YIKHEZKL VILTSHINSKI (WILCZYNSKI) (1893-January 1943)
He was born in Tshenstokhov (Częstochowa), Poland. He graduated from the Częstochowa Commercial School and Wallenburg’s Technical High School in Warsaw. He studied mechanical engineering at the Universities of Berlin and Paris, where he lived until the end of WWI. In early 1919 he returned to Poland and became an active leader in the Bund. He lectured on literature and history at the Częstochowa cultural office of the Jewish trade unions. Over the years 1927-1930 he directed the artisans’ school at ORT (Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades) in Pyetrikov (Pyotrków), then later returned to Częstochowa. He was a contributor, 1933-1939, to the Bund’s production cooperative in Warsaw. He began writing—in Arbeter tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper) in Częstochowa in 1919—articles on literature, and later he would run the weekly portion called “Fun bikher-tish” (From the book table) in which he published reviews of books of Yiddish and Polish literature. He contributed as well to the weekly newspaper Der proletaryer (The proletarian) in Częstochowa, Tshenstokhover veker (Częstochowa alarm), and Pyetrikover veker (Pyotrków alarm). He wrote about Jewish character types in Polish literature in the following Warsaw serials: Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper), Shul un lebn (School and life) in 1922; Unzer tsayt (Our time) in 1927-1928; Foroys (Onward), Vokhnshrift far literatur (Weekly writings for literature), Bikher velt (Book world) in 1928 (“Vegn yidish-poylishe iberzetsungen” [On Yiddish-Polish translations], with a partial bibliography of Polish translations of Yiddish literature); Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in 1931 (chapters from a work on the topic of “the path of Jewish martyrs pressed in Tsarist military service for many years”). Also: Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) (Vilna) 4 (1932), pp. 246-57 (“Yidn in y. i. krashevskis verk” [Jews in the work of Józef Ignacy Kraszewski]), among others. In 1932 he was the editorial secretary for the planned Tshenstokhover pinkes (Records of Częstochowa), for which he wrote a series of articles entitled “Tsu der geshikhte fun yidn in tshenstokhov” (On the history of Jews in Częstochowa), which was partially published in Tshenstokhover tsaytung (Częstochowa newspaper). His books include: Birgerlekher un arbeter sport (Bourgeois and workers’ sports) (Częstochowa: Kultur, 1925), 44 pp.; Yidishe tipn in der poylisher literatur (Jewish character types in Polish literature) (Warsaw, 1928), 227 pp. He was confined in the Warsaw Ghetto, where he wrote “Historishe arbetn vegn der kultur-geshikhte fun yidn in poyln in der ershte helft fun 19tn yorhundert” (Historical works on the cultural history of Jews in Poland in the first half of the nineteenth century) as well as a few works of fiction, such as: “In arbets-lager” (In a work camp), a period piece published in Tsvishn lebn un toyt (Between life and death) (Warsaw, 1955), pp. 24-30. He was killed during the January Aktion (1943) in the Warsaw Ghetto. He also wrote under the pseudonyms: A. Viltsh, Kh. V., and others.
Sources: Y. Likhtenshteyn, in Lodzher veker (Lodz) (June 22, 1928); N. Veynig, in Bikher-velt (Warsaw) (July 1928); Dr. Y. Shatski, in Yivo-bleter (Vilna) 4 (1932), pp. 60-67; Tshenstokhover yidn (Częstochowa Jews) (New York, 1947), pp. 98-99, 399; B. Mark, ed., Tsvishn lebn un toyt (Between life and death) (Warsaw, 1955), p. 15.
Khayim Leyb Fuks