SHMUEL GORDON (November 25, 1909-1998)
He was born in Kovno. According to another story, he was born in Poltava, Ukraine. He was a relative of Yehuda-Leyb Gordon. He was raised in Soviet children’s homes, later becoming a laborer. He was a member of the Communist Youth Association. He graduated from the literature section of the Jewish division of the second Moscow State University. For sending letters and poems to Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw, he was barred from Komyug ([Jewish] Communist Youth). He started with poems and later became one of the most significant, younger Soviet prose writers. For a time he lived in Birobidzhan. He served as editor of the section “Literature of the Peoples of the Soviet Union” for volume 11 of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (Moscow, 1939). Among his books: Tsvishn azover un shvartsn (Between the Azov and the Black [Seas]), stories (Moscow, 1934), 128 pp.; Patryotn (Patriots), concerning Birobidzhan (Kiev, 1936), 118 pp.; Birebidzhaner kinder (Birobidzhan children) (Moscow, 1937), 27 pp.; Milkhome-tsayt (Wartime) (Moscow, 1946), 176 pp.; Birebidzhaner toyshvim (Birobidzhan settlers), travel images (Moscow, 1947), 158 pp.; In veg (On the road) (Moscow, 1957); Friling: roman, dertseylungen, rayze-bilder (Spring: novel, stories, travel images) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1970), 526 pp.; Aheym (Homeword) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1973); Bam vayngortn (At the vineyard) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1976); Di eybike mos, roman dertseylungen (The eternal measurement, novel, stories) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1979), 548 pp.; A khasene in krizhopol (A wedding in Krizhopol’) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1980), 62 pp. He published a series of travel narratives under the titles: “Iber yidishe yishuvim in krim” (Through the Jewish settlements in Crimea) in Eynikeyt (Unity) in Moscow (1946-1947); and “Shtetlekh” (Towns) in Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) (1966-1969). His work was also included in: Tsum zig (Toward victory) (Moscow, 1944); and Birebidzhan (Birobidzhan) (Moscow, 1936). In 1956 when a number of Yiddish writers returned from deportation, he was living in Moscow.
Sources: Literarishe bleter (Warsaw), no. 52 (1928) and nos. 11, 14, and 16 (1929); N. Mayzil, Literarishe bleter (October 23, 1931); Y. Dobrushin, in Emes (Moscow) 72 (1935); A. Kushnirov, in Naye prese (Paris) (July 27, 1945); N. Notovitsh, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (March 22, 1947); Y. Yonasovitsh, in Naye tsayt (Buenos Aires) (October 22, 1953); Lo emut ki eḥye (I shall not die but go on living) (Tel Aviv, 1956).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 146-47.]