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Strauss, Aryeh Ludwig


STRAUSS, ARYEH LUDWIG (1892–1953), Hebrew and German poet, short story writer, and literary critic. Born in Aachen, Strauss first distinguished himself as the author of poems and stories in German, writing a volume of tales, Der Mittler (1916), and the verse collection Wandlung und Verkuendigung (1918). He became a Zionist and, after World War i, associated himself with the *Ha-Po'el ha-Ẓa'ir movement, serving as editor of Ha-Avodah, its German language periodical. Following his first visit to Ereẓ Israel in 1924, Strauss published the drama Tiberius (1924) and a story, "Der Reiter" (1929). During the years 1929 and 1933 he taught German literature at the University of Aachen and specialized in literary history. He paid a second visit to Palestine in 1934 and his impressions were recorded in a volume of German poems, Land Israel (1934), a Hebrew version of which appeared as Sha'ot ve-Dor (1951). Two other works of this period were the poem "Nachtwache" (1933) and Die Zauberdrachenschnur (1936), a collection of fairy tales. When the Nazis came to power, Strauss left Germany, settling in Ereẓ Israel in 1935. He first joined kibbutz Ha-Zore'a and taught at Ben Shemen. Later he moved to Jerusalem, where he taught at the Hebrew University. He was one of the first German-Jewish immigrants to write poetry in Hebrew.

Strauss specialized in textual analysis, applying modern critical methods to the whole of Hebrew literature. His critical essays profoundly influenced contemporary literary criticism in Israel. His work also afforded new insights into the poetry of Ḥ.N. *Bialik, which he translated into German. His last works include the poem Heimliche Gegenwart (1952) and Wintersaat (1953), a book of aphorisms. His collected German works were published posthumously by Werner Kraft (1962). T. Ruebner published his essays and lectures on aesthetics and on Hebrew and general literature in Be-Darkhei Sifrut (1959). Tuvia Ruebner and Yedidya Peles translated Strauss's Ha-Adam ve-ha-Shirah (1985). Dan Pagis translated Ha-Kad ha-Atik: Aggadot (1961; 1986). There has been a growing interest in the writings of Strauss in Germany, with a number of publications of his own German works as well as books on his life and writing. Among these are B. Witte, Ludwig Strauss, Dichter und Germanist (1982) and Hans Otto Horch (ed.), Ludwig Strauss: Beitraege zu seinem Leben und Werk (1995).


Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 917–8. add. bibliography: T. Ruebner, "Hedei Shir," in: Dappim le-Meḥkar ba-Sifrut, Haifa (1984), 241–58.

[Getzel Kressel]

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