Thursday, 15 November 2018

DOVID FLINKER


DOVID FLINKER (August 15, 1900-December 12, 1978)
            He was born in Ger (Góra Kalwaria), Poland.  He attended religious elementary school and yeshiva.  Secular subject matter he studied at home with private tutors.  In 1916 he was cofounder of the youth organization “Tevuna” (Wisdom), and together with Simkhe-Bunim Pyetrushka, he edited eight issues of a monthly also called Tevuna.  One year later he began writing for the daily newspaper Dos idishe vort (The Jewish word) in Warsaw, in which he published feature pieces and short stories, as well as for Id (Jew) in Warsaw.  For the latter he wrote parliament reports and journalistic articles.  From 1929 until the outbreak of WWII, he edited the Warsaw daily Dos idishe togblat (The Jewish daily newspaper).  He published journalistic pieces, historical treatments, and an entire series of long stories.  They were republished in Riga’s Haynt (Today).  He was also a member of the administrative board of the Jewish journalists’ association in Warsaw.  On September 5, 1939, when the Nazis invaded Poland, he was evacuated from Warsaw.  He then spent over a year in Vilna.  In January 1941 he arrived with his family in the land of Israel.  On several occasions he visited the United States.  He contributed to the Hebrew newspaper Haboker (This morning).  He also published novels in Di letste nayes (The latest news) in Tel Aviv.  For a series of years, he was a member of the administration of Agudat Haitonaim (Journalists’ organization).  From 1948 he was the Israel correspondent first for Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) and later for Tog-morgn-zhurnal (Day-morning journal) in New York.  He also published here short stories and a number of novels.  He was awarded the Argentinian Stolier Prize for his novel Naye tsaytn (New times).  His pen names included: Ben-Dovid, A. Davidson, D. Aronson, and D. Levinski.  David Ben-Gurion’s weekly articles were translated by him into Yiddish.  He was one of the most popular correspondents living and writing in the state of Israel, and his descriptions of the Jewish homeland were republished in Jewish newspapers everywhere.  In book form he published: A hoyz af gzhibov (A house in Grzybów [St.]), with an introduction by Z. Segalovitsh (Buenos Aires: Central Association of Polish Jews in Argentina, 1947), 356 pp.; Varsha (Warsaw), in Hebrew, a history of Jewish Warsaw (Jerusalem: Mosad Harav Kook, 1948), 303 pp.; In shturem, roman (In the storm, a novel), 2 vols. (Buenos Aires: Central Association of Polish Jews in Argentina, 1950); Naye tsaytn, a novel of bygone Jewish life in Poland (Buenos Aires: Central Association of Polish Jews in Argentina, 1957), 2 vols., 384 pp. and 372 pp.  He died in Tel Aviv.
            “His frequent correspondence pieces from the state of Israel,” wrote A. Glants-Leyeles, “are a dependable source of information for everything of interest and value.  He is a rare, fine journalist from Poland.  He knows admirably what was important, what a reader needed to be concerned with….  He is knowledgeable about the life, the happenings, and the strange events in the state [of Israel].  These events are often a mess, and one needs a true journalist’s eye to untangle with precision and make one’s way through various and sundry outer crusts.  Dovid Flinker is genuinely skillful in this, truly a virtuoso.  And he possesses that absolutely indispensable sense, an ever-present preparedness to recount directly what a good correspondent ought and must recount.”

Sources: A. Mukdoni, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 26, 1958); Sh. Izban, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (October 20, 1958); Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), p. 343; M. Gir, in Sefer hashana shel haitonim (Newspaper yearbook) (Tel Aviv, 1958-1959); B. Shefner, Novolipye 7, zikhroynes un eseyen (Nowolipie 7, memoirs and essays) (Buenos Aires, 1955), p. 139; A. Lis, Heym un doyer, vegn shrayber un verk (Home and duration, on writers and work) (Tel Aviv: Y. L. Perets Library, 1960), pp. 316-19; H. Kruk, Togbukh fun vilner geto (Diary from the Vilna ghetto) (New York: YIVO, 1961); A. Glants-Leyeles, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (October 20, 1965).
Leyb Vaserman


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