Steuerman, Adolf Rodion

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STEUERMAN, ADOLF RODION (1872–1918), Romanian poet and journalist. Born in *Jassy, Steuerman became a physician there, but devoted himself mainly to literature and journalism. He became chief editor of the local newspaper, Opinia, and for three years also of Răsăritul, a Zionist weekly published in the city. He contributed to many Romanian journals and reviews as well as to almost all the Romanian Jewish periodicals of his day. He became known as one of the wittiest and most ironical social critics in his attacks on the tyrannical regime and his struggle for democracy. As a poet, Steuerman was noted especially for his collections: Saǎraǎcie ("Poverty") and O toamnǎ la Paris ("An Autumn in Paris"), both published in 1897, and Lirice ("Lyrics"). Many of these poems deal with the theme of Jewish homelessness in an antisemitic society. In 1915 he collected all his poems on Jewish themes into a volume entitled Spini ("Thorns"). As a translator, he was often drawn to Jewish themes, publishing Romanian versions of poems by writers such as *Heine and Judah *Halevi. In World War i, Steuerman served as a medical officer. His experiences and reflections in those years are expressed in the sonnets published posthumously by his friend, the writer Eugen *Relgis, under the title Frontul roşu ("The Red Front", 1920). Cartea bǎiatului meu ("My Son's Book", 1924), another product of Steuerman's war experiences, contains autobiographical notes meant for his son; it contains much interesting material on Jewish life in Jassy during his early years. After his return from the front, Steuerman became increasingly depressed and committed suicide.


Ibrāileanu, in: Lumea Nouǎ (Feb., 1898); N. Iorga, Istoria Literaturii Române Contemporane (1934); M. Schwarzfeld, pref. to In depărtări (1936), Botez, in: Insemnări Literare (1918), no. 85; Poeţii "Contemporanului" (1956).

[Abraham Feller]