein was elected chairman of the Union of Hebrew Writers in Warsaw. An ardent Zionist, he visited Palestine in 1935. During the German occupation of Poland he was in Warsaw, where he suffered together with all the Jews in his community. In spite of this he managed to be active in cultural endeavors like the society Tekumah, where he lectured on Philo and the great Greek philosophers. In 1940 he organized courses on Judaica, where he taught the subject of his specialty. At the same time he translated into Hebrew the works of Anacreon, Plato, and other Greek thinkers and writers. In 1943 his wife and son Gabriel were deported to Treblinka, where they were killed by the Germans. The same year he was deported to Trawniki, near Lublin, where he was killed.


H. Seidman, Yoman Getto Varshah (1946); idem, in: Jewish Morning Journal (July 13, 1947); Y. Rosenthal, in: Personalities in Judaic Scholarship (1959), 361. add. bibliography: M. Neustadt (ed.) Ḥurban u-Mered shel Yehudei Varshah (1946), index.

[Hillel Seidman]

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Stein, Edmund Menahem

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