Thursday, 24 May 2018

BENYOMEN SKUDITSKI


BENYOMEN SKUDITSKI (May 19, 1904-August 26, 1957)
            He was born in Slonim, Byelorussia, into a working class family.  He studied in religious elementary school, the Slonim yeshiva, and later on his own.  At age fourteen he became a print shop worker.  He belonged to “Hanoar Hatsiyoni” (Zionist youth) and to “Kleyner Bund” (Little Bund), and he was later active in the “Communist Youth Association” and the Communist Party (until 1931, and from that point he was more sympathetic to the Labor Zionist “Unity” group.  In 1922 he was arrested, stood for court martial, and spent four years in jail in Slonim and Grodno.  In 1928 he made his way to Argentina, and there he worked as a linotypist for the newspaper Di prese (The press) in Buenos Aires.  In 1930 he settled in Montevideo, Uruguay.  He initially wrote articles and appeals in the illegal, hectographically-produced publications in Poland (using the name Oktyabrski); later, in 1928 he published the story “Der malekh un der tayvl” (The angel and the devil) in Di prese, and from that point in time he published stories, reviews of books and theater, and political articles in: Argentiner tog (Argentinian day), Royter shtern (Red star), Royte hilf (Red relief), Di prese, the monthly Nay-velt (New world), Ilustrirte literarishe bleter (Illustrated literary leaves), and Argentiner beymelekh (Little Argentinian trees)—in Buenos Aires; Tsum oktyaber (To October), Tsayt-fragn (Issues of the day), and Unzer fraynt (Our friend)—in Montevideo; Morgn-frayhayt (Morning freedom in New York.  His works were republished in: Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; Meksikaner lebn (Mexican life) in Mexico City; and Havaner lebn (Havana life) in Havana; among others.  He also published in Monetvideo’s Folks-blat (People’s newspaper), at which he worked (1931-1955) as a linotypist and proofreader.  On his fiftieth birthday (1954), there appeared in Montevideo the jubilee publication: A zester baym yidishn tsaytung-vezn, a shrayber in der yidisher literatur, tsum 50 yorikn geboyrntog fun benyomen skuditski (A typesetter at a Yiddish newspaper, a writer of Yiddish literature, on the fiftieth birthday of Benyomen Skuditski), published by honorary committee, with articles dedicated to Skuditski’s service on behalf of Yiddish and for the Yiddish press in Montevideo.  In 1933 he was a member of a cooperative which brought out the daily Morgn-tsaytung (Morning newspaper) in Montevideo.  After his death there appeared a literary collection of his: Fun a gants lebn, lider, dertseylungen, zikhroynes (From an entire life, poetry, stories, memoirs) (Montevideo, 1958), 275 pp.  His pen names included: B. S. Doben, S. Aktya, Aleksander, and Gitlinski.  He died in Montevideo.

Sources: Y. Botoshanski, in Folks-blat (Montevideo) (August 17, 1954); Sh. Grinberg, in Ilustrirte literarishe bleter (Buenos Aires) (July-August 1957); obituary notices in Der moment (Montevideo) (August 30, 1957) and Keneder odler (Montreal) (September 18, 1957); Y. Zhelenyets, in Meksikaner lebn (Mexico City) (October 11, 1958); A. Lazdayski, in Keneder odler (August 24, 1961); Der veg (Mexico City) (April 8, 1961).
Benyomen Elis


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