MENDL MAN (MENDEL MANN) (December 9, 1916-September 1, 1975)
He was born in Plonsk (Płońsk), Poland. In his childhood years he lived in the villages of Sochocin and Kupor, later back in Plonsk. His family came from Jewish farmers whom Shloyme-Zalmen Pozner had settled in the Jewish villages around Plonsk. Man studied in a Polish school in Plonsk. He demonstrated talent at painting, studied at the Warsaw city painting school, and on several occasions displayed his work in shows. He began writing in 1938. That same year he debuted in print with poems in: Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves); Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper); and Arbeter-tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper)—all in Warsaw. When war broke out in September 1939, he was in Warsaw, escaped from there to Brest-Litovsk, and then went deep into Russia, where he was mobilized into the Red Army. He was in Moscow when the Nazis laid siege to the city, and he later took part in the festive march in May 1945 of the Red Army into Berlin. From there he went directly to Lodz, where he was a leader of the culture and school division of the “Jewish committee” and at that time organized the first school in Lodz in postwar Poland. He published a book of poems and ballads entitled Di shtilkeyt mont (The quiet demands its due) (Lodz: Borokhov Publ., 1945), 88 pp. This was the first Yiddish book published in Poland after the Holocaust. In the summer of 1946, after the Kielce pogrom, after roaming and wandering, Man arrived in Regensburg, Germany, and there he began publishing a Yiddish daily newspaper called Der nayer moment (The new moment). He also brought out a volume of poetry entitled Yerushe, lider (Heritage, poems), 47 pp.; the book was typeset in an old German print shop which, by chance, had Jewish type. In late 1948 Man came to the state of Israel, settled in the deserted Arab village of Yazur, and began to write longer novellas drawn from Israeli life. In 1954 he settled in Tel Aviv, where he became editorial board secretary for the journal Di goldene keyt (The golden chain). In October 1958 he was in Paris, and in 1959 he was a guest in the United States. From 1961 he had become a resident of France. He contributed poetry, stories and essays to: Undzer veg (Our way), Proletarisher gedank (Proletarian idea), Dos naye lebn (The new life), Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings), Der nayer moment, Di prese (The press), Der tog (The day), Yidish (Yiddish), Di tsukunft (The future), Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), Undzers (Ours), Nay-velt (New world), Oyfsnay (Afresh), Vayter (Further), Davar (Word), Al hamishmar (On guard), Mibifnim (From within), Molad (Birth), Masa (Utterance), and Di goldene keyt (in which he published almost all of his stories in his later years), among others. Man received the Tsvi Kessel Prize in Mexico City in 1953 for his volume of stories Oyfgevakhte erd (Awakened earth) (Tel Aviv: Di goldene keyt, with assistance from the Yiddish PEN Club, 1953), 174 pp.; the F. Bimko Prize from the World Jewish Culture Congress for the best story in Di goldene keyt in 1953; and an award from the World Jewish Congress in Israel for the manuscript of his Hefker-shetekh (No-man’s land), to be his continuation to Bay di toyern fun moskve (At the gates of Moscow). A number of his writings were translated into Hebrew, English, Italian, and Spanish. Aside from the aforementioned books, Mendl Man also published: Adam baohel, sipurim (Man in the tent, stories), a Hebrew translation of Oyfgevakhte erd by Yaakov Eliav, drawings by A. Bogan (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1952), 87 pp.; Bikefar natush, sipur (In an abandoned village, a story), translated from a manuscript by E. D. Shapir (Tel Aviv: Kibuts hameuḥad, 1953), 244 pp.; In a farvorloztn dorf (In an abandoned village) (Buenos Aires: Kiem, 1954), 254 pp.; Beshaare moskva (At the gates of Moscow), translated from the Yiddish manuscript by A. Sh. Shtayn (Tel Aviv: Atanot, 1955), 318 pp.; Bikefar natush (second edition), a popular edition from the “People’s Library” (Tel Aviv: Am Oved and Center for Culture and Education, 1956), 224 pp.; En una aldea abandonada (In an abandoned village), translated into Spanish by Maximo Yagupsky (Buenos Aires, 1956), 249 pp.; Bay di toyern fun moskve (New York: World Jewish Culture Congress and Tsiko, 1956), 318 pp., the first volume in his war trilogy; Nakht iber glushino (Night over Glushino) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1957), 350 pp.; Bay der vaysl (On the Vistula) (Tel Aviv: Y. L. Perets Biblyotek, 1958), 370 pp., the second volume of his war series; Ante las puertas de Moscú (At the gates of Moscow) (Buenos Aires, 1958), 270 pp.; Der gas fun blyendike mandlen (The street of almond blossoms), stories (Buenos Aires: Kiem, 1958), 179 pp., including nine stories whose action takes place on Israeli soil, and involving the landscape of abandoned Arab villages which was characteristic of virtually off of Man’s stories set in Israel; Dos faln fun berlin (The fall of Berlin) (New York: Tsiko, 1960), 311 pp., the third volume of his war series; Dos hoyz tsvishn derner (The house among thorns) (Tel Aviv: Menorah, 1960), 318 pp.; Al nehares poyln (To the rivers of Poland) (Buenos Aires: Kiem, 1962), 306 pp.; Milkhome-trilogye: Bay di toyern fun moskve; Bay der vaysl; Dos faln fun berlin (War trilogy: At the gates of Moscow; On the Vistula; The fall of Berlin) (Paris, 1964/1965), 715 pp.; Kerner in midber, dertseylungen (Grains in the desert, stories) (Paris: Undzer kiem, 1966), 291 pp.; Mentshn fun tengushey, roman (People of Tengushey, a novel) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1970), 210 pp.; Der shvarter demb, dertseylungen (The black oak, stories) (Paris: Undzer kiem, 1969), 274 pp.; Fun golen biz sharm a-sheyk (From Golan to Sharm A-Sheik) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1973), 188 pp.; Di yidish-poylishe milkhome, oytobyografishe dertseylungen (The Jewish-Polish war, autobiographical stories) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1978), 306 pp. He died in Paris.
