KHAYIM-YISROEL PERL (b. ca. 1927)
He was born in the village of Shyev (Şieu), Maramureș district, Hungary [now, Romania]. Until the Nazi occupation, he was studying in yeshiva. At age thirteen he was confined in the Maramureș ghetto. He was later sent to the Auschwitz death camp and in April 1945 was liberated. For a time he lived in Germany and thereafter left for the land of Israel. He was the artistic chronicler and fashioner of Maramureș’s Jewish group of laborers. Already in his first idyllic image of poor, village, Jewish life in Unzer veg (Our way) in New York (1946), he evinced a writer’s originality. The same is true of his book Farloshene likht in marmoresh (Extinguished candles in Maramureș) (Tel Aviv, 1957), 93 pp., with a preface in Hebrew. In the eleven stories therein, the young author introduces characters and figures from a vanished, distinctive world in the distinctive Carpato-Ruthenian Yiddish language, preserved for generations. He also authored: Fun’m fargangenem amol (From the past once) (Montreal, 1946/1947), 14 pp.
“There is a picturesque freshness,” wrote Shloyme Bikl, “in Perl’s language, and there is often a higher historical vision in what Perl sees. What one feels in Perl’s story, the eternal war of ritual fringes vs. swords, gives a more authentic and literary value to Perl’s accounts of the Extinguished Candles in Maramureș.”
Sources: Mortkhe Fuks, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (December 20, 1957); Dr. Shloyme Bikl, in Tog-morgn zhurnal (New York) (May 25, 1958); E. Vayzel, (Elie Weisel), in Forverts (New York) (September 14, 1958); Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), p. 482; Hatsofe (Tel Aviv) (Shevat 1 [= January 22], 1958); Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 432.]