Sunday 18 January 2015


ASHER BEYLIN (BEILIN) (February 21, 1881-September 12, 1948)
     Born in Kiev, Ukraine, he was raised in the spirit of the Jewish Enlightenment (Haskala) movement.  His father, Menachem Beylin, was a teacher and author of Haskala texts in Hebrew.  Beylin graduated from secondary school and thereafter studied in Bern and Freiburg.  Over the years 1901-1905, he worked as Sholem Aleykhem’s personal secretary.  In 1906 he emigrated to London, and in that year he published his first piece, a story in a competition sponsored by Hatsofe (The spectator).  He published stories in other Hebrew-language serials and was, mainly, active as a journalist and correspondent.  He published in: Haynt (Today) in Warsaw; Lemberger tageblat (Lemberg daily news) in New York; and Tsayt (Time) in London.  He wrote literary critical treatises, feature essays, and current events pieces.  In 1933 he settled in Jerusalem.  He was a contributor to Davar (Word), in which he published his reminiscences of Sholem Aleykhem and Y. Kh. Brener.  Among his books: In shvartse teg (Dark days) (London, 1907), 16 pp.; Der blutiker yontef (The bloody holiday) (London, 1911), concerning a pogrom, 16 pp.; In der fremd (Abroad) (London, 1919), 16 pp.  He also translated Victor Hugo’s Di letste teg fun a ferurteyltn (The last days of a condemned man [original: Les derniers jours d’un condamné]) (London, 1910).  Over the years 1932-1934, he published in the “Groshn biblyotek” (Penny library), the following volumes (each 64 pp.): Di geheymnishn fun daytshn shpyonazh (Undercover operatives in German espionage); Viktor grin (Victor Green), 1863, di povstanye (1863, the uprising); and Atentat afn zhandarmen-shef markgrafski (The attempted assassination of Chief of Police Markgrafski).  As a playwright, he wrote: Pasportn (Passports), a war drama in four acts, staged in London in 1917; Banim legevulam (Sons to their borders), staged at Habima in Palestine.  For a time he edited in London: Yidisher zhurnal (Jewish journal) and Yidisher ekspres (Jewish express); and Iyim, a Hebrew anthology of current events, literature, and scholarship (London, 1927), to which he contributed a story and memoir concerning Sholem Aleykhem.  During WWI, he conducted publicity for the Jewish Legion in Whitechapel.  He worked over the years 1920-1933 in London in a publicity position for the Jewish National Fund.  Among his pen names: Emanuel, Alef Beys, A. Ben-Menachem, B. Asher, An Eygener, Dr. A Kievski, Ts. Hekhtman, and A. Brahinski.  He died in Jerusalem.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Z. Zilbertsvayg, Teater-leksikon, vol. 1; D. Tidhar, Entsiklopedyah lealutse  hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1950), vol. 4; A. Vevyorke, in Di royte velt (The red world) (Kiev) (July 1929); L. Kenig, in Loshen un lebn (Language and life) (January 1949).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 81.]


  1. Thankyou for that informative Bio of my Great Grandfather
    Daniel Asher Beilin: Sydney Australia