SH. FREYLIKH (LITMAN-GELTMAN) (1898-July 26, 1946)
His proper family name was Geltman. He wrote under two other pen names. He was born in Mezritsh (Międzyrzec), Poland. In 1924 he arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For many years he served as a member of the editorial board of Di prese (The press) in Buenos Aires. He was also a community leader, principally in the field of education. He was primarily a feature writer (using the pen name Freylikh) and an important children’s author (under the pen name Litman). He also wrote dramas. His plays—Akht in suke (Eight in the Sukkah), Bal-shem (The Bal-Shem-Tov), and Rambam (Rambam [= Maimonides])—were staged in Argentina for many weeks. In book form: Fun zeydns kval, fir stsenirungen (From Grandfather’s source, four stage sketches) (Buenos Aires, 1927), 79 pp.; Fun ale zibn zakhn, kinder-mayses (Of all seven things, children’s stories) (Buenos Aires, 1933), 109 pp.; A likhtike velt, kinder-mayses (An illuminated world, children’s stories) (Buenos Aires, 1935), 109 pp.; Mayselekh (Stories) (Warsaw: Kinder-fraynd, 1936), 16 pp.; Feter simkhes shpaserayen, kinder-mayses (Uncle Simkhe’s pleasantries, children’s stories) (Buenos Aires, 1936), 126 pp.; Forshtelungen (Performances) (Warsaw: Kinder-fraynd, 1937), 31 pp.; Erets-yisroel in 1937, a rayze iber shtet, kolonyes un kvutses (The land of Israel in 1937, a trip through cities, colonies, and agricultural collectives) (Buenos Aires, 1938), 238 pp.; Kazhe koryentes (Caja Corrientes), humorous sketches, scenes, and features (Buenos Aires, 1942), 176 pp.; Mayne heldn, dertseylungen un stsenkes far kinder (My heroes, stories and sketches for children) (Buenos Aires, 1944), 142 pp.; Kinder (Children), collected writings, vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, 1947), 232 pp. He also translated S. Collodi’s Pinokio (Pinocchio) (Warsaw, 1938), 152 pp.
“Sh. Freylikh…,” wrote Y. Botoshanski, “was for twenty-years the most popular author of Yiddish feature pieces in Argentina. [He was also well known as] Litman, who was our most beloved Yiddish children’s writer and one of the best and most recognized Yiddish children’s writer generally…. Sh. Freylikh was a joy to read. People read him, and people read his feature pieces and humorous sketches for themselves, people read them in crowded social groups, and they read them aloud before others. He was the only Yiddish writer in Argentina whose plays were hits and ran for weeks and weeks…. Litman the children’s storyteller has still not properly been given his due. He possessed such a sense of fantasy and humor that it was truly a joy for children.”
Sources: S. Kon, in Foroys (Warsaw) (May 27, 1938); V. Vevyorke, in Parizer haynt (Paris) 4152 (1938); Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The published Yiddish word in Argentina), vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, 1941), pp. 100, 101, 102, 136, 165, 166, 184; N. Khanin, A rayze iber tsentral- un dorem-amerike (A voyage through Central and South America) (New York, 1942), pp. 245-46; V. Bresler, Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), p. 921; Kh. Ialti, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York) (November 1946); Ialti, in Der holts industryalist (Buenos Aires) 69 (1946); N. Frukhter, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (July 25, 1954); Y. Botoshanski, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), “Yidn 5” (New York, 1957), p. 390; Botoshanski, in Di prese (August 1, 1961).