BUZI OLYEVSKI (OLIEVSKY, OLEVSKI) (1908-1941)
Born in the town of Chernikhov, Volhynia; his father was a retailer. In 1930 he graduated from the Moscow Pedagogical Institute, and in 1932 he was a doctoral candidate at the same institute. His first poems were published in Shtern (Stars) in Minsk in 1926. From that point in time, he published poems and stories in various Soviet newspapers, journals, and collections. In the first period of his work, he lamented the destruction of the Jewish shtetl. Later, he sang the praises of heroes of the Civil War. In his first books of poems (1930), he depicted the life of the Soviet student body. In a second volume, he described the Jewish shtetl in its Soviet reconstruction. He was the first to publish poems in Yiddish about air force and aviation. He also published work concerning children, for children, and about the Communist Youth League. He lived for a few years in Birobidzhan and wrote a series of books, poems, and stories about life there. He also wrote about the Red Army. Others wrote music to accompany many of his poems. He also translated a few books from Russian and served on the editorial boards of a few newspapers. He was one of the most talented Soviet lyricists and storytellers of the younger generation. Shortly after the Nazi attack on Soviet Russia, he joined the Red Army, and in 1941 he died at the front.
Among his books: Far der bine: dertseylungen, pyeses, lider (For the stage: stories, plays, poems), with musical notation (together with Y. Dobrushin and E. Gordon) (Moscow, 1929), 136 pp.; In vuks (Growing), songs (Moscow, 1930), 110 pp.; Shakhte (Mines), poetry (Moscow, 1933), 132 pp.; Alts hekher un hekher: luft-fartseykhenungen (Higher and higher, aerial notes) (Moscow, 1933), 63 pp.; Kinder far mayn elter (Children for my old age), children’s stories (Moscow, 1935), 47 pp.; A nakht afn amur (A night on the Amur [River]), stories (Moscow, 1938), 240 pp.; Birobidzhaner lider (Songs of Birobidzhan) (Moscow, 1938); Onheyb lebn, dertseylungen (Start of life, stories) (Moscow, 1939), 254 pp.; Af birobidzhaner erd (On the soil of Birobidzhan) (Moscow, 1940), 82 pp.; Lider (Poems) (Moscow, 1940), 142 pp.; Mayselekh (Stories) (Moscow, 1940), 31 pp.; Osherl un zayn fraynd (Little Asher and his friend) (Moscow, 1947), 350 pp. His translations include: Lev Kassil’, Shvambranye (Konduit i shvambraniya) (The black book and Schwambrania), stories (Moscow, 1934), 245 pp.; and S. Dimitriev, Kin sibir nokh a moment (Off to Siberia in a moment) (Moscow, 1935), 71 pp. His work also appeared in: Kep, lider zamlung (Heads, poetry collection) (Minsk, 1926), Komyug, literarish-kinstlerisher zamlbukh ([Jewish] Communist Youth, literary-artistic anthology) (Moscow, 1938), Shlakhtn (Battles) (Kharkov-Kiev, 1932), Lebn un kamf, zamlbukh fun der yidisher linker literatur in poyln (Life and struggle, anthology of leftist Yiddish literature in Poland) (Minsk, 1936), Deklamater fun der sovetisher yidisher literatur (Reciter of Soviet Yiddish literature) (Moscow, 1934), Lider vegn der royte armey (Songs about the Red Army) (Moscow, 1938), Farn heymland in shlakht! (For the homeland in battle!) (Moscow, 1941). He was an editor and secretary for Forpost (Outpost) in Birobidzhan, and he wrote the foreword to Itsik Fefer’s Lider (Poems) (Moscow, 1935).
Sources: Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) (February 1930); Literaturnaya entsiklopediya (Literary encyclopedia) (Moscow, 1934), vol. 8, pp. 275-76; Sh. Klitenik, in Forpost, no. 2 (Birobidzhan, 1936); N. Levin, in Shtern (Minsk) (January 1940), p. 81; Anon., “Tsvishn di yidishe kompozitors” (Among the Jewish composers), Eynikeyt (Moscow) (July 25, 1942); M. Natovitsh, in Eynikeyt (October 28, 1943); Y. Dobrushin, in Eynikeyt (February 27, 1945); Y. Rabin, in Folks-shtime, no. 5 (Warsaw, 1948).