Wednesday 19 November 2014


HERSH BARU (b. September 15, 1888)

He was an author on politics and a translator, born in Novohrad-Volyns'kyy, Ukraine, the son of a rabbi.  Until age fifteen, he studied in a Hassidic house of study.  His journalistic activities began in the Bundist press, as a correspondent for Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper), and he later worked for daily Yiddish newspapers in Odessa (e.g., Sholem aleykhem [How do you do] and Der yid [The Jew]) and in Warsaw.  He published stories of Hassidic life and short human-interest pieces under the pseudonym of Tanna Bara and Bayis.  After the Revolution, he wrote for Petrograder togblat (Petrograd daily news) and Folksblat (People’s daily) which was under the editorship of Nokhem Shtif, as well as for the Russian press.  In 1918 he moved to Kiev and contributed to Folks-tsaytung and later to Komunistisher fon (Communist banner).  From 1920, he was in Odessa, where he was a contributor to Komunistishe shtime (Communist voice), which closed down in 1921.  He later edited Yiddish publications for Melukhe Publishers (translations for children from Russian folktales, as well as political, current events literature).  He translated children’s works by Oscar Wilde and Charles Dickens, and among them in book form: Kinder (Children) by Maxim Gorky (Odessa, 1921), 12 pp.; Ivan Kocherga, Der zeygermakher un di hun (The watchmaker and the hen), a drama in four acts (Kharkov-Kiev, 1936), 126 pp. His fate after the 1930s remains unknown.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1. 

[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), p. 37.]

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