MOSHE SNEH (January 6, 1909-March 1, 1972)
The Hebraized name of Moyshe Kleynboym, he was born in Radzin (Radzyń), Shedlets (Siedlce) district, Poland, into a commercial family. Until age thirteen he received a traditional Jewish education; thereafter, he went to live with his grandfather in Pilev (Puławy) where he graduated from a Polish high school and in the evenings studied Jewish subject matter with his grandfather. In 1926 he arrived in Warsaw, studied medicine at Warsaw University, and in 1935 graduated from medical school as a doctor. From his youth, he was active in the Zionist movement, chairman of the student organization “Yardiniya” (Garden of God), and a member of the provisional national Jewish council, of the Warsaw Zionist municipal committee and the Zionist Action committee, of the Jewish Agency, and of the Jewish World Congress, among other organizations. Together with Yitsḥak Grinboym, he founded the radical wing of Polish Zionism, the “Al-hamishmar” (On guard) direction, and he was one of the principal contributors to its publications in both Yiddish and Polish. For a time he was the leader of the Palestine office in Poland. In 1939 he was a delegate to the Zionist congress in Basel, but when the Germans invaded Poland (September 1, 1939), he returned to Poland and fought on the front against the Germans as an officer in the Polish army; with remnants of the army he reached Vilna, and from there in 1940 he departed for the land of Israel. There he became a commander in the Hagana and a member of the underground Asifat-nivḥarim (Assembly of representatives). At the time of the arrests of July 29, 1946, when the English took into custody the leaders of the settlement, Sneh avoided arrest but the English sentenced him to death in absentia. He left for Paris where he led the office of the Jewish World Congress. In 1946 he visited the United States, Poland, and Jewish refugee camps in Germany. Back in Israel, he played a major role in the founding of Mapam (United Workers’ Party), later switching to the Maki (Israeli Communist) Party and becoming its general secretary. From 1949 he was a Knesset deputy and the spokesman for the Communist opposition. His journalistic activities began in Polish, later switching to Yiddish, Russian, and Hebrew. He contributed to the Polish-Jewish Nowe słowo (New word), Opinia (Opinion), Ster (Rudder), and Nasz Przegląd (Our overview) in Warsaw. He also placed work in Dos idishe folk (The Jewish people) in Warsaw, later becoming an internal contributor to Haynt (Today) in Warsaw and from 1933 its political editor. Aside from political journalism, from time to time he took charge of the division “Fun tog tsu tog” (From day to day). His work appeared as well in Haynt, yubiley-bukh (Jubilee volume for Haynt) (1928) and Haynt, yoyvl-bukh (Jubilee volume for Haynt) (1938). He published “Der radikaler tsienizm” (Radical Zionism) in Di parteyen un grupirungen in tsienizm (The parties and groupings in Zionism) (Warsaw, 1934). While living in Vilna, he wrote for the local Yiddish press, as well as for the press in the land of Israel: Hazman (The times), Haarets (The land), and other serials. From 1945 he contributed to the leftist Yiddish and Hebrew press in Israel and elsewhere. He was a member of the editorial board of Al hamishmar and Yisroel-shtime (Voice of Israel), and from 1949 of Kol haam (Voice of the people) and Fraye yisroel (Free Israel) in Tel Aviv. He wrote as well for: Dos naye lebn (The new life) and Al hamishmar in Lodz; Eynikeyt (Unity) and Morgn-frayhayt (Morning freedom) in New York; and Di naye prese (The new press) in Paris. He died in Tel Aviv.
Sources: R. Feldshuh, Yidisher gezelshaftlekher leksikon (Jewish communal handbook) (Warsaw, 1939); D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 3 (Tel Aviv, 1950), pp. 1248-50; Dr. H. Zaydman, in Hadoar (New York) (October 4, 1946); Khyene Yofe, in Tog (New York) (December 30, 1947); A. Meyling, in Folks-shtime (Warsaw) (February 13, 1948); R. Feder, in Veker (New York) (March 1, 1948); Sefer hashana shel haitonim (Newspaper yearbook) (Tel Aviv, 1950), p. 258; A. Rembo, in Tog (January 3, 1952; January 12, 1952); B. Shefner, in Forverts (New York) (September 26, 1953); D. Flinker, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (October 18, 1953; October 21, 1953); Ḥ. Knaan, in Haarets (Tel Aviv) (March 3, 1954); M. Tsanin, in Forverts (November 13, 1954); B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (November 29-30, 1954); A. Shrayer, in Arbeter-vort (Paris) (November 26, 1954); Tsvi Kroy, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (December 17, 1954); M. Erem, in Unzer veg (New York) (December 1954); Dr. E. Pat, Briv keyn medines yisroel (Letter to the state of Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1955), pp. 137-44; Kh. Finkelshteyn, Yidishe prese in varshe (The Yiddish press in Warsaw) (New York, 1956), pp. 174, 200, 207, 210; H. Kruk, Togbukh fun vilner geto (Diary from the Vilna ghetto) (New York, 1961), see index; Sovetish heymland (Moscow) 3 (1962); Y. Abramson, in Yidishe tsaytung (Tel Aviv) (October 11, 1963); Sh. Rozenberg, in Pilever yizker-bukh (Remembrance volume for Puławy) (New York, 1964), see index; Who’s Who in World Jewry (New York, 1955), p. 729.
Khayim Leyb Fuks