Thursday, 28 September 2017

YANKEV MAYZIL

YANKEV MAYZIL (January 24, 1889-June 9, 1943)
            Younger brother of Nakhmen Mayzil, he was born in Kiev, Ukraine.  He studied with itinerant teachers and tutors, and later he graduated from Kiev University.  During WWI he lived deep inside Russia.  Over the years 1918-1921, he was an active leader in the modern Jewish school and culture movement in Kiev; later, until WWII, he lived in Warsaw and worked with the publishers Kultur-lige (Culture league), and Shulkult (School culture).  He published articles in Der fraynd (The friend) in St. Petersburg-Warsaw, and Bikher-velt (Book world) and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw.  Together with his wife Yudes Blumenfeld-Mayzil, he translated U. N. Gnesin’s novel Etsel (Close by) into Yiddish as Froym margolis (Ephraim Margolis) (Warsaw, 1925), 167 pp.; and Knut Hamsun’s Di vayber baym brunem (Women at the pump [original: Konerne ved vandposten (Women at the tap)]) (Warsaw, 1929), 536 pp.  When the Germans invaded Poland, he fled to Lemberg.  In October 1941 he arrived in Borshchov (Borshchiv), and there the Nazis shot him together with other Jews who were hiding among the victims in the cemetery.  In Sefer borshtshiv (Volume for Borshchiv), there was published Mayzil’s letter to his son in which he described the violence perpetrated by the Germans and Ukrainians in the years of Jewish Holocaust.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings) (Lodz, 1946); Yanos Turkov, Azoy iz es geven (That’s how it was) (Buenos Aires, 1948), p. 25; Lerer-yizker-bukh (Remembrance volume for teachers) (New York, 1954), pp. 50-51; Sefer borshtshiv (Volume for Borshchiv) (Tel Aviv, 1960), pp. 238-47; information from Nakhmen Mayzil in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


GITL MAYZIL

GITL MAYZIL (1898-November 1985)
            The sister of Nakhmen Mayzil, she was born in Kiev, Ukraine.  She received a Jewish and a general education.  She graduated from a Russian high school in Kiev.  After the February-March Revolution (1917), she moved to Moscow, worked for the society “Kamf kegn analfabetizm” (Struggle against illiteracy), and taught domestic serving girls to read and write.  Over the years 1922-1925, she lived in Warsaw, continued her education in a French school for literature, and turned her attention to translating children’s literature from Russian and Polish.  Over the years 1925-1928, she visited Germany and the United States, and later settled in the land of Israel.  Her writing activities began with an article on Osher Shvartsman in Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Warsaw (1922); she later published poetry and critical treatment of books as well in: Arbeter-tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper), Haynt (Today), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), and Bikher-velt (Book world), among others, in Warsaw; Nayvelt (New world), Di goldene keyt (The golden chain), Folksblat (People’s newspaper), Yisroel-shtime (Voice of Israel), Fray-yisroel (Free Israel), and in Hebrew Davar (Word), Al hamishmar (On guard), and Lamerḥav (To the horizon), among others, in Israel; Der hamer (The hammer), Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), Morgn-frayhayt (Morning freedom), Proletarishe velt (Proletarian world), Ikuf-almanakh (IKUF almanac), and Unzer veg (Our way)—in New York; Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word), Di naye prese (The new press), and Parizer shriftn (Parisian writings)—in Paris; Ikuf-bleter (Pages from IKUF) and Haynt—in Buenos Aires; and others.  Her book-length translations include: Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky, Far yugnt (For youth) (Warsaw, 1924), 301 pp.; Isaac Babel, Di geshikhte fun mayn toybnshlak un andere dertseylungen (The story of my dovecote [original: Istoria moei golubyatni] and other stories) (Warsaw, 1927), 138 pp.; Lev Tolstoy, Far kinder (For children) (Vilna, 1928), 171 pp.; M. G. Rozanov (N. Ognev), Dos togbukh fun kotsya ryabtsev (The diary of Kostya Ryabtsev [original: Dnevnik Kosti Ryabtseva]) (Vilna, 1930), 520 pp.; Wanda Wasilevska, Regnboygn (Raibow [original: Raduga]) (Tel Aviv, 1946), 265 pp.; and Lord Russell of Liverpool, Di baytsh fun haknkreyts (Scourge of the Swastika) (Tel Aviv, 1956), 328 pp.  Several of her poems were included in Ezara Korman’s anthology Yidishe dikhterins (Yiddish poetesses).  Among other items, she edited the volume Hayeled beerets yisrael (The boy in the land of Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1945), 167 pp., which includes works by Israeli children in cities and kibbutzim.  She died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Ezra Korman, Yidishe dikhtrerins (Yiddish poetesses) (Chicago, 1928), pp. 285-88, 349; Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO), vol. 1 (Warsaw, 1928), see index; B. Kutsher, Geven amol varshe (As Warsaw once was) (Paris, 1955), see index; Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), pp. 266-67; N. Mayzil, Tsurikblikn un perspektivn (Retrospectives and perspectives) (Tel Aviv, 1962), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


MOYSHE MAYDANSKI

MOYSHE MAYDANSKI (1900-1973)
            He was born in the town of Polonne, Ukraine, where he received a traditional Jewish upbringing and education.  He was a Soviet Yiddish linguist, who served as a scholarly contributor at the Office of Yiddish Culture in the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in Kiev in the late 1920s.  He researched Yiddish language and literature, and he worked on school curricula in the 1920s and 1930s.  He also wrote a series of articles (see examples below) concerned with translation: Taras Shevchenko’s Ukrainian poetry into Yiddish and Sholem Aleichem’s writings into Russian and Ukrainian.  He published his writings in scholarly anthologies, journals, newspapers, and books, such as: “Der novi” (The prophet), in the collection Yortsayt fun taras shevtshenko (Anniversary of the death of Taras Shevchenko) (Kiev, 1920); with L. Prusman, Lenins ruf (Lenin’s call), “textbook for illiteracy liquidation posts” (Kiev: Kultur-lige, 1925), 76 pp.; Lenins ruf, lernbukh far veynik-ivredike (Lenin’s call, a textbook for the nearly illiterate), part 2, “by a group of teachers, including Zingerman, Safyan, Faynerman, Kruglyak, and Ravinski, edited by Y. Kantor and M. Maydanski” (Kiev, 1926), 223 pp., second edition (1928), 120 pp., third edition (1929), 128 pp.; “Problemen fun shprakh-unterrikht in shtifs arbetn” (Problems in language instruction in Shtif’s works), Afn shprakhfront (On the language front) (Kiev) 2 (1935), pp. 39-69; “Vegn di lernbikher af shprakh” (On the language textbooks), Afn shprakhfront 4-3 (1935), pp. 230-48; with M. Shapiro, Alef-beyz far dervaksene (The alphabet for adults) (Kharkov-Kiev, 1933), 58 + 2 pp.; Ortografye un punktuatsye (Orthography and punctuation), “collection of rules and exercises, auxiliary text for middle school” (Kiev, 1936), 159 pp. (several editions appeared, the fifth in 1941, 144 pp.); with Khayim Loytsker and M. Shapiro, Leyenbukh far yidishe shuln (Textbook for Jewish schools) (Kiev-Kharkov, 1936), 68 pp.; “Vegn dem epitet bay sholem-aleykhemen” (On the epithets used by Sholem Aleichem), pp. 67-80, and “T. g. shevtshenkos dikhtung in yidish” (T. G. Shevchenko’s poetry in Yiddish), pp. 163-206, in Afn shprakhfront 4 (1939).  During WWII Maydanski was not mobilized into the army because of his age, and he continued his work in the office in which, from 1932, he led the seminar on Yiddish at the Institute of Ukrainian Linguistics.  In 1942 he worked on a dissertation entitled “Problemen fun yidishn sintaks” (Problems in Yiddish syntax) and, together with Kh. Loytsker and Elye Spivak, on a work entitled “Etyudn vegn der yidisher literarisher shprakh, vegn ir geshikhte un haynttsaytikn tsushand” (Studies concerning the Yiddish literary language, on its history and contemporary state).  He held the title “candidate in philological science.”  In 1943 he prepared a piece: “Der sintaks fun eynfakhn zats” (The syntax of a simple sentence).  At the beginning of 1945, Maydanski and the Soviet Jewish folklorist Moyshe Beregovski traveled around the western regions of Ukraine, collecting new Yiddish folkloric materials concerned with WWII, and later they went to the cities and towns of Bukovina to collect folklore material from the Jewish ghettos of Transnistria and to attend a writers’ conference in Czernowitz.  He demonstrated there materials collected on phonograph albums.  Together with M. Shapiro, Kh. Loytsker, and R. Lerner, in 1946 he prepared for publication a major Russian-Yiddish dictionary.  He helped in compiling the history of the Holocaust, especially the Jewish tragedy in Kiev (Babi Yar) and the Kiev region.  He contributed to a book on the Jewish partisans.  He also wrote a work on “the Russian and Ukrainian translations of Sholem Aleichem.”  There was no news concerning his fate during and after the murder of Yiddish writers (1948-1952), but he went on to publish a series of works in Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland).

Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO), vol. 1 (Warsaw, 1928); Dos yidishe bukh in f.s.r.r. (The Yiddish in the Soviet Union), for the years 1917-1921 (Kiev, 1930); N. Rubinshteyn, Dos yidishe bukh in sovetnfarband in 1933 un 1935 (The Yiddish book in the Soviet Union in 1933 and 1935), (Minsk, 1935); Yudel Mark, in Yivo-bleter (New York) 16.2 (1940), pp. 157-60; A. Kahan, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (April 5, 1943); Emkin, in Eynikeyt (March 3, 1945); P. Novik, Eyrope tsvishn milkhome un sholem (Europe between war and peace) (New York, 1948), p. 269; N. Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher shrayber in sovetn-farband (Jewish creation and the Jewish writer in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), p. 130; Anon., “In cabinet far yidisher kultur” (In the office of Yiddish culture), Eynikeyt (July 15, 1942; January 4, 1945); Anon., “A groyser oyftu in antviklen di yidishe kultur un visnshaft” (A great accomplishment in developing Yiddish culture and scholarship), Eynikeyt (April 2, 1946); the cultural chronicle in the anthology of Afn shprakhfront (Kiev) and Tsukunft (New York) (April 1945); Sovetishe biblyografye (Soviet bibliography) in the YIVO archives.
Zaynvl Diamant

[Additional information from: 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. 238.]


MORTKHE MAYDANIK (MORDEKHAI, MARCOS MAIDANIK)

MORTKHE MAYDANIK (MORDEKHAI, MARCOS MAIDANIK) (1896-April 23, 1960)
            He was born in Trastiniets, Podolia.  Until age thirteen he attended religious elementary school, and thereafter he turned solely to self-study.  In 1913 he made his way to Argentina, where he worked as the director of a Hebrew school in Basavilbaso, Entre Rios Province.  His literary activities began in 1918 with articles in Hebrew, and from 1923 he was publishing stories and sketches in Yidishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires, Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper), and Yudishe gazetten (Jewish gazette) in New York (1924-1930).  He also wrote for: Di prese (The press), Der shpigl (The mirror), and Di idishe velt (The Jewish world) for which he was also editor (1927-1946)—all in Buenos Aires.  In addition, he contributed work to Hadoar (The mail) in New York and Haolam (The world) in the land of Israel.  He edited the Argentinian Hebrew journal Darom (South) and the historical-literary collection Sefer argentina (Volume for Argentina) (1954).  He was one of the leaders of Argentinian Zionism.  In his stories, he described the life of Jewish colonists and their struggle to remain in the colonies.  He published a volume of stories in Hebrew, entitled Bearvot argentina, sipurim ureshimot (Amid the willows of Argentina, stories and notes) (Buenos Aires: Histadrut ivrit, 1948), 200 pp.  His work was represented by stories in Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), pp. 481-85.  He died in Buenos Aires.  Among the pen names he used: M. Ben-Barukh, M. B. Rivtses, M. Barukhi, and M. Shteynfinkl.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentina (The published Yiddish word in Argentina), vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, 1941), pp. 136, 166, 186; Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (April 7, 1948; October 16, 1954); Botoshanski, Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), “Yidn 5” (New York, 1957), p. 379; Y. L. Gruzman, in Der shpigl (Buenos Aires) (June-July 1958; May 1960); Davke (Buenos Aires) (April 22, 1960), p. 124; V. Tsukerkop, in Forverts (New York) (August 7, 1960).
Yankev Kahan


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

ELIYAHU MAIDANIK

ELIYAHU MAIDANIK (1882-May 22, 1904)
            He was born in Ilinets (Ilintsy), Kiev district, Ukraine.  He received a traditional Jewish education, acquainting himself with the Russian and German languages, and already at age thirteen he was publishing correspondence pieces in the Russian-Jewish Voskhod (Arise).  He later supported himself giving Hebrew lessons in Odessa, living in great need and publishing several stories—such as “Hakabtsan haiver” (The bind begger) and “Oneg shabat” (Enjoyment of the Sabbath)—drawn from ordinary Jewish life in the journal Hashiloa (The shiloah); these stories attracted some attention from writers and readers.  The Kishinev pogrom of 1903 rattled the nervous system of the sensitive Maidanik, and he took poison, leaving behind this short letter: “Ever since the pogrom in Kishinev, I have felt a pain in my heart.  On several occasions I wanted to take my own life, but I was unsuccessful….  This time, it would appear, I shall succeed.”  He described the internal drama that he was experiencing shortly before his death in a story entitled “Berega aḥaron” (At another time), which depicts the suicide of an intelligent young man who can find no possibility to go on living under the ongoing horror of pogroms.  In 1908 his friends published a collection of his stories—Kitve eliyahu maidanik (Writings of Eliyahu Maidanik), with an introduction by Y. F. (Odessa, 1908), 143 pp.  In Yiddish he published in Yud (Jew) 20 (1900) “A bletil fun mayne kinderheyt-zikhroynes” (A page from my childhood memories)—a tendentious, sentimental Lag b’Omer story.  His story “Khomets” (Unleavened bread) was published in B. Shimin’s Ilustrirt-literarishes peysekh-blat (Illustrated literary Passover sheet), undated (published 1906-1907).

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2, with a bibliography; Z. Shneur, in Forverts (New York) (May 27, 1932; June 10, 1932); Shneur, H. n. bialik un vene doro (Ḥ. N. Bialik and those of his generation) (Tel Aviv, 1958), pp. 275-90.


YOYSEF-DOVID MITLPUNKT

YOYSEF-DOVID MITLPUNKT (December 25, 1889-March 20, 1974)
            He was born in Izhitse (Iżyce), Lublin district, Poland.  He attended religious primary school and the Radom yeshiva, and he had private tutors.  He was active in the revolutionary movement, and he spent time in prison earlier under the Tsarist authorities and later under the Poles.  He studied at Kiev University and practiced as a lawyer in various cities in Soviet Russia.  After WWII he lived in Ulm, Leipheim, and other Jewish refugee camps in Germany.  From 1948 he was living in the state of Israel.  He began writing in Russian for the Russian-Jewish Razsvet (Dawn) in St. Petersburg (1910).  For many years he remained a Russian writer and (using the pen names: Lazarov, A. Poliakov, Igorev, and Vereshchagin) published four volumes of stories in Russian.  In Yiddish he published a sketch—entitled “Tsvaygn” (Branches)—in Der fraynd (The friend) in Warsaw (1912), and in 1945 he again began to write in Yiddish.  He contributed to the Yiddish-language periodical in the Roman script A heym (A home) in Leiheim (1946) and to Unzder veg (Our way) in Munich, among other newspapers put out by Holocaust survivors in Germany.  From 1948 he was writing miniatures and allegories for Letste nayes (Latest news) for which he was a regular contributor, Nay-velt (New world), Unzer haynt (Our today), Dos vort (The word), and Heymish (Familiar); and in Hebrew for Davar (Word), Omer (Speech), Haboker (This morning), and Al hamishmar (On guard), among others—all in Tel Aviv.  In book form: Untervegns (Pathways), poetry on Holocaust and refugee themes (Ulm, 1947), 23 pp.; Fun alts tsu bislekh (From everything to little bits) (Tel Aviv, 1950), 64 pp.; Ver iz shuldik? Bildlekh, refleksn un alegoryes (Who is guilty? Images, reflections, and allegories) (Tel Aviv, 1958), 247 pp.; Meaḥore hasoreg (Behind the rack) (Tel Aviv, 1953), 130 pp.; Mi asham? (Who is guilty?) (Tel Aviv, 1959), 207 pp.  A group of his miniatures were translated into Hebrew by A. Shlonski, Asher Barash, Natan Goran, Yaakov Fikhman, Y. Tverski, and others.  He died in Ḥolon, Israel.

Sources: A. Shlonski, Asher Barash, and Y. Tverski, preface to Meaḥore hasoreg (Behind the rack) (Tel Aviv, 1953), p. 5; Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn Leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), pp. 264-65; Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


YANKEV MITLER

YANKEV MITLER (b. 1897)
            He was born in Lodz, Poland.  He attended religious primary school, a Polish high school, and the Cracow Art Academy.  In 1928 he settled in Paris.  In 1935 he made his way to Argentina, served as chairman of the society “GAAP” (for sculptors and painters) and was a cofounder of the theatrical organization “IFT” (Idisher folks teater [Yiddish people’s theater]) in Buenos Aires.  He contributed articles on painting to: Horizontn (Horizons) in Lodz and IKUF (Jewish Cultural Association) in Buenos Aires, for which, among other items, he wrote a series of biographies of French painters.  In 1947 he settled in New York.

