Wednesday, 15 May 2019

SHLOYME ROZENBERG


SHLOYME ROZENBERG (April 23, 1896-June 6, 1975)
            The author of stories, novels, translations, and poetry, he was born in the village of Sadurki, near Lublin.  He studied Talmud until age eighteen, and he passed the examinations into the sixth year of Polish high school.  Over the years 1919-1921, he was a pioneer in the land of Israel, before settling in Pilev (Puławy), Poland, where he worked as a typesetter.  For a couple of years, he worked as a bookkeeper in Stryków, and he lived for several years in Warsaw.  He emigrated to France in 1932, and for six years he worked as Sholem Asch’s secretary in Nice.  In 1940 he fled from France, and in 1941 arrived in New York.  He debuted in print in 1918 with a biblical poem in Yudishe zamelbikher (Jewish anthologies), edited by Y. M. Vaysenberg and Y. B. Tsipur.  He published poetry in: Lubliner togblat (Lublin daily newspaper) in 1919; Warsaw’s Ilustrirte vokh (Illustrated week); Altnayland (Old-new land) in 1925; Shprotsungen (Sprouts) in 1925; and Far groys un kleyn (For big and small) in Buenos Aires, edited by L. Malekh.  From 1931 he was a contributor to Haytige nayes (Today’s news) in Warsaw, in which he published novels and a series of articles entitled “Portretn fun der idisher geshikhte” (Portraits from Jewish history).  From 1942 he also contributed to Tog (Day) in New York, and he published in it novels, features, and articles.  He edited: Mitn shtrom (With the current) in Warsaw (1924), with Vaysenberg; Parizer vokhnblat (Parisian weekly newspaper) (1933-1934), with Avrom Vevyorke and Shmuel-Leyb Shnayderman; Ilustrirter vokhnblat (Illustrated weekly newspaper) in Paris (1934-1935), also with Vevyorke and Shnayderman; Di vokh (The week) in Paris (1939-1940), with Shnayderman and later with Sh. Shverdsharf.  He published and edited one issue of the journal Bitaon (Security) in New York (1961).  His works would include: Rabi akive (Rabbi Akiva) (New York: Romanen-biblyotek, 1947), 474 pp., in Hebrew translation by Yitsak Spivak (Tel Aviv, 1953), 283 pp.; Rabi meyer un brurye, historisher roman (Rabbi Meir and Beruria, a historical novel) (New York: Shoulzon, 1950), 496 pp., in Hebrew translation (Tel Aviv, 1954/1955), 385 pp.; Sholem ash fun der noent (Sholem Asch, face to face) (Miami: Shoulzon, 1958), 395 pp.; Di kuzrim, historisher roman (The Kuzaris, a historical novel) (Buenos Aires: Yidbukh, 1960), 354 pp.; Shapse tsvi, historisher roman (Shabbatai Tsvi, historical novel) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1965), 449 pp.  His translations would include: Władysław Stanisław Reymont, Poyern (Peasants [original: Chłopi (Peasantry)]) (Warsaw: Oryent, 1924-1926), 4 vols.; Vsevolod Garshin, Dray teg, di royte blum un andere (Three days, the red flower, and other [stories]) (Warsaw: Bzhoza, 1926), 84 pp.; Jules Verne, Di kinder fun kapitan grant (The children of Captain Grant [original: Les Enfants du capitaine Grant]), vol. 1 (Warsaw: A. Gitlin, 1927), 242 pp.; and Henryk Sienkiewicz, Iber midboryes un vistenishn, roman far yugnt (In the desert and the wilderness, novel for youth [original: W pustyni i w puszczy]) (Warsaw: B. Kletskin, 1928), 456 pp.  With Shnayderman, he wrote a dramatic reportage piece for Zalmen Turkov entitled Dmitrov (Dmitrov), but it was not staged.  Among his pen names: Sh. Prashker, Shrage, R. Shloyme, H. Rubin, Sh. R-g, and S. Herbert.  Zalmen Reyzen has written that “the translation of Pyonern [Chłopi], which is tied up with the immense difficulties due to the peculiarities of the Polish peasant language of Reymont’s epic, elicited, among other things, an enthusiastic response from Sholem Asch.” (Haynt [Today] 212 [1926])  Rozenberg wrote some eighteen novels, many of Jewish historical and biblical background; he published numerous stories—and he was scarcely noted by the most serious Yiddish literary critics.  Perhaps, this was due to their light plots, but due to their pure literary readership they should have acquired greater attention.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Mortkhe Tsanin, in Ilustrirter vokhnblat (Tel Aviv) 32 (1949); Avrom Reyzen, in Di feder (New York) (1949); B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog (New York) (March 21, 1953); E. Almi, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 4 (1961); Meylekh Ravitsh, in Tsukunft (New York) 9 (1962); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Berl Cohen


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