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Biographical Information

Ernst Grumach was a German classical philologist and literary scholar. Ernst Grumach was born into a Jewish family on the 7th of November of 1902 in Tilsit (today Sowetsk, in Kaliningrad Oblast). His father was a lawyer and due to his family’s economic security he was able to go to school, which led to him studying at the Universities of Königsberg, Leipzig, Berlin, Heidelberg, and Marburg. He studied philosophy and philology as well as Egyptology and linguistics. By 1930 he was a member of the Königsberg University faculty, but in 1933, he was forced from his position. In order to make ends meet, he opened a bookstore, which he operated for four years until 1937, when he was invited to teach at the “High School of Jewish Science”, (Lehranstalt für die Wissenschaft des Judentums). At this school, he taught fellow Jews that had been forced out of conventional education institutions by the Nazis. However due to the ethnicity of the majority of the students and staff, the school was shut down by the Nazis, and during the Second World War, Ernst Grumach, was first forced to sort through and catalogue books, newspaper and other artifacts, stolen by the Nazis. However as the war went on, and the majority of the collection on which Grumach had been working on had been destroyed by a bombing raid, he was forced into hard labor. In 1949, Grumach returned to Berlin, to work for the Humboldt Univerity and the German University of the Sciences, dealing with topics such as antique philosophy and Goethe. He was editor of the East Berlin edition of Goethe and the East Berlin Academy edition of Aristotle. He died on the 5th of October, 1967, in London.

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Klein, W.: [Portrait of Ernst Grumach], Leo Baeck Institute Art and Objects Collection, 78.142.

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Klein, W.

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