MOYSHE YUNGMAN (1922-December 31, 1983)
He was born in Khodorov (Chodorów), eastern Galicia. During WWII he roamed far in Russia, where he worked in peat camps. He returned to Poland in 1945, but soon illegally made his way to Italy, where he was active until 1947 in the Zionist youth movement. He was a member of the leadership of Gordonia in Rome. From 1947 he was living in Israel. He took part in the fields of culture and education in immigrant centers. He was director and teacher at a public school for refugee children in the Galilee. He began published poetry in the periodical In gang (In progress) in Rome in 1946. He later contributed to: Baderekh (On the road) and Dos vort (The word) in Rome; Bafrayung (Liberation) and Der morgn (The morning) in Munich; Unzer vort (Our word), Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word), and Kiem (Existence) in Paris; Di goldene keyt (The golden chain), Yisroel-shtime (Voice of Israel), Folksblat (People’s newspaper), and Letste nayes (Latest news) in Israel; Tsukunft (Future), Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), and Undzer veg (Our way) in New York; and Ilustrirte literarishe bleter (Illustrated literary leaves) in Buenos Aires; among others. He was a cofounder and a member of the editorial collective for Yung yisroel (Young Israel) (Haifa, 1954-1957). His published books include: In hinerplet, lider un poemes (In a daze, poetry) (Rome, 1947), 80 pp. (including an allegorical play “Rosh Hashanah” which was staged in displace persons’ camps in Italy); In shotn fun moyled, lider un poemes (In the shadow of the new moon, poetry) (Paris, 1954), 106 pp.; Hagode shel peysekh (Passover Hagadah (Rome, 1947), 16 pp.; Vayse toyern (White gates) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1964), 168 pp.; Shmeykhlen fun erets hakodesh (Laughing from the sacred land) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1969), 166 pp.; Regnb-boygn tsukopns (Rainbow overhead) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1973), 123 pp.; In land fun elye hanovi, lider un poemes (In the land of Elijah the prophet, poetry) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1977), 147 pp.; Mayn tatns parnoses, lid un balade (My father’s livelihoods, poem and ballad) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1981), 75 pp.; Shtern derkenen dikh, lider (A star can recognize you, poems) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1985), 124 pp. His translations include: from Hebrew to Yiddish, Avraham Shlonski, Lider (Poetry [original: Shirim]) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1971), 210 pp.; and Tsvia Lubetkin, In umkum un oyfshtand (In destruction and uprising [original: Biyeme kilayon vemered (In the days of destruction and revolt)]) (Tel Aviv: Ghetto Fighters’ House, 1980), 356 pp.; from Yiddish into Hebrew, Roza Palatnik, Parokhet haketifa (The velvet curtain) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1972), 186 pp.; Yosef Vaynberg, Dima utefila (A tear and a prayer [original: Trer un a tfile]) (Tel Aviv, 1981), 125 pp.; and Nakhmen Mayzil, Susan shel sabi (My grandfather’s horse [original: Mayn zeydns ferd]) (Alonim, 1982), 18 pp.
“Moshe Yungman’s poems…,” wrote Meylekh Ravitsh, “are difficult to understand, but they are good and profound, and they last…. The need a lot of leeway around them—like exotic, beautiful flowers, for example: orchids. Yungman’s Israeli poetry is, in fact, often such orchids, colorful and distinctive and engrossing and even a little mystical in image, flying.” In 1974 he received an award from the prime minister for his literary works in Yiddish; in 1976 he received the Pinski Prize, and in 1982 the Mendele Prize. He died in Tivon, Israel.
Sources: B. Kohen, in In gang (Rome) (February 15, 1949); Y. Glants, in Der veg (Mexico City) (June 15, 1953); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Ilustrirte literarishe bleter (Buenos Aires) (January 1955); Glatshteyn, In tokh genumen (In essence) (New York, 1956), pp. 378-86; Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Tsukunft (New York) (March 1955); I. Manger, in Der veker (New York) (May 1, 1955); L. Domankevitsh, in Unzer vort (Paris) (January 24, 1956); A. Volf-Yasni, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (February 3, 1956); Sh. D. Zinger, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York (May 1956); Meylekh Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (May 12, 1956); Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), pp. 202-3; M. Yofe, in Yisroel-shtime (Tel Aviv) (November 1957; Yofe, in Der amerikaner (New York) (November 20, 1959); Dr. Shloyme Bikl, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (October 28, 1958); A. Lis, Heym un doyer (Home and duration) (Tel Aviv, 1960), pp. 142-47.
Khayim Leyb Fuks
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 300-1.]