Wednesday 28 January 2015


TSVI (TSEVI) BIKELS-SHPITSER (April 27, 1887-January 2, 1917)
Born in Lemberg, he attended religious primary school and public school, subsequently in middle school and university in Lemberg and Vienna.  In 1911 he graduated with a law degree and practiced locally.  A member of the student Zionist circle HashaḼar (The dawn) and a thorough expert in the Hebrew language, he became—contrary his friends—one of the champions of Yiddish in Galicia.  He wrote critical and feature pieces in Yiddish, and in a series of works in Dos yidishe vokhnblat (The Jewish weekly newspaper), Dos naye lebn (The new life) in New York, and Der fraynd (The friend) in Warsaw, he acquainted his readers with the writings of the young Yiddish writers in Galicia.  He contributed as well to Der yudisher arbayter (The Jewish laborer) in Lemberg, Der tog (The day) in Cracow, and Gershom Bader and M. Frostig’s Kalendar (Calendar), among others.  In 1910 he edited, together with Bader and Yankev Mestl, the anthology Yung-galitsisher almanakh (Young Galician almanac).  He became editor-in-chief in 1915 of Tageblat (Daily news) in Lemberg, where he had earlier been the literary and theater critic.  In addition to a major work on the repertoire of Yankev Gordin, he wrote a play in three acts entitled Der goyel (The redeemer), and Dr. Nosn Birnboyn (Nathan Birnbaum) translated it into German.  The translation, like the original, remain in manuscript.  In his literary bequest was as well a work entitled “Di heroishe motivn in peretses shafn” (The heroic motifs in Peretz’s works), which was later first published in Di goldene keyt 10 (The golden chain) (Tel Aviv, 1951).

Sources: Sefer tsevi bikels-shpitser, demuto veyetsirato (Tsvi Bikels-Shpitser, his figure and his creation), ed. and trans. by Dov Shtok (Tel Aviv, 1947/1948); D. Sadan, in Di goldene keyt 10 (Tel Aviv, 1951), pp. 64-65; Z. Zilbertsvayg, Teater-leksikon, vol. 1; Dr. Y. Tenenboym, Galitsye, mayn alte heym (Galicia, my old home) (Buenos Aires, 1952), p. 168; D. Leybl, in Nay-velt 46 (Tel Aviv, 1948).

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