Moses Rosenkranz Collection
Scope and Contents
The Moses Rosenkranz Collection documents the life and work of Moses Rosenkranz via his and his friends' extensive correspondence as well as his manuscripts and personal documents relating to him and his first wife Anna Ruebner-Rosenkranz.
Since the documents come from the estate of Anna Ruebner-Rosenkranz, the collection concentrates on her role in her first husband's life: The bulk of the correspondence series consists of private letters she got from Moses Rosenkranz, which tell both about his eventful life as well as the story of their complex relationship that started in the early 1930s and ended in the late 1980s. Only a few of her letters are included the collection. Her own correspondence to friends and institutions shows how deeply she was dedicated to the challenge of helping Moses Rosenkranz in his difficult life and trying to liberate him from the Russian labor camp. Also, the correspondence of the couple's friends and acquaintances deals mainly with Moses Rosenkranz' liberation process, his emigration efforts and compensation claims.
The manuscripts enclosed in the collection are presumably typed/written and arranged by Moses Rosenkranz himself or on his behalf, the texts are compilations of poems and essays written (and partly published) throughout longer periods of time.
The collection also contains other materials pertaining to Moses Rosenkranz' life and work, also compiled and generated by Anna Ruebner-Rosenkranz. Her own personal documents and various documents collected by her form the last part of the collection.
Materials pertaining to the Essay on Russia (series II, box 2, folder 40) are removed to series VI (Oversized), and so are the originals of the clippings on Moses Rosenkranz and the Bukowina poetry (series III.3, box 2, folder 52).
- Rosenkranz, Moses (Person)
Language of Materials
The collection is in German, English, French, and Romanian.
Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the “Request” button`
Researchers must use microfilm (MF 722)
There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection. For more information, contact:
Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History, 15 West 16th Street, New York, NY, 10011
Moses Rosenkranz was born as Edmund Hans Rosenkranz to a rather poor Jewish farmer family in the village of Berhometh in the Bukowina, Romania in 1904. Protesting against the anti-Semitism of one of his teachers, he adopted the name Moses at the age of eleven. Moses chose German to be his native tongue out of the broad range of languages that were spoken at his home, such as Polish, Yiddish, Ruthenic, Romanian and German. At the early age of fifteen his enthusiasm for the German language established his passion for poetry, and he started to write. During these years, the First World War brought poverty and hunger about for his family, his father died and Moses had to earn a living for his family as a worker in France and a soldier in Romania. In the early 1930s he finally got a job as a translator and ghostwriter for the Romanian Queen Mary in Bucarest, where he also met his future wife Anna.
In 1941, he was first sent to the Ghetto of Czernowitz and then to a labor camp, where he was interned until his escape in 1944. After the War, Moses Rosenkranz worked as a social worker for the International Red Cross. In 1947, he was deported to a labor camp in Siberia. His (then ex-)wife Anna - from the correspondence we do not learn when exactly their divorce took place - was making feverish attempts to get him out of the Gulag during these years. In the 1950s Anna married again, moved to New York and went to university there in order to become a socio-psychological worker. After she had married her second husband Karl Ruebner, she was often officially addressed as Anna Ruebner-Rosenkranz, which is why in this collection she is always referred to as such. Her affection for Moses Rosenkranz had stayed strong over the years, and after her second husband died in the late 1950s, the two were even thinking of marrying again (a plan they never carried out in the end).
In 1957 Moses Rosenkranz was finally able to return to Romania and to reunite with his daughter Marianne, called "Bimmel" or "Miez", and her family; her mother was Moses Rosenkranz's first wife Marka, future Marka Brender, wife of Isidor Brender. In Romania, he experienced not only the difficulties of the economic situation during the Cold War, but also the bitter fact that he was still regarded as a political outcast and not even fully acknowledged as a writer in his former home country. In 1961 he emigrated to West Germany, where he still remained rather unnoticed by the German literary and editorial scene. Until his death in 2003, he lived in a village in the Schwarzwald, together with his wife Doris. The correspondence suggests, but does not prove, that this Doris was indeed Doris Rosenfeld, Anna's good friend from Switzerland who also helped Moses on Anna's behalf to get out of Romania.
The correspondence is also not explicit about the others who helped in this process and in the liberation process before, but it can be assumed that the following provided assistance: Helene Gottesmann ("Hina") probably was Anna's sister, as was Lilly Kehlmann, wife of Heinz Kehlmann; and Liselotte ("Lilly") Pusch, obviously a close friend to the Rosenkranz family, and maybe also a former lover of Moses Rosenkranz.
The poetry of Moses Rosenkranz is mostly described as a literary reaction to the terror he experienced throughout the century, and this is indeed what his texts are about. Literary criticism notes mainly his sophisticated style, based on traditional cross-rhyme schemes and a lyrical speech that has mostly been regarded as rather antiquated but that has also often evoked pure delight thanks to its romantic and poetic tone. So, even if Moses Rosenkranz is often named together with his much more famous fellow Romanian poet Paul Celan, who emerged from the Jewish-German cultural scene in Czernowits/Bukowina as well (see III.3), he has never had much in common with him in regard to his literary production due to this conventional style.
Moses Rosenkranz' work has only recently been made available to the public by the Rimbaud Verlag in Germany, Aachen, which published his fragmentary biography in the editions Kindheit. Fragment einer Autobiographie (Aachen 2001) and Jugend (in preparation for 2004), and his poems in the editions Visionen (in preparation for 2004), Bukowina. Gedichte 1920-1997 (1998), Im Untergang. Ein Jahrhundertbuch (1986), and Im Untergang II. Ein Jahrhundertbuch (1988).
2 Linear Feet
The collection documents the life and work of the poet Moses Rosenkranz. It includes correspondence, manuscripts, general notes pertaining to his work, private photographs, and clippings.
This collection is organized in six series:
- Series I: Correspondence
- Subseries 1: Moses Rosenkranz and Anna Ruebner-Rosenkranz
- Subseries 2: Moses Rosenkranz
- Subseries 3: Anna Ruebner-Rosenkranz
- Subseries 4: Various
- Series II: Writings
- Series III: Documents
- Subseries 1: Pictures
- Subseries 2: Liberation
- Subseries 3: Work
- Subseries 4: Notes
- Series IV: Anna Ruebner-Rosenkranz
- Series V: Miscellaneous
This collection is available on 4 reels of microfilm:
- Reel 1: 1/2-1/17
- Reel 2: 1/18-2/16
- Reel 3: 2/17-2/49
- Reel 4: 2.50-2/60
Several books by Moses Rosenkranz were removed to the LBI library.
- Brender, Marka
- Bukovina (Romania and Ukraine)
- Chernivt͡si (Ukraine)
- German literature -- Jewish authors
- German poetry
- Germany -- Emigration and immigration -- History -- 20th century
- International Tracing Service
- Labor camps
- Rosenfeld, Doris
- Rosenkranz, Moses
- Rubner, Anna, 1908-2002
- Soviet Union
- Guide to the Papers of Moses Rosenkranz (1904-2003), 1930-1999 AR 25087/ MF 722
- Processed by Theresa Filipovic
- © 2005
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- 2010-03-11 : encoding of linking to digital objects from finding aid was changed from <extref> to <dao> through dao_conv.xsl
Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States