BOLESLAO LEWIN (BOREKH LEVIN) (February 25, 1908-March 27, 1988)
He was born in Lodz, Poland. He graduated from a high school in Lodz and for a time studied at Warsaw University. From late 1931 until late 1936, he lived in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he was active in Jewish and general life. He was the founder and editor of the Spanish-language Jewish magazine Decimos (We say) and of the Yiddish-language daily newspaper Urugvay (Uruguay). During the Hitler period, he intensified his propaganda in South America, and to repulse the anti-Semitic contentions that Jews had not participated in the freedom struggles of Latin American peoples, he turned his attention to research on the Inquisition and the lives of Marranos in South America. At the same time, he took an interest in the history of Latin American peoples in general. From late 1936 he was professor of Argentinian history at the Universities of Rosario and La Plata, Argentina. He was also a member of the Bolivian Academy of History, the Peruvian Historical Institute, and the Argentinian Association for History. He began his writing activities in the Yiddish and Polish radical, legal and illegal, periodicals of Lodz, Warsaw, and Lemberg (1927). He was the author of books and monographs in Spanish. He also published his work on the Inquisition and the Marranos in Latin America in Spanish-language periodicals (a number of them were translated into Yiddish and published in Yiddish-language journals). He contributed work to: Di prese (The press), Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper), Davke (Necessarily), Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO), and Der holts-industryal (The wood industry)—in Buenos Aires; Do (Here) in Montevideo; Gedank un lebn (Thought and life) and Yivo-bleter—in New York; Gilyonot (Tablets) in Tel Aviv. In Spanish: Columna (Column), La prensa (The press), and La Nación (The nation)—in Buenos Aires; and La Razón (Reason) in Bolivia; among others. He also published a monograph on Dr. Francisco de Silva: Sarmyento, der riter fun der argentiner demokratye (Sarmiento, the knight of Argentinian democracy) (Buenos Aires, 1938), 44 pp. Levin also compiled (about 20,000 pages) of microfilmed documents in Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, and other Latin American countries, which was to be published in Yiddish and Hebrew. In Yivo-bleter (New York, 1943), pp. 215-34, he published the essay: “Der kamf kegn der yidisher aynvanderung keyn shpanish-amerike in di kolonyale tsaytn” (The struggle against Jewish immigration to Spanish America in colonial times). In the Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), pp. 423-40, he published the study “Der yid in argentine in 17tn yorhundert” (The Jew in Argentina in the seventeenth century). He was the author of numerous books in Spanish, such as: Mártires y conquistadores judíos en la América (Buenos Aires, 1954), which appeared in Yiddish as Yidisher deroberer un martirer in lateyn-amerike (Jewish conquerors and martyrs in Latin America) (Buenos Aires: Kultur-kongres, 1968), 281 pp.
Sources: S. Tempo, foreword to Levin, Sarmyento (Buenos Aires, 1938), pp. 3-7; Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The published Yiddish word in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), p. 189; Y. Botoshanski, Mame yidish (Mother Yiddish) (Buenos Aires, 1949), p. 246; Yorbukh argentine (Yearbook Argentina) (1954/1955), p. 235; Yitskhok Vaynshenker, Boyers un mitboyers fun yidishn yishev in urugvay (Founders and builders of the Jewish community in Uruguay) (Montevideo, 1957), pp. 133-34; Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), p. 262; Kh. Lazdaynski, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (February 4, 1958); A. Alpern, in Der amerikaner (New York) (February 28, 1958; July 7, 1961); A. Golomb, in Der veg (Mexico City) (April 8, 1958); Leyb Rokhman, in Forverts (New York) (July 13, 1958); Y. Yonasovitsh, in Folk un velt (New York) (September 1959); Y. Mezhovski, in Der amerikaner (September 4, 1959); Enciclopedia Judaica Castellana, vol. VI (Mexico City, 1949), p. 589.
Khayim Leyb Fuks
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 344.]