Biography of Jiri Mordecai Langer
Jiri Langer was born in Prague in 1894, into a Jewish family. During his lifetime he travelled a great deal but always returned to Prague. The Nazi occupation from 1939 to 1945 forced Czech writers to choose between emigration, falling silent, or going underground. Langer escaped, only to die in Palestine, his health broken by the grueling journey down the Danube. He died in 1943.
He produced an autobiographical, anecodotal account entitled Nine Gates to the Chasidic Mysteries in 1937, which was hailed as a literary masterpiece. However, less than two years later it was banned by the Nazis with any existing copies being confiscated.
Langer was a friend of Franz Kafka and was also one of Sigmund Freud’s earliest admirers. During his career he wrote a number of studies of Jewish ritual and literature, applying Freud’s theories along the way.
As well as writing in Czech and German, he also composed a number of poems in Hebrew and translated the works of the ebraici poets.