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Biographical/Historical Information

Ludwig Philippson was born in Dessau, Germany in 1811. Still in his youth, he studied Hebrew and classical philology in Halle and in Berlin, supporting himself by writing for various publications. In 1833 Ludwig Philippson became rabbi at the Magdeburg synagogue. In 1843 he founded a Jewish German-language newspaper, “Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums”, with the goal of bringing issues of religion, spirituality, and politics together in one publication. Several years later he wrote a German translation and interpretation of the Old Testament, which was published in several parts and several different editions beginning in 1841. Philippson created works on comparative religion and religion’s place in society, as well as several works on the rights of Jews in the Prussian state. During the political events of 1848, Philippson was elected a representative for his region of Saxony in the Frankfurt National Assembly. In 1855 he helped found the Institut zur Förderung der isralitischen Literature in Leipzig. By 1862 Ludwig Philippson left his position as rabbi and moved from Magdeburg to Bonn, where he died in 1889.

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Ludwig Philippson, Leo Baeck Institute, F 1813.