MEYLEKH BAKALTSHUK-FELIN (1896-May 11, 1960)
Born in Sernik, Polyesie [Lithuania]. His father’s name was Borekh. He studied in a religious elementary school, and later in the Volozhin yeshiva. He acquired a middle school education as an auditor. He went on to study at Kiev University. After WWI, he worked as a teacher of Hebrew and Yiddish in the “Mefitse haskalah” (Society for the promotion of enlightenment [among the Jews of Russia]) school in Bogodukhov (Bohodukhiv) in the Kharkov region. He later worked as a teacher in Dombrovits, Volhynia. Then, in Pinsk, he was the director of the Borochov schools and a teacher in other Jewish schools. His first publication appeared in 1925 in Pinsker shtime (Voice of Pinsk), and he wrote pedagogical essays and literary criticism. During the years of WWII, he was a partisan in Soviet Russia, and he amassed materials on the destruction of Jewish communities. At the end of the war, he traveled to Lemberg on a mission for the Ukrainian Academy in Kiev. He settled in Poland where he worked in Lublin with the Central Jewish Historical Commission. He published articles in Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Lodz. In late 1945 he moved to Austria. He lived for a time in the Bindermichl displaced persons camp. He founded a school for refugee children and organized a group to collect Holocaust-related materials; he edited the biweekly newspaper Oyfgang (Arise), which was published in the Roman alphabet. In October 1947 he emigrated to Palestine and handed over to Yad Vashem the materials he had collected. In 1948 he moved on the South Africa, and he served until 1954 as the director of the Jewish Public School in Johannesburg. He edited the monthly Dorem-afrika (South Africa). He published his memoirs in essays in Afrikaner yidishe tsaytung (African Jewish newspaper), South African Jewish Times, and Jewish Affairs, and he edited Yizker-bukh fun rakishok (Memory book of Rakishok [Rokiskis]) (Johannesburg, 1953). He also published: Zikhroynes fun a yidishn partisan (Memoirs of a Jewish partisan) (Buenos Aires: Dos poylishe yidntum, 1958), 310 pp.
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 55, 539.]
Post a Comment