SAM LIPTZIN (SHEPSL, SEM LIPTSIN) (March 13, 1893-September 22, 1980)
He was born in Lipsk, Suwalk district, Russian Poland. At age nine he began working with his father in tailoring. He moved to New York in 1909, worked in a sweatshop, and in his free hours he pursued self-study. At age sixteen, he became active in the Socialist Party. He began literary work for Der kundes (The prankster) and Di varheyt (The truth), as well as in trade union newspapers. Together with A. Ayzen and H. Garvin, he published (1920) the monthly Der humorist (The humorist). From 1922 he was a regular contributor to Frayhayt (Freedom), later Morgn-frayhayt (Morning freedom), in which he published humorous sketches, poems, and stories from the sweatshop, and ran the column “A vort far a vort” (A word for a word). He also placed pieces in the journals: Yidish kultur (Jewish culture) and Zamlungen (Collections) in New York; Naye prese (New press) in Paris; Folks-shtime (Voice of the people) in Warsaw; and various publications of IKUF (Jewish cultural association) in South Africa and the state of Israel. His books include: Af laytish gelekhter (The laughing stock), humorous pieces, poetry, aphorisms (New York, 1923), 160 pp.; Royte feferlekh (Little red peppers) (New York, 1926), 160 pp.; Ikh lakh fun der velt (I laugh at the world), monologues (New York, 1927), 36 pp.; Lomir zingen, in kemp un kamf (Let’s sing, in camp and in struggle) (New York, 1930), 32 pp.; Far royte ovntn (For red evenings) (New York, 1932), 125 pp.; Gekemft un felakht (Fought and laughed) (New York, 1933), 32 pp.; Lebedik un lustik (Living and cheerful) (New York, 1933), 16 pp.; Nitgedaiget (Carefree) (New York, 1934), 208 pp.; Gut morgn (Good morning) (New York, 1935), 96 pp.; Kamflustik (Joy of the struggle) (Los Angeles, 1936), 176 pp.; A freylekhs (A cheerful tune) (New York, 1938), 128 pp.; A gut-yontev (Happy holidays) (New York, 1940), 64 pp.; Krig un zig (War and victory) (New York, 1942), 80 pp.; Mit gezang in kamf (With song in battle) (New York, 1942), 32 pp.; Tselokhes di trern (In spite of tears) (New York, 1943), 48 pp. (English translation by S. P. Rudens as In Spite of Tears [New York, 1946]); Kvekzilbers penshtiferayen (Quicksilver’s mischievous pranks with his pen) (New York, 1944), 64 pp.; Hert a mayse (Listen to a story) (New York, 1945), 72 pp.; Shpil tsum tsil, humoreskes, monologn, retsitatsyes un kinder-lidlakh (Play to the goal, humorous sketches, monologues, recitations, and children’s songs) (New York, 1949), 144 pp.; Zingen mir, lider un parodyes af populare melodyes (We’re singing, songs and parodies of popular melodies) (New York, 1949), 46 pp.; Amol iz geven, epizodn fun svet-shop, bilder fun di grine yorn, kamf far treyd-yunyonizm in amerike (The past happened, episodes from a sweatshop, images from the green [i.e., first] years, the struggle for trade unionism in America) (New york, 1951), 264 pp.; Far freyd un fridn (For happiness and peace) (New York, 1953), 160 pp.; A vort far a vort (A word for a word) (New York, 1955), 178 pp.; Af vakatsye, humoristishe dertseylungen, monologn, retsitatsyes un aforizmen (On vacation, humorous stories, monologues, recitations, and aphorisms) (New York, 1957), 128 pp.; Far kleyn un groys, humoristishe lider (For small and large [young and old], humorous songs) (New York, 1957), 64 pp.; Vi zogt der feter (What did uncle say?) (New York, 1960), 208 pp.; Zingen mir, hundert un tsvantsik arbeter humoristishe un folks-lider (We’re singing, 120 workers’ humorous and popular songs) (New York, 1961), 64 pp.; Mit a freylekh ponim (With a happy face) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1963), 235 pp.; Zingen mir far sholem, 150 lider tsum zingen (We’re singing for peace, 150 songs to sing) (New York, 1965), 96 pp.; Mayn gortn (My garden), stories, humorous sketches, songs of struggle (New York: IKUF, 1969), 378 pp. He died in New York.
Sources: Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (March 24, 1935); M. Kats, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (May 2, 1942); M. Kligsberg, Dos yidishe bukh in 1943 (The Yiddish book in 1943), annual (New York, 1945); Y. B. Beylin, in Morgn-frayhayt (May 13, 1944; November 5, 1946; October 16, 1955); Y. Mestel, in Yidishe kultur (New York) (March 1949); Mestel, in Zamlungen (New York) 12 (1957); Z. Vaynper, in Yidish kultur (October 1951); M. Goldin, in Naye prese (Paris) (June 7, 1952); R. Yuklson, in Zamlungen (April-June 1954); Yuklson, in Yidishe kultur (January 1958); D. Karpinovitsh, in Folks-shtime (Warsaw) (February 25, 1956).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 337.]