Friday, 23 November 2018

BERTA FERDERBER-ZALTS


BERTA FERDERBER-ZALTS (b. July 30, 1902)
            She was born in Kolbushov (Kolbuszowa), Reyshe (Rzeszów) region, Galicia.  She studied in a Tarbut school and later at a business academy.  Over the period 1920-1930, she published poetry in Polish.  During the years of WWII, she was confined in the Cracow ghetto and in the concentration camps of Plashov (Płaszów), Auschwitz, and Bergen-Belsen.  In 1946 she came to the United States.  She contributed work to: Kolbushover viderkol (Kolbuszowa echo), Unzer dor (Our generation), and Foroys (Onward) in Poland; Yizker-bukh galitsye (Remembrance volume for Galicia) in New York.  In book form: Un di zun hot geshaynt (And the sun did shine), with a preface by M. V. Bernshteyn (Tel Aviv: Menorah, 1965), 289 pp.  This volume also appeared in Hebrew: Vehashemesh zarḥa (Tel Aviv: Nay lebn, 1968), 232 pp.[1]  She was last living in Brooklyn, New York.
            “This work, Un di zun hot geshaynt, by Berta Ferderber-Zalts,” wrote Froym Oyerbakh, “is one of those books that is new in the manner of its narration, in the events it recounts, and in the artistic quality of the author….  An artistic penetration into the experiences that grows out of the story itself….  In the book there are interspersed memoirs of the calm years in Poland.  Any such depiction would indeed be classic.  She recounts from her grandfather and grandmother when they were already in their eighties and had gone to set aside their grave plots.  She describes her grandfather’s song and her grandmother’s dance, in the sacred place that they selected for their graves.  It seems to me that there is as yet no such depiction in our literature, and thus Berta’s book truly stands out from many other books in our immensely rich Holocaust literature.”

Sources: B. Frenkel, in Unzer shtime (Paris) (November 27, 1965); A. Baraban, in Yidishe tsaytung (Tel Aviv) (December 17, 1965); Froym Oyerbakh, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 10, 1966); Y. Emyot, in Tsukunft (New York) (February 1966); F. Sandler, in Zayn (New York) (May 1966); A. Lev, in Lebnsfragn (Tel Aviv) (January-February 1967).
Benyomen Elis



[1] Translator’s note.  There is also an English translation: And the sun kept shining (New York: Holocaust Library, 1980), 233 pp., with a foreword by Menachem Z. Rosensaft. (JAF)

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