HERSHL ORLAND (1896-March 16, 1946)
A prose author, he was born in the town of Tetyev (Tetiyiv), near Kiev, Ukraine. He studied in religious elementary school, and later he prepared to attend middle school as an auditor. In 1918 he moved and settled in Kiev. He volunteered and served in the Red Army, 1920-1921. Demobilized from the army in 1922, he began working at the Kiev newspaper, Komunistishe fon (Communist banner). The same year he published his first stories in that venue; his writings soon attracted attention for their juicy language, their lyrical quality, and their colorful depictions of nature. In 1926 he was employed in the villages of Volhynia in land reclamation work, and he later embodied his experiences there in his novel Hreblyes (Dikes), part 1 (Kiev, 1929), part 2 (1931), part 3 (1935)—adapted for use in school, 1938—which attracted recognition for him as an important author. In his second novel, Aglomerat (Agglomerate, 1935), he described a metallurgical plant in Kerch; social-economic reconstruction of the Jewish people who came from the towns into industry provided the main theme of both novels. For many years in succession, he edited the Kharkov newspaper Shtern (Star) and the magazine Sovetishe literatur (Soviet literature), among others. He was much consumed by journalistic and translation work. In the war years, he was active in the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. He died in Moscow.
His writings include: Grobers (Ruffians) (Kiev, 1930), 68 pp.; Hreblyes (Kharkov rpt., 1931), 294 pp.; Shlakhtn, fuftsn yor oktyaber in der kinstlerisher literatur (Battles, fifteen years since October  in artistic literature), compiled with Kh. Gildin and A. Kahan (Kharkov, 1932), 543 pp.; Aglomerat (Kiev, 1935), 228 pp.; A gast (A guest), a story (Kharkov-Odessa: Kinder-farlag, 1936), 15 pp.; Shikere gendz (Drunk geese) (Kharkov-Odessa, 1936), 12 pp.; Sorele in vald (Little Sarah in the woods), a story (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1937), 12 pp.; A mayse mit a layb (A story with a heart) (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1938), 14 pp.; Polyesye, a story (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1939), 19 pp.; Infirn zaynen mir geforn (We led the way) (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1940), 33 pp. His translations include: Aleksandr Pushkin, Kapitanskaya dochka as Dem kapitans tokhter (The captain’s daughter) (Kiev, 1936), 109 pp.; Pavel Postyshev, Iz proshlogo as Fun der fargangenheyt (From the past) (Kiev, 1936), 39 pp.; Nikolai Ostrovsky, Kak zakalyalas' stal' as Vi s’hot zikh farhartevet dos shtol (How the steel was tempered), adapted for older children (Kiev, 1937); Vos geven un vos gevorn, zamlbukh (What was and what has become, anthology), compiled with B. Slutski (Kiev, 1937), 214 pp.; Victor Hugo, Les Travailleurs de la Mer as Di yam-arbeter (Toilers of the sea) (Kiev, 1940), 359 pp.; Ivan Franko, Boa konstriktor (Boa constrictor) (Kiev, 1940), 103 pp. In addition his work appeared in: Ukraine, Almanakh fun yidishe sovetishe shrayber tsum alfarbandishn shrayber-tsuzamenfor (Almanac, from Soviet Jewish writers to the all-Soviet conference of writers) (Kharkov, 1934), Der arbeter in der yidisher literatur (The worker in Yiddish literature), Deklamater fun der sovetisher yidisher literatur (Reciter of Soviet Yiddish literature) (Moscow, 1934), Tsum tsig (To the objective), Komsomolye (Communist youth), and Lenin un di kinder (Lenin and children) (Kharkov, 1934).
Sources: Y. Bronshteyn, Atake (Attack) (Minsk, 1931), pp. 248-79; Kh. Dunyets, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (February 20, 1933); Shmuel Zhitkovski, Pruvn (Endeavors) (Kharkov, 1934), p. 92; M. Mizhiritski, in Shtern (Minsk) (September, 1936), p. 84; “Tvishn di sovetishe yidishe shrayber” (Among the Soviet Yiddish writers), Eynikeyt (Moscow) (June 7, 1942); Aleksander Pomerants, Inzhenern fun neshomes, di shrayber un bikher fun der yidisher sovetisher literatur (Engineers of the souls, the writers and books of Soviet Yiddish literature) (New York, 1943), p. 41; A. Pomerants, in Morgn-frayhayt (May 17, 1946); Arn Kushnirov, in Naye prese (Paris) (July 27, 1945); “Hershl Orland,” Eynikeyt (Moscow) (March 19, 1946), obituary with about 150 undersigned; N. Y. Gotlib, in Keneder odler (March 30, 1053).
[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. 30-31.]