Tuesday, 23 October 2018


SHLOYME-BER FAYNKIND (May 26, 1891-early July 1942)
            The son of Moyshe Faynkind and younger brother of Nosn Faynkind, he was born in Petrikov (Pietrykaŭ), Lodz district, Poland.  He studied in a “cheder metukan” (improved religious elementary school) and in a Russian-Polish high school.  Over the years 1909-1914, he lived in Lodz.  He contributed to Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper).  During WWI he was a reporter for: Varshever tageblat (Warsaw daily newspaper) and Dos yudishe vort (The Jewish word) in Warsaw; and Der yud (The Jew); among others.  Through the years 1924-1939, he placed work with: Naye folkstsaytung (New people’s newspaper), the Polish Jewish Nasz Przegląd (Our overview), and the morning newspaper in Warsaw, Piąta rano (5 a.m.) (1937-1939).  For a time he served as a correspondent for: Tog (Day) in New York; Di tsayt (The times) in London; Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires; and Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal.  During the Nazi occupation during the years of WWII, until early 1942, he was confined in the Warsaw Ghetto, later for a short time in the Aryan section of the city.  The Gestapo seized him and sent him to the Skarżysko Concentration Camp; there he died.  A portion of his reportage pieces and images, written in the Warsaw Ghetto—discovered in the buried Ringelblum archive—were published in the collection Tsvishn lebn un toyt (Between life and death) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1955).

Sources: M. Mozes, in Der poylisher yid (The Polish Jew), anthology (1944); Yidish shriftn (Lodz, 1946); Z. Segalovitsh, Tlomatske 13, fun farbrente nekhtn (13 Tłomackie St., of zealous nights) (Buenos Aires: Central Association of Polish Jews in Argentina, 1946), pp. 27-28; P. Shvarts, in Fun noentn over (New York) 2 (1956), p. 428; Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), see index; Dr. M. Vaykhert, Yidishe aleynhilf (Jewish self-help) (Tel Aviv, 1962), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


NOSN FAYNKIND (1888-March 4, 1912)
            The eldest son of Moyshe Faynkind and brother of Shloyme-Ber Faynkind, he was born in Lodz, Poland.  He studied at Warsaw University.  He was a poet and storyteller, initially in Polish.  Under the influence of Y. L. Perets, he switched to Yiddish.  He published poems, stories, and articles in: Der fraynd (The friend) in St. Petersburg; Romantsaytung (Fiction newspaper), Der shtrahl (The beam [of light]), and Di naye velt (The new world) in Warsaw; and Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper); among others.  He also authored a drama.  He died in Warsaw.

Source: Based on Moyshe Faynkind’s materials in Kalmen Marmor’s archive at YIVO (New York).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


