Monday 24 November 2014



He was a poet. Precise biographical information is lacking for him. We only know that he was born in Byelorussia and lived in Minsk. He published in the newspapers Der yunger arbeter (The young worker) and Oktyabr (October), as well as in the journal Shtern (Star). His first poetry collection, entitled Tshelyuskin, a kinder-poeme (Tshelyuskin, a children’s poem) was published in Minsk in 1936 (77 pp.) when he was all of thirteen years of age. He later contributed to a series of literary anthologies. A year or two prior to the Nazi German invasion of the Soviet Union, he was called up to serve in the army and there, from June 1941, he took part in battles against the fascists. The majority of his poems, from the 1930s were permeated with unease and a sense of close by mass death. In one of them, he wrote: “It once happened, when I was contemplating that I would never again be returning home, I then had a hideous pain in my heart, and a dreadful sadness came over me.” Unfortunately, this feeling turned out to be no delusion. He died at the front in 1942.

His work was included in: 10 pyonerishe lider (Ten pioneering poems) (Minsk, 1934); Atake (Attack), an anthology of the Red Army’s national defense literature (Minsk, 1934); Lomir zingen (Let’s sing) (Moscow, 1940); and “Kh’vel aheym shoyn keynmol mer nit kumen” (I would never again be returning home), a poem cycle in the collection Lire (Lyre) (Moscow, 1985)

Sources: Der yunger arbeter (The younger worker) 94 (Minsk, 1930); S. Polonski, 10 pyonerishe lider (Ten pioneer songs), with musical notation (Minsk, 1934); review in Oktyaber 139 (Minsk, 1934); Atake, almanakh fun roytarmeyisher landshuts-literatur (Attack, almanac of the Red Army literature of land protection), ed. Z. Akselrod and D. Kurland) (Minsk, 1934); review in Oktyaber 263 (Minsk, 1934).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 59; and 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. 38-39.]

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