1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Groth, Klaus
GROTH, KLAUS (1819–1899), Low German poet, was born at Heide in Schleswig-Holstein, on the 24th of April 1819. After studying at the seminary in Tondern (1838–1841), he became a teacher at the girls’ school in his native village, but in 1847 went to Kiel to qualify for a higher educational post. Ill-health interrupted his studies and it was not until 1853 that he was able to resume them at Kiel. In 1856 he took the degree of doctor of philosophy at Bonn, and in 1858 settled as privatdocent in German literature and languages at Kiel, where, in 1866, he was made professor, and where he lived until his death on the 1st of June 1899. In his Low German (Plattdeutsch) lyric and epic poems, which reflect the influence of Johann Peter Hebel (q.v.), Groth gives poetic expression to the country life of his northern home; and though his descriptions may not always reflect the peculiar characteristics of the peasantry of Holstein as faithfully as those of F. Reuter (q.v.), yet Groth is a lyric poet of genuine inspiration. His chief works are Quickborn, Volksleben in plattdeutschen Gedichten Ditmarscher Mundart (1852; 25th ed. 1900; and in High German translations, notably by M. J. Berchem, Krefeld, 1896); and two volumes of stories, Vertelln (1855–1859, 3rd ed. 1881); also Voer de Goern (1858) and Ut min Jungsparadies (1875).
Groth’s Gesammelte Werke appeared in 4 vols. (1893). His Lebenserinnerungen were edited by E. Wolff in 1891; see also K. Eggers, K. Groth und die plattdeutsche Dichtung (1885); and biographies by A. Bartels (1899) and H. Siercks (1899.)