DOV-BER MALKIN (1901-February 12, 1966)
He was born in Grodno, Russian Poland. He graduated from a Russian-Hebrew high school. In 1915, when the war front was approaching Grodno, he moved with his parents to Minsk. From the years of his youth, he was active in the Tseire-Tsiyon (Zionist youth) party, for which he later served on the central committee in Byelorussia and Poland. In 1919 he left Russia and settled in Warsaw. He was one of the leaders of the Unified party of the right Labor Zionists and the Young Zionists. Until 1928 he was active in the League for Working Israel, the People’s University, and the Kultur-lige (Culture league), and on the administrative committee of the Jewish writers’ association, among other groups, in Warsaw. He was a well-known lecturer on literary topics. For several years he was a member of the Bund, later rejoining the Labor Zionists. From 1934 he was living in the land of Israel. He was active in Mapai (Workers’ Party in the Land of Israel), Aḥdut haavoda (Union of labor [i.e., Labor Zionists]), and Mapam (United Workers’ Party). He spent 1951-1952 in Paris. He gave a lecture tour through Western Europe and Australia. His literary activities began in Bagrayung (Liberation) in Warsaw (1919), and thereafter he contributed as well to: Arbayter-shtime (Voice of laborers), Yugnt-shtime (Voice of youth), Frayhayt (Freedom), Haoved (Labor), Haḥaluts (The pioneer), Yediot (News), Der ruf (The call), and other publications of the right Labor Zionists in Poland. Over the years 1928-1933, he placed work in the Bundist daily Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Warsaw, where he wrote under a regular rubric of “Durkh sotsyalistishe briln” (Through socialist eyeglasses). He also published there essays on modern Russian and Yiddish literature. He was a member of the editorial board of Bikher-velt (Book world)—in which, among others items, he placed work on Perets Markish, H. D. Nomberg, Lev Tolstoy, and others—and of Vokhnshrift far literatur (Weekly writing for literature), in which he published (1931-1933) essays on Mani Leyb, Sholem-Aleykhem, “Shomer [N. M. Shaykevitsh] and his grandson,” as well as articles on theater, and he ran two sections entitled “Fun der zayt” (From the side) and “In varshe fun bukh” (In the Warsaw of books), using such pen names as Mark Elbin and Leonid. From 1934 he was contributing to Davar (Word), Hapoel hatsair (The young worker), Al hamishmar (On guard), Gazit (Hewn stone), Hadoar (The mail), Heymish (Familiar), and Di goldene keyt (The golden chain), among others. Over the years 1950-1952, he was a contributor to and for a time editor of Unzer vort (Our word) in Paris. In the section on Warsaw in Entsiklopediya shel galiyut (Encyclopedia of the Diaspora), vol. 2, pp. 361-74, he published an essay on Warsaw as a Yiddish literary center, in which he provided a cross section of Yiddish literature in Poland until 1939. Into Yiddish he translated: G. V. Plekhanov, Der historisher materyalizm un zayne kegner (Historical materialism and its opponents [original: K voprosu o razvitii monisticheskogo vzgli︠a︡da na istoriiu (On the question of the development of the monistic view of history)]) (Warsaw, 1930), 374 pp.; V. M. Friche, Geshikhte fun der mayrev-eyropeisher literatur (History of Western European literature [original: Ocherk razvitiia zapadno-evropeiskoi literatury]) (Warsaw, 1931), 313 pp.; Irwin Shaw’s drama, Lusi kroun (Lucy Crown); Y. Ḥ. Brenner, Vinter, roman (Winter, a novel [original: Baḥoref (In the winter)]) (Warsaw, 1937), 274 pp., with “a word about Yosef Ḥaim Brenner” and a short bio-bibliography; M. Neustadt, Khurbn un oyfshtand fun di idn in varshe (Destruction and resistance of the Jews in Warsaw [original: Destruction and Rising: The Epic of the Jews in Warsaw]), 2 vols. (Tel Aviv, 1948), 720 pp. Translations from Yiddish into Hebrew: Moyshe Broderzon, Sikhes-khulin (Small talk) (Tel Aviv, 1958), 40 pp.; Kitve david bergelson (The wiritngs of Dovid Bergelson), vols. 1 and 2, with an article entitled “Nusaḥ bergelson” (Bergelson’s style)—including his works Arum vokzal (At the depot), Opgang (Sewage), Der toyber (The deaf man), Yordim, dertseylung (Déclassés, a story), Bay nakht (At night), Yoysef shur (Joseph Shur), and Nokh alemen (When all is said and done) (Merḥavya, 1962), 616 pp. He also wrote under such pen names as: D. B. Malkin [spelled homonymously]. “A Zionist with great tolerance,” noted Meylekh Ravitsh, “and with an artistic soul, he sought and found in Poland for a lengthy period of time the internal possibility to derive spiritual satisfaction from Bundism…. When D. B. Malkin alone edited journals or newspapers or literary supplements in them,…he always brought them to a higher literary level. Alas, he only rarely put together his own essays.” He died in Haifa.
Sources: Y. Leshtshinski and Sh. Mendelson, in Vokhnshrift far literatur (Warsaw) 8-9 (1931); Dr. Chaim Zhitlovsky, in Tog (New York) (May 24, 1931); Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) (June 1933); M. Neustadt, Khurbn un oyfshtand fun di idn in varshe (Destruction and resistance of the Jews in Warsaw), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv, 1948), p. 16; Neustadt, in Sefer hashana shel haitonim (Newspaper yearbook) (Tel Aviv, 1950), p. 257; Dov Sadan, Kearat tsimukim (A bowl of raisins) (Tel Aviv, 1950), see index; B. Kutsher, Geven amol varshe (As Warsaw once was) (Paris, 1955), see index; P. Shvarts, in Fun noentn over (New York) 2 (1956), pp. 359, 380, 427; Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), pp. 248-49; Y. Ritub, in Entsiklopediya shel galiyut (Encyclopedia of the Diaspora), vol. 2 (Tel Aviv, 1959), pp. 120-26; N. Smiatirska, in Entsiklopediya shel galiyut, vol. 2, p. 218; Dr. Shloyme Bikl, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (September 4, 1960); Dr. M. Vaykhert, Varshe (Warsaw) (Tel Aviv, 1961), see index; A. Zak, In onhoyb fun a friling (At the beginning of a spring) (Buenos Aires, 1962), p. 341; Sh. Rozenberg, in Yizker-bukh pulav (Remembrance volume for Puławy) (New York, 1963), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks