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"What you think wrong,

you have to live wrong."

"The rights are equal,

because people are unequal."

"I am for many times

or for individuals

of many coming times."

Constantin Brunner   (1862-1937)

Philosopher, Wisdom Teacher and Visionary

  • Rebel against academic school philosophy
  • Representative of a modern philosophy of unity, which overcomes the contrast between mind and matter
  • Critic of anti-Semitism
  • Fighter for the rule of law and freedom of the citizen

- Voices about Brunner -

"It comforts me that you are there. The time seems to be habitable again."

Walther Rathenau


"Here, finally, is one who stretches his arms far over the world."

Gustav Landauer


"It is a pleasure for me to confirm my worship for the great thinker Constantin Brunner."

Max Horkheimer


"Here it is again, the deep true humanity."

Yehudi Menuhin


- News -

Two members of our foundation, Prof. em. Henri Krop and Hans Werner, were guests on a Dutch YouTube channel and talked about a new Brunner translation into Dutch. Here is the description of the interview episode by the channel (translated into English):


"A new title has been published by Ten Have/De Nieuwe Wereld: "Verkeerd gedacht, verkeerd geleefd" by the Jewish-German philosopher Constantin Brunner, who fled from the Gestapo to the Netherlands in 1933. Topics include the relationship between Judaism and Christianity, anti-Semitism, nationalism, Zionism and superstition. The book is introduced by Arnon Grunberg and was translated by Mark Wildschut. Ad Verbrugge discusses this highly topical book with the latter and with Brunner experts Hans Werner and Henri Krop, also a leading Spinoza researcher."


De Nieuwe Wereld (The New World) is a Dutch YouTube channel and an overarching online platform founded by philosopher and associate professor Ad Verbrugge, journalist Paul van Liempt and David van Overbeek. The motto is 'Deepening conversations in a time of change'. The aim is to allow people from various disciplines - entrepreneurs, intellectuals, scientists - to have their say and reflect on the major changes in the economy and society.

New publications in Dutch:

"Verkeerd gedacht, verkeerd geleefd" (Wrongly thought, wrongly lived) by Constantin Brunner was only published posthumously and had not yet been translated into Dutch. In this new publication, Brunner deals with all the important topics he wrote about in his life: philosophy, religion, culture and, in particular, the anti-Semitism of his time.
The book is introduced by a foreword by Arnon Grunberg.

To mark the publication of this book, our foundation members Prof. em. Henri Krop and Hans Werner gave an interview on the Dutch YouTube channel De Nieuwe Wereld.

Hans Werner, a member of the ICBI Foundation Board, has written a summary of Brunner's philosophy in Dutch:


Constantin Brunner

De leer van de geestelijke denkers en van het volk


The book was published in October 2022, ISBN: 9789464436488. It can be purchased in bookstores, for example, here.


It is good that a selection of excerpts from Brunner's "Die Lehre von dem Geistigen und vom Volke" is now available in Dutch in Hans Werner's translation. Brunner writes at great length and gives little explanation. The present selection overcomes these obstacles so that the modern reader of Dutch can gain access to Brunner's exciting thought.

New Sources:

Our latest video digitization: Hans Raphael Goetz (1921-2013) was a Danish musician and philosopher of German and especially German-Jewish origin. His father was George Goetz (1892-1968), the General Secretary of the "Association for Liberal Judaism in Germany" and Editor-in-Chief of the "Jewish-Liberal Newspaper", who had once fled to Denmark to escape the Nazis. After the death of George Goetz, who had been a friend of Constantin Brunner, his son Hans also became active in the International Constantin Brunner Institute (ICBI) and was its chairman from 1992 to 2006. This interview, which was digitized and made public for the first time, is from this period. In it, Goetz talks about his family and its relationship to Brunner, as well as Brunner's philosophy and political theory. Goetz also discusses the various Brunner discussion groups such as the "Czernowitz Circle". The interview was conducted in German.

This video shows Brunner's last study room from his exile in The Hague. The previously unpublished recordings date from the 90s and were re-edited by us in 2019. The room, which had been untouched for a long time, was later dissolved and the majority of the objects and books were given to the Leo Baeck Institute in Berlin.

