Monday 1 September 2014


YOYSEF OKRUTNI (IOSEF OKRUTNY) (November 25, 1906-1991)
Adopted name of Yoysef Turko, son of Henekh.  Born in Kutno, Poland, he was from childhood living in Lodz.  He studied in religious schools, and graduated from secular high school.  From 1939-1946, he lived as a refugee in Russia.  After the war, he returned to Poland.  From the end of 1946 until September 1949, he served as editor of Yiddish radio broadcasts for the central committee of Jews in Poland.  From late 1949, he illegally wandered through the refugee camps in Austria and Italy.  From 1951 he was in Buenos Aires.  His first publication was a story, entitled “Dos tentserl” (The little dancer), in 1925, in Lodzher tageblat (Lodz daily news); from 1925 to 1934, he was a member of the editorial board of Nayer folksblat (New people’s news) in Lodz.  He published in: Undzer togblat (Our daily news), Folksblat (People’s news), Lodzher veker (Lodz alarm), and Dos naye lebn (The new life)—all in Lodz; Moment (Moment), Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves)—in Warsaw; Frimorgn (Morning) in Riga; Tog (Day), Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), and Tsukunft (Future)—in New York; Undzer shtime (Our voice) and Undzer vort (Our word) in Paris; Byalistoker shtern (Byalistok star); Oktyaber (October) in Minsk; and Biro-bidzhaner shtern (Birobidzhan star), among others.  Among his books: Undzer orem broyt, dertseylungen (Our poor bread, stories) (Warsaw, 1936), 97 pp.; A hoyz af altshtot, roman (A house in the old city, a novel) (Warsaw, 1938), 165 pp.; A boym in vint, dertseylungen (A tree in the wind, stories) (Warsaw, 1948), 96 pp.; Undzer shul (Our school) (Warsaw, 1949), 120 pp.; Dos bukh fun di elnte (The book of the forlorn) (Buenos Aires, 1952), 228 pp.; Baluter vebers (Weavers of Balut), a novel (Buenos Aires, 1953); Sof kapitl, roman (The end of the chapter, a novel) (Buenos Aires: Farband fun poylishe yidn, 1956), 436 pp.; Unter leymene dekher, motivn fun sovetishe yorn (Under roofs of mud, motifs from Soviet years) (Buenos Aires: Svive, 1957), 342 pp.; A shteyn tsukopns (A stone head) (Buenos Aires: Svive, 1960), 381 pp.; Vortslen zaynen dorshtik, roman (Thirsty roots, a novel) (Buenos Aires: Svive, 1964), 292 pp.; Orem glik (Poor happiness) (Buenos Aires: Pen Club, 1966), 408 pp.; Lang iz der vinter (Long is winter) (Buenos Aires: Svive, 1970), 338 pp.; Toybe teritorye (Deaf territory) (Buenos Aires: Svive, 1973), 367 pp.; Di krom fun di fir vintn (Shop of the four winds) (Buenos Aires: Svive, 1974), 306 pp.; Eseyen fun harbstikn gemit (Essays in a spring mood) (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1980), 422 pp.; Tsvishn grenetsn, novele (Between borders, a novella) (Tel Aviv: Nay-land, 1982), 322 pp.  He used such pseudonyms as: Yoysef Nirvan, A. Toyger, Yashe Glikin, and Glike Vaysberg.

Sources: Alter Katsizne (Kacyzne), in Mayn redndiker film (My speaking film) (Warsaw) (August 1938); L. Finkelshteyn, in Naye folkstsaytung (Warsaw, 1939); Sh. Rozhanski, in Yidishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (December 2, 1951); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Tsukunft (July-August 1954); A. Yasni, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (February 26, 1954); Shmuel Niger, in Tog morgn-zhurnal (August 15, 1954).

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