Source: Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentina (The published Yiddish word in Argentina), vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, 1941), pp. 116, 171.
Benyomen Elis


YISROEL MITLMAN

YISROEL MITLMAN (1898-1951)
            His was born in Satanov (Sataniv), Podolia.  Until age ten he studied in religious elementary school.  He prepared to sit for the examinations to enter a Russian middle school, but they would not accept more than the normal percentage of Jews.  He moved with his family to Uman on the eve of WWI.  Shortly after the revolution, he passed the examinations into the sixth class of high school in Uman.  In 1920 he joined the Ukrainian “Spilka” ([Social Democratic] Union) in Kiev, served as secretary of the Communist cell, and was a delegate to regional conferences.  In 1924 he was sent to continue his education the Chemistry Department at the Kiev Institute for Popular Education, but he was unable to complete his studies due to material difficulties.  From 1928 he was contributing work to: Kritik (Critic), Royter biblyotek (Red library), and Literatur-tsaytung (Literature newspaper)—in Kiev.  From 1930 he was working with the library and the division for book knowledge and bibliography at the Kiev Institute for Jewish Culture.  He published the following works: “Der tsushtand fun undzer biblyografye” (The condition of our bibliography), Kritik 2, 4, and 5 (1929); on Yiddish “Cards in the Ukrainian book room,” on the Yiddish section of the Ukrainian people’s library, and the bibliographic commission and the bibliographic center of the Institute for Jewish Culture (all published in Biblyografisher zamlbukh [Bibliographic anthology], Kiev, 1930); “Di yidishe burzhuaze prese in dinst fun der imperyalistisher milkhome” (The Yiddish bourgeois press in service of the imperialist war), in Visnshaft un revolutsye (Science and revolution), vol. 3 (Kiev, 1935).  He gained a great deal of acclaim for discovering forgotten pages from rare publications of Sholem Aleykhem and his epistolary heritage.  The repression of researchers at the Kiev Institute for Jewish Culture in the latter half of the 1930s caught up with him.  He was freed after three months and continued his bibliographical searches, and he published until the beginning of WWII a number of such writings.  At the start of the war he was evacuated with his family to Kazakhstan and for a time lived in the city of Petropavlovsk.  He disappeared during the liquidation of Yiddish writers in Soviet Russia.
Leyzer Ran

[Additional information from: 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), pp. 237-38.]


AVROM MITLBERG

AVROM MITLBERG (b. May 23, 1903)
            He was born in Kalushin (Kałuszyn), Warsaw district, Poland.  He later lived in Warsaw, from whence in 1926 he immigrated to Argentina.  From his early youth, he was active in the left Labor Zionist party, the association “Evening Courses for Workers,” and the like.  He was one of the leaders of modern Jewish life in Argentina.  He contributed to: the leadership of DAYA (Union of Jewish Organizations in Argentina), the central committee of “Aḥdut haavoda, Poale Tsiyon” (Union of labor, Labor Zionists), the Association of Polish Jews in Argentina, the administration of the Jewish community in Buenos Aires and for many years director of its cultural department, founder of the publishing house “Yidish” (Yiddish), and from 1946 head of the publisher “Dos poylishe yidntum” (Polish Jewry).  From 1927 he was a contributor to: Rozaryer lebn (Rosario life), Dos naye vort (The new word), and other Yiddish periodical publications in Argentina.  He served as co-editor of: Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), 942 pp.; and the yearbooks of the Buenos Aires Jewish community, Yorbikher tshy”d (Yearbooks 1953/1954) (Buenos Aires), and he wrote a few pieces included therein.  In Seyfer kalushin (Volume for Kałuszyn) (Tel Aviv, 1960), pp. 168-71, he published “Di gezelshaftlekhe dervakhung nokh der daytshisher okupatsye, 1915-1918” (The community revival following the German occupation, 1915-1918).  He was last living in Buenos Aires.

Sources: A. Glants, in Der veg (Mexico City) (June 13, 1953); Y, Gradzhitski, in Seyfer kalushin (Volume for Kałuszyn) (Tel Aviv, 1960), pp. 173-76; A. Zak, In onhoyb fun a friling (At the beginning of a spring) (Buenos Aires, 1962), see index; Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962), see index; Who’s Who in World Jewry (New York, 1955), p. 531.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


NAKHMEN (NAHON) MIZHERITSKI

NAKHMEN (NAHON) MIZHERITSKI (February 4, 1900-January 21, 1956)
            He was born in the town of Horoszki (Kutuzovo), Zhitomir district, Volhynia, the son of an itinerant school teacher.  He attended religious elementary school, and at age ten he entered the Zvihil (Novohrad-Volynskyy) yeshiva, later studying to become a watchmaker.  In January 1911 he moved with his mother and sister to Buenos Aires where his father had earlier made his way and was then selling cigarettes.  Mizheritski worked in various trades and in the evenings studied piano.  He graduated from the Conservatorio Nacional de la Prensa (National press conservatory) in 1918, while at the same time attending middle school and then going on to study medicine at the university.  In 1928 he graduated as a doctor of medicine.  He was a cofounder of the Zionist association “Agudat ohave tsiyon” (Organization of lovers of Zion).  He wrote stories about the life a sick person, and he debuted in print, using the pen name “N. Ben-Mortkhe,” in 1929 with a story in the Rosh Hashana issue of Argentiner tog (Argentinian day).  He later published his stories in: Di prese (The press), Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper), Der shpigl (The mirror), Folks-gezunt (People’s health), Rodnaya mir (Native village) in Russian, Darom (South) in Hebrew, Ineynem (Altogether) from the Culture Congress, Der holts-industryal (The wood industry), Ilustrirte literarishe bleter (Illustrated literary leaves)—in Buenos Aires; Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Yiddish literature in Argentina) of 1944; and the jubilee volume of Ezra (Ezra) of 1950.  In book form: Tsvishn di vent fun a shpitol (Within the walls of a hospital) (Buenos Aires, 1942), 241 pp.; Shotns, dertseylungen (Shadows, stories) (Buenos Aires, 1951), 175 pp.  A collection of his Geklibene dertseylungen (Selected stories) (Buenos Aires, 1956), 303 pp., was published after his death; it included in addition: an introduction by Y. Oshendorf; a biographical work about the author, written by his younger brother, Dr. Avrom Mizheristki; and essays concerning the author by Y. Okrutni, Y. Botoshanski, Y. Yonasovitsh, M. Ravitsh, and Sh. Rozhanski.  “N. Mizheritski,” noted Y. Botoshanski, “recounts more than he describes,…but from the recounting evolves a mood as well….  Mizheritski darkens things in his stories, but when you reread them, something clears up around you and it becomes bright.”

Sources: Volf Bresler, ed., Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), pp. 475ff; Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentina (The published Yiddish word in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), p. 119; Y. Botoshanski, Mame yidish (Mother Yiddish) (Buenos Aires, 1949), p. 252; Botoshanski, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), “Yidn 5” (New York, 1957), p. 383; Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (January 29, 1958); Botoshanski, in Zamlbukh fun shtriker-fabrikant (Collection from the knitting factory) (Buenos Aires, 1961), p. 291; Meylekh Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (December 1952); Ravitsh, in Der veg (Mexico City) (January 9, 1954); Anon., “Fartseykhenungen” (Notes), Tsukunft (New York) (March 1956); A. Blum, in Tsukunft (May-June 1957); Dr. Avrom Mizheritski, in Ilustrirte literarishe bleter (Buenos Aires) (January-February 1958); obituary notices in the Yiddish press.
Zaynvl Diamant


MATISYOHU MIZES (MATES MIESES)

