SHAYE-MEYER FINKELSHTEYN (1806-September 6, 1870)
He was born in Bród (Brody). He was a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment and a merchant. He had bank dealings in Jassy (Iași) or Galats (Galați), and in the 1850s he settled in Leipzig. He was noted as one of the more distinguished people in both Bród and Liepzig. The first person to point to Finkelshteyn as an author was Dr. Max Weinreich. In the YIVO archives may be found the manuscripts of three plays: Mondrish (Mondrish), 41 pp.; Der kolboynik oder di ferbiterni khosn kalke (The good-for-nothing or the embittered bride and groom), 77 pp.; and Di dray shvesterkinder (The three cousins). All of them are attributed: “From Shaye Gutmann.” On the basis of textual similarities, Dr. Weinreich cam to the hypothesis that he considered the author of the three plays to be Finkelshteyn and that Shaye Gutmann was but the latter’s pseudonym. A. R. Malachi was inclined to agree with Weinreich’s view, but Y. Tsinberg was not in agreement. He died in Leipzig.
Sources: Hamagid (Lik) (September 21, 1870); Max Weinreich, in Arkhiv far der geshikhte fun yidishn teater un drame (Archive for the history of Yiddish theater and drama), vol. 1 (Vilna-New York, 1930), pp. 175-238; A. R. Malachi, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (July 1, 1968).
Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 442.