Thursday, 30 July 2015


           He was a Soviet Yiddish poet of the post-revolutionary generation, born in the village of Glubochok, Podolia.  He graduated from a private high school in Bershad, later from the Jewish Pedagogical Technicum in Kiev and the mathematics faculty of Kiev University.  He was the author of sharp, epigrammatic satires (in the war years concerning the Nazis), fables, theatrical pieces, children’s literature, textbooks, and translations.  He first published in 1930: Zay gezunt, for gezunt (Be well, go healthily), poetry (Kiev: Kultur-lige), 10 pp.; and A rebn kumt azoy (Kiev: Kultur-lige), 10 pp.  He contributed to Soviet Yiddish serial publications.  In 1932 he served on the editorial board of the monthly Oktyaberl (Little October) in Kiev.  He fought on the front against the Nazis during WWII, later receiving military decorations.  Among his writings: Brivntreger (Mailman) (Kiev, 1930), 11 pp.; Tsip-tsap hemeln (Little hammer) (Kiev, 1932), 12 pp.; Naft (Oil), a story told in verse (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1934), 14 pp.; Geklibene mesholim (Collected fables) (Kiev, 1936), 107 pp.; Azelkhe un azoyne (Such and such) (Kharkov, 1936), 37 pp.; Artikl 2, komedye in eyn akt (Article 2, a comedy in one act) (Kiev, 1937), 20 pp.; Alerley zakhn (All manner of things), poetry (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1937), 94 pp.; Bulye, Krokevyake, tsvey stsenkes far kleyne kinder (Bulye, Krokevyake: Two scenes for small children) (Odessa: Kinder-farlag, 1937), 32 pp.; Nokh der arbet (After the work) (Kiev, 1938), 109 pp., with D. Foynitski; Mesholim (Fables) (Kiev, 1940), 61 pp.; Far kinder (For children) (Kiev, 1940), 102 pp.; Leynbukh farn ershtn klas fun der onfang-shul (Reader for the first class in elementary school) (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1940), 116 pp., second printing (Kaunus, 1940); Literarishe khrestomatye (Literary reader) (Kiev, 1941), 191 pp.; and Zalts in di oygn (Salt in the eyes) (Moscow, 1944), 38 pp.; Leynbukh far onfanger, khrestomatye (Reader for beginners) (Moscow: Emes, 1947), 132 pp.  His translations include: M. Il’in, Der groyser plan (The great plan [original: O velikom plane]) (Kharkov, 1931), 207 pp.; N. Mitrofanov, Der batalyon iz opgeshnitn (The battalion is cut off [original: Batal’on otrezan]) (Kharkov, 1934), 62 pp.; Cervantes, Don kikhot (Don Quixote) (Kharkov, 1936), 478 pp.; Korney Chukovsky, Der doktor oystutvey (Dr. Ow-it-hurts [original: Doktor Aybolit]) (Kiev, 1937), 103 pp.  In 1950 he was exiled to a forced labor camp; he was rehabilitated in 1956 but was physically and spiritually spent and died soon after returning to Kiev.

Sources: Kh. Loytsker, in Eynikeyt (August 31, 1943); M. Notovitsh, in Eynikeyt (January 11, 1945); A. Kushnirov, in Naye prese (Paris) (July 27, 1945); M. Z., in Naye prese (December 27, 1947).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 150-51.]

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