Friday, 27 May 2016

NOKHUM VAYSMAN (NOCHEM WEISMAN)

NOKHUM VAYSMAN (NOCHEM WEISMAN) (August 1894-December 31, 1944)
            He was born in a village near Foltichen (Fălticeni), Romania, to a father who made rustic sandals.  He studied in a public school of the Romanian Jewish community, in a state high school, and in a teachers’ seminary.  He began writing, in Bucharest, poems and stories drawn from Jewish life, and they were published in the Romanian weekly Egalitatea (Equality).  In 1917 he began to write poems in Yiddish (some of these were published in Romanized form in Egalitatea).  He served until 1919 in the Romanian army.  He settled afterward in Kishinev, where he worked as a teacher of Romanian language, literature, and history in the local Tarbut high school.  At the same he published poetry in the newspapers, Besaraber lebn (Bessarabian life) and Der id (The Jew).  He moved to the United States in 1920 and worked as a teacher in a Workmen’s Circle school and later in schools of the International Workers’ Order.  He published poems and stories in Frayhayt (Freedom) in New York, and he wrote a great deal for children.  Among his books: Di balade fun a “kinder-kemp” (Ballad of a children’s camp), with a foreword by Yankev Levin, illustrated by Y. Zeldin, Moyshe Zolotaryov, Yehude Gotberg, and Nokhum Vaysman (New York, 1926), 69 pp.; Lidelekh mayne (My little poems), illustrated (New York, 1940), 39 pp.; Dos meydl mitn roytn kleydele (The girl with the little red dress), illustrated (New York, 1940), 40 pp.; Di balade fun meyer Levin (The ballad of Meyer Levin), illustrated (New York, 1940), 80 pp.; Geklibene lider (Selected poems) (New York, 1950), 190 pp.

Sources: M. Olgin in Der hamer (New York) (December 1930); D. Kurland and S. Rokhkind, Di haynttsaytike proletarishe yidishe dikhtung in amerike (Contemporary proletarian Jewish poetry in America) (Minsk, 1932), pp. 115-20; A. Pomerants, in Proletpen (Proletarian pen) (Kiev, 1935), p. 205; Yidishe kultur (New York) (August-September 1944; January 1945; May 1945); Yudl Mark, “Yidishe kinder-literatur in amerike” (Yiddish children’s literature in America), Yorbukh (Reabook) (New York, 1944/1945).
Alexander Pomerants


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