MOYSHE LEVIN (1897-May 16, 1943)
He was born in Warsaw, Poland. Over the years 1918-1920, he studied humanities at Warsaw University. He was politically active initially with the left Labor Zionists, later with the Communist Party. From late 1920 until the summer of 1928, he lived in the land of Israel. He was a cofounder of the local Communist Party and its representative at the Gezerd (All-Union Association for the Agricultural Settlement of Jewish Workers in the USSR) in Moscow in 1925. When the British police subsequently deported him from Israel, he lived in Warsaw (ca. 1935). He was a member of the central bureau of the Polish Communist Party and among the leadership of the leftist Jewish writers’ group. He was arrested and sentenced to a long prison term. At the time of the German invasion of Poland (September 1939), he escaped from Rawicz Prison, made his way to Bialystok where until June 1941 he was active in the union of former Polish prisoners and a proofreader for the Russian-language newspaper for the railway; he later lived for a short time in a collective farm in Novouzensk. He went on to live in Tashkent, where he worked in a coal mine in Karaganda. He was a contributor and co-editor of Yiddish-language Communist publications in Israel. He authored the pamphlets: Der tsienizm, tsu der 17tn kongres (Zionism, at the seventeenth congress) (Lemberg, 1931), 74 pp., using the pseudonym M. Yakubovitsh; Der nayer tsienistisher tararam un zayn badaytung (The latest Zionist fuss and its significance) (Pyetrikov, 1933), 63 pp., using the pseudonym H. Itskovitsh; Di vortslen fun peretses shafn, a pruv fun a marksistisher baloykhtung (The roots of Perets’s creative work, an effort at a Marxist elucidation) (Warsaw, 1934), 110 pp., using the pseudonym P. Diner. He translated from Russian and German a series of works by Karl Marx and others. There are two versions of the story of how he died: (1) that he died by drowning in the coal mine in Karaganda; and (2, the official story) that he drowned while standing guard by a river in Leninabad, serving as a soldier in a labor battalion. Portions of his translations (with M. Mirsky) of the second volume of Marx’s Kapital and of Kant’s Prolegomena and The Critique of Pure Reason were saved and may be found in the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. He also published under such pen names as: Moyshe Batlan, Levi Doresman, Sh. Dorman, P. Diner, and P. Sheli.
Sources: Yivo-bleter (Vilna) 10.1-2 (1936); Dos naye lebn (Warsaw) 1 (1945); Folksshtime (Lodz-Warsaw) (May 14, 1948); B. Mark, Umgekumene shrayber fun di getos un lagern (Murdered writers from the ghettos and camps) (Warsaw, 1954), p. 17; D. Sfard, in Unter der fon fun p. k. p. (Under the banner of the Polish Communist Party) (Warsaw, 1959), pp. 124-30; Y. Sheyn, in Unter der fon fun p. k. p., pp. 329, 330, 331, 332, 333, 336, 338; Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum, Ksovim fun varshever geto (Writings from the Warsaw Ghetto) (Warsaw, 1961), p. 264.
Khayim Leyb Fuks