Sunday 9 November 2014


RIVKE (RIVKA) BASMAN [BEN-HAYIM] (b. February 20, 1925)
     Born in Vilkomir, Lithuania; her father’s name was Yechezkel.  She graduated from Jewish public school and Lithuanian high school.  She began writing poetry in Yiddish at age seven.  In 1941 she was living in the Vilna ghetto.  She was deported, was in numerous places, and later was in many camps.  She was liberated in 1945 from the Toruń concentration camp in Poland.  She published poems: in Baderech (On the road), organ of the survivors in Italy; in publications of Healuts (The pioneer) in Germany; in Undzers (Ours), organ of the Yiddish Literary Association in Israel; in Svive (Environs) in New York; and in Bay zikh (On one’s own) and Goldene keyt (Golden chain) in Tel Aviv.  Over the years 1945-1947, she contributed to organizing illegal immigration to the Land of Israel.  Her poems were translated into Hebrew, Polish, French, and other languages.  She was a cofounder of the literary group “Yung Yisroel” (Young Israel).  Her work appeared as well in Mimaamakim, folkslider fun lagers un getos in poyln (From the depths, popular poetry from the camps and ghettos in Poland) (Bucharest, 1945); Sh. Katsherginski, Lider fun di getos and lagern (Songs from the ghettos and camps) (New York, 1948); M. Yofe, Erets yisroel in der yidisher literatur (The land of Israel in Yiddish literature) (Tel Aviv, 1961); K. Molodovski, Lider fun khurbn, t”sh-tsh”h (Poetry from the Holocaust, 1939-1945) (Tel Aviv, 1962); Almanakh fun di yidishe shrayber in yisroel (Annual of Yiddish writers in Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1962, 1967); A. Shamri, Ṿortslen, antologye fun yidish-shafn in yisroel, poezye un proze (Roots, anthology of Yiddish writing in Israel, poetry and prose) (Tel Aviv, 1966); Kopshteyn-Kats, Unter yankeles vigele (Under Jackie’s crib) (New York-Tel Aviv, 1976); Y. Kh. Biletski, Mame in yidishn lid (Mother in Yiddish poetry) (Tel Aviv, 1980).  She published the following poetry collections: Toybn baym brunem (Doves by the well) (Tele Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1959), 114 pp.; Bleter fun vegn (Leaves along the road) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1967), 126 pp.; Likhtike shteyner (Luminous stones) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1972), 126 pp.; Tseshotene kreln (Scattered beads) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel-bukh, 1982).  She was awarded the A. Shamri Prize in 1980, the Fikhman Prize in 1983, and the Manger Prize in 1984.  She was living on Kibbutz Hamapil.

Sources: Yankev Glatshteyn, in Yidisher kemfer (New York) (May 4, 1951); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (January 18, 1952); Y. Feyger, in Nayvelt (Tel Aviv) (December 30, 1949); Glatshteyn, In tokh genumen (In essence) (Buenos Aires, 1960); A. Leyeles, in Tog-morgn zhurnal (New York) (December 26, 1965); A. Shpiglblat, in Goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 62 (1968); Kadya Molodovski, in Svive (New York) 30 (1970); M. Yungman, in Goldene keyt 78 (1973); Y. Ts. Sharger, Tsvishn shrayber un verk (Between writer and work) (Tel Aviv, 1977); A. Lis, In der mekhitse fun shafer (Tel Aviv, 1978); Y. Kh. Biletski, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (September 3, 1982); Elias Shulman, in Forverts (New York) (June 24, 1983). 
                                                                                                                                      Reuven Goldberg

[Additions information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 54-55.]

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