Friday, 23 November 2018

SHIMSHN FERSHT


SHIMSHN FERSHT (May 5, 1888-May 20, 1968)
            He was born in a village near Novoselits (Novoseltsa), Bessarabia.  He was orphaned in his youth and was raised in the village by his grandfather, a poor and stern village Jew.  He completed two levels of a German public school.  During WWI he served in the Austrian army and was wounded at the front.  He later worked as a tailor, wrote poetry in the style of folksongs, and himself declaimed and sang them at festive events at inns.  Unable to write the Jewish alphabet, his poems were written down in Roman letters.  Until WWII he published satirical and humorous sheets (published in Romanization): Der grager (The rattle), twenty issues; Shvues knish (Shavuot knish), two issues; Mitsraim vokh (Egypt week), eight issues; Der lets (The clown), two issues; Tshernovitser plyotkes (Czernowitz gossip), six issues; and Dorner humor, eight issues.  He contributed poems and fables to: the Labor Zionist weekly Di frayhayt (The freedom), and other periodicals, in Czernowitz; Bukareshter zamlbikher (Bucharest anthologies), Ikuf bleter (IKUF sheets), and the anthology In oyfshteyg (In ascent) in Bucharest; and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw.  In book form: Geklibene lider (Selected poems), preface by Y. Botoshanski (Czernowitz, 1922), 80 pp. (the typesetter at the print shop published this booklet at his own expense); Trubadurishe lider (Troubadour poems) (Bucharest: Literarishe farlag, 1962), 100 pp.  He died in Bucharest.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Y. Rubin, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (43 (1932); Elye Sigeter, in Ikuf bleter (Bucharest) (March 5, 1949); Shloyme Bikl, in Tsukunft (New York) (March 1960); Bikl, Rumenye (Romania) (Buenos Aires, 1961); Y. Karo, in Folks-shtime (Warsaw) (September 8, 1962); Y. Ts. Sharger, in Yisroel-shtime (Tel Aviv) (December 8, 1965).
Benyomen Elis


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