Monday 17 August 2015


YANKEV-BER GIPS (1894-1942)
           He was born in Brzeziny, near Lodz, Poland, into a well-to-do family.  He received a Jewish and a general education.  He was active among the left Labor Zionists.  He spent the years 1924-1939 in Lodz, where he worked as a Yiddish teacher in a Borochov school and as a journalist.  He spent 1939-1940 in Bialystok.  He later worked as a teacher in Byelorussia.  He began writing poetry for the publications of the young Lodz writers group: Vegn (Ways) in 1933; Oyfkum (Arise) in 1922), and S’feld (The field), no. 6, in 1923.  He published poems, stories, and literary criticism in: Arbeter tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper), Dos kind (The child), and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw; Lodzher folksblat (Lodz people’s newspaper), Lodzher arbeter (Lodz worker), Literarishe vokhnshrift (Literary weekly writing), and Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper) in Lodz; and others.  In 1924 he edited the daily newspaper Lodzher morgnblat (Lodz morning newspaper).  Over the years 1924-1926—together with Yisroel Rabon, Misha Helman, Moyshe Gelker, and Eli Borukhin—he edited the first Yiddish afternoon newspaper, Ekstrablat (Extra newspaper), in Lodz; and together with Yisroel Rabon and Khayim Leyb Fuks, he edited Literarishe vokhnshrift in 1924.  He served on the editorial board, 1927-1933, of Lodzher tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper), in which he published—aside from ordinary newspaper material—political articles, fiction, and criticism, and he adapted popular novels for the newspaper.  He translated into Yiddish old liturgical poetry and prayers, among them: Akdamut (the prayer recited on the first day of Shavuot) in Lodzher tageblat (May 21, 1931).  Among his books: a translation of Vincente Blasko Ibáñez’s Der korbn fun fanatizm (Victim of fanaticism [original (?): Sangre y Arena (Blood and sand)]) (Warsaw, 1927), 107 pp.  Among his pen names: Y. B., Y. B. G., Dr. Zi Bi, and Bi Zeydov.  He was killed by the Nazis.

Sources: Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings), anthology (Lodz, 1946), p. 1; B. Mark, Lerer-yizker-bukh (Teachers’ memory book) (New York, 1954), p. 451; Kh. L. Fuks, “Dos yidishe literarishe lodzh” (Jewish literary Lodz), in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957).

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