Tuesday, 12 June 2018


            He was born in Bolekhov (Bolekhiv), eastern Galicia, the son of a printer.  He studied in the local public school.  At age twenty he left his hometown and roamed through German cities and towns and suffered a great deal, until he reached Brussels, Belgium.  There he attended lectures in the Academy for Fine Arts.  From Brussels he wrote letters to Stanislaver vokhenblat (Stanislav weekly newspaper) with title such as “Yuf, geb knep, zonst khapstu klep” ([fellow] Jew, give a little something, or you’re get smacked).  He later returned to Galicia.  In 1913 he opened a print shop in Sambor (Sambir), and together with Dr. Leyzer Rokeyekh published the weekly Der yudisher veker (The Jewish alarm).  In 1914 he moved the print shop to Drahobitsh (Drohobych), brought out German and Polish tabloid newspapers, such as: Die Tagespost (The daily mail), Der Moment (The moment), Nowiny (News), and Letzte Nachrichten (Latest reports).  He published several volumes of Nechemias (Nekhemye) Lothringer’s illustrated German translation of the Talmud under the title Der Talmud in Vort und Bild (The Talmud in word and image) (Bolekhov, 1900).  From time to time, he contributed to various Yiddish publications in Galicia.  At the time of and after WWI, he placed a variety of trifles in Lemberger togblat (Lemberg daily newspaper), also using the pseudonyms: Skyel and Z. Vilgot.  Other publications include: Dos lied funem kigel (The song of the pudding), a parody of Schiller “Das Lied von der Glocke” (The song of the bell), with N. Lothringer (Bolekhov, 1911), 15 pp., fourth edition (1921), 16 pp. (the booklet also includes Elendman’s monologue entitled “Yekhiel shadkhn” [Yekhiel the matchmaker]); Di yapaner als yuden (The Japanese as Jews) (Lemberg, 1912); Libes brif oys dem ghetto (Love letter from the ghetto), two editions (Bolekhov, 1912), 12 pp., a light mockery of Galician Jewish life.  In 1923 he moved to Danzig and there he also ran a print shop.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Dr. Yoysef Tenenboym, Galitsye, mayn alte heym (Galicia, my old country) (Buenos Aires: Polish Jewry in Argentina, 1952).
Yankev Birnboym

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