This interview in German with the well-known violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999), in which he is talking about his fascination for Brunner's philosophy and about other topics, was conducted in London in 1994 and digitized for the first time by our foundation in 2018.

New Publications in German:

Jüdische Miniaturen, Vol. 301

Fritz Ritter. Mehrfachbegabt und der Hölle entronnen

Hentrich & Hentrich:  Berlin 2022


Renate Stolte-Batta, member of the ICBI Foundation Board, presents an interesting personality from the Brunner circle in the well-known series "Jüdische Miniaturen" ("Jewish Miniatures"):

"Fritz (Frederick) Ritter (1896-1987) was an actor and in 1928 engaged in Brecht's "Dreigroschenoper" ("Threepenny Opera") in Berlin. At the same time he wrote novels with passion. As a Jewish emigrant in the U.S., he even received a professorship in German and Latin, made a name for himself in the academic world as an interpreter of Hofmannsthal and as benefactor. He also performed as a reciter, especially in the U.S., and delighted audiences with songs, such as those by Kurt Weill or the Vienna Volkstheater. He had experienced the exclusion and disenfranchisement of Jews firsthand in Berlin. Throughout his life he studied the German-Jewish philosopher Constantin Brunner, to whose circle he belonged. He had been married to the painter Ida (Adi) Ritter since 1935. [...]"


A cultural history in the spirit of Constantin Brunner written and translated by two members of the ICBI

Translated from the French by Robert Zimmer.

What makes Europe? And what does it mean to be European? The author goes in search of the spiritual roots of Europe, which is not a geographical size, but above all a culture and civilization. He finds them in the great minds, in those geniuses such as Moses, Jesus, Homer or Socrates, who embodied and proclaimed the values of our civilization. He is accompanied by his helpers and advisors - among them his computer, his encyclopedia, his refrigerator, his slide projector and the inflatable doll Amora. He makes a bet with the first two: If he can convincingly demonstrate his knowledge of European culture, he will receive a European passport. With literary finesse, philosophical depth, and a comprehensive knowledge of cultural history, he leads the reader into the three great culture-forming epochs of Europe: antiquity, the biblical culture of the Holy Land, and into the culture of modern Europe, which draws from the other two epochs. An erudite as well as enjoyable and stimulating journey into the continent that is so familiar and yet so unknown to us.


This is a German language edition translated from the French.


Link to the book                             Martin Rodan's page at the Hebrew University

The newest volume of the journal "Aschkenas" has been published as a special about Constantin Brunner! It includes the following texts in German language:

  • Stenzel, Jürgen: Einführung
  • Zimmer, Robert: Constantin Brunner als Denker der Moderne. Eine biographische und philosophische Skizze
  • Stenzel, Jürgen: Constantin Brunners Auffassung des Jüdischen
  • Springborn, Matthias: Emanzipation von der jüdischen Orthodoxie. Die Jugend- und Lehrjahre 1862-1890 des Leo Wertheimer alias Constantin Brunner
  • Rodan, Martin: Constantin Brunner und das prophetische Judentum
  • Werner, Hans: Gottesbegriff und Gotteserkenntnis bei Constantin Brunner und Martin Buber
  • Rolletschek, Jan: Gustav Landauer und Constantin Brunner. Umrisse einer Begegnung
  • Krah, Franziska: Der »große Philosoph« und der ihm »lieb gewordene Verein«. Zum Verhältnis von Constantin Brunner und dem Centralverein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens
  • Hahn, Hans-Joachim: »Die angesteckten Juden«. Constantin Brunners Antizionismus
  • Baltschev, Bettina: »Wie ich in meinem Lande bin, so ist mein Land in mir«. Constantin Brunner im holländischen Exil 1933-1937
  • Fotos aus dem Leo Baeck Institute, Archiv im Jüdischen Museum Berlin, Constantin Brunner Collection VI
  • Zeittafel
  • Bibliographie
  • Battenberg, J. Friedrich: Erinnerung an Prof. Dr. Helmut Castritius
  • Personen- und Ortsregister

For online access of this publication on the website of de Gruyter see here.

