Friday 29 May 2015


YOYSEF GOLDHABER (September 2, 1907-August 1943)
            He was born in Khelm (Chełm), Poland.  He studied in a religious primary school and graduated from a state public school.  Later, through self-study, he acquired a great deal of worldly knowledge.  He was a gifted violinist and knew many languages, a popular lecturer, and much beloved by common people.  He began writing lyrical poetry and sketches for Ilustrirte vokh (Illustrated week) (Warsaw, 1922) under the editorship of A. Grafman, and from that point contributed stories, poems, reportage pieces, and impressions for Unzer shtime (Our voice) in Khelm, Voliner vokh (Wolhynia week), Voliner lebn (Wolhynia life), Rovne (Rovno), and Unzer ekspres (Our express) in Warsaw.  During the Nazi occupation, he was in the Khelm ghetto, and with his violin, the only thing he owned, he consoled the helpless Jewish masses.  In August 1943, together with the last Jews from Khelm he was killed by the Nazi murderers.

Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1927); H. Shishler, in Yisker-bukh khelm (Remembrance book for Khelm) (Johannesburg, 1954), pp. 330-31.

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