Wednesday 30 September 2015


TUVYE GRIN (TOVIA GREEN) (b. December 20, 1931)
            He was born in Dej, Romania.  He received rabbinical ordination from the yeshiva in Rome.  He moved to Canada in 1949.  He graduated from Sir George Williams College in Montreal.  He published: Di tsukunft fun medines yisroel, an ophandlung vegn di ekonomishe meglekhkaytn fun yisroel (The future of the state of Israel, a treatise on the economic possibilities of Israel) (Montreal, 1953), 91 pp.; Di oyfgabe fun undzer dor, ṿi azoy mir kenen makhn medines yisroel ekonomish shtark, zikher un zelbstshtendik (The task of our generation, how we can make the state of Israel economically strong, secure, and independent) (Montreal, 1954), 16 pp., in pocketbook format.  He was living in Montreal.

Sources: B. Daymandshteyn, in Literarishe heftn (Los Angeles) (January-June 1954), pp. 32-34; Daymandshteyn, Eseyen (Essays) (Tohongo, 1958), pp. 33-34.


            She was a worker who made a trip through a series of European port cities, and her impressions were published in the book Af der shif “ukraine” arum eyrope (On the ship “Ukraine” around Europe) with illustrations (Kharkov-Kiev, 1932), 105 pp.  Biographical information remains unknown.

Source: Sh. Vapnyarski, in Shtern (Kharkov) 62 (1932).


            She was born in Lodz, Poland, into a prominent Zionist family.  Her father, V. Nayman, a brother of the Yiddish writer Yekhezkiel-Moyshe Nayman, was a long-time leader and councilor in the Lodz Jewish community, selected by the Mizrachi Party.  She graduated from a Polish Jewish high school in Lodz.  She studied literature and chemistry at Warsaw University.  In 1937 she married the Yiddish writer Yerakhmiel Grin and settled in Warsaw, where they lived until WWII.  During the German seizure of Poland, she left for the Russian-occupied zone of Poland, lived for a time in Kuty (Kitev) and later in Lemberg, where she worked as a teacher until the German invasion of Russia.  She began publishing Yiddish and Polish poetry in 1934, initially in Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper) in Lodz.  She contributed to Haynt (Today), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Foroys (Onward), and Vokhnshrift (Weekly writings) in Warsaw, as well as in the Polish Jewish Nasz Przeglad (Our overview) and Opinia (Opinion) in Warsaw.  She wrote a novel about Jewish student life, which was set to appear in 1939, but remained in manuscript throughout the war.  From 1942 she and her husband were in the Nazi concentration camp at Janów, near Lemberg, where she wrote a number of ghetto songs that were sung in various camps.  Her song “Mir zitsn bam zamdbreg tsufusns un trinken lekhayim mitn toyt” (We’re sitting by the edge of the sand and drinking “to life” with the dead) was one of the most popular songs, sung a many death camps.  The full text was published in Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter) in New York (May 16, 1946) and was reprinted in the anthology Kidesh hashem (Sanctification of the name) (New York, 1947) and in Sh. Katsherginski’s Lider fun getos un lagern (Songs from ghettos and camps) (New York, 1948), p. 252.  She died with her husband in Janów Concentration Camp.  She also published under the pen names: Hinde Nayman, Hele Grin, and Helene.

Sources: Dr. M. Borvitsh, Literatura w obozie (Literature in the camps) (Cracow, 1946), pp. 23-24, 27-28; Shmuel Niger, Kidesh hashem (New York, 1947), pp. 322, 564-65; B. Mark, Umgekumene shrayber fun di getos un lagern (Murdered writers from the ghettos and camps) (Warsaw, 1954), pp. 205-6; Kh. L. Fuks, in Fun noentn over 3 (New York, 1957).



            He was the author of warning pamphlets against missionaries, such as Yeshue hanoytsris lebn (The life of Jesus), “on the false accusation of murder concerning Jews in the New Testament” (Paterson, 1918), several pages missing; Ver hot oysgetrakht dem kristlekhn gloybn? (Who thought up Christian beliefs?) (Paterson, 1918), 175 pp.; and A lid fun di ferunglikte shif general slokum (A poem for the ruined vessel General Slocum) (New York, year of publication and page numbers unknown).  As the author explained in his preface to one of the pamphlets, he also published in 1898: Yezus der tsimerman (Jesus the carpenter).  Further biographical information remains unknown.


YISROEL GRILAK (1898-May 10, 1943)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland, into a family of wealthy, scholarly Hassidim.  His father Leyb was a leader of Orthodox Jews in Poland and a head of the Warsaw Jewish community.  He received a rigorous religious education in elementary school and synagogue study hall.  He was a man with a fierce sense of social justice.  Already in synagogue he was moving closer to the Jewish socialist youth movement of Tsukunft (Future), of which he later became a prominent leader and member of its Warsaw committee.  He was active as well in the Jewish trade union movement, in the administration of office employees, the garment union, and the like.  From 1930 until WWII, he worked with the main office of the garment workers in Poland.  At that time he began writing about Jewish laborers and the life of trade unionists for Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), Der handls-ongeshtelter (The office employee), and Der bakleyd arbeter (The garment worker) in Warsaw.  He was one of the most active leaders in the underground movement in the Warsaw Ghetto.  He contributed to the underground Bundist ghetto publications: Der veker (The alarm), Dos fraye vort (The free word), Der glok (The bell), Yugnt-shtime (Voice of youth), and Af der vakh (On alert), among others—all in Warsaw, 1940-1943.  During the ghetto fighting, he was in the Bershter rayon (Bristle workers’ section) of Warsaw.  He died in the Jewish hospital in Genshe 6.

