DOVID ROYKHEL (October 30, 1890-1941/1942)
He was born into a wealthy family in Kremenits, Volhynia. In his youth he joined the Yiddishist movement and supported Yiddish-language journals. In 1913 he settled in Vilna as an employee of B. Kletskin Publishers. In late 1918 he moved to Kiev, later to Odessa, and around 1923 returned to Kremenits. During WWII, he crossed the Soviet border and got lost somewhere in the Urals, where he soon contracted typhus and died. During WWI he turned his attention to translation and reworked children’s literature into Yiddish, such as the Russian folktale Dos kikhele (The little cake) (Vilna, 1916/1917), 17 pp.; he adapted and translated in Vilna a series of booklets under the title Roykhels ilustrirte kinder-biblyotek (Roykhel’s illustrated children’s library), including R’ Mortkhele, Shloyme hameylekh un der ashmeday (King Solomon and Asmodeus) (1917), 19 pp.; Hans Christian Andersen, Doymele (Thumbelina [original: Tommelise]) (1918), 35 pp.; Ernest Thompson Seton, Der fuks un zayn gezindl (The fox and his skulk) (1917), 48 pp.; A. I. Kuprin, Shloyme hameylekhs mishpet (The judgment of King Solomon), 11 pp.; among others. A new edition of all these booklets appeared in 1919 thanks to the children’s publisher “Onhoyb” (Beginning). Subsequent reworkings include a new series of children’s booklets: M. Nordau’s Kopvaserl (A little cup of water) (Odessa: Blimelakh, 1918); Dmitry Mamin-Sibiryak, Khaneles mayselakh (Hannah’s tales) (Kiev: Idishe folks-farlag, 1919-1920), six booklets; Rusishe mayselakh, dos rivele (Russian tales, the culvert) (Kiev: Idishe folks-farlag, 1920), 6 pp.; and Mayselakh (Tales) (Kiev: Idishe folks-farlag, 1921), 20 pp.; among others. For B. Kletskin Publishers, he translated: A. I. Kuprin, Shulamis (Shulamith) (1920), 94 pp.; Kuprin, Geklibene dertseylungen (Selected stories) (1924), 430 pp.; V. V. Veresaev, In tempn vinkl, roman (In a deadlock, a novel [original: V tupike]) (1925), 333 pp.; Fyodor Sologub, Peredonov, der kleyner shed (Peredonov, the petty demon [original: Melkii bes]) (1929), 401 pp. For other publishers: Nokhum Bukhbinder, Di geshikhte fun der yidisher arbeter-bavegung in rusland, loyt nit-gedrukte arkhiṿ-materyaln (History of the Jewish labor movement in Russia, according to unpublished archives [original: Istoriya yevreyskogo rabochego dvizheniya v Rossii po neizdannym arkhivnym) (Vilna: Tomor, 1931), 440 pp.; Pyotr S. Kogan, Di geshikhte fun der rusisher literatur, fun di eltste tsaytn biz 1929 yor (The history of Russian literature, from ancient times until 1929 [original: Istoriia russkoi literatury s drevneishikh vremen do nashikh dnei (History of Russian literature from ancient times until our present day)]) (Warsaw-New York: Yatshkovski, 1931), 407 pp.; Konstantin Paustovsky, Kolkhide (Kolkhida) (Warsaw: Literarishe bleter, 1935); Boris Pilniak, Frukhtn vern tsaytik (The fruits will ripen [original: Sozrevanie plodov]) (Warsaw: Literarishe bleter, 1936), 294 pp.; Aleksandr S. Pushkin, Belkins dertseylungen (Belkin’s tales [original: Povesti belkina]), with Dovid Hofshteyn (Warsaw: Literarishe bleter, 1937), 86 pp.; Rudolf Hilferding, Finants-kapital, a shtudye vegn der nayster faze in der antṿiklung fun dem kapitalizm (Finance capital, a study of the latest phase in the development of capitalism [original: Das Finanzkapital, eine Studie über die jüngste Entwicklung des Kapitalismus]) (Vilna: Tomor, 1937), 2 vols.; Nikolai V. Gogol, Toyte nefashes (Dead souls [original: Myortvye dushi]) (Warsaw: Literarishe bleter, 1938). He also wrote literary essays for Warsaw’s Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Foroys (Onward), and Shriftn (Writings). He died in the Ural Mountains.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; information from Feyge Hofshteyn, Roykhel’s cousin.