MATISYOHU MIZES (MATES MIESES) (June 30, 1886-January 18, 1945)
            He was born in Przemyśl, central Galicia, into a well-pedigreed family.  He studied in religious elementary school and with the Przemyśl rabbi, R. Khayim-Tsvi Glazer.  He received his secular education with private tutors.  In 1910 he began research work at the university libraries of Berlin and Vienna.  At age fifteen he published a poem in Hamagid (The preacher).  He wrote hundreds of political and scholarly articles for: Hatsfira (The siren) in Cracow; Hayarden (The garden) in Stanisle (Stanislavov) in 1906; Haolam (The world); Heatid (The future); in the Hebrew encyclopedia Otsar yisrael (Treasury of Israel); and Hayom (Today); among others.  As a Polish journalist, he contributed to the Lemberg press, to Cracow’s Polish-Jewish Nowy dziennik (New daily) in 1919-1920, and to the Zionist Wschód (East) and Morija (Moriya).  In German he published articles in Dr. Josef Bloch’s Oesterreichische Wochenschrift (Austrian weekly) (1916-1919) and other German-Jewish and general German organs.  He particularly excelled as a philologist in the field of Yiddish and as a defender and legitimator of the national-spiritual significance of Yiddish.  His articles—“Bizkhut hasafa hayehudit” (For the sake of the Yiddish language) and “Od milim aḥdut bedavar hasafa hayehudit” (Further words of unity on the matter of the Yiddish language)—in Haolam (nos. 21, 22, 26 in 1907) provoked a polemic with Naḥum Sokolov in “Leshelat halashon hayehudit” (On the question of the Yiddish language) in Sh. Hurvitsh’s Heatid (no. 3 in 1910).  In defending the Yiddish language, he demonstrated that it was worthy of remaining under one roof with nationalism and Zionism.  He rejected the argument that Yiddish was no more than “bad German with a corrupt addition of Hebrew and Slavic: a jargon.”  It was difficult for him to understand how Jews who believed in their people’s revival would deliver a death sentence to the Jewish vernacular, and he resented that the renaissance movement of our people should begin in a negative manner—“to cut off a large piece of our people’s self,” despite the fact that there is no rivalry between Hebrew and Yiddish literature.  He stressed that, if Yiddish ceased to be used, it was not at all certain that Hebrew would be a national language for its future heirs.  “If people who love their own folk, hold dear its past and fight for its future, it they decree a premature death to the Yiddish language and deprive our people thereby of their living language—one must not remain silent.”  Mieses wrote the outline for a history of Yiddish and explained everything pursuant to a profound proficiency in language development generally and in the phenomena of Yiddish in particular.  The author proved to be an expert in this field, offering citations from the finest researchers and thinkers, so that one could not dispute his argumentation.  At the historic Czernowitz Yiddish Language Conference of 1908, the twenty-three-year-old Mieses excelled with a scholarly speech concerning the Yiddish language, and Y. L. Perets suggested that he publish the speech in a special pamphlet, because this was the first scholarly treatment in the field of Yiddish language research in the modern era.  The surprise at the language conference was even greater when it became known that Mieses was a superb writer in Hebrew, Polish, and German and that he seldom wrote in Yiddish.  When one becomes acquainted with Mieses’s philological research on the Yiddish language, one must rely on his German writings, where he proves to be a scholar of unusual scope, a researcher with phenomenal knowledge.  In Yiddish, Mieses contributed: “Mit vos far a oysyes zoln mir shraybn yidish” (What letters ought we use to write Yiddish?), in Moyshe Frostik’s Kalendar (Calendar) of 1912; to Sanoker folks-fraynd (Sanok [Poland] friend of the people) and Lemberger togblat (Lemberg daily newspaper); “Perets-zikhroynes fun der yidisher shprakh-konferents in tshernovits” (Memories of Perets from the Yiddish language conference in Czernowitz), in Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves); Unzer ekspres (Our express); “Iden als aker-poyerim in mizrekh-galitsye” (Jews as farmers in eastern Galicia), in Moment (Moment), jubilee issue (1935); “Der bilbl fun kishef antkegn yidn” (The denunciation of witchcraft against Jews), in Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) (Vilna) 13.1-2 (1938); “Der forvurf fun kishef oykh bay andere felker un emunes” (The charge of witchcraft among other peoples and faiths, too); “Yidn bashuldikn nisht-yidn vegn kishef” (Jews accuse non-Jews concerning witchcraft); “Di tolerants fun yidn” (Tolerance of Jews); and “Der koyekh fun sugetsye un dos ekspluatirn fremdn obergloybn” (The power of suggestion and explaining strange superstitions); among others.  He published, 1937-1938, in the Warsaw-based Moment a series of articles on important writers of Jewish origin.  Mieses made tremendous gains in the field of Yiddish philology.  Especially interesting and original was his work, Die Entstehungsursache der jüdischen Dialekte (The origins of the Yiddish dialect) (Vienna, 1915), 120 pp., in which through a thorough analysis of the issue—the reasons for which Jews in the Diaspora have created their own languages, in particular the Yiddish language—and in light of the extremely rich materials available in general ethnology and philology, he came to the conclusion that the cause was the distinctive Jewish religion.  He offered the same argument in his large work, Die Gesetze der Schriftgeschichte (Laws in the history of writings) (Vienna: Wilhelm Braumüller, 1919), 506 pp., in which he dealt with the connection between belief and writing in the life of peoples, also touching upon Yiddish writing and the Yiddish language.  “Mieses’s work,” noted Max Weinreich, “is important first of all because of the immense mountain of material that he gathered.  Pertinent to his theory, one soon observes, is that it is not so anomalous…not so much that faith itself should emerge as the factor that forms the language, but the isolated environment that was created through this particular belief system….  Jewish languages were, indeed, created via the restrictedness of the Jewish environment; but a question remains: how did Jews preserve their isolation, their distinctiveness, their existence—either with their faith or by other means.  This ceases to be a question of philology, and it becomes a matter of Jewish history in general.”  A second major work in the field of Yiddish philology (in particular, phonetics) was Mieses’s Die Jiddische Sprache, eine historische Grammatik des Idioms der integralen Juden Ost- und Mitteleuropas (The Yiddish language, a historical grammar of the idioms basic to Jews of Eastern and Central Europe) (Berlin: Benjamin Harz, 1924), XV + 322 pp.  This is one of the most important works concerning the Yiddish language, rich in material on phonetics, grammatical forms, vocabulary, and borrowings from Yiddish into foreign languages, as well as historical observations, sagacious deductions on the origin and spread of the Yiddish language, and its connections to dialects of the German language.  From his other scholarly writing in book form, we have: Hapolanim vehayehudim (The Poles and the Jews) (Cracow, 1905), 60 pp.; Haamim haatikim ṿeyisrael, nisayon levaer et hithavut haantishemiut hakadmonit (The ancient nations and Israel, an attempt to explain the emergence of ancient anti-Semitism) (Cracow: Hamitspe, 1909), 160 pp.; W kwestyi nienawiści rasowej (On racial issues), a rejoinder to Chamberlain’s anti-Semitic book to demonstrate the superiority of the Jewish race compared to the Aryan race (Lemberg, 1912), 128 pp.; Germanen und Juden (Germans and Jews) (Berlin: R. Löwit, 1917), 46 pp.; Zur Rassenfrage (On the issue of race) (Vienna-Leipzig: Braumüller, 1919), 182 pp.; Der Ursprung des Judenhasses (The origin of hatred of Jews) (Berlin: Benjamin Harz, 1923), 582 pp.; Polacy-Chrześcijanie Pochodzenia Żydowskiego (Christian Poles of Jewish origin), vol. 1 (Warsaw: Fruchtman, 1938).  From all these works, one can see the breadth of Mieses’s scope and possibilities, a man who at age eighteen could handle nearly a dozen languages and who later evinced great proficiency and acumen in substantiating his hypotheses.  “Mieses truly published,” noted Meylekh Ravitsh, “an entire four-language library of 500-page folios on language, writing, religion, what have you.  And, when he became bored sitting around in Przemyśl, serving as chairman of the businessmen’s association, he moved to Warsaw and sought to settle into work for the press, writing the most sensational scholarly articles, each sensation to last at least 200 years old.  He suffered greatly for these, and he was quite angry with the contemporary world for being so stupid and being so focused on today and not the day before yesterday, but it didn’t help.”  During the Nazi occupation, he was confined in the Warsaw Ghetto, working on a volume on the issue of racial hatred.  He died on the way to Auschwitz at the sub-camp of Gliwice.
           His brother, Dr. Yoysef Mieses, was head rabbi in the Polish army; he wrote a literary-historical investigation entitled: Die alteste gedrukte deutsche Ubersetzung des judischen Gebetbuches A.D. Jahre 1530 und ihr Autor Anthonius Margaritha (The oldest German translation of the Jewish prayer book, A.D. 1530, and its author, Anthonius Margaritha) (Vienna: Löwit, 1916), 57 pp.  His sister, Dr. Rokhl Mieses, wrote a dissertation on the phonetics of the Yiddish dialect of central Galicia for the department of philology at the University of Vienna.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Dr. Ts. Cohen, in Poylishe idn (New York) (1942); M. Mozes, in Der poylisher id (New York) (1944); Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings), anthology (Lodz, 1946); Yedies fun yivo (New York) (June 1952); Getzel Kressel, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 28 (1957); M. Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 2 (Montreal, 1943), p. 379; Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (April 10, 1958).
Mortkhe Yofe


MOYSHE MIZHIRITSKI

MOYSHE MIZHIRITSKI (b. ca. 1892-1951)
            He was born in the town of Khabne (Khabnoye), Kiev district, Ukraine.  He attended religious elementary school and a yeshiva, later graduating from the Literature and Linguistics Department of Moscow State University.  He was for a time a teacher in Jewish schools.  In the 1930s he was a researcher at the Kiev Institute for Jewish Culture (with Maks Erik), and later a scholarly contributor to the Institute, at which he defended a dissertation on the works of Dovid Bergelson and received the title of “candidate in philological sciences.”  He debuted in print in 1924 and went on to contribute literary critical articles on Yiddish writers in: Prolitpen (Proletarian pen) and Farmest (Challenge) in Kharkov; Proletarishe fon (Proletarian banner), Sovetishe literatur (Soviet literature), Literarish-kritishe etyudn (Literary critical studies) in 1940; and “Gorki un sholem-aleykhem” (Gorky and Sholem Aleichem) to the anthology Sholem-aleykhem (Sholem Aleichem) of 1940, among others such works, in Kiev.  He compiled school textbooks: with A. Abtshuk and Y. Rodak, Literatur (Literature), textbook for the fifth school year (Kharkov-Kiev, 1932), 80 pp.; with A. Abtshuk, Literatur, textbook for the seventh school year (Kharkov-Kiev, 1932), 124 pp.; with Sh. Bryanski, Lernbukh un khrestomatye fun literatur, Vtn klas (Textbook and reader for literature, fifth class), second edition (Kharkov-Kiev, 1934), 287 pp., third edition (1935), 206 pp., fourth edition (1936), 206 pp.  He also authored the book: Dovid bergelson (Dovid Bergelson) (Kiev-Kharkov, 1935), 163 pp.  Over the years 1941-1944, he was evacuated to deep inside Russia, later returning to Kiev, where he worked in the department of Jewish studies in the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences.  He contributed to the compiling of the history of the Jewish tragedy in Ukraine during the Nazi occupation.  He also worked with materials on “Babi Yar” and documents concerning the role of Jewish partisans in the fight against the Germans.  Aside from separate critical writings on individual Yiddish prose writers and poets in Soviet Russia, he also composed the work: Der onhoyb fun der sovetish-yidisher proze (The beginning of Soviet Yiddish prose).  He was arrested in 1948 and murdered in 1951.



