Wednesday, 4 July 2018


HYMAN POLSKI (1875-June 24, 1944)
            He was born in Skidl (Skidzieĺ), Grodno district.  In his youth he made his way to London and worked there in a tailor’s shop.  He debuted in print in Bril’s Shulamis (Shulamit).  He also contributed to: Yidisher ekspres (Jewish express) in London; and Yidishe gazeten (Jewish gazette) and Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) in New York.  In 1910 he departed for Johannesburg, South Africa.  From 1911 he was a regular contributor to the weekly Der afrikaner (The African).  Aside from sketches and stories—such as “Afrikaner glikn” (African joy) and “Tipn un bilder fun der yidisher gas” (Characters and images from the Jewish street)—he also wrote numerous newspaper novels and translated stories and novels from Hebrew and English.  He placed work in Di afrikaner yidishe tsaytung (The African Jewish newspaper) and was co-editor of the monthly journal Dorem-afrike (South Africa).  His books include: Libe un religyon oder di ungliklikhe shvester un bruder, a historisher roman (Love and religion or the unhappy sister and brother, a historical novel), based on a novel by Grace Aguilar (London, 1899), 159 pp.; In afrike, bilder fun yidishn lebn in dorem-afrike in di frierdike yorn (In Africa, images of Jewish life in South Africa in earlier times), with a preface by the author (Johannesburg, 1952), 208 pp.  This book was published in Warsaw in 1939 and only a few copies arrived in Africa; therefore, a new edition was brought out.  Polski was a veteran of Yiddish journalism in South Africa.  He died in South Africa.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Y. M. Sherman, in Foroys (Johannesburg) (April 1939); Sherman, in Dorem-afrike (Johannesburg) (November 1948); L. Feldman, Yidn in yohanesburg (Jews in Johannesburg) (Johannesburg, 1956), pp. 219-25; Feldman, in Dorem-afrike (June 1953); Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (October 22, 1964).
Benyomen Elis

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