Sunday, 21 May 2017


DOV LEVIN (January 27, 1925-December 3, 2016)
            He was a historian, born in Kovno, Lithuania.  He attended a Hebrew public school and secular high school.  He was confined in the Kovno ghetto and was a partisan.  From 1945 he was living in Israel.  He studied sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, receiving his doctoral degree in 1971.  From 1972 he was a lecturer at “Makhon leyahadut zemanenu” (Institute of contemporary Jewry) at the Hebrew University and a scholarly associate of Yad Vashem.  In 1939 he debuted in print in the weekly newspaper Yugntvort (Youth word), supplement to the Kovno daily Dos vort (The word), and later he published historical works and criticism in: Yediot yad vashem (News from Yad Vashem) and Folk un tsien (People and Zion) in Jerusalem; Unzer vort (Our word) in Paris; Yalkut moreshet (Patrimonial collection) in Tel Aviv; and other Hebrew-language periodicals.  He composed longer historical works, primarily in Holocaust topics, in Yiddish and mostly in Hebrew, such as: “Tsvishn hamer un serp” (Between hammer and sickle), Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) (New York) 46 (pp. 78-91); “Yerushalayim delita, yehude vilna taḥat hashilton hasovieti” (Jerusalem of Lithuania, Jews in Vilna under the Soviet government), Gilad (Gilead) (Tel Aviv) 3 (1976); “Yehude besarabiya beshilton hasovieti” (Jews in Bessarabia under the Soviet government), Shevut (Repatriation) (Tel Aviv) (1976); “Yehudim estoniyim bebrit hamoatsot” (Estonian Jews in the Soviet Union), Yad vashem (Jerusalem) (1976).  His books in Hebrew include: Todoteha shel maḥteret, hairgun haloḥam shel yehude kovna bemilkhemet haolam hasheniya (History of the underground, the fighting organization of the Kovno Jews in World War II) (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1962), 422 pp.; Loḥamim veomdim al nafshem, milḥemet yehude lita benatsim 1941-1945 (Fighting for their soul, the war of Lithuanian Jews against the Nazis, 1941-1945) (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1975), also translated into English by Moshe Kohn and Dina Cohen, Fighting Back: Lithuanian Jewry’s Armed Resistance to the Nazis, 1941-1945 (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1985), 298 pp.; Im hagav el hakir (With their back to the wall) (Jerusalem: Institute of Contemporary Jewry, 1978), 313 pp.; Ben hapatish vehamagal, yehude haaratsot habaltiyot taḥat hashilton hasovieti bemilkhemet haolam hasheniya, asupat maamarim (Between the hammer and the sickle, the Jews of the Baltic states under Soviet rule during World War II, a collection of articles) (Jerusalem: Makor, 1983), 506 pp.  Among his pseudonyms: D. L., L. D., Kovnai, Kovner, Litvak, and Bar-Levi.

Sources: Sh. Ginosar, in Al hamishmar (Tel Aviv) (March 19, 1961); Sh. Cholwski, in Yalkut moreshet (Tel Aviv) (1975); Kh. Shoykhet, in Yidishe kultur (New York) (1976), p. 8; Mi vemi beyisrael (Who’s who in Israel) (1982).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 345.

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