MOYSHE-DOVID GISER (GUISER) (October 1893-April 19, 1952)
He was born in Radom, Poland, into a workers’ family. His father was a specialist at a brass foundry. He studied in religious elementary school, but at a very young age was compelled to interrupt his studies, because he had to help his father in his work. He lived for a number of years in Warsaw, Lodz, and Konsk, where he supported himself with difficult labor. He taught himself how to read and write. He became captivated by Yiddish literature while young. During WWI, the Germans sent him to Germany to work. He worked in Köln (Cologne) as an ironworker. He mastered German there and became acquainted with German literature. He arrived in Warsaw in 1921 and there became employed as a metal worker. He began writing poetry while still quite young. His first poem, “Mefistofeles ruf” (Mephistopheles’ call), was published in 1919 in the Vienna Labor Zionist publication Der idisher arbayter (The Jewish worker), edited by M. Zinger. In Warsaw he was closely associated with the “Khalyastre” (Gang) group. He published poems in Ringen (Links) in Warsaw (edited by Al. Katsyzne and Dr. Mikhl Vaykhert). Here he published his poem “Der yarid” (The fair), which exerted a strong impression at that time. In 1924 he emigrated to Argentina, settled in Buenos Aires, and became a teacher in Jewish schools. In his first years there, he contributed to Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires, later publishing poems, songs, and children’s rhymes in virtually all of the newspapers, magazines, and journals for young people in Argentina and other South American countries. Under his own name and the pseudonym “Dovid Bender,” he published stories, articles, and treatises on Jewish literature. In 1928 he was editor of the Buenos Aires monthly Nayland (New land) and brought out four issues. In 1932 he edited the monthly Oyfsnay (Afresh) and brought out eight issues. He also edited the children’s publications Khaverl (Little friend) and Der yosem (The orphan), and several annuals from the association of Polish Jews in Argentina.
In 1933 he settled in Santiago, Chile. There he was the owner of a publishing house. With N. Vital, he edited, 1935-1936, the biweekly periodical Zid-amerike (South America). Over the years 1938-1939, he edited and published the monthly Pasifik (Pacific) in Santiago. Among his books: Flemlekh un fayerlekh (Little flames and fires), poems for children (Buenos Aires, 1929), 30 pp.; Bay di fayern (By the fires) (1930), 108 pp.; Poemen un baladn (Poems and ballads) (Buenos Aires, 1931), 118 pp.; Lider un poemen (Songs and poems) (Buenos Aires, 1933), 126 pp.; Lider un lender (Poems and countries) (Buenos Aires, 1945), 210 pp.; Yulyus un mari (Julius and Mary) (Buenos Aires, 1950), 95 pp. In 1950 he made a journey to North America where he stayed for several months. After returning home, he became editor of Dos yidishe vort (The Jewish word) in Santiago. He later became ill and died there. After his death, a collection of his poems—entitled Dos gezang fun a lebn (The song of a life)—with a biographical introduction by Pinkhes Bizberg, was published (Buenos Aires, 1953), 302 pp. “M. D. Giser’s own better poems express his enjoyment—a heart full of goodness and joyfulness…. His premature death broke off the song of a poet, who with simple writing endeavored to perfect a high level of simplicity.” (Yankev Glatshteyn)
Sources: Sh. L. Shneyderman, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (November 28, 1930); (Warsaw) (November 28, 1930); Y. Botoshanski, in Tsukunft (New York) (August 1931); Botoshanski, in Argentine (Argentina), anthology (Buenos Aires, 1938), pp. 80, 81, 86; Mame yidish (Mother Yiddish) (Buenos Aires, 1949), see index; Botoshanski, in Nayvelt (Tel Aviv) (October 19, 1952); Botoshanski, in Di naye tsayt (Buenos Aires) 195 (1951); Botoshanski, in Algemeyne entsiklopdye (General encyclopedia), “Yidn H” (New York, 1957); Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (October 1934); Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentina (The published Yiddish word in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), pp. 114, 130, 155, 156; Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Yiddish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), p. 153; V. Bresler, “Biblyografishe reshime” (Bibliographic list), in Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Yiddish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), pp. 921, 933, 936; M. Ravitsh, in Vokhnshrift (Warsaw) (August 12, 1932); Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 1 (Montreal, 1945); Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (November 22, 1948); Dr. L. Zhitnitski, in Yidish kultur (New York) (July-August 1941); P. Bizberg, in Der veg (Mexico) (July 11 and 18, 1950); Bizberg, in Di naye tsayt (October 13, 1950); A. Talush, Yidishe shrayber (Yiddish writers) (Miami Beach, 1954); M. Blumshteyn, in In obdenk (Chile) (April 1954); N. Mayzil, ed. and comp., Amerike in yidishn vort, antologye (America in the Yiddish word, an anthology) (New York, 1955), see index; Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (February 4, 1955); Sh. Shlutski, Avrom reyzen biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen’s bibliography) (New York, 1956), no. 5300.