YASHE BRONSHTEYN (1897-1937)
Born in Byelsk, Byelorussia, he studied at Moscow University—at the Institute for Red Professors and elsewhere. He was a leading Soviet Jewish literary critic; and he was a scholarly leader in the Jewish section of the Byelorussian Academy of Sciences (Institute of Jewish Proletarian Culture). He was also a teacher of literature in a non-Jewish high school. In 1936 he assumed the professorial chair in Yiddish literature and language in Minsk. He received an honorary decoration. He took over a high governmental position as a member of the central executive committee of Byelorussia. He wrote articles about important Soviet Jewish writers, as he did as well concerning Avrom-Uri Kovner and the pioneering worker-writers in the United States. He published seminal works in Shtern (Star) in Minsk, Prolit (Proletarian literature) in Kharkov, and Tsaytshrift (Periodical writing), among other serial publications. He was the editor of numerous books and a contributor to Shtern, Tsaytshrift, and other serials and anthologies. He was arrested in 1937 as an “enemy of the people,” together with Izzy Kharik and Khatskl Dunets, and thereafter no one has heard anything from them [both were executed in 1937]. Among his books and longer works: Atake, literarishe-kritishe artiklen (Attack, literary critical articles) (Minsk, 1930), 334 pp.; “Der stiln-kamf inem peryod fun militarishn komunizm” (The style struggles during the period of military Communism), Prolit (Kharkov) (November-December 1929), pp. 62-87 (February 1930), pp. 22-77 (March-April 1930), pp. 108-22, and (May 1930), pp. 66-82; “Avrom-Uri Kovner,” Prolit (May 1930), 211-43; “Literarish-kritishe sakhaklen” (Literary critical summing up), Tsaytshrift 5 (Minsk, 1931), pp. 295-312; Problemen fun leninishn etap in der literatur-kentenish (Problems of the Leninist stage in literary knowledge) (Minsk, 1932), 105 pp.; “Sakhaklen fun 15 yor kamf far maksizm-leninizm in literatur-kentenish” (Accounting from fifteen years of fighting for Marxism-Leninism in literary knowledge), Literarish-lingvistisher zamlbukh (Literary-linguistic anthology) (Minsk, 1932), pp. 3-45; Farfestikte pozitsyes (Published positions) (Moscow, 1934), 290 pp.; Sheferishe problemen fun der yidisher sovetisher poezye (Creative problems in Soviet Yiddish poetry) (Minsk, 1936), 95 pp. He also wrote prefaces to many volumes, including: L. Katsovitsh’s In yene teg, a pyese in 3 aktn (In those days, a play in three acts) (Minsk, 1927); Sovetishe vaysrusland, literarishe zamlung (Soviet Byelorussia, a literary collection) (Minsk, 1935); Yanka Kupala’s Lider (Poems) (Minsk, 1936).
Sources: Daniel Tsharni, “Di yidishe literatur in ratnfarband” (Yiddish literature in the Soviet Union), Literarishe bleter (February 4, 1927); Sh. Epshteyn, “Di yidishe proletarishe literatur un di proletarishe shrayber-organizatsyes” (Jewish proletarian literature and proletarian writers’ associations), Di royte velt (Kharkov) (March 1930); B. Brogin (Froym Oyerbakh), “Stalins letste rede in der yidish-sovetisher literatur” (Stalin’s last speech in Soviet Jewish literature), Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 13, 1932); Max Erik, “Vegn kh. bronshteyns atake” (On Comrade Bronshteyn’s Atake), in Farn leninishn etap in der literatur-kritik (Toward the Leninist stage in literary criticism) (Kiev, 1932); Erik, “Vegn kh. bronshteyns bukh atake” (On Comrade Bronshteyn’s book Atake), Farmest (Khakov) (January 1933); Shmuel Niger, “A rakhmones af leninen” (A pity for Lenin), Tsukunft (New York) (November 1934); D. Kurland, “Vegn bukh atake” (On the book Atake), Afn visnshaftlekhn front 5-6 (Minsk, 1934), p. 176; Dr. A. Mukdoni, “Bikher un shrayber” (Books and authors), Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 30, 1935); B. Glazman, “An ovnt in moskve” (An evening in Moscow), Idisher kemfer (October 4, 1940); H. Vaynraykh, “Yashe bronshteyn, vos iz fun im gevorn?” (Yashe Bronshteyn, what became of him?), Unzer shtime 674 (Paris, 1949); Al. Pomerants, “Edelshtot in der yidish-sovetisher literatur-kritik” (Edelshtot in Soviet Yiddish literary criticism), in Dovid edeshtot gedenk-bukh (Dovid Edelshtot memory book) (New York, 1952), pp. 540, 541, 544, 547.