Sources: A. Gurshteyn, in Visnshaftlekhe yorbikher (Scholarly yearbooks) (Moscow) 1 (1929); Y. Bronshteyn, in Tsaytshrift (Minsk) 5 (1931); A. Blonder, in Shtern (Kharkov) 279 (1933); M. Dubilet, in Emes (Moscow) 65 (1934); V. Shats, in Oktyabr (Minsk) 82 (1934); Shats, in Ratnbildung (Kharkov) 1 and 6 (1934); V. Altman, in Oktyabr (1935); P. Novik, Eyrope tsvishn milkhome un sholem (Europe between war and peace) (New York, 1948), pp. 263-69; Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index.
Benyomen Elis

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 371; and 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), pp. 237-38.]


Sunday, 24 September 2017

ADOLFO (AVROM) MIDE

ADOLFO (AVROM) MIDE (b. October 17, 1894)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland.  He received a devout Jewish education.  In his youth he became acquainted with an amateur theatrical troupe, and traveled with them throughout the Polish provinces and towns.  In 1912 he acted in a professional capacity in various Yiddish theater troupes.  During WWI he was a prisoner of war in a camp in Wieselburg, Austria, where he assembled a troupe and performed theater.  In 1922 he made his way to Argentina, settling in Buenos Aires where he founded the first Yiddish actors’ association in Argentina.  He later worked as director of various theaters.  He published theatrical memoirs in Der shpigl (The mirror) in Buenos Aires and in other periodicals in South America.  In book form he published: Epizodn fun yidishn teater (Episodes from Yiddish theater), vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, 1952), 110 pp.  Through 1957 this volume went through four printings.  He was last living in Buenos Aires.



Sources: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentina (The published Yiddish word in Argentina), vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, 1941), pp. 47, 201; Der shpigl (Buenos Aires) (May-June 1957), p. 10; oral information from Zalmen Zilbertsvayg.
Zaynvl Diamant


TSVI MYADOVNIK

TSVI MYADOVNIK (1910-December 7, 1982)
            He was born in Loyvitsh (Lovich, Łowicz), Warsaw district, Poland.  He immigrated in his youth to Montevideo, and later moved to Buenos Aires.  At age twenty-two, he was a member of the editorial board of the daily newspaper Di prese (The press (Buenos Aires).  He died in Buenos Aires.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 371.


YANKEV MAZEL

YANKEV MAZEL (November 29, 1879-September 13, 1954)
            He was born in Kletsk (Klieck), Minsk district, Byelorussia, into the family of a poor tailor.  Until age fourteen he attended religious elementary school, and later the yeshiva of Nyesvizh (Niasviž).  Over the years 1896-1899, he lived in Warsaw, and he was employed there in various trades.  From the summer of 1899 until the end of 1902, he lived in London.  In 1903 he arrived in the United States.  During his first years, he worked as a Hebrew teacher in various Talmud Torahs.  He was cofounder of the first association of Hebrew teachers in New York and of HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society), as well as secretary of Dr. Magnes’s Jewish Kehillah in New York.  He gained a great deal of regard for aiding Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe.  In 1919 he traveled to Poland as a representative of HIAS.  He was in America during WWI, organizing a campaign to assist Jewish refugees throughout the world.  His literary-journalistic activities began in Dos folk (The people) in London (1899), later contributing to: Der yudisher ekspres (The Jewish express) in London; Der veker (The alarm) in Leeds; Yugend-velt (Youth world) (1906); Romantsaytung (Fiction newspaper) and Teater-velt (Theater world), among others, in Warsaw.  He was later, for many years, news editor of Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) and Der amerikaner (The American) in New York.  He was a partner with Dovid Pinski in “Pinski-Mazel Press” in New York.  He contributed work as well to the Labor Zionist newspaper Di tsayt (The times) in New York (1920-1922), in which, among other items, he published reportage pieces on Poland after WWI.  He also wrote for Dos yudishe folk (The Jewish people), Der idisher kemfer (The Jewish fighter), and other serials in New York.  He wrote under such pen names as Y. Mayzl.  He died in Chicago during a visit to his family.

Sources: Ben-Tsien Ayzenshtadt, Sefer letoldot yisrael beamerika (History of Jews in America) (New York, 1917), p. 36; D. P., in Di tsayt (New York) (June 19, 1921); Tog-morgn-zhurnal and Forverts (both, New York) (September 15, 1954); Y. Lifshits, in Yivo-bleter (New York) (1962), p. 284.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


SHIYE HALEYVI MAZEKH (YEHOSHUA HALEVI MAZEḤ)

