LEYB GOLDBERG (1892-1955)
He was born in Brisk (Brest), Lithuania, into a family of writers. He father was a Hebrew teacher and author, and his older brothers were the poet Menakhem Boreysho and the editor of the Warsaw newspaper Haynt, Avrom Goldberg. He began his literary activities in Warsaw in 1914 with translations of Leo Tolstoy and Eliza Orzeszkowa and with reviews in Bikher-velt (Book world) and other publications. He also translated writings by Peretz and Sholem-Aleykhem into Russian. After the October 1917 Revolution in Russia, he became an active contributor to the People’s Commissariat for Jewish Affairs in Moscow, to the relief organization Idgezkom (Idishe gezelshaftlekhe komitet = Jewish Social Committee), and others. In 1923 he was secretary and later editorial representative of Emes (Truth) in Moscow. From 1930 until the Nazi invasion of Soviet Russia, he served as the manager of the Emes Publishing House. Goldberg also translated works from the classical Marxist writers and theorists, edited a number of books—among them, two volumes of Lenin’s writings which appeared in Yiddish—and published articles on the Yiddish press, publishers’ work, literature, and culture in Emes, and in the anthology Yidn in f.s.s.r. (Jews in the USSR) (Moscow, 1935), among other works. Later he was an active leader in the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee and a regular contributor to Eynikeyt (Unity) in Moscow. Shortly before his death, his Russian translation of Sholem-Aleykhem’s Motl peysi dem khazns (Motl the cantor’s son) appeared in Melukhe Publishers for Children’s Literature in Moscow.
Among his books (translations): Leo N. Tolstoy, Der tayvl (The devil [original: D’yavol]) (Warsaw, 1914), 86 pp.; Eliza Orzeszkowa, Ringen, gedalye (Cells, Gedalya [original: Ogniwa, Gedalya], with a biography and introduction by Zalmen Reyzen (Warsaw, 1914), 82 pp.; Janusz Korczak, Minyaturn (Miniatures), with a foreword by Bal-Makhshoves (Warsaw, 1914), 73 pp.; R. Arnu, Di meysim fun der komune (The dead of the Commune) (Moscow-Kiev, 1917), 21 pp.; Paul Lafargue, Vegn religye (On religion) (Moscow-Kiev, 1919), 66 pp.; Pavel Blonskii, Di shul un der arbeter-klas (The school and the working class [original: Shkola i rabochii klass]) (Moscow, 1919), 29 pp.; Joseph Stalin, Di yesoydes fun leninizm (The foundations of Leninism [original: Ob osnovakh leninizma]) (Mscow, 1924), 115 pp.; Nikolai Bukharin, Di internatsyonale burzhuazye un karl kautski, ir apostol (The international bourgeoisie and Karl Kautsky, its apostle [original: Międzynarodowa burzuazja i Karol Kautsky, jej apostoł]) (Moscow, 1925), 163 pp.; Lenin, Fun fevral biz oktyabr (From February to October [original: Ot fevralia︡ k oktya︡briu]), in Lenin’s selected writings, vol. 5 (Moscow, 1925), 155 pp.; B. Zhukov, Di opshtamung funem mentshn (The origins of men [original: Proiskhozhdenie cheloveka]) (Moscow, 1925), 182 pp.; N. Bukharin, Di khinezishe revolutsye (The Chinese revolution [original: Problemy kitaiskoi revoli︠u︡t︠s︡ii]) (Moscow, 1927), 63 pp.; Emelian Yaroslavskii, Kurtse etyudn iber der geshikhte fun der aikp(b) (Short studies from the history of the Russian Communist Party [original: Kratkie ocherki po istorii VKP(b)]) (Moscow, 1927); Dr. M. Dobin, Vos iz azoyns sap un vi darf men kegn im kemfn (What’s the matter with ?? and how to fight it) (Semferopol, 1932), 20 pp.; Lenin, Oysgeveylte verk af yidish (Selected writings in Yiddish) (Semferopol, 1933); Karl Marx, Di klasnkamfn in frankraykh (The class struggles in France [original: Klassenkämpfe in Frankreich 1848 bis 1850]) (Semferopol, 1933), 161 pp.; Guy de Maupassant, Tsvey fraynd un andere dertseylungen (Two friends and other stories [original: Deux amis et autres contes]) (Semferopol, 1935), 40 pp.; Stalin, Fragn fun leninizm (Problems of Leninism [original: Voprosy leninizma] (Semferopol, 1936), 858 pp. (first printing was in 1926); and Sholem-Alekhem, from Yiddish to Russian, Mal’chik motl (Motl, a lad) (Moscow, 1954), 100 pp., with a preface by Viktor Fink and illustrations by V. Losin. Goldberg also contributed, together with Y. Dobrushin and Y. Rabin, to the compilation of Der deklamator fun der sovetisher yidisher literatur (Declaimer of Soviet Yiddish literature) (Moscow, 1934), 410 pp. He died in Moscow.
Sources: A. Brakhman, in Emes (Moscow) 19 (1934); Leyb Goldberg, “A briv in redaktsye” (A letter to the editorial board), Emes 72 (1935); L. Arye, in Yidishe tsaytung (Winnipeg) (April 13, 1949); Ada Boreysha-Fogel, in Tsukunft (New York) (January 1955); Folks-shtime (Warsaw) (January 14, 1955); L. Leneman, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (February 3, 1956); Leneman, in Der amerikaner (New York) (February 17, 1956); Haboker (Tel Aviv) (February 11, 1956); B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (January 13, 1957); Sovetish heymland, Materyaln far a leksikon fun der yidisher sovetisher literatur (Materials for a handbook of Soviet Jewish literature) (September 1975).