Sunday, 13 March 2016


MENASHE HIMELSHAYN (1892-October 1942)
            He was born in Mezritsh (Międzyrzecz), Poland, into a well-to-do family.  He studied in religious elementary school and in a Russian high school.  He worked later as a teacher of deaf mutes and had his own school.  From his youthful years, he was active in Jewish community life.  He was a man of means, and in the last years prior to WWII his home became a center for Yiddish writers and cultural leaders who were guests in the city of Mezritsh.  He published his first story in the anthology Bliung (Blooming) (Mezritsh, 1913), and from that point in time he published stories, features, and humorous sketches in: Mezritsher vokhnblat (Mezrich weekly newspaper) (1925-1939)—he served as its editor from 1928—Shedletser vokhnblat (Shedlets weekly newspaper), Podlasher shtime (Voice of Podlasie), Voliner vokh (Volhynia week), and Unzer ekspres (Our express) in Warsaw.  From 1930 until WWII, he was a contributor to Radyo (Radio) in Warsaw, in which he published humorous pieces and features.  His humorous “Little America and Big Pauperville” was reissued in Yizker-bukh mezritsh (Memory book of Mezritsh) (Buenos Aires, 1952).  He also wrote under such pen names as “M. Mandlzon.”  He was killed by the Germans during the deportation of Mezritsh Jews to Majdanek.

Sources: Y. Horn, in Yizker-bukh mezritsh (Buenos Aires, 1952); M. Edelboym, Di yidn-shtot mezritsh (The Jewish city of Mezritsh) (Buenos Aires, 1957); oral information from A. Gelberg in New York.

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