Greatest Literature banner

The Jews' Beech Tree

Critique • Quotes

Die Judenbuche, 1900 German edition1900 German edition
By Annette von Droste-Hülshoff
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

Original title
Die Judenbuche

Also called
The Jew's Beech

First publication

Literature form

Literary, crime, mystery

Writing language

Author's country

Approx. 20,000 words

Notable lines

Frederick Mergel, born in 1738, was the son of a so-called landowner of the lower class in the village of B., a village which, badly built and smoky though it might be, yet attracted the attention of all travellers by the extremely picturesque beauty of its situation in a green and wooded valley of an important and historically famous mountain range.

— First line, trans. Bennett

The village of B. was considered the most arrogant, cunning, and audacious village in the whole principality. Its position amidst the deep and lofty loneliness of the forest began early to nourish the inborn obstinacy of the people.


The fields were bare, the leaves began to fall, and many began to feel that the scissors were nearing the thread of their lives.


The Jewish inscription on the tree ran:
"When thou approachest this place, thou shalt do to thyself what thou didst do to me."

— Last lines, trans. Bennett


Critique • Quotes