SHIYE-HESHL GOTLIB (August 31, 1882-1940/1941)
He was born in Pinsk, Poland, into a merchant household. He studied in religious primary school, later as an external student. From 1906 to 1911, he studied law at university in Bern, Switzerland. He received his doctoral diploma title for a work entitled: “The Effect of Schopenhauer on the Science of Criminal Law.” From his student years, he was an active leader in the Zionist movement. From the eleventh Zionist congress, he served as a delegate to all Zionist congresses and world conferences. From 1916 he was one of the most important Jewish community and Zionist leaders in Poland. He was a member of the central committee of the Zionist Organization. He was for a time a member of the Zionist Action Committee. In 1919 he was cofounder of the provisional Jewish national council, which led the struggle for Jewish rights in Poland. From 1924 until WWII, he was one of the community heads and, from 1926 to 1930, vice-chairman of the Warsaw community, and a leader of the Zionist bloc which aimed at achieving peace with Agudas Yisroel (Orthodox) in Poland. He served as chairman, 1927-1934, of the Warsaw Jewish journalists syndicate and a member of the central managing committee of the journalists’ syndicate in Poland. He took part in a number of international journalists’ congresses as well as the Budapest Conference of 1933, and he was the initiator of a measure to exclude the Nazi press association from the international journalists’ federation. He was a frequent candidate and in 1935 deputy to the Polish parliament (Sejm). He was one of the more important Jewish journalists in Poland. He began publishing with an article entitled “Artur shopenhoyer un zayn lerer” (Arthur Schopenhauer and his teachings) in Roman tsaytung (Literary newspaper) in Warsaw (1908). He contributed articles on Jewish and Zionist issues, feature pieces, and essays to: Fraynd (Friend), Haynt (Today), Unzer lebn (Our life), Moment (Moment), Dos idishe folk (The Jewish people), and Tsienistishe velt (Zionist world)—in Warsaw; and Lemberger morgenblat (Lember morning newspaper), among others. He translated ten chapters of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Also sprach Zarathustra (in Yiddish: Azoy hot reredt zaratustra [Thus Spoke Zarathustra]) in Idishe almanakh (Jewish almanac), edited by Sh. Gorelik (Kiev, 1910). He was editor of Lemberger morgenblat (from 1912 until WWI), Dos yidishe folk (Warsaw, 1917), and Tsienistishe velt (Warsaw, 1926); and he served on the editorial boards of Haynt (1919-1935) in Warsaw; Moment (1935-1939); Z. segalovitsh yoyvl-bukh (Jubilee volume for Z. Segalovitch) (Warsaw, 1933). He also published under the following pseudonyms: Diogenes, Ego, and Ben-Nun, among others. On September 5, 1939, several days after WWII broke out, he left Warsaw and spent a period of time in his hometown of Pinsk. After the Red Army marched into the city, he attempted to cross the border into Lithuania and was arrested by Soviet border guards. Concerning his death, there are two versions: (1) he died in a Soviet prison in the occupied areas of the former Poland; and (2) he was deported to a Russian camp in northern Kazakhstan and was killed there.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Bal-Makhshoves, Geklibene shriftn (Collected writings) (Vilna, 1910), vol. 2; Sh. Rozenfeld, in Tog (New York) (December 16, 1931); D. Tsharni, Barg-aroyf (Uphill) (Warsaw, 1935); Dr. Moyshe Zilberfarb, Gezamlte shriftn (Collected writings) (Paris-Warsaw, 1937), vol. 2, pp. 274-79; P. Shvarts, Azoy iz geven der onheyb (That was how it began) (New York, 1941); Sh. Pyetrushka, in Keneder odler (March 27, 1941); M. Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon) (Montreal, 1947), vol. 2; Z. Segalovitsh, Tlomatske draytsn (13 Tłomackie St.) (Buenos Aires, 1946); Segalovitsh, Gebrente trit (Suffering step) (Buenos Aires, 1947); Toyznt yor pinsk (One thousand years of Pinsk) (New York, 1945), pp. 304-5; Dr. A. Mukdoni, Oysland (Abroad) (Buenos Aires, 1951); Nachman Mayzel, Geven amol a lebn (Once was a life) (Buenos Aires, 1951); Y. Tsineman, In gerangl (In conflict) (Paris, 1952); M. Turkov, Di letste fun a groysn dor (The last one of a great generation) (Buenos Aires, 1954); Kh. Finkelshteyn, in Fun noente over 2 (New York, 1957).
Khayim Leyb Fuks