DOVID SELTSER (DAVID SELTZER) (April 2, 1904-April 24, 1994)
He was born in Soroki, Bessarabia, into a family of tailors. He studied in the municipal Talmud-Torah. In 1917 he entered the city high school. In 1920 he became an apprentice in a print shop. At the end of that year he came with his family to the United States, where he worked for a printer. He graduated in 1928 from the leftist “Jewish Labor University” in New York, and that year he became the cultural director of the leftist labor clubs. In 1931 he became a writer for Morgn-frayhayt (Morning freedom) in New York. In 1932 he was the news editor there. In 1933 he was sent to Detroit where he was the commercial representative for the newspaper and its correspondent. In 1935 he returned to New York and went back to working in a print shop. Aside from his journalistic and community activities, he had already in 1921 published in Der amerikaner (The American) a series of children poems. He later published poems in the journals: Yung-kuznye (Young smithy), Di feder (The pen), and Oyfkum (Arise). The majority of his songs and children’s stories were published in such leftist publications as: Frayhayt (Freedom), Der hamer (The hammer), and Signal (Signal), among others. In 1936 he was editor of the monthly Funken (Sparks) of the Jewish labor clubs. In 1939 he edited the monthly Nyu yorker shriftn (New York writings), a journal of literature and criticism (only one issue appeared). His books include: Besaraber lider (Bessarabian poems), with designs by Zuni Maud (New York: Soroki, 1937), 95 pp.; Bronzviler gezang (Brownsville chant), with woodcuts by Helen West Heller (New York: Bronzvil, 1942), 96 pp.; Di oysgebenkte sho (The longed for hour) (New York: Landslayt, 1947), 128 pp.; Bilder un geshtaltn fun soroki (Scenes and images of Soroki), with twenty-five drawing by William Gropper (New York: Valdheym, 1961), 286 pp.; Gezangen far sholem un freyd, gezamlte tsayt-lider fun fir dekades (Songs for peace and freedom, collected songs of the day over four decades) (New York, 1964), 190 pp.; Yidishe folks-motivn in der kunst fun moyshe kish (Jewish folk motifs in the art of Moyshe Kish) (New York, 1972), 14 pp.
Sources: Al. Pomerants, in Proletpen (Proletarian pen) (Kiev, 1935), pp. 226-27; Pomerants, “Naye bikher in yidish” (New books in Yiddish), Di tsukunft (New York) (March 1948); M. Zborovski, “Dos yidishe bukh in amerike” (The Yiddish book in America), Yorbukh (New York) (1949); N. Mayzil, Amerike in yidishn vort antologye (America in Yiddish, an anthology) (New York: Ikuf, 1955), see index; Sh. Slutski, Avrom reyzen-biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen’s bibliography) (New York, 1956), no. 4899; B. Grin, “Dovid seltsers ‘bilder un geshtaltn’” (Dovid Seltser’s Bilder un geshtaltn), Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (April 30, 1961; April 24, 1964); A. Bik, Besaraber landshaft un folklor (Bessarabian scenery and folklore) (New York: Yidishe kultur, April 1962), pp. 54-55; Y. Gar and F. Fridman, Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962), see index; Y. Varshavski, in Forverts (New York) (July 8, 1962); N. Ziskind, “A libe-lid far a shtetl” (A love song for a town), Jewish Bookland (New York) (February 1963); “Tsum 40stn yoyvl-yor fun morgn-frayhayt” (On the fortieth anniversary of Morgn-frayhayt), Yidishe kultur (New York) (April 1962), p. 49.
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 409.]