In the publishing house Königshausen & Neumann a Brunner reader was published in April 2019, that eliminates a deficiency that probably felt all those who have previously dealt with Brunner or wanted to inform themselves about Brunner's work: Robert Zimmer and Jürgen Stenzel have selected the most relevant text passages from Brunner's extensive work and assembled them in a single volume so that a concentrated overview of his philosophy becomes possible.


„Was du nicht richtig denkst, das musst du verkehrt leben“
Ein Constantin Brunner-Lesebuch
("What you think wrong, you have to live wrong" A Constantin Brunner Reader)
Ed. by Jürgen Stenzel and Robert Zimmer, publ. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2019, 450 pages, hardcover with thread stitching, € 24,80, ISBN 978-3-8260-6493-7
Robert Zimmer introduces Brunner's life, work and influence in the beginning of the book. The selected texts from the „Lehre“, from „Unser Christus oder das Wesen des Genies“, „Der Judenhaß und die Juden“, „Von den Pflichten der Juden und von den Pflichten des Staates“, „Der entlarvte Mensch“, „Unser Charakter oder Ich bin der Richtige“, as well as from other books and essays of Brunner, are arranged in five chapters, which have an introduction each, so that the overall context becomes recognizable. A timetable and a bibliography are attached.


Hans-Rüdiger Schwab, „Was du nicht richtig denkst, das musst du verkehrt leben“. Ein Constantin Brunner-Lesebuch, in: Jahrbuch für Lebensphilosophie IX (2018/19), p. 395–399.

New Publications in French:

Brunner's most comprehensive book on anti-Semitism (original title "Der Judenhaß und die Juden", 1919) is now available in French thanks to the translation by Jacques Aron, who also wrote a preface to it.





Un bilan de l'antisémitisme pré-nazi

Constantin Brunner

Traduction de l'allemand et introduction par Jacques Aron


Publisher's book description:

"Over the years, the German philosopher of Jewish origin Constantin Brunner (1862-1937) has emerged as a singular figure at the crossroads of classical thought (Spinoza, Kant, Hegel) and Judaic monism, articulating a unitary speculative theory with knowledge of natural and historical facts. The questioning of his dual Jewish and German condition forced him to draw up an analysis of the political anti-Semitism that developed from 1880 onwards. In it, he combats this form of resistance by civil society to the rule of law for all citizens, whatever their beliefs or cultural traditions. In 1919, he drew up the most complete synthesis, before National Socialism radicalized anti-Semitism into a program of Jewish exclusion."


link to the book

Jacques Aron has collected all of Brunner's poems in a French-German volume, with his own translations of the poems into French:


Avec les poésies complètes du philosophe en version bilingue, traduites par l'auteur (2022)


Publisher's book description:

"Constantin Brunner (1862-1937), a German philosopher of Jewish origin, inspired by the work of Spinoza, first attempted a synthesis of Hegelian dialectics and a current of Judaic philosophy based on the fundamental unity of existence and thought. From 1928 onwards, he asserted in Materialism and Idealism that these two approaches are fundamentally inseparable. Therefore, he intends to translate this monistic principle in all possible ways, including the poetic form. With the translation of his poems, we approach this singular problematic."


link to the book

Further recent literature in German:

Jüdische Miniaturen [= Jewish Miniatures], Vol. 207

Constantin Brunner. Philosoph und Weisheitslehrer.

Hentrich & Hentrich:  Berlin 2017


Robert Zimmer is introducing to Brunner's biography, life work and thinking (in German). Brunner's main work „Die Lehre von den Geistigen und vom Volke“ (1908) is being described and Zimmer refers to its connection between a rational interpretation of the world, mystical unity philosophy and enlightened political and social theory. Brunner linked the systematic claim of the theorist with the practical life aspirations of a wisdom teacher. To discover is an original and productive thinker who has made a very own contribution to the philosophy of modernity.

Volume Publication:

Constantin Brunner im Kontext. Ein Intellektueller zwischen Kaiserreich und Exil.

De Gruyter: Berlin 2014

Letter Edition:

Constantin Brunner – Ausgewählte Briefe 1884-1937.

Wallstein: Göttingen 2012