MOYSHE FAYNKIND (December 28, 1864-June 14, 1935)
            The father of Nosn and Shloyme-Ber Faynkind, he was born in Turek, Kalish (Kalisz) district, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school and yeshivas, as well as with private tutors.  In 1883 he moved to Berlin.  He studied history, philosophy, and Jewish studies at Hildesheimer Rabbinical Seminary.  In 1886 he was expelled for organizing a demonstration against the Russian ambassador.  He went on to live in Turek, Lodz, and later Petrikov (Pietrykaŭ).  For a time he worked as a private tutor and later as a private lawyer.  He was active in the Zionist movement and served as a city councilor on the Pietrykaŭ city council and Jewish community council.  He led a struggle there for the rights of the Yiddish language and culture.  He began his literary activities with translations into Hebrew of works by the German classic writers.  From 1884 he contributed historical, scholarly, and journalistic articles, folktales, legends of the Jews in Poland, feature pieces, and descriptions to: Hatsfira (The siren), Tsien (Zion), Unzer lebn (Our life), Dos folk (The people), Shul un dertsiung (School and education), and the like in Warsaw; Yivo bleter (Pages from YIVO) in Vilna; and Der fraynd (The friend) in St. Petersburg.  In 1912 he became a regular contributor to Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper).  From 1916 until his death, he wrote for: Lodzher folksblat (Lodz people’s newspaper), Unzer togblat (Our daily newspaper), and Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper), among others, in Lodz; and Lemberger togblat (Lemberg daily newspaper), of which he also was editor (1916-1918).  He also wrote for German Jewish and Polish Jewish journals.  He prepared for Zvi Hirsh Grets (Heinrich Graetz) a German translation of materials for the history of Jews in Poland and Russia.  He was editor of the daily Di petrikover shtime (The voice of Pietrykaŭ) in 1914 and of the weekly paper Di yudishe velt (The Jewish world) in 1924, as well as Di tsayt (The times), Naye tsayt (New times), and Głos żydowski (Jewish voice) in 1917—all in Pietrykaŭ.  In book form: Di kuzrim (The Khazars), a poem (1910), 24 pp.; the series in booklets, “Af poylishe felder” (On Polish fields), (a) Perele di kozhenitser rebetsin (Perele, the wife of the rabbi of Kozienice), (b) Ger-tsedek fun vilne (The holy convert of Vilna), and (c) Henele di kale fun kenig zigmunt (Henele, wife of King Sigmund), each 16 pp.  He authored a constitution for the Jewish community of Poland (now held in the YIVO archives in New York).  He died in Pietrykaŭ.  After his death, his children published a portion of his literary heritage: Gute yidn in poyln (Good Jews of Poland) (Warsaw, 1936), 399 pp.; Froyen rabonim un barimte perzenlekhkeytn in poyln (Women rabbis and celebrated personalities in Poland) (Warsaw, 1937), 397 pp.; Der poylisher yid (The Polish Jew) (Warsaw, 1938), 395 pp.; Yidn fun amol un haynt (Jews then and now) (Warsaw, 1939), 400 pp.; and in Visnshaftlekhe shriftn (Scholarly writings) (Lodz, 1938), a long work of his appears.  Throughout the years of WWII, works of his prepared for publication by Shloyme-Ber did not appear in print: “Zikhroynes fun der milkhome 1914-1918” (Memoirs of the war, 1914-1918), the war drama based on events of the time; “Der Spion” (The spy), a treatment in German on espionage; and his major work “Di geshikhte fun yidn in petrikov” (The history of Jews in Pietrykaŭ).  He also wrote under such pen names as: A. Rotman, Servus, Iks, and Moyshe Pinkuszon.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Y. F. in Vokhnshrift far literatur (Warsaw) (February 7, 1934); R. Y. Goldshteyn, in Tog (New York) (November 6, 1934); Arn Eynhorn, in Haynt (Warsaw) (September 27, 1935); Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), see index; L. Shpiglman, in Pinkes bendin (Records of Będzin) (Tel Aviv, 1962), see index; Yankev Glatshteyn, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (November 12, 1965).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


MENDL FAYNTSAYG (b. May 15, 1885)
            He was born in Nur, Lomzhe district, Poland.  He studied in yeshivas and attended to secular subjects on his own.  In 1903 he came to Warsaw, and from there he left for Odessa, and became a traveling salesman, traveling all through the length and breadth of Russia.  In 1913 he moved to the United States.  He initially suffered terribly, worked as a porter, later studied to be a pharmacist at New York University and opened his own drugstore.  From 1913 he published poetry, sketches, stories, children’s tales, street images in verse, children’s poetry and the like in: Tog (Day), Tsukunft (Future), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Kundes (Prankster), Frayhayt (Freedom), and Kinder zhurnal (Children’s magazine), among others, in New York; Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; and Kalifornyer idishe shtime (Jewish voice of California) in Los Angeles; among others.  His long story, “Ven geter vaynen” (When gods cry), appeared in Tsukunft 6-9 (1928); it dealt with the theme of mixed marriage in America.  During WWII he settled in California.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; “Kalmen Marmor archive,” in YIVO New York).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


NAFTOLE FAYNERMAN (1885-February 15, 1944)
            He was born in Skvire, Kiev district, Ukraine.  He attended religious elementary school and yeshiva.  In 1906 he arrived in the United States and worked for a time in a sweatshop.  He became active in 1907 in the Jewish socialist and trade union movement.  He served for two terms as president of the Workmen’s Circle and directed its educational division.  He was a member of the national executive of the Jewish socialist union and of the Forverts (Forward) administration, and from 1931 until his death he was executive secretary of American YIVO.  He published articles in: Der fraynd (The friend), Forverts, Veker (Alarm), Sotsyalistishe shtime (Socialist voice), and Gerekhtikeyt (Justice) in New York.  He also wrote under such pen names as: N. F. and Naftole.  He died in New York.

