Monday, 29 February 2016


MOTL HARTSMAN (1908-December 15, 1943)
            He was born in Berdichev, Ukraine.  He received a traditional Jewish education and early on acquainted himself with modern Jewish literature.  He debuted in print with poems in 1928 in Di royte velt (The red world) in Kiev, later contributing pieces for Soviet Jewish literary periodicals in Kiev, Kharkov, Moscow, and Minsk.  Aside from his own original poems, he also published translations from Russian and Ukrainian, both poetry and prose.  His poem, “In keler” (In the cellar), about the sad condition of Jewish youth under the Bolsheviks, earned him sharp rebukes.  Among his books: Mayn tsveyte yugnt (My second youth), poetry (Kharkov-Kiev, 1931), 52 pp.; Mir, di zin (We, the sons), poetry (Minsk, 1932), 64 pp.; Gutmorgn, mayn land! (Good morning, my country!), poetry (Kiev, 1935), 158 pp.; Kh-hob lib dikh, lebn (I love you, life) (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1937), 28 pp.; Goldene fakeln (Golden torches), poems (Kiev, 1939), 162 pp.; A briderlekher grus (A fraternal greeting) (Kiev, 1939), 25 pp.; Gezang un shverd (Song and sword) (Kiev, 1939), 181 pp., (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1970), 135 pp.; Rokhls libe (Rachel’s love), a poem (Kiev, 1940), 72 pp.; Lider (Poems) (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1941), 58 pp.  His translations include: Abdrei Irkutov’s Der her berger git on in demisye (Mr. Berger submits his resignation [original: Gospodin Berger podaet v otstavku]) (Kharkov, 1932), 64 pp.  His work also appeared in: Almanakh fun yidishe sovetishe shrayber tsum alfarbandishn shrayber-tsuzamenfor (Almanac, from Soviet Jewish writers to the all-Soviet conference of writers) (Kharkov, 1934); Birebidzhan (Birobidzhan) (Moscow, 1936); Komsomolye (Communist Youth) (Kiev, 1938), Shlakhtn (Battles) (Kharkov-Kiev, 1932); and Pyonerishe lider (Pioneer poems) (Minsk, 1934).

Sources: Emes (Moscow) (March 30, 1930); Kh. Dunyets, in Shtern (Minsk) (December 1932); N. Kabakov, in Farmest (Kharkov) (November 1934); A. Vevyorke, Der stil fun der proletarisher literatur (The style of proletarian literature) (Kharkov, 1932), p. 24; Sh. Herish, in Farmest (February 1936); I. Druker, in Shtern (September 1938); H. Bloshteyn, in Sovetishe literatur (Kiev) (January 1940); N. Y. Gotlib, in Sovetishe shrayber (Soviet writers) (Montreal, 1945), pp. 39-41; N. Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher shrayber in sovetnfarband (Jewish creation and the Yiddish writer in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), see index.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 216.]

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