Thursday 13 November 2014



He was a poet who graduated from a Jewish middle school in Kiev and worked as a turner at the Kiev radio plant. During the first half of the 1930s, he started publishing poems in Yiddish newspapers. The main themes of them were thoughts about life and familiar regions and village landscapes. In one of his early poems, which he titled “Yorn” (Years), he wrote: “And thus the years went by, and each year brought its news: who died, who was born, and whose hair had turned white…. All the louder rang out poems, and now time spread out higher. The world ever fuller with unease, with blood flowing on all sides. And bombs falling and destroying by fire the calm of the days, and here, where it is quiet at present, a storm is advancing along the road.” This sense of disquiet from a nearby storm did not the young poet’s delusion, as it reached him on the final day of his life. One senses this in his first and only collection of poems, which he brought out two years before the storm hit him. When in late June 1941 the first German bombs fell on Kiev, the young turner and poet went out to the front. He distinguished himself for heroic courage in the initial fighting, as reported in testimony for the medal “for battle service” which he was awarded. He died on the front, fighting for the Red Army.

He authored of a volume of poems entitled Dorf (Village) (Kiev, 1940), 83 pp.; and poetry cycle “A shturem shteygt shoyn on” (A storm is advancing) appeared in the collection Lire (Lyre) (Moscow, 1985).

Source: Biblyografisher arkhiv fun der yidisher literatur in sovet-rusland (Bibliographic archive of Yiddish literature in Soviet Russia), in YIVO (New York).

[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. 35-36.]

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