SHIYE HALEYVI MAZEKH (YEHOSHUA HALEVI MAZEḤ) (1834-February 17, 1917)
            The pseudonym of Y. Sigal, he was born in Nay-Zhager (Žagarė), Kovno district, Lithuania.  His father—a great scholar, pedant, and polyglot—inculcated in him a love for Torah and wisdom, studied with him alone, and then sent him to the finest yeshivas in Lithuania.  Touched by the Jewish Enlightenment, Mazekh became a teacher of Talmud and Hebrew in the Latvian cities of Kreutzburg (Krustpils), Jakobstadt (Jakabpils), and Boysk (Bauska).  He later attempted to become a businessman and a commercial traveler, and in the end he gave all this up to engage in literary work.  He debuted in the Hebrew press with a correspondence piece in Hakarmel (The Carmel) 44 (1862), using the pen name “Yehoshua Br״Ḥm” [short for: Yehoshua, son of Ḥaim], Ḥaimovich [son of Ḥaim, in Russian], a son of Zhager.”  In Yiddish literature he began with a story concerning the First Crusade, entitled “Kidesh hashem” (Sanctification of God’s name), in Kol mevaser (Herald) 1 (1862), which he signed “Sigal.”  From that point, he contributed to virtually every Hebrew and very many Yiddish periodical publications, such as: Hakarmel, Hamagid (The preacher), Hamelits (The spectator), Hatsfira (The siren), Haivri (Ivri anokhi) (The Jew [I am a Jew]), Hashaḥar (The dawn), Hayahadut (Judaism), Kneset hagedola (The Great Assembly), Hadegel (hayehudi) (The [Jewish] banner), Kol mevaser, Yudishes folksblat (Jewish people’s newspaper), Hoyz-fraynd (House-friend), and Vilner vokhenblat (Vilna weekly newspaper), among others—from his youth, he was rarely healthy, just a wealthy man with a warm temperament and a restless, wandering spirit, and for decades he roamed from city to city and spent time in every Jewish diasporic community from northern to southern Russia, Bessarabia, and the Crimea.  He had observed and heard a great deal in his life, paid attention well to everything that transpired in the Jewish communities, and composed long correspondence pieces and essays for the Hebrew press in which he vented his rage at the “customs” and “big shots of the Jewish people,” and criticized in an Enlightened manner the arrangement of the Jewish community, the abnormal education, the power of the community’s leadership, the inferior state of Jewish women, and the like.  As a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment, he believed that one could help the people with institutions of charity, under the supervision of believers and Enlightenment followers, on the one hand, and through craft and agricultural work, on the other, as well as via emigration to the land of Israel and to the United States.  His Mikhtavim-briv (Letters), written under the pen name “Sar shel Yam” (Captain of the sea), which have a historical, journalistic, and even literary value, appeared in five parts (Warsaw, 1885-1888).  In 1874 he published Sefer haemuna vehahaskala (Faith and enlightenment), in which he laid out a dialogue between a firm believer and a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment, the consequence of which was to unify—according to the ideas of the Enlighteners—the pious and the enlightened in the activities of the people generally and the community.  Saving a bit of money from his commercial travels, Mazekh began to publish Hebrew-language anthologies under the title Gad peraḥim (Garden of flowers), to which the greatest Hebrew writers of that era contributed, including Y. L. Perets and Mazekh’s admirer Dovid Frishman (four volumes appeared: Vilna, 1882, 1890, 1891, and the fourth entitled Peraḥim veshoshanim [Flowers and lilies] in Berdichev, 1892).  In the year 1884/1885, he and Reuven-Asher Broydes began publishing in Lemberg a biweekly, Hebrew journal Hayahadut (Judaism)—only four issues appeared.  In 1885/1886 he brought out a pamphlet in opposition to Tsederbaum, editor of Hamelits, entitled Tefaḥ migola (A handbreadth from exile), written under his own name.  The short work was compiled almost entirely by Y. L. Gordon, who was using Mazekh for his own ends.  While he was in Warsaw, where Goldfaden was then performing with his troupe, Mazekh composed a brochure on Yiddish theater, entitled Bamat yisaḥek o masa gei ḥizayon (Theater stage or the harsh prophecy of the Valley of Vision) (Warsaw, 1890), 40 pp.  A portion of his Hebrew works—stories, poetry, and essays—with the assistance of his wealthy friends was published under the title Haeshel (The grove), 2 parts (Warsaw, 1893-1894).  In the second part of this work, in a long essay entitled “Misefer masaoti” (From the book of my travels), he recounted the great unhappiness that befell him: In a fire in a Berdichev hotel, all of his writings went up in smoke, including his diary which had been keeping over the course of twenty years.  He subsequently continued his travels before returning to Lithuania and settling permanently in Vilna where he lived for his last twenty-five years.  On the one hand, his name at this point in time virtually disappeared from the Hebrew and Yiddish press; on the other hand, until the last day of his life, he never ceased writing and published a string of treatises in Hebrew, such as: Alilat shav (A false libel), a story in dramatic form (Vilna, 1908), 20 pp.; Sipure yisrael (Stories of Israel); Haemet (The truth); Hadin vehashalom (Judgment and peace), concerning Lithuanian Jews; Lemaan haemet (On behalf of truth); Hanistarot vehaniglot (The secrets and that which is revealed); Mishle yehoshua (Joshua’s proverbs), aphorisms; Otsar ḥadash o sefer milim (New treasure or a dictionary), stories, witticisms, and jokes, but only published (by Eliyahu Khlavnovitsh) through “Alef” (Vilna, 1898), 32 pp.; Tumat ivriya (Jewish contamination), a historical drama in four acts (Vilna, 1904), 102 pp.  However, when Mazekh did not write in Hebrew, he was still popular and beloved nonetheless by virtue of a great many things that he composed in Yiddish.  In Yiddish he was a veritable professional writer who produced over 600 pamphlets, the majority of them translations or adaptations of Hebrew religious texts, Hassidic tales and legends, as well as popular scientific stories following A. E. Brehm, N. Rubakin, V. V. Lunkevitsh, and others.  He also published prayers for women (in Yiddish) anonymously.  Many of his pamphlets were lost or were published without his name on them, because no publisher considered it worth their while to republish Mazekh’s booklets, which “flowed out of him as if extemporaneously,” and without even asking him or paying him an honorarium.  His Yiddish booklets were less colored in an Enlightened manner and introduced new social and national currents of thought.  Irrespective of the fact that his storybooks were widespread throughout the entire Jewish world in hundreds and thousands of copies, Mezakh remained his entire live a pauper and was compelled to live on others’ bounty.  Publishers usually brushed him off with a number of copies by way of an honorarium, and he had to sell them himself to his friends and as was known in Vilna and other cities following the custom of past authors who would travel around with their own works from house to house.  In his last years, the elderly man carried from house to house Hebrew and Yiddish newspapers for subscriptions and would as usual add one of his own writings.  In only one instance, his sad condition reverberated through the press: in an article by S. K. Shnayfal in Fraynd (Friend) (1912).  In another article, appearing in Haynt (Today) 201 (1912), the ailing Sholem-Aleykhem spoke out with a heartfelt call entitled “Al tashlikhenu leet zikna” (Do not cast us off in old age), but no concrete assistance was brought to Mazekh.  Meanwhile the German occupation with its attendant fierce starvation and need came, and the lonely old writer expired in a single day, perhaps in the middle of the street.  In his monograph on this “last Jewish folk writer,” E. Y. Goldshmidt—in Vilner zamlbukh (Vilna collection) II (pp. 192-201)—compiled the following list of Mezakh’s published materials.
            Longer works: Shevet yehuda, tsukhtrut yehuda’s, fun rabi shloyme ben virge, sof seyfer hobin mir gedrukt “Seyfer gezeyres takh vetat” fun shapes hakoyen un “Masey hatslov” fun kalmen shulmans “Divre yeme oylem” (The rod of Judah, by Rabbi Solomon ibn Verga, at the end of the work we have published “The Evil Decrees of 1648-1649” of Shabatai Hacohen and “The Crusade” from Kalman Shulman’s “History of the World”), second edition (Vilna: Y. Fuks, 1899), 188 pp.; Shevet yehuda hashalem (The rod of Judah, complete), 12 parts (Vilna: Y. Fuks, 1898); Nidḥe yehuda (Wandering of Judah), first installment of Shevet yehuda, middle ages (Vilna: M. Katseneleboygn, 1901), 86 pp.; Nidḥe yisrael (Wandering of Israel), second installment of Shevet yehuda hashalem, the Inquisition and the Spanish Expulsion (Vilna: Khayim Mirmon of Dvinsk, 1901), 112 pp.; Geyrush shpanye (The Spanish Expulsion), a novel (?) (Warsaw, 1899); Sheyres yisroel, in dray teyl (The remnant of Israel, in three parts) (Vilna: Pirozhnikov, 1901), 195 pp.; Masey hatslov (The Crusade); Aliles dam in yerusholaim, a teater-forshtelung in fir akten un finf bilder (Blood libel in Jerusalem, a theatrical performance in four acts and five scenes) (Vilna, 1910), 47 pp.; Sipure yerusholaim (Stories of Jerusalem), fifth edition (Vilna: Y. Fuks, 1902); Sipure am (Stories of the people); Sipure hatalmud (Stories from the Talmud) (Warsaw, 1894), 48 pp.; Perl fun yam hatalmud (Pearls from the sea of the Talmud), stories (Warsaw, 1893); A shpatsir-shifel afn yam hatalmud (A boat trip on the sea of the Talmud) (Warsaw, 1895), 64 pp.; Sipure yeshurun, ertseylungen fun talmud un medroshim mit heores (Stories of Yeshurun, stories from the Talmud and midrashim with annotations) (Vilna: Sheberk, 1903), 92 pp.; Der bal shem tov (The Bal Shen Tov) (Vilna: Shreberk, 1909), 79 pp.; Talmide bal shem tov, vunderlikhe mayses fun bal-shem-tov’s talmidim gezamlt fun fersheydene rikhtige kvallen (The students of the Bal Shem Tov, wonderful stories of the Bal Shem Tov’s pupils collected from various proper sources) (Vilna: Shreberk, 1909), 54 pp.; Sipure tsadikim, ṿunderlikhe mayses fun bal-shem-tov und fun andere groyse tsadikim (Stories of saintly men, wonderful tales of the Bal Shem Tov and other great saintly men) (Vilna: Shreberk, 1909), 48 pp; Beys rebe, toldes harav, der alter rebe r. shneur zalmen fun ladi, gezamlt fun fersheydene sforim der hoypt iberzetst fun seyfer beys rebe in zhargon durkh y. kh. und iberzehen un tsugigebn heores fun mekhaber (School of the Rebbe, biography of the rabbi, the old rebbe R. Shneur Zalman of Liady, collected from various texts, chiefly translated from a religious work by Rebbe in zhargon [Yiddish] by Y. Kh. and checked with annotations added by the author), Khayim-Meyer Helman (b. 1846 in Lepel [Lepiel], Vitebsk district) (Vilna: Shreberk, 1904), 99 pp.; Beys rebe, vegn dem miteln rebe r. dov ber un zayn eydem r. menakhem-mendel shneurson bal “tsemekh tsedek” fun libavitsh, tsunoyfgeshtelt fun m. kh. helma[n] un ibergekukt un farbesert fun mazekh (The school of the Rebbe, concerning the middle rebbe, R. Dov Ber, and his son-in-law R. Menachem-Mendel Schneerson, the Tsemaḥ Tsedek of Lubavitch, composed by M. Kh. Helman and reviewed and improved by Mazekh) (Vilna: Shreberk, 1905); Aleksander mukdon (Alexander of Macedonia [the Great]), 2 parts; Toldes antokolski (Biography of Antokolski); Lipfold der umgliklikher yudisher minister (Lipfold, the unhappy Jewish minister) (Warsaw, 1893), 69 pp.; in Hebrew he published in Haeshel.
