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Felix Weltsch

Felix Weltsch German-speaking Jewish librarian, philosopher, author, editor, publisher and journalist

German-speaking Jewish librarian, philosopher, author, editor, publisher and journalist
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro German-speaking Jewish librarian, philosopher, author, editor, publisher and journalist
A.K.A. ברוך ולטש, פליקס ולטש, פליכס וולטש, פ' ולטש, ב...
Was Librarian Journalist Law librarian Philosopher Writer
From Austria
Type Journalism Law Literature Philosophy
Gender male
Birth 1884, Prague, Czech Republic
Death 1964, Jerusalem, Israel (aged 80 years)
The details
Biography
Felix Weltsch

Felix Weltsch (6 October 1884, Prague – 9 November 1964, Jerusalem), was a German-speaking Jewish librarian, philosopher, author, editor, publisher and journalist. A close friend of Max Brod, Ludwig Winder and Franz Kafka, he was one of the most important Zionists in Bohemia.

Life

Born in Prague (then in Austria-Hungary), Weltsch studied Law and Philosophy at the Charles University. He lived and worked in Prague until 15 March 1939, and left the city with Max Brod and his family on the last train out of Czechoslovakia. In what at his arrival was Palestine and later the state of Israel, he worked as a librarian in Jerusalem until his death in 1964.

He had one daughter, Ruth Weltsch (1920–1991), with his wife Irma Herz (1892–1969). They married in August 1914. The publisher, journalist and important Zionist Robert Weltsch was Felix Weltsch's cousin, and the Prague-born concert pianist Alice Herz-Sommer, who performed in and survived Theresienstadt at her death the world's oldest Holocaust survivor, was his sister-in-law. His grandson, Eli Gorenstein is an actor, cellist and among Israel’s leading voice dubbers.

Influence

Weltsch's works around deal with the subjects of Ethics, Politics and Philosophy. For his ethical and political publications Weltsch received the Ruppin-Prize from the city of Haifa in 1952. His most important work was the Jewish-Zionist weekly paper Selbstwehr (self-defense), which he led from 1919 until 1938. With this work and hundreds of articles he became one of the most important personalities in Jewish life next to Martin Buber, Chaim Weizmann and Hugo Bergmann, his early school friend.

Weltsch wrote remarkable essays on philosophers like Henri Bergson and Christian von Ehrenfels, who was the most influential teacher for Weltsch. This was in so far unusual, as most of Weltsch's colleagues and student friends were more following the ideas of Franz Brentano. But people like Bergman and Martin Buber called him a self-thinking, independent philosopher. His influence and help to many others was great, but his role as a cultural consultant is not known to many also due to his shyness. The friendship to Kafka lasted 20 years, and the friendship to Max Brod lasted 75 years from the Piarist school in Prague to Weltschs death in 1964.

Works

  • Anschauung und Begriff, 1913 (Co-author, Max Brod)
  • Organische Demokratie, 1918
  • Gnade und Freiheit. Untersuchungen zum Problem des schöpferischen Willens in Religion und Ethik, Munich 1920
  • Nationalismus und Judentum, Berlin 1920
  • Zionismus als Weltanschauung, Jerusalem 1925 (Co-author, Max Brod)
  • Judenfrage und Zionismus, 1929
  • Antisemitismus als Völkerhysterie, 1931
  • Thesen des Nationalhumanismus, 1934
  • Das Rätsel des Lachens, 1935
  • Das Wagnis der Mitte, 1937
  • Die Dialektik des Leidens (Ha-Di’alektikah shel ha-Sevel), 1944
  • Natur, Moral und Politik (Teva, Musar u-Mediniyyut), 1950
  • Religion und Humor im Leben und Werk Franz Kafkas, 1957
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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Reference sources
References
https://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb16555473d
https://data.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb16555473d
https://d-nb.info/gnd/117279234
http://isni.org/isni/0000000083906932
https://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n85249102
https://id.ndl.go.jp/auth/ndlna/00527251
https://aleph.nkp.cz/F/?func=find-c&local_base=aut&ccl_term=ica=skuk0001479&CON_LNG=ENG
http://uli.nli.org.il/F/?func=direct&doc_number=000140965&local_base=nlx10
http://data.bibliotheken.nl/id/thes/p071848797
https://snaccooperative.org/ark:/99166/w6tv24h1
https://www.idref.fr/130203300
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