Wednesday 25 March 2015


He born in Plotsk (Płock), Poland, descended from a distinguished Hassidic family.  He attended a religious primary school, a yeshiva, and a public high school.  He studied humanities and law at Warsaw University.  In 1939 he was in Plotsk and Warsaw.  He was a teacher of Jewish religion in a Polish-Jewish state school, and he was active in Zionist circles.  He wrote “Dos problem fun takhles bay yidishe un poylishe kinder” (The problem of practical purpose for Jewish and Polish children), in Shriftn far psikhologye un pedagogik (Writings on psychology and pedagogy), vol. 1, pp. 179-256; and he published important articles in Yivo-bleter (Leaves from YIVO) (Vilna, 1931-1933)—among them: “Der tsaytikungs-peryod in lebn fun undzere klasiker” (The maturation period in the lives of our classic writers).  During the German invasion of Poland, he took part in various literary undertakings in the Warsaw Ghetto until mid-1941.  He was one of the coworkers with Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum.  In the unearthed Ringelblum archive, there was discovered, among much else, an essay by Bernshteyn (he called it a poem), entitled Hunger un varshe (Hunger in Warsaw), typewritten, 32 pp.  The poem evokes images of Jewish life in the ghetto, “which are shocking documents of the time” (B. Mark).  He was also the author of a booklet entitled Di yidishe literatur un visnshaft far der idey fun malkhes-yisroel (Yiddish literature and scholarship on the idea of the kingdom of Israel) (Warsaw, 1935), 16 pp.; and Der ruf fun neviim tsum hayntikn dor (The call of the prophets to the contemporary generation) (Warsaw, 1937), 137 pp.  He was murdered during one “Aktion” in the Warsaw Ghetto in early 1943.

Sources: Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum, Notitsn fun varshover geto (Notices from the Warsaw Ghetto) (Warsaw, 1952), p. 25; Ber Mark, Umgekumene shrayber fun di getos un lagern (Murdered writers from the ghettos and camps) (Warsaw, 1954), pp. 112-13; V. H. Ivan, in Yidishe shriftn (Lodz) 10 (1947); Yidishe shriftn 1 (1946).

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