MOYSHE ALTSHULER (1887-1969)
A current events writer and community leader, he was born in the town of Bobr (Bober), Molev (Mogilev) Province, Ukraine [now in Belarus]. His literary work commenced in 1919. He was secretary to the head office of the Jewish Section of the Central Committee of the Ukrainian Communist Party, a member of the editorial collective of the Moscow-based newspaper Der emes (The truth) and the editor of record of the anti-religious journal Der apikoyres (The heretic) (Moscow, 1931-1935). His writing concentrated primarily around issues of atheistic propaganda. He also translated a number of works by V. I. Lenin into Yiddish. He was at some point purged. In the early 1960s, with the appearance of Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) in Moscow, he wrote articles for it: “Af di vegn fun haynttsaytikeyt” (On the road to modern times), “Vegn p. markishes poeme ‘Milkhome’” (On P. Markish’s poem “War”), and the like. He died in Moscow.
His works include: Gekasherte neshomes (vegn kheyder) (Koshered souls, on the religious primary school) (Kharkov: Central Committee of the Communist Youth Association in Ukraine, 1922), 32 pp.; Hagode far gloyber un apikorsim (Haggadah for believers and heretics), two printings (Moscow, 1927), 24 pp.; F. s. s. r. (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), a conversation on the train to be read in clubs and in the home (Moscow, n.d.), 64 pp.; Anti-religyezer lernbukh (Anti-religious reader) (Moscow, 1929), 239 pp.; a second “improved and complementary” printing of the same book was published by Emes in Moscow in 1932, entitled On a got (Without a God), 252 pp.; Vi azoy darf men firn antireligyeze propaganda (How to conduct anti-religious propaganda) (Moscow: Tsentr Publ., 1929), 24 pp.; Komsomolishe hagode (Communist Youth Haggadah) (Kharkov, 1930?), 18 pp.; Shabes, yontev un roshkhoydesh (Sabbath, holiday, and beginning of the month) (Moscow: Emes, 1947), 86 pp.; Guf un neshome (Body and soul) (Moscow, 1948). He was a member of the editorial board of Yunge gvardye (Young guard). He also contributed to Afn shprakhfront (On the language front), a collection, in Kiev (1935). From Lenin’s works, he translated Ershte revolutsye, 1905-1907 (orig., Pervaia Revoliutsiia, 1905-1907 = The first revolution, 1905-1907), vol. 1 (Moscow, 1925), 302 pp., vol. 2 (Moscow, 1927), 314 pp.; and Tsvey taktikes fun der sotsyal-demoktratikye un der demokratishe revolutsye (orig., Dve taktiki sotsial-demokratii v demokraticheskoi revoliutsii = Two tactics in social democracy and the democratic revolution) (Moscow, 1940), 134 pp.
Sources: Sh. Dimantshteyn, Foreword to Altshuler’s Anti-religyezer lernbukh; N. Rubenshteyn, “Di bikher, produktsye af yidish in sov. farb. in 1932” (Books, produced in Yiddish in the USSR in 1932), Afn visnshaftlekhn front (On the scientific front) (Minsk, 1933).
[Additional information from: 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. 22-23.]