MEYER-BENFEY, Heinrich

MEYER-BENFEY, Heinrich. Liebenburg, Harzvorland 14.3.1869 — Buxtehude 30.12.1945. German Germanist and Indologist. A specialist of Tagore. Born H. Meyer. Studies of German, English and Sanskrit at Göttingen. He supported actively the women’s liberation movement and could not habilitate at conservative Göttingen (1910, hab.diss. on Kleist), instead he became PD 1919 at Hamburg and 1923 ao. Professor of German there. Retired 1938. Married 1895 Flora Benfey (d. 1904) and added her surname to his name. In 1906 married again with —> Helene Meyer-Franck. He opposed to antisemitismus and did no longer publish under Nazi regime. In order to read Tagore he learned Bengali.

Publications: Rabindranath Tagore. 92 p. B. 1922.

Translated with H. Meyer-Franck: Tagore: Das Opfer und andere Dramen. 154 p. Munich 1920.

– “Sage und Lied von Nala und Damajanti”, Preuss. Jahrbücher 182, 1920, 219ff.

– According to Wikipedia also wrote on Kālidāsa (from ZDMG 81, 1927, p. lxx we read that he read a paper about the sources of Śakuntalā at German Orientalistentag in Hamburg, 1926).

M. Kämpfer & Pr. K. Paul (edd.): Mein lieber Meister, Briefwechsel 1920–1938 / Rabindranath Tagore, Helene Meyer-Franck und Heinrich Meyer-Benfey. 141 p. Santiniketan 1999, German tr. by Ingrid von Heiseler. Heidelberg 2011.

Much on German literature and other subjects not relevant here, altogether wrote 30 books and more than 200 articles and reviews.

Sources: D. Hempel, “H.M.-B. (1869–1945). Forschung, Lehre und Engagement am Rande des Existenzminimum”, Chr. König (ed.), Geschichte der Germanistik: Mitteilungen. 2004, 87f.; *H. Meyer-Franck, H.M.-B. Buxtehude 1946; German Wikipedia.

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