Sources: Y. Sh. Herts, 50 yor arbeter ring (Fifty years of the Workmen’s Circle) (New York, 1950), see index; Yedies fun yivo (New York) (March 1954); Arbeter-ring boyer un tuer (Builders and leaders of the Workmen’s Circle), ed. Y. Yeshurin and Y. Sh. Herts (New York, 1962), pp. 316, 508.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


LEON FAYNER (1886-February 22, 1945)
            He was born in Cracow, Galicia.  He came from a middle-class family, was raised in Polish and German, and worked as a lawyer.  In high school he joined the socialist movement.  For many years he chaired the Cracow Bund and was the leader of the local sports organization.  He was an active contributor to Sotsyal democrat (Social democrat), the central organ of the Jewish social democratic party, and he edited Nowe życie (New life) which the party published in Polish.  He translated into Yiddish Ernst Toller’s social dramas: Hinkeman (original: Der deutsche Hinkemann [Hinkemann, the German]), Der masn-mentsh (Man of the masses [original: Masse Mensch]), and Di mashinen-shturmer (The machine-breakers [original: Die Maschinenstürmer]).  He was one of the founders and leaders of the Cracow society, “Yidish teater” (Yiddish theater).  In 1920, together with a group of Galician Bundist activists, he was arrested and deported to a concentration camp in Dąbie.  He was voted onto the Cracow city council and contributed to the newspapers: Walka (Struggle), Kegen shtrom (Against the stream), Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), and Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm) in Warsaw.  In June 1939, on the eve of the German invasion of Poland, he was deported to the well-known concentration camp of Kartuz-Bereza, for having delivered a stinging speech against anti-Semitism at a meeting of the city council.  While smuggling across the Soviet-Lithuanian border through Lida, on June 19, 1940 he was arrested and sentenced to fifteen years.  In June 1941 when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, he was among a group of political prisoners whom the N.K.V.D. hastily brought out into the courtyard of prison to execute, but at the last minute an order arrived to free them.  Fayner then left for Warsaw.  Remaining there on the Aryan sector, he soon established contact with the ghetto.  He was a member of the underground central committee of the Bund, and he wrote for the underground Bundist press.  He was one of the two Jewish representatives on the Aryan side in the “Council to Aid Jews,” to which representatives from a number of Polish parties belonged.  Through contacts with the Polish underground movement, he was successful in transmitting abroad his long detailed report on conditions in the ghetto and on the Bund.  He became perilously ill and died in a Lublin hospital.

Sources: N. Khanin, in Forverts (New York) (October 28, 1939); B. Shefner, in Der veker (New York) (April 1, 1945; April 15, 1945); Y. Vilner, in Forverts (April 2, 1945); Dr. Ignats Aleksandrovitsh, in Unzer tsayt (New York) (April 1945); L. H. (Leyvik Hodes), in Unzer tsayt (April 1945); P. Shvarts, in Unzer tsayt (June 1945); S. Fishgrund, in Folkstsaytung (Warsaw) 1-2 (March 1947); D. Klin, in Yugnt-veker (Warsaw) (April 1947); M. Edelman, in Yugnt-veker (April 1947); Y. Sh. Herts, Doyres bundistn (Generations of Bundists), vol. 2 (New York, 1956), pp. 77-87; Y. Kermish, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 27 (1957).
Leyb Vaserman


S. FINESTONE (b. April 15, 1888)
            He was born in Lide (Lida), Vilna district, Lithuania, to a father who worked as a scribe.  In 1902 he came to the United States, where he worked as a tailor, an employee in a business, a scribe, and a teacher as well.  He graduated in chemistry from Syracuse University.  He published a series of popular scientific articles in Forverts (Forward) and Fraynd (Friend) in New York.  In book form: Khemye tsu lezn un tsu lernen (Chemistry to read about and learn), edited by Tsvien (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1920), 272 pp., with drawings and images specially adapted for the Yiddish reader and a short chemistry dictionary.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Moyshe Shtarkman, in Yorbukh fun natsyonaln komitet far der vokh fun yidishn bukh (Yearbook for the national committee for the week of the Yiddish book) (New York, 1942), p. 50.
Benyomen Elis