NEISSER, Walter. Schweidnitz/Schlesien (now Świdnica in Poland) 7.2.1860 — Breslau 16.12.1941. German Indologist. Son of Dr.med. Joseph N. (1814-1890). After matriculation from Breslau (1877) studies at Breslau and Göttingen. Ph.D. 1882 Göttingen. Lived his whole life as a private scholar in Breslau doing research on Sanskrit, especially on Veda. He was persecuted as a Jew by the Nazis and in winter 1941 the 80 years old scholar was taken from his small apartment and ended his life by own hand when waiting transportation to a concentration camp. Unmarried.

Neisser was a Vedic scholar who did extremely careful work and therefore published very little. The whole of his published work – in addition to the Vedic glossary – consists of approximately 300 pages. He intended to replace Grassmann’s dictionary and Whitney’s Root index, but could accomplish only a minor part of them. His work shows a curious division into periods: after the dissertation in 1891-94 and again 1902-07 he was active; then complete silence in 1913-24 and again from 1932. His main work has been lately (1983) characterized as useful and good.

Publications: Diss. Zur vedischen Verballehre. Teil I. 36 p. Göttingen 1882; also in BB 7, 1883, 211-242.

– “Indogermanisch ger”, BB 13, 1888, 291-299; “Vorvedisches im Veda”, BB 17, 1891, 244-256, with “Entgegnung”, ZDMG 47, 1893, 160-162; “Vedica”, BB 18, 1892, 301-324 & 19, 1893, 120-150, 248-253, 284-292 & 20, 1894, 39-80.

– “Friedrich Bollensen”, BB 24, 1899, 173-179 & A.D.B. 47, 1903, 91f.

– “Ueber die Herausgabe eines altindischen Wurzelwörterbuches”, Jahrb. schles. Ges. für vaterländ. Cultur 80, IV Abt. 1902, 3-14; “Vedisch stuṣe”, BB 27, 1902, 262-280; “Altindisch bhavati/syāt”, Γέρας. Festschrift A. Fick 1903, 215-227; “Indische miszellen”, BB 30, 1906, 299-325; “Zu Ṛgveda V, 61, 12”, ZDMG 61, 1907, 138; “Vedica”, FS. A. Hillebrandt 1913, 144-159.

Zum Wörterbuch des Ṛgveda. 1-2. 218+95 p. A.K.M. 16:4 & 18:3. Lp. 1924-30.

– “Altindisch stáuti/stáve”, ZII 3, 1925, 187-200; “Vedica”, ZII 5, 1927, 281-292.

Review of Güntert, Die arische Weltkönig und Heiland. 1923, JAOS 45, 1925, 280-288; Oertel, The syntax of cases in the narrative and descriptive prose of the Brāhmanas. 1926, ZII 6, 1928, 319-326; Thieme, Das Plusquamperfectum im Veda. 1929, OLZ 35, 1932, 600-605.

Kleine Schriften. Hrsg. von R. P. Das. 9+341 p. Glasenapp-St. 21. Wb. 1980.

Sources: R. P. Das (ed.), Kl. Schr. 1980, Vorwort, with bibliography; Kuiper, review of Das 1980, IIJ 25, 1983, 308; R. Schmitt, N.D.B. 19, 1998, 52; Stache-Rosen 1990, 139; photo in Rau 74.