Heinrich Heine: Poet of Judenschmerz

Heinrich Heine, portrait by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim via Wikimedia Commons.
Heinrich Heine, portrait by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim via Wikimedia Commons.

Revered by many as Germany’s greatest poet, Heine struggled mightily with his Jewish identity in the culturally inimical milieu of the 19th century. This phenomenon, known as Judenschmerz, was widespread among 19th century western European Jews. Despite his 1825 conversion to Christianity, Heine maintained a long, albeit conflicted, relationship to his Jewish background. Part of the Jewish Biography as History lecture series by Dr. Henry Abramson.

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