YISROEL ASHENDORF (ISRAEL ASZENDORF) (March 4, 1909-November 3, 1956)
Born in Mielnica, Ukraine, he grew up in Lemberg (Lviv), where his parents settled. He studied in a Hebrew public school, later in a teachers’ seminary. He began writing while still in public school. In 1927 he published his first piece, a ballad, in Y. M. Vaysenberg’s Unzer hofnung (Our hope). He published as well in: Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm), Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves)—in Warsaw. He lived in the Soviet Union during WWII. He returned to Poland in 1945 and came to Paris in 1948. In 1953 he emigrated to Argentina. In the postwar period, he published in: Tsukunft (Future) and Yidisher kemfer (Jewish fighter) in New York; and Goldene keyt (Golden chain) in Tel Aviv. Among his books: Montik inderfri, lider (Monday morning, poems) (Lemberg, 1937), 61 pp.; Grusn in der vayt, lider (Greetings from afar, poems) (Lemberg, 1939), 45 pp.; Anung un vor, lider (News and reality, poems) (Lemberg-Kiev, 1941); Virklekhkeyt, lider (Reality, poems) (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1941), 58 pp.; Der meylekh shaul (King Saul), a drama (Lodz, 1948), 85 pp.; Vey un vander, lider (Pain and wandering, poems) (Paris, 1950), 123 pp.; Shutfim fun goyrl, dertseylungen (Partners in fate, stories) (Paris, 1953), 197 pp.; Der meylekh dovid, dramatishe poeme (King David, dramatic poem) (Buenos Aires, 1956), 149 pp.; Letste shriftn (Last writings), stories and poetry (Buenos Aires: Kultur-kongres, 1958), 336 pp. Works for the theater: adaptations of A. Goldfaden’s Bar kokhba and Di broder zinger (The Broder singers), staged 1938-1939 in Warsaw, Lemberg, and elsewhere. He edited: Tsushtayer (Contribution) with a colleague (Lemberg, 1929); Visnshaflekher zhurnal (Scientific journal) (Lemberg, 1935-1936). Coedited: Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings) (Warsaw, 1948). His work was included in Lebn un kamf, zamlbukh fun der yidisher linker literatur in poyln (Life and struggle, anthology of leftist Yiddish literature in Poland) (Minsk, 1936) and in Tsum zig (Toward victory) (Moscow, 1944). Secretary of the editorial board (for a number of years) of Kiem (Survival) (Paris, 1949-1952). He was awarded the Y. L. Perets Prize from the World Jewish Cultural Congress (1952), New York, for his play Der meylekh shaul. He was secretary of YIVO and the Yiddish Theater Society in Lemberg, 1937-1939. In Buenos Aires he worked as a teacher of Yiddish and Hebrew literature in the local teachers’ seminary and contributed to Di yidishe tsaytung (The Yiddish newspaper).
Sources: Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (November 22, 1948); Sh. Bikl, in Tsukunft (July 1951); Y. Glatshteyn, in Yidisher kemfer (New York) (October 13, 1950); Y. Yanosovitsh, in Arbeter-vort (Paris) (March 16, 1952); Di prese (August 29, 1953); A. Liesen, in Tog (New York) (December 30, 1950); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (March 5 and December 31, 1950); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (December 28, 1931; February 6, 1932; and September 7, 1952); B. Shnefer, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (December 27, 1935).