MEYLEKH TSHEMNI (MELECH CIEMNY) (b. May 10, 1910)
The adopted name of Meylekh Tshemnov, he was born in Warsaw, Poland. He studied in religious elementary school, in yeshivas, and later he turned to self-study. In the 1930 he published reportage pieces, sketches, and stories in: Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper), Unzer ekspres (Our express), Dos vort (The word), and other serials in Warsaw. With the outbreak of WWII, he left for Bialystok, and then over the years 1941-1945 he lived in Tashkent and Samarkand (Uzbekistan), where he worked for a time on a collective farm. In 1946 he returned to Poland, and from there he soon departed for Germany. He lived in Munich until 1951 where he worked as a proofreader for a newspaper and was secretary of the association of survivor-writers. He contributed to such Holocaust survivor publications as: Landsberger lager tsaytung (Landsberg camp newspaper), Dos vort, Unzer velt (Our world), Af der vakh (On guard), and Naye yidishe tsaytung (New Jewish newspaper), as well as in the anthologies Shriftn (Writings) and Hemshekh (Continuation). He dispatched from Munich correspondence pieces to Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) and Tog (Day) in New York. In 1952 he moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he worked for the daily newspaper Di prese (The press). He spent 1957-1958 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he was co-editor of Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper). At the end of 1958 he settled in the state of Israel. Among his books: Di mishpokhe finster (The Finster family), stories (Warsaw, 1939); Teg azelkhe, dertseylungen (Such days, stories) (Munich, 1948), 141 pp.; Uzbekistan, tipn un bilder (Uzbekistan, types and images) (Munich, 1949), 158 pp.; Poylishe yidn, dertseylungen (Polish Jews, stories) (Buenos Aires, 1952), 319 pp.; Oysgevortslte, dertseylungen, felyetonen, esey (Uprooted, stories, features, essay) (Buenos Aires, 1956), 240 pp.; Vunder in vander, bletlekh fun mayn togbukh, september 1939-september 1969 (Wonder in wandering, pages from my diary, September 1939-September 1969) (Ramat-Gan: Eygns, 1971-1973), 2 vols. (711 pp.). Among his pen names: Finster and Sagi Nahor. He was last living in Ramat Gan, where he published, beginning in March 1960, the journal Blitsn, far polemik, literatur, kritik un kultur-gezelshaftlekhe inyonim (Flashes, for polemics, literature, criticism, and community cultural matters).
Sources: M. Kroshnits, in Hemshekh (Munich) (1949); Meylekh Ravitsh, in Arbeter-vort (Paris) (July 10, 1953); A. Gordin, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (July 30, 1954); A. Leyeles, in Der tog (New York) (March 23, 1955); A. Mukdoni, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (July 29, 1956); Y. Gar, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), pp. 174-75; A. Shulman, in Unzer shtime (Paris) (April 9-10, 1960).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 289.]