Jungfer, Victor

Victor Jungfer, a German economist, writer and translator, was born in Hirschberg, Silesia on 6 May  1893. He studied economics and philosophy from 1913-14 at the University of Munich and from 1918-21 at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau, where he received his doctorate in economics for a dissertation on the Lithuanian export of lumber. He became acquainted with Lithuania and some of its more prominent figures during World War I while serving in the German army when it occupied Lithuania and Courland, the southern part of Latvia; he made several journeys through the occupied territories, which were referred to by the Germans as Ober Ost, and learnt Lithuanian. It was during this period that he wrote his first book on Lithuania ‑ Kulturbilder aus Litauen. Ein Beitrag zur Erkenntnis des litauischen Volkstums, 1918. Together with Msgr. Kazimirs Jasėnas (1867-1950) he translated Simanas Daukanta's Būda Senowes Lietuvii ir Kalnienu into German and edited it as the first part of Alt-Litauen. Eine Darstellung von Land und Leuten, Sitten und Gebräuchen, 1926. From 1925-39 he taught economic history, sociology and statistics at the University of Kaunas and from 1939-40 at the University of Vilnius. During this period he translated several books on economics from Lithuanian into German and produced two poetically conceived works about Lithuania: Hinter den Seen, hinter den Wäldern. Bilder litauischen Volkstums, 1932, and Litauen, Antlitz eines Volkes, 1938 (21948), as well as a translation of Lithuanian folksong texts titled Litauischer Liederschrein. Volkslieder in deutschen Übertragungen und Nachdichtungen, 1939 (21948). Descriptions of Lithuanian people and life can also be found in some of his German novels, for example, Das Gesicht der Etappe. Ein Kulturroman, 1919, Der Weg der Skaringa, 1940, and Irka, 1945. Two of his works,  Das Gesicht der Etappe and Litauen, Antlitz eines Volkes, were banned by the Nazis. Despite this, from December 1941 until January 1945 Jungfer held a professorship at the Posen Reich University. Following his escape to the West, Jungfer taught at a college in Nuremberg and at the University of Erlangen from 1946 until his official retirement 1957. Jungfer died in Nuremberg on April 21, 1964.