            Legends and tales: Avrom avinu in kalkh-oyven (Our father Abraham in a lime kiln) (Vilna, 1913), 32 pp.; Der heyliger kush, a vunderlikhe sheyne ertseylung vi moyshe rebeynu hot farlozn di velt (The holy kiss, a wonderful, beautiful story of how Moses our teacher departed this world) (Vilna, 1901/1902), 32 pp.; Der kishef-krepost, a mayse vegen shiye bin nun (The magical fortress, a tale about Joshua son of Nun) (Vilna, n.d.), 32 pp.; Shloyme hameylekh oder di fertribene bas-malke (King Solomon or the exiled princess) (Vilna, n.d.), 28 pp.; Elye hanovi, vunderbare ertseylungen fun elye hanovi (Elijah the prophet, marvelous stories of Elijah the prophet) (Viulna, 1902), 31 pp.; Bas yiftokh, der unshuldiger korbn (Yiftokh’s daughter, the innocent victim) (Vilna, 1913), 32 pp.; Der fersholtener ber (The accursed bear), about Nebuchadnezzar (Vilna, 1902), 32 pp.; Der tano rebe shimen ben yokhoy (The tanna R. Shimon ben Yochai) (Vilna, 1913), 32 pp.; Der tano rebe elozer, a vunderlikhe mayse (The tanna R. Elazar, a wonderful tale) (Vilna, n.d.), 31 pp.; Der guter khaver in gan-eyden (The good friend in the Garden of Eden), concerning Rashi (Vilna, 1913), 30 pp.; Rebe meyer bal hanes, nisim un merkvirdige mayses (R. Meir the miracle-worker, miracles and wondrous tales) (Vilna, 1901/1902), 32 pp.; Der heyliger khosn (The holy bridegroom), (Vilna, 1913), 32 pp.; Der vayser odler (The white eagle) (Vilna, 1911), 32 pp.; Di oysgelayterte neshome, oder a geborener id blaybt a id (The purified soul, or a born Jew remains a Jew) (Vilna, 1902), 32 pp.; Oysgeton di pantofel, a sheyne geshikhte vos hot getrofn mit dem rav in roym (Undressed loafer, a lovely story encountered with the rabbi in Rome), about the Maharam of Rothenberg (Vilna, n.d.), 32 pp.; Der likhtiger shtern (The luminous star), about Yitsḥak Luria, the Ari (Vilna, 1901/1902), 32 pp.; Rebe khayim vital (R. Chaim Vital) (Vilna, n.d.), 32 pp.; Der shreklekher gast, a vunderlikhe mayse, fun di tsaytn fun rebe khayim vital (The frightening guest, a wonderful tale, from the time of R. Chaim Vital) (Vilna, 1902), 29 pp.; Der rambans mofsim, vi er hot ongefangen lernen kabole (The miracles of the Ramban, how he began studying Cabbala) (Vilna, 1902), 31 pp.; Der vunderlikher shpigele (The wonderful little mirror) (Vilna, 1910), 32 pp.; Rebe yisroel besht (R. Yisroel Bal Shem Tov); Di heylige kameye (The holy amulet), Dem grafs kranke tokhter (The count’s sick daughter), A vilde kats (A wild cat), Der vunderlikher brif (The wonderful letter), and Der farborgener tsadek (The hidden saint)—all tales of the Bal Shem Tov; Der malekh gavriel (The angel Gabriel), about a blood libel in the time of the Bal Shem Tov (Vilna, 1922/1923), 32 pp.; Ziben vunder fun besht un zayne talmidim (Seven wonders from the Bal Shem Tov and his students) (Vilna, 1922/1923), 32 pp.; Di farborgene libe (The hidden love), concerning the rabbi of Apte (Vilna, 1909/1910), 31 pp.; Di getraye shvester, oder a matone fun a toyte kale (The devoted sister or a gift from a deceased bride), a story about the rabbi of Kozenits (Vilna, 1910), 31 pp.; Rebe shneur zalmen fun ladi (R. Shneur Zalmen of Liady) (Vilna, 1927), 31 pp.; Der bal shem oder a shverer kholem (The Bal Shem [Tov] or a severe dream) (Vilna, 1902/1903), 31 pp.; Der koyekh fun tsdoke, a sheyne interesante ertseylung (The power of charity, a lovely interesting story), a tale from the land of Israel (Vilna, 1897), 32 pp.; Di kishef-ganz (The magical goose) (Vilna, 1912), 32 pp.; Di tsvey vaser treger, a mayse noyre (The two water carriers, an extraordinary event), a folktale (Vilna, 1900?), 26 pp.; Der mekhashef, oder di tsvey gliklekhe khasenes (The magician, or the two joyous weddings) (Vilna, 1913), 32 pp.; A vilner legende (A Vilna legend); A buket frishe blumen, legende vi azoy vi shtodt vilne iz gegrindet gevoren (A bouquet of fresh flowers, a legend about how the city of Vilna was established) (Vilna, 1905), 24 pp.; Der besherter shidekh (The destined match), concerning the first Hassidic synagogues in Vilna; Der shreklikher kholem, in dem seyferl ertseylen (The frightening dream, recounted in the religious text), concerning a false accusation (Vilna, n.d.), 32 pp.; Toldes rabeynu r’ akive eyger (Biography of our rabbi, R. Akiva Eiger) (Vilna, 1906), 31 pp.; Yudishe nisim in virmayze (Jewish miracles in Virvayze) (Vilna, 1903), 32 pp.; Sipurim neymim, heylige mayses fun talmud, medroshim un andere heylige sforim (Pleasant stories, or tales from the Talmud, midrash, and other holy texts) (Warsaw, 1894), 24 pp.; Nisim venifloes (Miracles and wonder) (Warsaw, 1893); Der ashmeday, a vikhtige interesante ertsehlung (The Ashmedai, an important interesting story) (Vilna, 1886/1887), 31 pp.; Der vunderlikher oytser (The wonderful treasure); Vunderlikhe sipurim (Wonderful stories) (Vilna, 1905), 32 pp.; Di kretshme in vald, oder tsvishen gazlonim (The tavern in the woods, or among thieves) (Warsaw, 1891), 18 pp.; Der rikhtiger mogn doved (The proper Jewish star) (Warsaw, 1890); Tsen yudishe folks-mayses (Ten Jewish folktales) (Lublin, 1897).
            Popular science booklets: Di valdmenshen (The woodsmen); Der leyb (The lion); Der leopard (The leopard); Der tiger (The tiger); Der ber (The bear) (Vilna, 1907), 32 pp.; Der ayz-ber (The polar bear); Der volf (The wolf); Der fuks (The fox); Der kemel (The camel); Der hirsh (The gazelle); Der oks (The ox); Der ku (The cow); Yam-ferd (The walrus); Shtroys-foygel (Ostrich) (Vilna, 1907), 32 pp.; Royb foygel (Bird of prey) (Vilna, 1900?), 32 pp.; Der odler (The eagle) (Vilna, 1907), 32 pp.; Langfisige foygel (? bird); Di toyb (The dove) (Vilna, 1913), 32 pp.; Nikhtigal (Nightingale); Der menshenfreser (The cannibal) (Vilna, n.d.), 32 pp.; Salamandra (Salamander) (Vilna, 1908), 32 pp.; Der khameleon (The chameleon); Der krokodil (The crocodile) (Vilna, 1908), 32 pp.; Di rizen-shlang (The boa constrictor); Der levyosn (The leviathan); Royb-fish (Fish of prey); Binen (Bees); Zhiraf (Giraffe); Der yaguar (The jaguar) (Vilna, 1907), 32 pp.; Erdtsiternish (Earthquake); Natur un gevoynheyt (Nature and habit); Hipnotizm (Hypnotism); Der profesor feldman, vunderlikhe ibernaturlikhe mayses (Professor Feldman, wonderful supernatural tales) (Vilna, 1905), 23 pp.; Der zikorn (Memory); Visenshaft un historye (Science and history); Der kheyshek tsum leben (The desire for life) (from Peraḥim veshoshanim); Di mazoles (planeten) (The stars, planets) (Vilna, 1900?), 32 pp.; Di veltlikhe khaloymes (Worldly dreams); Antyukhus epifanes (Antiochus Epiphanes); Vunderlikhe sepurim fun khayes (Wonderful stories of animals).
            Various contents: Eyshes-khayel, eyne historishe ertseylung in fir akten un zeks bilder (Woman of valor, a historical tale in four acts and six scenes) (Warsaw, 1890), 80 pp.; Alte mayses un imer nay (Old tales and ever new ones) (Warsaw, 1896); Di gekoyfte libe (Purchased love) (Vilna, 1877); Di eyferzikhtige froy (The jealous wife) (Warsaw, 1893), 31 pp.—in Hebrew, Alilat shav; Di fayerdige libe (The fiery love) (Vilna, n.d.), 32 pp.; Durkh umglik tsum glik, a roman fun leben (Through unhappiness to happiness, a novel taken from life) (Warsaw, 1895), 64 pp.; Der bal tshuve in erets yisroel (The penitent in the land of Israel) (Vilna, 1897), 32 pp.; A kop mit an oyg, oder der idisher baron un zayne eydele nekome (A head with an eye, or the Jewish baron and his sweet revenge), a reworking of Karl Emil Franzos’s Baron Schmule (Vilna, 1902), 32 pp.; Di goldene matbeye, oder der londoner raykher bankir (The golden coin, or the rich London banker) (Vilna, 1902), 32 pp.; Napolyon der ershter, a sheyne ertseylung fun napolyon (Napoleon I, a lovely story of Napoleon) (Vilna, 1908), 32 pp.; Der natur-shadkhn oder khasene in erets-yisroel (The nature matchmaker or a wedding in the land of Israel) (Vilna, 1913), 31 pp.; A ferlibte kenigin (A queen in love) (Vilna, 1902/1903), 32 pp.; Di farfirte aktrise (The quarrelsome actress) (Vilna, 1901); Di proste kale, oder di eydele nekome (The ordinary bride, or the sweet revenge) (Vilna, 1897), 30 pp.; Der frumer milyoner, oder di dopelte yerushe (The pious millionaire, or the doubled inheritance) (Vilna, 1903), 32 pp.; Der himel-shadkhn, oder di vahre reyne liebe (The matchmaker in heaven, or the true pure love) (Vilna, 1913), 32 pp.; Di ershte bildung in der shtot zager (The first education in the city of Zhager); Di geheymnise fon varshe (The secret of Warsaw); Dos glekele (The doorbell); Mortkhe hatsadek, oykh a mayse noyre mit dem katsev in ganeydn (The saintly Mordekhai, also an extraordinary event involving the butcher in the Garden of Eden) (Vilna, 1897); Der katsev (The butcher); R’ lemel, oder der parizer banker (R. Lemel, or the Parisian banker) (Vilna, 1897); Di frantsoyzishe vaybel (The French wife); Di yudishe gdule (Jewish exultation); Der yudisher kinig (The Jewish king); Der yudishe duks (The Jewish duke); Dos gehenem af der velt (Hell on earth) (Warsaw, 1891), 24 pp.; Di heylige milkhome, vunderlikhe sipurim fun bal shem tov (The holy war, wonderful stories from the Bal Shem Tov) (Vilna, 1913), 29 pp.; Mayses fun der bobe (Grandma’s tales) (Vilna, 1895).  In addition, an assortment of booklets of jokes, such as: A nayes verter-bikhel, ernstes un himeristishes (A new dictionary, serious and humorous) (Warsaw, 1890), 55 pp.; Der velt-vitsling oder der nayer anekdoten-bukh fun oyzerke der shtodt-khokhem (The world wag or the new book of anecdotes of Oyzer, wise man of the city) (Vilna, 1897), 118 pp.; Der amerikaner khokhem (The American wise man) (Vilna, 1900); Luekh hamazker (Calendar for remembrance) (1895/1896-1905/1906); Klolim in menshlikhen leben (Rules in human life), published by [his son] Zalmen Mazekh in Philadelphia; Hagode shel peysekh (Haggada for Passover); Geules yisroel mimitsrayim (The salvation of Israel from Egypt); Shir hashirim (Song of songs), a new translation with a commentary; Eykhe (The book of lamentations) and Megiles ester (The scroll of Esther), with commentaries.  He wrote as many as 300 books and pamphlets (many left in manuscript), and many of them anonymous or with such pen names as: Yaḥas al Dal, Sar shel Yam, Yaḥas, Yam, Yahalom, A Rayzender afn Yam, Girtel, Letrig, Y. Ḥ., and O. X.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2, with a bibliography; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); Elkhonen Kalmenson, in Vilner tog (June 1924).


