Sunday, 14 July 2019


            He was born in Malyat (Molėtai), Lithuania.  In 1889 he moved with his parents to Vilna.  He was one of the founders of the Jewish Democratic Party in Vilna, and 1919-1927 he was a representative on the Vilna city administration.  He was a cofounder of Vilner tog (Vilna day), for which he wrote articles on economic and social issues, as well as feature pieces on Jewish ways of life in Poland.  He contributed to Zalmen Reyzen’s Pinkes (Records) with articles on the Jewish economic position in central Lithuania.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4.
Berl Cohen


KHAYIM-NAKHMEN SHAPIRO (1895-December 8, 1943)
            He was a Hebrew literary historian, born in Minsk.  He was the son of the last Kovno rabbi, R. Avrom-Duber Shapiro.  He attended religious elementary school and yeshivas.  He studied philosophy and Semitic philology in Berlin and Vienna, where in 1925 he received his doctoral degree.  He was lecturer (1925-1930) and from 1931 a professor of Semitic languages at Kovno University.  He was also a leading Zionist in Lithuania.  During WWII he was in charge of illegal cultural and educational work in the Kovno ghetto.  He wrote mainly in Hebrew.  He wrote stories, journalistic articles, and research pieces—mainly in Gilyonot (Tablets), Haolam (The world) and Moznaim (Scales)—but he was principally concerned with his comprehensive book, Toldot hasifrut haivrit haadasha (History of modern Hebrew literature), planned to be 12 volumes but only volume 1 appeared (Tel Aviv, 1939), 582 pp.  The second volume was prepared for the published but was lost in the ghetto.  In Yiddish he wrote mainly for the Kovno daily newspaper Idishe shtime (Jewish voice)—on literary and Zionist topics.  A longer work, entitled “Der vezentlekher untersheyd tsvishn der alter and nayer literatur” (The essential difference between ancient and modern literature), published in the collection Gedanken un lebn (Ideas and life) (Kovno, 1935), pp. 27-47.  In book form in Yiddish: Der algemeyner tsienist (The general Zionist) (Kovno, 1936), 171 pp.  He died in the Kovno ghetto.

Sources: Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature), vol. 2 (Merḥavya, 1967); Z. Shuster, in Litvisher yid (New York) (March 1945); Shenaton davar tsh”h (Davar yearbook for 1944/1945) (Tel Aviv, 1945/1946), pp. 557-58; Leib Garfunkel, Kovna hayehudit beurbana (Jewish Kovno in the Holocaust) (Jerusalem, 1959), see index; Lite (Lithuania) (New York, 1951), see index; Yahadut lita (Jewish Lithuania), 3 vols. (Tel Aviv, 1959-1972), see index; Genazim (Tel Aviv) (Nisan [= April-May] 1973), pp. 745-51.
Ruvn Goldberg

(Translator's note. For more information on his life and work, see:


KHAVE SHAPIRO (January 10, 1879-February 28, 1943)
            She was [primarily] a Hebrew writer, born in Slavuta, Volhynia.  She graduated from university in Berne in 1901.  She lived in Berlin, Russia, and Prague (from 1919).  She wrote stories, sketches, and literary articles for numerous Hebrew serial publications.  Her journalistic activities in Yiddish began with Unzer leben (Our life) in Odessa, and she later wrote for Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal.  She died in Theresienstadt.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 515.


            He wrote for: Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper) and Vokhnshrift far literatur un kunst (Weekly writings for literature and art) in Warsaw.  In book form: Siluetn, bilder fun gefangen-lager (Silhouettes, images from a POW camp) (Warsaw: Gitlin, 1920), 155 pp.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 515.


GERSHON SHAPIRO (1886-January 5, 1962)
            He was born in Shklov (Szkłów), Byelorussia.  From the 1920s he was living in Berlin and from 1933 in Paris.  He was a territorialist.  He was editor and publisher of the quarterly Frayland (Freeland) (1952-1961).  He also wrote sketches about life in Szkłów from times past.  He died in Paris.

Source: Mikhl Astur, in Afn shvel (New York) (March 2, 1962).
Beyle Gottesman


ALEKSANDER SHAPIRO (August 15, 1884-July 12, 1972)
            He was born and grew up in Rovno, Volhynia.  In 1905 he emigrated to the United States.  He was active in Histadruth.  His books include: A khoydesh in yisroel, mit der ershter histadrut folk-delegatsye (A month in Israel, with the first people’s delegation from Histadruth) (New York, 1950), 139 pp.; A folk vert banayt (A people are renewed) (New York, 1952), 330 pp.; Yisroel, der eybiker khidesh, mit der finfter histadrut folks-delegatsye (Israel, the eternal marvel, with the fifth people’s delegation from Histadruth) (New York, 1963), 203 pp., with 56 images.  He died in Newton.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 515.


IZO SHAPIRO (February 24, 1903-April 4, 1981)
            He was born in Shots (?), Bukovina.  He received a traditional education.  In the mid-1930s he left for Paris where he was active in PYAT (Parizer Yidisher Arbeter-teater, Parisian Yiddish workers’ theater).  He took part in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) and in 1944 amidst the Romanian partisans against the Nazis.  After the war he was again active in Yiddish theater.  Earlier in Bucharest and from 1949 in Jassy (Iași), he was for thirteen years director of the local Yiddish state theater.  He wrote reviews of theatrical performances and books in the trilingual Tsaytshrift (Periodical) in Bucharest and elsewhere.  He was the author of: Alef iz an odler, roman (Alef is an eagle, a novel) (Bucharest: Kriteryon, 1979), 177 pp.; and Masoes benyomen harevie (Travels of Benjamin IV), a poem (Bucharest: Kriteryon, 1983), 145 pp.  He co-edited Bukareshter shriftn (Bucharest writings), vol. 3 (Bucharest, 1980).  He died in Bucharest.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 515.]