GAVRIEL VAYSMAN (August 17, 1900-1988)
He was born in Radom, Poland, and studied there in the religious elementary school. In 1916, under Austrian occupation, he went to work in Vienna. Later, during the German occupation, he was a railway official in Radom. He served on the city council and was one of the Jewish community leaders elected by the left Labor Zionists. During WWII, he and his wife and daughter were deported to Komi in Soviet Russia. He returned to Poland in 1946. In 1949 he moved with his family to the state of Israel. He began writing—on Jewish folklore—in Radom in 1926. He contributed to such local publications as: Naye vintn (New winds), Shtaplen (Rungs), Tribune (Tribune), and Radomer-keltser lebn (Life in Radom and Kielce). He edited the local monthly journal Dos literarishe radom (Literary Radom), and he contributed to a series of YIVO publications. He published articles and treatises in: Moment (Moment), Hoyzfraynd (House friend), Arbeter-tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper), Yidish far ale (Yiddish for everyone), and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves)—all in Warsaw; the first volume of Yidisher folklor (Jewish folklore) (Warsaw, 1938); Oyfsnay (Afresh) and Tsukunft (Future) in New York; Zidamerike (South America) in Buenos Aires; and the anthology Tshile (Chile) in Santiago. He published children’s stories in: Kinder-fraynd (Children’s friend) and Kinder-velt (Children’s world) in Warsaw; Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees) in Vilna; and Kinder-zhurnal (Children magazine) in New York; among others. After WWII he placed work in: Dos naye lebn (The new life), Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings), and Arbeter-tsaytung—in Warsaw-Lodz; Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word), Tsienistishe shtime (Zionist voice) in Paris; Naye velt (New world) and Letste nayes (Latest news) in Tel Aviv; and Dos yidishe vort (The Yiddish word) in Chile; as well as elsewhere. He was a regular contributor to the monthly Lebns-fragn (Life issues), brought out by the Bund in Tel Aviv, for over thirty years, serving as editor for literature and art. He assisted in the preparation for publication of E. Faynzilberg’s book, Af di khurves fun mayn heym, khurbn shedlets (On the destruction of my home, the Holocaust in Shedlets) (Tel Aviv, 1952). He also edited: In shotn fun treblinke (In the shadow of Treblinka) by Sh. Polyakevitsh (Polakiewicz) (Tel Aviv, 1957), 167 pp.; Pinkes sokhatshev (Records of Sokhatshev [Sochaczew]) (Jerusalem, 1962), 843 pp.; Tsu a nay lebn (Toward a new life) by Tsvi Etkes (Tel Aviv, 1965), 260 pp.; In undzere teg (In our days) by Chawa Slucka-Kestin (Tel Aviv, 1966), 374 pp. His own books include: Vegn mazl un shlimazl (On good luck and bad) (Radom: Aleyn, 1938), 64 pp.; Radomer folklor (Radom folklore) (Radom: Tsuker, 1939); Pen profiln, eseyen (Pen profiles, essays) (Tel Aviv: Fraynd, 1978), 240 pp.; Yisroel kinstler, eseyen (Israeli artists, essays) (Tel Aviv: Fraynd, 1979), 240 pp. He used such pen names as: Hol, Olburg, Mangvays, B. Mandel, and Dr. L. Valter. He died in Ramat Gan, Israel.
Sources: Y. Mastboym, in Arbeter-tsaytung (Warsaw) (August 5, 1932); M. D. Giser, in Dos yidishe vort (Santiago de Chile) (October 31, 1946); Sh. Ernst, in Loshn un lebn (London) (July 1950); Ernst, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (August 28, 1954).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 244.]