YOYSEF BABITSH (J. BABICZ) (1885-1942)
Born in Pruzhane (Prużana) district, Poland. He studied in religious elementary schools and high schools. From age sixteen he devoted himself to a general education. He attended the pedagogical course of study in Grodno and later worked as a teacher in a number of schools. For a certain period of time he was also a traveler for Fraynd (Friend) and for Kletskin Publishers. He wrote for Hatsfira (The siren), Hamelits (The advocate), and Hazman (The times), among others [Hebrew publications]. His first article in Yiddish was: “Tsvey yidishe dikhter” (Two Yiddish writers), referring to M. Rozenfeld and M. Varhsavski, in Roman-tsaytung (Literary newspaper) (Warsaw, 1908). He published articles, stories, feature essays, and travelogues in Undzer lebn (Our life), Moment (Moment), and Haynt (Today), among others. He was a correspondent for Yidishes tageblat (Jewish news) (New York). He was also a contributor to Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) and Amerikaner (American) in New York, and for Polesian Yiddish newspapers. In the years 1927-1936, he was a contributor to Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw. Among his books: Fraye libe in der yidisher gas (Free love on the Jewish street) (Warsaw: Humoristishe biblyotek, no. 1, 1913), 36 pp.; Unter der daytsher hershaft (Under German rule) (Warsaw, 1921), 70 pp.; and Zibn yor hunger (Seven years of hunger) (Warsaw, 1923), 80 pp.; Friling un libe (Spring and love), a scene in one act (Brisk, 1928), 22 pp. He was killed in the Pruzhane ghetto in the winter of 1942.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; G. Urinski, In pinkes fun der shtot pruzhane (In the records of the city of Pruzhane) (Pruzhane, 1930); Lerer yisker-bukh (Remembrance volume for teachers) (New York, 1954).