Tuesday 9 June 2015


DOVID GOLDSHTEYN (April 15, 1868-November 24, 1931)
            He was born in Yagestov, Suwalki (later Bialystok) region.  He studied in religious elementary school and in a yeshiva.  In 1882 he emigrated to England, and there he worked in a sweatshop and became an active leader in the local anarchist movement.  In 1885 he settled in the United States.  He was a leader in the New York anarchist organization “Pioneers of Freedom.”  He later lived for a time in Philadelphia, and was active there in the anarchist group, “Knights of Freedom.”  In 1889 he was the Philadelphia delegate to the New York conference of anarchists and social democrats to found a joint newspaper.  He then lived for a time in Boston.  He supported himself by working in various trades: he was a cobbler, ran a newspaper stand, and later operated a coffee house in New York.  On February 18, 1887 he first published in Nyu-yorker yudishe folkstsaytung (New York Jewish people’s newspaper), a poem entitled “Der ekspres” (The express).  He published his social and individual lyrical poems in New York Jewish newspapers and magazines: Der vegvayzer (The guide), Der folks-advokat (The people’s advocate), Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Forverts (Forward), Tsaytgayst (Spirit of the times), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Tsukunft (Future), and Der veker (The alarm), among others.  He authored the book: Vinter blumen (Winter flowers), poetry (New York, 1916), 112 pp., with a foreword by Leon S. Moiseyef.  Yoyel Entin wrote of his poetry: “Goldshteyn’s poems manifest themselves with their powerful tone, in word and verse.”  N. B. Minkov characterized Goldshteyn as: “By nature a thin lyricist, he was always full of images, lines, rhythms.  This gave his work a certain disquiet.  This was a disquiet that mastered the poet entirely, a disquiet as on the eve of creation.”  For many years he lived virtually forgotten.  In 1929 he became extremely ill, and he died in a home for the incurably sick in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Y. Entin, in Yidishe poetn (Yiddish poets), part 2 (New York, 1927), see index; Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) (May 1942); M. Basin, in Antologye (Anthology), vol. 2; Elias Shulman, Geshikhte fun der yidisher literatur in amerike (History of Jewish literature in America) (New York, 1943); Kalmen Marmor, Der onhoyb fun der yidisher literatur in amerike (The beginning of Yiddish literature in America) (New York, 1944), see index; Geshikhte fun der yidisher arbeter bavegung in di fareynikte shtatn (History of the Jewish labor movement in the United States), vol. 2 (New York: YIVO, 1945), see index; Sh. Yanovski, Ershte yorn fun yidishn frayhaytlekhn sotsyalizm (The first years of Jewish free socialism) (New York, 1948), see index; N. Mayzil, in Amerike in yidishn vort (America in the Yiddish word) (New York, 1955), pp. 137-38; N. B. Minkov, Pyonern fun yidisher poezye in amerike (Pioneers of Yiddish poetry in America), vol. 1 (New York, 1956).
                                                                                                                                       Zaynvil Diamant

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