Die Judenbuche

Die Judenbuche; The Jew’s Beech (written 1837-41, published 1842)

This novella was originally named ‘Eine Kriminalgeschichte, Friedrich Mergel. Ein Sittengemälde aus dem gebirgigten Westphalen’; ‘A Criminal Story: Friedrich Mergel. A Portrayal of the Customs of mountainous Westphalia’, but Droste-Hülshoff’s editor gave it the title by which it is known today.

The story is based on a newspaper report of 1818 about a farmhand who murdered a Jew and fled abroad, and later returned home and killed himself.

Further Reading

William Collins Donahue, ‘“Ist er kein Jude, so verdient er einer zu sein”: Droste-Hülshoff’s Die Judenbuche and Religious Anti-Semitism’, The German Quarterly 72:1 (1999), 44-73

Gertrud Bauer Pickar, ‘The Battering and Meta-Battering of Droste’s Margreth: Covert Misogyny in Die Judenbuche’s Critical Reception’, Women in German Yearbook 9 (1993), 71-90

Walter Silz, ‘Droste-Hülshoff, Die Judenbuche’, in Silz, Realism and Reality: Studies in the German Novelle of Poetic Realism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1965), pp. 36-51

Web Link


Die Judenbuche in German; click on a word for the English translation