Thursday, 4 January 2018

MOYSHE NUDELMAN

MOYSHE NUDELMAN (December 28, 1905-July 7, 1967)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school, a Lublin high school, and Krinski’s high school in Warsaw.  Already in high school he began to write in both Polish and Yiddish.  He debuted in print in a humor magazine Der takhshet (The brat), edited by Y. Sh. Goldshteyn, and later published humorous sketches and features in various newspapers and journals, such as: Sambatyon, edited by Der Tunkeler, and Tararam (Fuss), edited by Goldshteyn, with whom he co-edited the journal Der mashkhes (Destroyer).  He published himself the humor magazine Der shtifer (The mischievous child) and edited a series of one-off humorous holiday publications.  He also wrote for: Moment (Moment), Haynt (Today), and Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Warsaw; Folk (People) and Frimorgn (Morning) in Riga; Groyser kundes (Great prankster) and Forverts (Forward) in New York; and Far kleyn un groys (For small and large) and Penemer un penemlekh (Appearances, big and small) in Buenos Aires.  In 1926 he became a contributor to Varshever ekspres (Warsaw express), later Unzer ekspres (Our express), for which from 1929 to 1939 he served as editor of the humor page, as well as of the supplement Der sheygets (The smart aleck).  His humorous sketches were also translated into Polish and published in Warsaw’s Nasz Przegląd (Our overview) and Piąta rano (5 a.m.).  With the outbreak of WWII, he remained in Bialystok for a time, and later traveled with the Dzhigan-Shumakher Theater through Soviet Russia and Soviet Central Asia.  He was drafted (1942-1943) into a Soviet labor battalion in Omsk and performed a variety of physical labors on the Siberian Railway.  In 1944 he volunteered to join the Polish army in Russia, and he was active in a military divisional theater in Polish.  After returning with his army to Poland in 1945, he began to contribute to Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Lodz, published then by the central Jewish committee in Poland and edited by Emil Zomershteyn, Yanos Turkov, and Y. Elberg, among others.  Together with the artists Z. Koleshnikov, Y. Krelman, and others, he organized in Lodz the theatrical review “Shiraim” (Remnants).  In 1946 he departed for Paris, where he served on the editorial board of Unzer vort (Our word), while at the same time working as the Paris correspondent for New York’s Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) and Buenos Aires’s Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper).  In 1947 he moved to New York, where he initially published humorous sketches and feature pieces in Morgn-zhurnal, and he was subsequently employed by Tog (Day) (later, Tog-morgn-zhurnal [Day-Morning journal]) where he for many years edited the humor page.  In book form, he published: Frishe beygl (Fresh bagels), a monologue of a bagel seller (Warsaw, 1926), 8 pp.; Gelekhter durkh trern, zamlung fun humoristish-satirishe shafungen funem nokh-milkhomedikn lebn fun poylishe yidn (Laughter through tears, a collection of humorous-satirical works of postwar life of Polish Jews) (Buenos Aires: Central Association of Polish Jews in Argentina, 1947), 238 pp.; Kh’bin olrayt, ikh makh a lebn, humoristishe monologn fun a “grinem” in amerike (I’m alright, I make a living, humorous monologues of a “greenhorn” in America) (New York, 1951), 96 pp.; Lakht a yid in erets-yisroel (A Jew laughs in Israel) (New York, 1956), 215 pp.; Shept nakhes, humor fun idishn lebn in amerike (Satisfaction gained, humor from Jewish life in America) (New York, 1958), 248 pp.; Laytish gelekhter, humor fun idishn lebn in amerike (Authentic laugher, humor from Jewish life in America) (New York, 1960), 206 pp.  He wrote primarily for the earlier comedy variety theaters in Warsaw: Azazel, Sambatyon, and Yidish Bande (and at time as well for Lodz’s Ararat, directed by Moyshe Broderzon); and he contributed to virtually all the theater programs that Dzhigan and Shumakher produced in prewar and postwar Poland, and for Holocaust survivors in Germany and Austria, the state of Israel, and other countries.  He also ran the marionette theater Khad-gadye, which performed (1934-1935) at the Warsaw Literary Association at 13 Tłomackie St. and which was first established in Lodz by Moyshe Broderzon, Y. M. Goldshteyn, and the murdered painter Yitskhok Broyner.  He visited Israel in 1955.  He went a second time in 1961 at the invitation of the Dzhigan Theater.  His pen names include: Moyshe Groys and Moyde Ani.  Albums of his humorous sketches were brought out in 1939 by Isaac Samberg, in the 1950s by Dzhigan and Shumakher, and in 1962 by Dzhigan.  “He often succeeded,” wrote Shmuel Niger, “in grabbing and hastily jotting down the crooked lines of circumstance of time and place.  He was most successful when he held his crooked mirror before the things and the people not too long and when he left them alone to reflect.”  He died in Berkeley.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (January 18, 1948); M. Turkov, Di letste fun a groysn dor (The last of a great generation) (Buenos Aires, 1954), p. 326; P. Shteynvaks, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (August 2, 1956); Shteynvaks, Siluetn fun a dor (Silhouettes of a generation) (Buenos Aires, 1958), pp. 201-4; Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (October 21, 1956); Arn Tsaytlin, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (February 8, 1957); Der Lebediker, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (May 19, 1957; January 4, 1959); M. Flakser, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), pp. 378-79; Sh. Rozenberg, in Der amerikaner (New York) (February 7, 1958); D. Naymark, in Forverts (New York) (August 30, 1958); Sh. Y. Dorfzon, in Loshn un lebn (London) (January 1959); Z. Turkov, Di ibergerisene tekufe, fragmentn fun mayn lebn (The interrupted era, fragments from my life) (Buenos Aires: Central Publisher of Polish Jews in Argentina, 1961), see index; A. Sh. Yuris, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (April 27, 1961); Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962), see index.
Benyomen Elis


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