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Moses Rosenkranz (1904–2003)

Author of Kindheit : Fragment einer Autobiographie

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(yid)VIAF:7513838 (yivo)

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Moses Rosenkranz was born Edmund Hans Rosenkranz to an impoverished Jewish family in the village of Berehomet, in the Bucovina region of Romania, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (present-day Ukraine). He grew up learning to speak Yiddish, Ukrainian, German, Polish, Ruthenian, and Romanian. Protesting against the anti-Semitism of one of his teachers, at age 11 he adopted the name Moses and chose German as his primary language. He began writing poetry as a teenager. During World War I, his father died, and the family experienced poverty and hunger. Moses had to leave school at age 15 to support his family, and eked out a living in a variety of jobs, including migrant worker, factory worker, porter, and private tutor. From 1927 to 1930, he served in the Romanian army. His first volume of poetry, Leben in Versen (Life in Verses) was published in 1930. Living in Bucharest in the early 1930s, he became part of artistic and political circles and translated Romanian folks songs and poems into other languages. Queen Marie of Romania was so impressed with his work that she hired him to ghostwrite the German-language version of her autobiography. From 1941 to 1944, during the persecution of Jews by the fascist Romanian government, he was sent to the Ghetto of Czernowitz and then to a labor camp, from which he escaped. After World War II, as a social worker for the International Red Cross, he became politically suspect for having assisted ethnic Germans. In 1947, he was abducted by the Soviets and spent 10 years in the Russian Gulag in Siberia. In 1957, he was allowed to return to Romania and was reunited with his daughter. However, he was still regarded as a political outcast and not acknowledged as a writer in his homeland. He went blind in 1999, and in 1961, fled to West Germany. His life and works have only recently been made available to the general public by Rimbaud Verlag, which published his autobiography Kindheit: Fragment einer Autobiographie (2001) and Jugend (Youth, 2004), and his poems in the collections Visionen (2004), Bukowina: Gedichte 1920-1997 (1998), Im Untergang (1986), and Im Untergang II (1988).
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VIAF:7513838 (yivo)

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