Sources: M. Grosman, in Arbeter-tsaytung (Lodz) (1946); Y. Paner, in Nay-velt (Tel Aviv) (February 6, 1953); Paner, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (February 12, 1954); N. Goran, in Davar (Tel Aviv) (April 30, 1953); Y. Okrutni, in Idishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (June 13, 1953); Maryan Zhid, in Forverts (New York) (September 12, 1953); Y. Rimun, in Di prese (December 29, 1953); Rimun, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (August 27, 1957); N. Blumental, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 18 (1954); A. Lev, in Arbeter-vort (Paris) (January 29, 1954); Galia Yardeni, in Masa (Tel Aviv) (March 18, 1954); Sh. Sneh, in Undzer vort (Buenos Aires) (March 20, 1954); Sh. Katsherginski, in Di naye tsayt (Kiev) (May 6, 1954); Y. Yonasovitsh, in Di naye tsayt (July 16, 1954); Yonasovitsh, in Di prese (December 3, 1958); Y. Rapoport, in Ilustrirte literarishe bleter (Buenos Aires) (July-August 1954); Sh. Shiḥue, in Haarets (Tel Aviv) (July 16, 1954); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Di tsukunft (New York) (September 1954; July-August 1957; May-June 1958); Mukdoni, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (November 17, 1957); A. Glants-Leyeles, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (November 20, 1954); Meylekh Ravitsh, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (October 2, 1956); Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958); Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (March 16, 1959); Y. Vaynshenker, Poshet mitokh libshaft (Simply out of love) (Montevideo, 1955); Der Lebediker, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (January 26, 1957; May 5, 1957); Rokhl Oyerbakh, in Folk un tsien (Jerusalem) (May 15, 1957); Avrom Shulman, in Der veker (New York) (December 1, 1957); Shulman, in Unzer shtime (Paris) (June 27-28, 1959); M. Yofe, in Yidisher bukh-almanakh (Jewish book almanac) (New York, 1958), pp. 27-28; Yofe, in Di tsukunft (April 1959); A. Meytus, in Al hamishmar (Tel Aviv) (March 7, 1958); Dr. L. Zhitnitski, in Di prese (August 3, 1958); Kh. Sh. Kazdan, in Unzer tsayt (New York) (September 1958; November 1960); Kazdan, Der kinstler un dertseyler mendl man (The artist and storyteller Mendl Man) (Paris, 1964/1965), 92 pp.; Y. Shmulevitsh, in Forverts (February 10, 1959); M. Unger, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (February 11, 1959); Dr. Shloyme Bikl, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (April 5, 1959); B. Y. Byalostotski, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York) (October 1959); A. Lis, Heym un doyer, vegn shrayber un verk (Home and duration, on writers and work) (Tel Aviv: Y. L. Perets Library, 1960), pp. 122-26; Y. Kornhendler, in Di shtime (London) (April 22, 1960); Kornhendler, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (July 1, 1960); Kornhendler, in Der veg (Mexico City) (July 9, 1960); Y. Pat, in Di tsukunft (July-August 1960; July-August 1962); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Der idisher kemfer (New York) (August 5, 1960); Glatshteyn, Mit mayne fartogbikher (With my journals) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1963); Avraham Shaanan, Milon hasifrut haḥadasha (Dictionary of modern literature) (Tel Aviv, 1959), cols. 477-78; Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962), see index; Barvin-Frenkel, in Unzer shtime (June 5-6, 1963); G. Mikhman, Mayn fraynd mendl man (My friend Mendl Man) (Paris, 1978), 80 pp.
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 363.]