Wednesday, 6 April 2016


SHIYE VAGMAN (JOSHUA WAGMAN) (1834-May 22, 1912)
            He was born in Kiev, Ukraine.  He received a traditional Jewish education, later becoming a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment.  He lived in Odessa until 1878, and from there he moved to the United States.  He lived in New York until 1895, after that in other American cities, and in 1909 back to New York.  He published in: Hamelits (The advocate), Kol mevaser (Herald), and Nyu yorker yudishe folkstsaytung (New York Jewish people’s newspaper) (1866-1889), in which he administered for the first time in the Yiddish press his division “Der shpigl” (The mirror) which in an easy-going form illuminated fast-moving events.  Over the years 1890-1895, he was editor of the weekly newspaper Der telegraf (The telegraph) in New York, which he filled out by himself almost completely.  He published Der teglikher telegraf (The daily telegraph) in 1895, which appeared for a short time only.  After this he contributed to Dovid Apoteker’s monthly periodical Gegenvart (The present) in Philadelphia and published newspapers in various cities, such as: Filadelfyer post (Philadelphia mail), 1898 in Philadelphia; Der shpigl in Chicago; and in Cincinnati and Minneapolis.  He was known as an uncompromising fighter for Jewish Orthodoxy in America.  Of his many newspaper novels, a few appeared separately as books: Di aristokratishe kale (The aristocratic bride) (New York, 1893), 319 pp.; Di sheyne tirkin (The beautiful Turkish girl) (New York, 1892), 479 pp.; and Don-kikhot (Don Quixote); among others.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; D. B. Tirkel, in Der pinkes (from the American division of YIVO) (New York, 1928), p. 261; Dr. A. Ginzburg, in Forverts (New York) (April 23, 1932); Elye Shulman, Geshikhte fun der yidisher literatur in amerike (History of Yiddish literature in America) (New York, 1943), p. 90; Kalmen Marmor, Der onhoyb fun der yidisher literatur in amerike (The beginning of Yiddish literature in America) (New York, 1944), pp. 35-37; Y. Tsuzmer, Beikve hador (At the edge of the generation) (New York, 1957), p. 207.

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