Thursday 2 April 2015


He was born in Meretsh (Merech), Vilna region, to a father who was a timber merchant and a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment movement.  He graduated from Cohen’s High School in Vilna and studied at German universities and (after the Revolution) in Russia, as well as in Vilna University.  He began writing for student journals, later taking part in the Vilna Yiddish press—primarily for Tog (Day) in Vilna, in which he published feature pieces, articles, and humorous poems under the pseudonyms Dudl and D-l.  He was secretary of the editorial board of the children’s magazines Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees) and Der khaver (The friend), 1919-1922, in which he wrote stories in verse and in prose, poetry, and popular science articles, among much else.  From 1924 until the Red Army invaded in 1939, he edited the unaffiliated daily newspaper Grodner moment (Grodno moment), formerly known as Grodner ekspres (Grodno express).  He established review issues and programs for the theatrical troupes of Grodno and often signed his name “Simkhe Vesosn” (according to Sheftl Zak).  He later worked in the state’s department for popular education, as well as for the Yiddish newspaper in Bialystok.  Later still he worked in a factory.  When the Nazis occupied Grodno and confined the Jews to ghettos, he worked together with his daughter Basya in the office of an infirmary.  In one of the subsequent Aktions, he and his wife and daughter were deported to Treblinka.  His translations in book form include: Mayn kinderheyt (My childhood) by Maxim Gorky [original: Detstvo], part 2 (Vilna: B. A. Kletskin, 1920), pp. 135-299; Di muter (The mother) by Gorky [original; Mat’] (Vilna: B. A. Kletskin, 1922), 502 pp.; and the popular science booklets: Luft (Air), Spartak (Spartacus), Di farshterte simkhe (Frustrated joy), and Der bazigter okean (The ocean subdued), among others.

Sources: Jay Mogil, two letters from Grodno, in Der grodner veker (published by Grodner Relief, New York, March 1940); Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings), an anthology (Lodz, 1946); Tsukunft (New York) (February 1946); M. Byalodvorski, in Grodner opklangen (Buenos Aires) 2 (1948), p. 22.

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