Monday, 20 April 2015


He was born in the town of Malyn, Kiev district.  His father was a Hebrew teacher, and after the Revolution he worked as a ritual slaughterer, and a few years prior to his death he moved to Crimea to become a member of a collective farm.  Shloyme spent his youth with his grandfather, the ritual slaughterer of Narodychi, and was raised in a traditional Jewish spirit.  He later learned Hebrew and secular subject matter.  After the Russian Revolution of 1917, he gave private lessons.  In 1918 he became a teacher in Jewish schools in Ovruch and later in Narodychi.  Over the years 1922-1924, he studied at the Jewish Pedagogical Technicum in Kiev.  He began his own writing career with several short plays for the Yiddish theater.  In 1921 he composed his first skit, “Nep un step” (NEP and steppe [??]), which was successfully staged by the Narodychi Drama Circle.  In 1922 he helped found the drama troupe Meshulakhemat at the Jewish Pedagogical Technicum in Kiev, and he wrote for it skits and slapstick routines about school life and general Soviet topics.  His revue Nikolai-shpil (Nikolai play) was a great success (1922).  He was one of the organizers and editors of the literary journal Trit (Step) at the Pedagogical Technicum.  Working later (1924-1927) as a teacher in a Jewish laborers’ school in Vinnitsa, he organized a drama circle in the city, and there he staged, in additional the aforementioned repertoire, revisions of Sholem-Aleykhem’s Mentshn (People) and Goldfaden’s “Tsvey kunileml” (The two kunilemls) with music by A. Guberman.  In 1927 he received a teaching position in Kiev, and there he composed the comedy Yankl britvin (Yankl Britvin) and a satire in two scenes entitled Kultur-revolutsye (Cultural revolution), published in the anthology Far der bime (In front of the stage), edited by D. Dobrushin and Gordon.  To perfect his theatrical training, he entered the drama faculty of the Kiev Institute named for Lysenko and in 1929 the Kiev institute for professional education (the literary-linguistic office).  He then tried to combine his theatrical work with his pedagogical work, and thus created the Kiev Yiddish Theater for Children.  He dramatized for children’s theater Sholem-Aleykhem’s Motl peysi dem khazns (Motl, the cantor Peysi’s [son]), translated from Russian a play “Di biks” (The gun), and composed Tsvang (Constraint), a three-act play in eleven episodes (Kharkov-Kiev, 1938), 48 pp.  Among his other staged plays, we should note: Der khinezisher general (The Chinese general), a comedy; Laykhte kavalerye (Light cavalry), a revue, and (with M. Gershnzon) Krizis fun kapitalizm (Crisis of capitalism), a satirical revue in three acts; and Meshiekh in amerike (Messiah in America), a comedy in three acts (a revision of Moyshe Nadir’s one-act play).  Brianski also wrote on pedagogical topics in the journals Af di vegn tsu der nayer shul (On the road to the new school) and Ratnbildung (Red education).  Together with M. Mizhritski, he published: Lernbukh un khrestmatye fun literatur (Textbook and reader for literature), for fifth-graders (Kiev, 1933), 288 pp. (several editions appeared), in which he wrote treatises on Fefer, Kharik, Kulbak, Sholem-Aleykhem, Vintshevski, Rosenfeld, and the folklore division.  Together with Z. Skuditski, he translated from Russian Terekhov’s Geografye (Geography), a textbook for primary school, grade three, part 1 (Kiev, 1933), 96 pp. (second edition, Moscow, 1934, 93 pp.).  Brianski also published stories and feature pieces in Emes (Truth) in Moscow and Proletarishe fon (Proletarian banner) in Kiev.  With M. Gershnzon, he compiled the humor pages for Proletarishe fon and Prolit (Proletarian literature).  With Gershnzon and Skuditski, he wrote a longer story “Zalbedrit” (Group of three), a fragment of it appeared in Proletarishe fon.  He also devoted time to collecting Jewish folklore.  As a research student at the Kiev Institute for Jewish Proletarian Culture (1922-1935), he devoted his attention to Yiddish literary research.  From this research, he published: Dovid bergelson in shpigl fun der kritik, 1909-1932 (Dovid Bergelson in the mirror of criticism, 1909-1932) (Kiev, 1934), 79 pp.  A monograph on Itsig Fefer’s works remains in manuscript.  At the end of 1935 he became mentally ill.
In addition to the aforementioned works, he also published: 50 yor idisher teater (1876-1926) (Fifty years of Yiddish theater, 1876-1926) (Vinnitsa, 1926) (single periodical edition); translations from Georgi Shilin, Kamo (Ter-Petrosyan) (Kharkov-Kievm 1931), 90 pp.; Rodyonov-Pidlisniuk’s Naturvisnshaft (Natural science), sixth grade (1932), 76 pp.; V. Tetiurev’s Naturvisnshaft (Kharkov-Kiev, 1934), 92 pp.; “Vegn kulbaks sheferishn veg” (On Kulbak’s creative path), Farmest (Challenge) 4-5 (Kharkov, 1934); “Etyudn vegn itsik fefers shafn inem oyfshtel-peryod” (Studies of Itsig Fefer’s creations in his formative period), Visnshaft un revolutsye (Science and revolution) 1 (5) (Kiev, 1935), pp. 41-95.  Brianski also translated fifty letters by Edelshtat from Russian, which K. Marmor published in Visnshaft un revolutsye 1-2 (Kiev, 1934); and he prepared all the texts, as he wrote in his work “Vegn dem tekst fun edelshats lider un proze” (On the text of Edelshtat’s poems and prose), for Dovid Edelshtat, Geklibene verk (Selected works), compiled by K. Marmor (Moscow, 1935), vol. 2, pp. 319-31; he also compiled “Osher shvartsman-biblyografye” (Bibliogrpahy for Osher Shvartsman), with annotations, which was published in the volume, Osher shvartsman, lider un briv (Osher Shvartsman, poetry and letters), edited by Max Erik and Mikhl Levitan (Kiev, 1935), pp. 207-18.

