Tuesday, 7 May 2019


YOYSEF (JOSEPH) ROGEL (b. August 8, 1911)
            He was a poet, born in Tsieshanov (Cieszanów), Galicia.  He studied in yeshivas and graduated from a Polish high school.  He lived in Torne (Tarnów) and was among the first deported to a concentration camp in Pustków.  He survived Auschwitz and was rescued there in 1944.  He came to Canada in 1948.  Until 1955 he was engaged in various lines of work, while at the same time studying in English-language colleges.  He began to publish poetry in 1929 in Lemberg’s Tsushteyer (Contribution).  He contributed as well to: Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw, Shtegn (Paths) in Stanislav, Di post (The mail) in Cracow, Belgishe bleter (Belgian pages) in Antwerp, and from 1948 in Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) and Montreoler heftn (Montreal notebooks [every issue]) in Montreal, Tsukunft (Future) and Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture) in New York, Heymish (Familiar) in Tel Aviv, Foroys (Onward) in Mexico City, and other serials.  His work appeared as well in Berish Vaynshteyn’s Opkleyb (Selection) in New York, Kanadish (Canadian) (Buenos Aires, 1974), and Shimshon Meltser’s Al naharot, tisha maḥazore shira misifrut yidish (By the rivers, nine cycles of poetry from Yiddish literature) (Jerusalem, 1956).  In book form: Oyshvits (Auschwitz), poetry (Montreal, 1951), 94 pp.—for this book he received the Tsvi Kessel Prize.  Two volumes of poetry by Rogel appeared in English, one of them entitled Poems for My Mother (Montreal, 1975), 91 pp.  “Through Rogel’s poetry,” wrote Y. Y. Sigal, “one can peer into the depths of the entire Jewish Holocaust.”  “His poetry,” noted Yankev Glatshteyn, “is a direct echo of an inconsolable Jewish time and convey the tragedy of the individual and the group.”

Sources: Y. Y. Sigal, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (November 19, 1951); M. Naygreshl, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York) (December 1951); A. M. Fuks, in Nayvelt (Tel Aviv) (October 22, 1952); Yankev Glatshteyn, In tokh genumen (In essence), vol. 2 (Buenos Aires, 1960), p. 136; Y. Rapoport, in Idishe post (Melbourne) (August 7, 1973); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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