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He was born on April 21, 1888 in Friedek (Austrian Silesia) and from 1908 studied Oriental Studies at Leipzig. Amongst his teachers were August Fischer in Arabic and Heinrich Zimmern in Assyriology. In 1914 Landsberger joined the Austrian Army, where he fought with distinction on the Eastern Front, winning a golden Distinguished Service Cross. He returned to Leipzig after the war and was appointed to the position of 'extraordinary professor" in 1926. In 1928 he was appointed successor to Peter Jensens at Marburg, but returned to Leipzig in 1929 as Zimmern's successor.
Landsberger was an eminent and groundbreaking scholar, editing many important lexical texts and conducting fundamental linguistic studies. He passed on a Germanic academic tradition that continues today in many countries via his students. He was also known for particularly black humor and a love of cigars and beer.