The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Herwegh, Georg
HERWEGH, her'vek Georg, German political and lyrical poet: b. Stuttgart, 31 May 1817; d. Lichtenthal bei Baden-Baden, 7 April 1875. He studied theology at Tübingen, became editor of A. Lewald's periodical Europa at Stuttgart; became embroiled with a military officer at Stuttgart and was obliged to flee to Switzerland, and settled there at Emmishofen in the canton of Thurgau. He there edited jointly with Wirth a periodical called Die Volkshalle and published a volume of political lyrics, ‘Gedichte eines Lebendigen’ (‘Poems of a Living Man’); the title is in imitation of Prince Pückler's ‘Briefe eines Verstorbenen’ (‘Letters of One Deceased’) in 1841 (at Zürich; l0th ed., Stuttgart 1877). These poems showed considerable revolutionary spirit, yet on his journeys in Prussia (1842), he was favorably received, even by King Frederick William IV, who is said to have remarked “I respect opponents who have principles” and summoned him to an audience. From the city of Königsberg he addressed a strongly provocatory letter to the king, resulting in his banishment from Prussia; Zürich also, to which he wished to return, would not receive him. But the king of Württemberg pardoned him for desertion from military service. In the canton of Basle, of which he now became a citizen, he married Emma Siegmund, daughter of a Jewish merchant at Berlin. At Paris, where he lived for a number of years, he wrote the poems in the second volume of ‘Gedichte eines Lebendigen’ (Zürich 1844) and translated Lamartine's works into German (Stuttgart, 12 vols., 1843-44). He engaged in active revolutionary propaganda at Paris, and in April 1848 invaded Baden at the head of a Franco-German Workers' Legion, accompanied by his wife and A. von Bornstedt. His force was defeated at Dossenbach 27 April by the Württemberg troops, and he fled to Switzerland, aided by his courageous wife. He produced little in the remaining years of his life, except translations of several Shakesperean plays. His works were issued in a complete edition in German with biography and introduction by Hermann Tardel (3 vols., Berlin 1909); ‘Neue Gedichte’ (posthumous poems, Zürich 1877); Lassalle's, ‘Briefe an Herwegh’ (Zürich 1896). Consult Walzel, O., ‘Vom Geistesleben des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts’ (Leipzig 1911).