MOYSHE GITSIS (GHITZIS) (October 29, 1894-1986)
He was born in Chotín, Bessarabia. In 1908 he graduated from a Russian public school. In 1910, at age sixteen, he left on his own for the United States. He worked for a year in a sweatshop. He then returned home and took up studying pharmacy. He served in the Russian army during WWI, later continuing his studies and becoming an assistant pharmacist. In 1922 he returned to the United States and settled in Chicago. He began writing at a very young age, largely dramatical works. In 1927 his first publication appeared in Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor): a series of stories drawn from the Russian Revolution. He later contributed to: Shikago (Chicago), Di feder (The pen), Oyfkum (Arise), Brikn (Bridges), Shikager kuryer (Chicago courier), Idishe velt (Jewish world) in Philadelphia, Der shpigl (The mirror), Meksikaner shtime (Voice of Mexico), Meksikaner shriftn (Mexican writings), Havaner lebn (Havana life), Heftn (Notebooks), Der hamer (The hammer), Di frayhayt (Freedom), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw, Inzikh (Introspective), Tsukunft (Future), Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), Zamlbikher (Anthologies), and Literarishe zamlungen (Literary collections), among others. Among his books: Glokn (Clocks), a dramatical poem (New York, 1927), 98 pp.; Noveln (Novellas) (Chicago, 1932), 260 pp.; Di zun in mizrekh, novelodrama (The sun in the east, a novel-drama) (Chicago, 1936), 150 pp.; Bitokhn (Confidence), a one-act play (Chicago, 1939), 144 pp.; Der veg tsum barg (The road to the mountain) (Chicago, 1943), 250 pp.; Mame erd (Mother earth), stories (Chicago, 1947), 210 pp.; Motivn (Motifs) (Chicago, 1968), 119 pp.; Nekome (Revenge), a play (Chicago, 1969), unpaginated; Ikh un mayn alter ego, literarishe zamlungen (Me and my alter ego, literary collections) (Chicago, 1979), 517 pp.; Fun mentsh tsu mentsh (Person to person) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1983), 63 pp. Over the years 1943-1948, he edited Literarishe zamlungen in Chicago. Several of his plays were staged by amateur clubs in Chicago and New York. He also made a film in color about Jewish writers in America.
Sources: Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (October 12, 1932 and January 15, 1936); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (October 23, 1932 and October 25, 1936); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 29, 1936); Y. N. Gotlin, in Kender odler (Montreal) (June 3, 1936); Sh. Slutski, Avrom reyzen biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen’s bibliography) (New York, 1956), nos. 4643, 5298.
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 158.]