Sunday, 26 June 2016

S. (SHMUEL) VERITE

S. (SHMUEL) VERITE (b. January 10, 1901)
            Although some believe this to be a pen name for S. Vaysblat, Khone Shmeruk (in a letter of March 11, 1982, to Berl Kagan, see below), had a letter from “S. Verite” himself (dated 1977).  He was born in the colony of Dombroveni, Moldova.  He lived in Odessa where he was a student in the Russian drama school and belonged to the Initiative Group, with which Perets Hirshbeyn, B. Shafir, and Khayim-Nakhmen Bialik in 1908 founded the Hirshbeyn Troupe.  He was later known as a Jewish artist and an exemplary reader aloud from the works of Sholenm-Aleykhem and Y. L. Perets.  From 1922 he was active among Jewish Communist youth and in the anti-religious movement in Soviet Russia.  He lived in Kiev, Odessa, and Moscow.  He published articles and reportage pieces in: Yungvald (Young forest), Emes (Truth), and Eynikeyt (Unity) in Moscow; Stern (Star) and Oktrabr (October) in Minsk; and other serials.  He authored the pamphlets: Unter der boyarisher hershaft (Under the rule of the Boyars) (Kharkov, 1930), 51 pp., in which he depicted the economic condition of Jewish laborers, farmers, office workers, and craftsmen under the Tsarist regime in Bessarabia; Ven di erd hot gebrent (When the earth burned), from the life of the tobacco planters in a Bessarabian Jewish colony (Moscow, 1946), 70 pp. and 2 pp.; and Besaraber erd (Bessarabian soil), stories (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1941), 58 pp.  He contributed to the literary collection, Heymland (Homeland) (Moscow, 1943).  He translated from Russian into Yiddish several books of Communist Party materials, among them: 17tn konferents (Seventeenth conference), together with Kh. Futman and Y. Shapiro (Kharkov-Kiev, 1932), 208 pp.  The journal Nay-lebn (New Life) in 1949 reissued several items by Verite, such as: “Di brokhe fun der erd” (The blessing of the earth) and “Broyt” (Bread).  As of 1977 he was living in Zaporozhye, Ukraine.

Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO), vol. 1 (Warsaw, 1928), p. 238; N. Rubinshteyn, Dos yidishe bukh in sovetn-farband in 1934 (The Yiddish book in the Soviet Union in 1932) (Minsk, 1935), pp. 11, 328; M. L. in Oyfboy (Riga) 10 (May 1941); N. Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher shrayber in sovetnfarband (Jewish creation and the Yiddish writer in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), p. 128.
Khayim Leb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 252.]


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