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Aaron Bernstein - Biography

Aaron David Bernstein (6 April 1812, Danzig – 12 February 1884, Berlin) was a German Jewish scientist, author and reformer.


His translation of the Song of Songs (published under the pseudonym of A. Rebenstein, 1834) and his publication of Young Germany established his reputation as a writer among the literary critics of Berlin. He was the author of two Ghetto stories, Vögele der Maggid and Mendel Gibbor, being one of the originators of this genre of modern fiction. In the middle of the 19th century Bernstein took an active share in the movement for synagogue reform in Germany.

He was also a publicist. In 1849 he founded the Urwählerzeitung, in which (in 1851) he published some ultra-democratic articles which brought about his imprisonment. The paper was finally suppressed in 1853, and Bernstein established the Volkszeitung, a journal devoted, like its predecessor, largely to the dissemination of democratic views. His History of Revolution and Reaction in Prussia and Germany from the Revolution of 1848 up to the present (3 vols., 1883–1884) was a collection of important political essays.

His book From the field of natural science (1856), later republished under the title The people's natural science books (1880), was frequently reprinted and translated into nearly all the languages of Europe.


He was the uncle of Eduard Bernstein, a Social Democratic theorist and activist.

  • Frederick Gregory, "The Mysteries and Wonders of Natural Science: Aaron Bernstein's Naturwissenschaftliche Volksbücher and the Adolescent Einstein," in Einstein: The Formative Years, 1879-1909, ed. Don Howard and John Stachel (Boston: Birkhauser, 2000), 23-41.
  • Jewish Encyclopedia

The article is about these people: Bernshtejn, Aaron

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