SHMUEL ROSIN (August 30, 1890-October 1941)
The author of poetry and stories, he was born in Shumyatsh (Shumyachi), Smolensk Province, into a poor family of a wagon driver. He studied in religious elementary school and yeshivas. At age fourteen he joined the Bund, for a short the Zionist socialist party, and then back to the Bund. He lived in Ekaterinoslav where he worked as a painter and tinsmith, later moving to Odessa, Kharkov, Penza, and a variety of colonies in Tavriya; from 1921, he was in Moscow. He volunteered to join the Red Army in 1941 and fell in battle at the front near the Russian city of Vyazma. At age twenty he began writing poetry and stories about working life. He debuted in print in 1917 in Veker (Alarm) in Minsk. From that point he contributed work to most Soviet Yiddish publications: Sjtrom (Current), Royte velt (Red world), Shtern (Star), Yungvald (Young forest), Sovetish (Soviet), Prolit (Proletarian literature), Sovetishe literatur (Soviet literature), and Forpost (Outpost), as well as in Sambatyen (Sambatyon) in Riga and Vispe (Islet) in Kovno, among other serials.
His works appeared in an array of literary anthologies and collections: Mut (Courage) (Moscow, 1920); Yugnt (Youth) (Kharkov, 1922); Nayerd (New earth) (Moscow, 1925); Froyen, literarishe zamlung (Women, literary collection) (Moscow: Central Publ., 1928); Far der bine: dertseylungen, pyeses, lider (For the stage: stories, plays, poems) (Moscow, 1929); Fertsn oktyabers, literarishe zamlung (Fourteen Octobers, literary collection) (Moscow, 1931); Der arbeter in der yidisher literatur (The worker in Yiddish literature) (Moscow-Minsk, 1931); In iberboy, literarishe kritishe artiklen (Under reconstruction, literary critical articles) (Moscow, 1932); Der veg fun farat, kamf kegn bundizm un menshevizm in der yidisher proletarisher literatur (The road of treachery, the struggle against Bundism and Menshevism in Yiddish proletarian literature) (Moscow-Minsk, 1932); Shlakhtn (Battles) (Kharkov, 1932); Deklamater fun der sovetisher yidisher literatur (Reciter of Soviet Yiddish literature) (Moscow, 1934); Lenin un di kinder (Lenin and children) (Kharkov-Kiev, 1934); Ruf, lider zamlung (Call, poetry collection) (Minsk, 1935); Sovetishe vaysrusland (Soviet Byelorussia) (Minsk, 1935); Lider vegn stalinen (Poems about Stalin) (Kiev, 1937); Lider vegn der royter armey (Lenin on the Red Army) (Kiev, 1938); Komyug, literarish-kinstlerisher zamlbukh ([Jewish] Communist Youth, literary-artistic anthology) (Moscow, 1938); Lomir zingen (Let’s sing) (Moscow, 1940); Osher shvartsman, zamlung gevidmet dem tsvantsik yortog fun zayn heldishn toyt (Osher Shvartsman, collection dedicated to the twentieth anniversary of his heroic death) (Moscow: Emes, 1940); Farn heymland in shlakht! (For the homeland in battle!) (Moscow, 1941); Af naye vegn (On new roads) (New York, 1948).
His own writings would include: Bobe-mayses, kinder-poemen (Fairy tales, children’s stories) (Ekaterinoslav: Visnshaft, 1919), 54 pp.; Moyerkeplakh (Seashells) (Kharkov: Hofnung, 1919), 32 pp.; Shayn, poeme (Light, a poem) (Moscow: Lirik, 1922), 16 pp.; Tsu ale, tsu unz, lider un poemen (To all, to us, poetry) (Moscow: Central Publ., 1929), 128 pp.; Zin un tekhter, poemes (Sons and daughters, poems) (Moscow: Emes, 1934), 165 pp.; Es geyt der shnit (So goes the harvest), poetry (Minsk: State Publ., 1935), 137 pp.; In eyner a nakht (One night) (Moscow: Emes, 1937), 33 pp.; Mit di ershte (With the first ones), poetry (Moscow: Emes, 1937), 15 pp.; Farlibterheyt (Being in love), poetry (Moscow: Emes, 1938), 208 pp.; Lider vegn tatn (Poetry about Father) (Moscow: Emes, 1939), 29 pp.; Tsu der tsayt (On time), poetry (Moscow: Emes, 1939), 124 pp.; Shloymke dashek (Shloymke Dashek), a story (Moscow: Emes, 1939), 15 pp.; Dovid fun sasun (David of Sassoun), with Shmuel Halkin (Moscow: Emes, 1940), 24 pp.; Undzer ru (Our quiet), a poem (Moscow: Emes, 1940), 40 pp.; Trayheyt, poeme in dray teyln (Loyalty, a poem in three parts) (Vilna-Moscow: Emes, 1941), 201 pp. He also wrote a play entitled Di dervakhung (The awakening), which was staged in Kharkov. His translations include: Konstantin Paustovsky, Sharl lonsevils shikzal (The destiny of Charles Lonceville) (Moscow: Emes, 1933), 115 pp.; V. Ilyenkov, Di firndike aks (The driving axle [original: Vedushchaia os’]) (Moscow, 1934), 518 pp.; Arkady Gaidar, R. m. r. (R. M. R. [original: R. V. S. (= Revolutionary Military Council)]) (Moscow: Emes, 1938), 57 pp.; Unter der zun fun azye, sven hedins rayse (Under the Asian sun, Sven Hedin’s travels) (Moscow: Emes, 1935), 126 pp.
“It so happens,” noted Yekhezkl Dobrushin, “that Rosin, a poet of a lyrical, intimate cut, who started with his own spiritual light-and-shadows play and created his own grid of word and rhythm; he has adapted his initial way, it would seem, for us [in the Soviet Union] with examples of our concrete way of life.” “With each new book,” wrote Arn Kushnirov, “Rosin wrote as a master craftsman. With extraordinary thoroughness, he achieved a heartfelt popular language, and one can say that numerous attainments are linked to his name for our [Soviet] lyrical poetry. He expanded its thematic range…. Rosin’s poetry embraced the tender feeling of love, the exact depiction of nature, the divergent political and social themes.”
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), index; Khatskl Dunets, In shlakhtn (In battle) (Moscow-Minsk, 1931), pp. 171-77; Yekhezkl Dobrushin, in In iberboy, literarishe kritishe artiklen (Under reconstruction, literary critical articles) (Moscow, 1932), pp. 102-18; Arn Kushnirov, in Heymland (Moscow) 2 (1947); Nakhmen Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher shrayber in sovetn-farband (Jewish creation and the Jewish writer in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), see index; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 502; Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 354-55.]