Sources: V. Shats, “Af der shtelung fun Tvang” (At the performance of Tvang), Yunger leninets 57 (Minsk, 1933); Oktryaberl 2 (Kiev, 1933); the Fefer plenum and Fefer collection, in Visnshaft un revolutsye 1-2 (Kiev, 1934), pp. 142, 148, 150; performance session of the literature and criticism section, in Odeser arbeter (April 28, 1934); Kh. Nodel, “Oyflebn dos biblyografye-vezn” (Reviving the essence of bibliography), Eynikeyt (Moscow) (July 5, 1947); Al. Pomerants, “Edelshtat in der yidish-sovetisher literatur-kritik” (Edelshtat in Soviet Jewish literary criticism), in Dovid edelshtat gedenk bukh (Dovid Edelshtat remembrance volume) (Brooklyn, New York, 1952), pp. 214, 549, 551.

Aleksander Pomerants and Leyzer Ran


  1. SHLOYME BRIANSKI translated from Russian into Yiddish a novel for children by Sergey Rozanov Grezeles pasirungen (orig.: Приключения Травки = The adventures of (a boy named) Travka ("tiny/little grass").- Kiev : Melukhe-farlag far di natsionale minderhaytn in USSR, 1937.- 76, [4] pp.- ill
    גרעזעלעס פאסירונגענ
    סערגײ ראזאנאװ ; יידיש - ש. בריאנסקי ; צײכענונגענ - א. מאגילעװסקי
    Grezeles pasirungen
    Sergey Rozanov ; yidish - Sh. Bryansky ; [tsaykhenungen - A. Mogilevsky]

  2. SHLOYME BRIANSKI translated from Russian into Yiddish the continuation of Sergey Rozanov's novel for children Grezeles pasirungen, tsveyter bukh Alyute - dos luft-helfand (orig.: Алюта - воздушный слоненок = Alyuta (a girl, a pioneer) - an airy baby elephant).- Kiev : Melukhe-farlag far di natsionale minderhaytn in USSR, 1937.- 139, [1] pp. - ill.
    אליוטא - דאס לופט-העלפאנד
    גרעזעלעס פאסירונגענ, צװײטער בוכ
    סערגײ ראזאנאװ ; יידיש - ש. בריאנסקי ; צײכענונגענ - מ. כראפקאװסקי
    Alyute - dos luft-helfand :
    Grezeles pasirungen, tsveyter bukh
    Sergey Rozanov ; yidish - Sh. Bryansky ; [tsaykhenungen - M. Khrapkovsky]
    Alyuta received a nickname "Airy Baby Elephant" becuse she was in a gas mask when she landed from the plane on a parachute and resembled a baby elephant.