YOYEL-LEYB GOLDSHTEYN (April 1889-September 1940)
He was born in the village of Kutsov (Kuców), near Bełchatów, Poland. He studied in religious elementary school and on his own in the synagogue study hall in Bełchatów and in Tshenstokhov (Częstochowa). At age seventeen or eighteen, he opened in Bełchatów a business in books and writings materials, and at the same time he began writing his work Der letster mentsh (The last man), which two years later was ready for publication. During WWI, he wrote theatrical plays for local drama clubs. He was in Palestine, but soon he returned to Bełchatów. He was active in Tseire-Tsiyon (Young Zionists). He composed his own distinctive works: Tsuzamenbrukh oder iberboy (Breakdown or construction), a fantasy novel in two volumes (Warsaw: Bikher, 1934), 565 pp. (vol. 1) and 657 pp. (vol. 2); Mitn pomen tsum shpigl (With one’s face at the mirror), three stories (Warsaw, 1939), 185 pp.; 1960 (Warsaw, 1939), 79 pp.—all with same publisher. “The ideas that Goldshteyn expressed in his work,” wrote Y. Botoshanski, “will remain as a document of what an intelligent Jew was thinking at the beginning of the Hitler epoch…. In his manner of telling a story, he bordered on Dinezon and even Shomer, but he wrote straightforwardly and clearly and with an even keel and even with force.” He died in Bełchatów during the German occupation.
Sources: Y. Botoshanski, in Belkhatov yizkor-bukh, gevidmet dem ondenk von a farshvundn yidish shtetl in poyln (Bełchatów memory book, dedicated to the memory of a Jewish town that disappeared in Poland) (Buenos Aires, 1951), pp. 246-67; Kh. L. Fuks, in Fun noentn over 3 (New York, 1957), p. 259.
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