Tuesday, 20 June 2017

LEON (LEYB) LERMAN

LEON (LEYB) LERMAN (1904-1966)
            He was born in Poland and worked as a laborer.  In 1923 he moved to the Soviet Union, living in Kharkov and later in Moscow.  He was a student in the Yiddish division of the Second Moscow State University.  He published stories and drawings of workers’ lives at the time of “socialist construction” in: Der emes (The truth) in Moscow (1928-1937); Der shtern (Star) in Kharkov-Kiev; and Royte velt (Red world) and Prolit (Proletarian literature) in Kiev; among others.  He published in book form: Fabrik-gesl (Factory alley) (Moscow, 1931); Tsigl (Brick), stories (Moscow, 1932), 138 pp.; and Torfer (Turfer), stories (Moscow, 1933), 104 pp.  During the Moscow Show Trials of the 1930s he was arrested (1937) for Jewish nationalism, and there was no news of him for many years.  His novel Tsuker-plantatsye (Sugar plantation), announced in Emes (March 5, 1934), was published in Moscow in 1936.  After being freed in 1955, he settled in Moscow where he died.  In his last years he also wrote poetry and published stories in Folks-shtime (Voice of the people) in Warsaw.  His work may also be found in Dertseylungen fun yidishe sovetishe shrayber (Stories by Soviet Yiddish writers) (Moscow, 1969).

Sources: M. Vortman, in Der emes (Moscow) (March 5, 1934); N. Rubinshteyn, Dos yidishe bukh in sovetnfarband in 1932 (The Yiddish book in the Soviet Union in 1932), (Minsk, 1933), see index; Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; information from H. Vaynraykh in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 352; Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), p. 220.]


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