Monday, 18 September 2017

ZALMEN MEZAKH

ZALMEN MEZAKH (b. 1873)
            He was born in Dvinsk (Daugavpils), Latvia, the son of Shiye Mezakh.  In 1891 he made his way to England and in 1893 from there to the United States.  He settled in Philadelphia.  He wrote pieces for: Yudisher folksblat (Jewish people’s newspaper) in St. Petersburg; Shulames (Shulamit) in London (1894); and Folks-advokat (People advocate) in New York.  In Philadelphia he edited the newspaper Di folksshtime (The voice of the people) (1905-1907).  In book form, among others, he published a translation of a work by Herzberg Fränkel: Der nayer bal-tshuve (The new penitent), “(A scene from Jewish life / In place of a novel),” with a preface by Shiye Mezakh (Lublin: Avrom Feder, 1897), 16 pp.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2.


ELYE-MORTKHE MAZA

ELYE-MORTKHE MAZA (1896-November 10, 1954)
            He was born in Smolovitsh (Smalyavichy), Minsk district, Byelorussia, into a rabbinical family.  He studied with his father, in religious elementary schools, and in the Slobodka and Slutsk yeshivas, from which he received ordination into the rabbinate.  In 1926 he moved to the United States and served as rabbi in various cities across the country, the last being at the Slutsk School in New York.  He wrote articles for: Tog (Day), Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), Der amerikaner (The American), Der id (The Jew), Dos idishe likht (The Jewish light), Idishe shtime (Jewish voice), Di ortodoksishe tribune (The Orthodox tribune), and in Hebrew for Hapardas (The orchard) and Hamesila (The roadway)—in New York.  He was the author of a series of religious texts on actual and religious topics, such as: Seyfer mesiekh ilmim (A book causing others to be struck dumb), “a storyline that was found recorded in a register” (New York, 1936), 16 pp.; Seyfer shmires hanefashes (A book on guarding of souls), “how to care for the soul (nefesh), which means the soul (neshome)” (New York, 1937), 80 pp.; Hatsoles nefashes (Rescuing souls) (New York, 1938), 66 pp.; Meshiekh geyt, meshiekh kumt! (The Messiah goes, the Messiah comes!) (New York, 1938), 16 pp.; Brokhes nefashes (Prayers for the soul) (New York, 1939), 57 pp.; Nide, khale, hadlakes haner (Ritual purity, challah, kindling the candle), explained in Yiddish (New York, 1940), 24 pp.; Seyfer ahaves hatoyre (Love of Torah) (New York, 1941), 48 pp.; Kol mevaser (Herald) (New York, 1943), 24 pp.; Marpe lenefesh (Curing the soul), “healing for the soul” (New York, 1949), 24 pp.; Di shul un di der president (The synagogue and the president) (New York, 1950), 24 pp.; Khemdes-ram (New York, 1952), 24 pp.—all in Yiddish—as well as a long series of texts in Hebrew.  He died in New York.

Sources: Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (November 16 and 17, 1954); Bet eked sefarim.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


MAKS-MARIAN (MAX) MUSHKAT (MUSZKAT)

MAKS-MARIAN (MAX) MUSHKAT (MUSZKAT) (November 5, 1909-September 30, 1995)
            He was born in Suvalk (Suwałki), Russian Poland.  He graduated from a Polish state high school and studied law and political science at the Universities of Warsaw, Paris, and Nancy, from when he received his doctoral degree.  He was active in the student organizations of Hashomer Hatsair (The young guard), the left Labor Zionists, as well as ORT (Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades), YIVO, and others.  From 1938 he was an assistant in the Department of Criminology in the Wszechnica Polska University in Warsaw.  When the Germans occupied Warsaw in 1939, he left for Vilna, worked for a time for the aid committee for Jewish refugees from Poland, and later served as director of the Department of European Government Systems in Vilna People’s University, while adapting and writing for YIVO the research projects: “Di yidishe farbrekherishkeyt in poyln in di yorn erev der tsveyte velt-milkhome” (Jewish criminality in Poland in the year prior to WWII), “a continuation of Professor Libman Hersh’s works”; and “Arn liberman als mitgrinder fun yidishn sotsyalizm” (Arn Liberman as the cofounder of Jewish socialism).  Following the Nazi invasion of Russia in 1941, he fled from Vilna.  For a time he worked as a teacher of foreign languages, later as a scientific contributor at the pedagogical institute in Kyzylorda, Irkutsk region, Soviet Russia.  He was later mobilized into the Polish army, graduated from officers’ school, was a colonel’s replacement from the first tank division, and survived the battles at the front as far as the areas of Warsaw and eastern Germany.  Right after the war, he was vice-president of the highest Polish military court, author of the new Polish military penal code, and at the same time cofounder of the first Yiddish literary association in Lublin in 1945.  In 1946 he was director of the Polish Mission to the International War Court in Nuremburg.  He was nominated in 1947 for the Polish Legation in the Commission on War Crimes of the United Nations in London, and as a prosecutor he prepared the Polish trials against Nazi war criminals: Arthur Greiser, Ammon Goeth, Ludwig Fischer, Rudolf Hess, Albert Forster, Josef Bühler, and against the staff at Auschwitz and other death camps.  For his successes in the battles against the Nazis and the work of building Jewish life in Poland, he was decorated with high Polish and Soviet awards.  He was the revivor and until 1951 the first president of Polish ORT, a member of the ORT world center, and professor of international law at Warsaw University, in the Academy of Polish Sciences, and in the senior school for law named for Teodor Duracz.  He was simultaneously active in the Jewish community and cultural movement in Poland.  From 1957 he was living in Israel.  He was professor of international law at the higher school for law and political economy in Tel Aviv.  During the Eichmann trial, he helped prepare the accusation materials for Yad Vashem.  He began his writing activities with sketches and stories in: Der fraynd (The friend) in Warsaw (1934-1935); Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Zibn teg (Seven days), and in leftist, semi-legal and illegal publications in Poland.  He was a contributor, 1940-1941, to Vilner emes (Vilna truth) and Kovner emes (Kovno truth), in which he launch his story in May 1941.  From 1944 to 1951, he wrote a great number of works, mostly about war crimes in Polish, French, and English, later published essays in: Di goldene keyt (The golden chain), Molad (Birth), Davar (Word), Had haḥinukh (Echo of education), Hayom (Today), Hatoran (The duty officer), Hagesher (The bridge), Al hamishmar (On guard), and the publications of Yad Vashem and other serials in Israel.  He published over twenty important works in Hebrew, Polish, French, English, and German.  In Yiddish: Der farfolgter (The persecuted), a dramatic study in three acts (Warsaw, 1932), 72 pp.  He died in Haifa.

Sources: Dos naye lebn (Lodz) (1946-1948), during the era of the trials of Nazi war criminals; Yonas Turkel, Nokh der bafrayung (After liberation) (Buenos Aires, 1959), see index; Khane Altshuler, in Yizker-bukh suvalk (Remembrance volume for Suwałki) (New York, 1961), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


YANKEV AND MENASHE MUSHKAT

YANKEV AND MENASHE MUSHKAT
            They were born in Prage (Praga), near Warsaw, nephews of the Praga rabbi, Shaye Mushkat.  In the 1860s both brothers Mushkat were teachers in the Jewish community schools in Praga and Warsaw.  Together they translated into Judeo-German the Hebrew textbook of Shalom Cohen, Kitsur torat lashon ivrit (Shortened rules of the Hebrew language), “or an abridged Hebrew language textbook,” a shortened version of the Vienna edition (1816), which to be used in the community schools as a Hebrew grammar in Yiddish (Warsaw, 1843), 128 pp.
            Yankev Mushkat would also have been the author of the reader Lehr bukh af yidish-daytsh (Textbook for Judeo-German), “to study the German language” (Warsaw, 1853), 73 pp.,[1] for which Mushkat wrote “moralistic tales, fables, poems, and songs, letters, compliments, and mathematical instruction.”

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; dedication (in Polish) to the banker Matisyohu Rozen, in Lehr bukh af yidish-daytsh.
Khayim Leyb Fuks




[1] Translator’s note.  This may be the same work as Yidish daytshes leze bukh (Judeo-German reader) (Warsaw, 1853), 77 pp., listed on WorldCat. (JAF)