MIKHAL BORVITSH (BORUKHOVITSH, MICHAŁ MAKSYMILIAN BORWICZ) (October 11, 1911-August 31, 1987)
Born in Krakow, Galicia, he attended public high school and studied history and literary history in Krakow University. From 1925 he began publishing essays and literary critical writings in Polish literary periodicals, editing periodical publications and several one-time Labor Zionist publications in Polish. He brought out in Polish and French research work on various aspects of ghetto and concentration camp life. In 1947 he arrived in Paris. He contributed to Undzer vort (Our word) and Kiem (Survival) in Paris; Tsukunft (Future) and Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) in New York. For four issues, he worked on the editorial board of Problemen (Issues) (Paris, 1949-1951). Among his books: Arishe papirn (Aryan papers [false papers for a Jew to pass as Aryan during the Nazi period]), 3 vols. (Buenos Aires, 1955); 1000 yor yidishe lebn in poyln (100 years of Jewish life in Poland), an album of images in six languages (Paris, 1956), 440 pp.; Tsvantsik yor shpeter (Twenty years later) (Paris: Jewish Cultural Congress, 1964), 62 pp. Over the years 1933-1935, he was a member of the Central Committee of Poale-Tsiyon in Krakow. In 1939, he served as a delegate from Poale-Tsiyon to the Zionist Congress in Geneva. In 1942 he was interned in the Janowska death camp, and he led the secret organization within the camp. In September 1943, he escaped from the camp and became the head commander of a Polish socialist partisan group, helped edit underground serials in Polish, was a member of the secret council, “Help for Jews,” and was a co-organizer of the Jewish undercover archive in Krakow. From 1945 to 1947, he contributed in Poland to the Jewish Central Historical Commission and to organizations of former partisans, Jewish and Polish both. From 1947 he was director of the Research Center for the History of Polish Jews in Paris. In Fun noentn over (From the recent past) (New York, 1955), he published “Dortn vu es iz geven andersh” (Over there where it used to be different), materials and documents with an introduction. He received the title of doctor of sociology in 1953 from the University of Paris. He was living in Paris.
[n.b. He published in Polish, French, and Yiddish right up until his death—JAF.]
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 58.]
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