Sources: M. Nayshtat, Khurbn un oyfshtand fun di yidn in varshe (Holocaust and uprising of the Jews in Warsaw) (Tel Aviv, 1948), p. 414; Unzer tsayt (New York) (November-December 1947); Bernard Goldshteyn, Finf yor in varshever geto (Five years in the Warsaw ghetto) (New York, 1947); H. Kupershteyn, Doyres bundistn (Generations of Bundists), vol.2 (New York, 1956), pp. 287-90; Yoysef Kermish, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 27 (1957).


            He was the author of R. todros mit zayn tokhter bal-dunya (R. Todros and his daughter Bal-Dunia) (Odessa, 1883).

Source: Noyekh Prilucki, in Mame-loshn (Mother tongue) (Warsaw, 1921), p. 132.


BINYUMIN GRIL (1868-November 25, 1936)
            He was born in Zholkiev (Żółkiew), eastern Galicia, into a Hassidic home.  In his youth he moved to Lemberg where he turned his attentions to secular subjects.  He later studied in Vienna at a rabbinical seminary, before studying further in Switzerland where he received his doctorate in Berne in 1900 for a dissertation on Job.  He returned to Lemberg in 1902, later living as a Bohemian in various and sundry cities of Eastern Europe, particularly Vienna.  After WWI, he was back in Zholkiev where he died.  He contributed to R. A. Broydes’s weekly newspapers: Der veker (The alarm), Der karmel (Carmel), Haivri (The Jew), and others as well.  He was particularly successful with his Hassidic work, “Motl toykhekhe” (Motl’s chapter of curses).  Dov Sadan published a monographic work on him: Kokhav nida (Remote star) (Tel Aviv, 1950).

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 176.]


SHMUEL GRAYF (SAMUEL GREIF) (June 20, 1890-August 1, 1967)
           He was born in Borislav (Boryslaw), eastern Galicia.  At age nine, he emigrated with his parents to the United States.  He initially received a traditional Jewish education, later (1905) graduating in New York from a public school; he continued his studies and in 1914 became a dentist.  At age fifteen he began to publish articles in Amerikaner (American).  He later published images and stories in Der arbayter (The laborer), edited by Dovid Pinski; he also wrote for Varhayt (Truth), using the pen name Sh. Azniya.  Over the years 1906-1910, he served as the New York correspondent for Togblat (Daily newspaper) in Lemberg and Yudisher arbayter (Jewish laborer) in Cracow.  In 1909 he founded in New York the “Estraykher literatur ferayn” (Austrian literary association) and edited its anthology Yugend-klangen (Youthful noises), 48 pp., in which he published a short fantasy entitled “Dem dikhters tsar” (The poet’s grief), pp. 26-27, and a bibliography of Yiddish newspapers in Galicia, pp. 41-42.  He was also the editor-publisher of Di nyu lats shtime (The voice of New Lots) (New York, 1916), no. 3, and in English of the trade journal for dentists.  Among his books: Fun kheyder un vayter (From religious primary school and beyond), a short collection of his published images and sketches (New York, 1922), 60 pp.  He was also the author of Who’s Who in Dentistry (New York, 1916-1925); and Dentistry in the Bible and Talmud (New York, 1918).  He was living in Brooklyn, New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; G. Bader, Medina veḥakhameha (The state and its sages) (New York, 1934), p. 25; Who’s Who in New York (9th edition).

Tuesday 29 September 2015


SHMUEL GREYNIMAN (1890-February 14, 1957)
            He was born in Dzisna (Disne), Vilna region, Lithuania, into an elite, pious family.  He studied in religious primary school, yeshivas, and later was a pupil of R. Chaim Ozer Grodzenski and the Chofets Chaim, from whom he received rabbinical ordination.  From his earliest years, he was active in religious circles, and from 1919 he was among the leaders of religious education for Lithuanian-Polish Jewry and of Agudat Yisrael, mainly in Vilna and vicinity.  He was the founder of a network of yeshivas and the director of Vaad Hayeshivot (Council of yeshivas) in Vilna.  He visited the United States and for a time was the administrator of the yeshiva and college of Tiferet Yerusholaim in New York.  In 1935 he settled in Israel and was a member of “Merkaz ḥinukh hatora” (Center for Torah education) in Bnei Brak, where he lived until his death.  He was a forceful speaker, roused people to action with his sermons in Yiddish to encourage the Jewish people.  He wrote in Yiddish and Hebrew articles on religious issues as well as on the topic of education.  He was a cofounder of the weekly newspaper of the Aguda in Vilna, Dos vort (The word), and founder of the Vilna Torah journal Kneses yisroel (Congregation of Israel).  He contributed to the Orthodox Yiddish-Hebrew press in Poland: Der yud (The Jew) and Idishe togblat (Jewish daily newspaper) in Warsaw; Beys yankev zhurnal (Beys Yankev journal) in Lodz; and Dos vort in Vilna, among others.  In the final years of his life, he became involved in publishing religious texts by his brother-in-law, the Chazon Ish.  He also edited and published the writings of the Chofets Chaim, together with a biography and various episodes from his life, which were published in Jerusalem in 1955, together with Greyniman’s commentary on Maase lemelekh (Stories of the king).  He published: Hundert mayses un mesholim fun khofets khayim, zts”l (One hundred stories and fables from the Chofets Chaim, may his memory be for a blessing) (New York, 1952), 128 pp, new edition (New York, 1966).

Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1927); D. Z., in Haarets (Tel Aviv) (February 15, 1955); Y. Z. Diskin, in Hamodia (Jerusalem) (February 22, 1957); A. B. Shurin, in Forverts (New York) (March 5, 1957); Dos yidishe vort (New York) (April 1957).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 176.]


YITSKHOK-ARN GREYZEL (1874-August 2, 1914)
            He was born in Minsk, Byelorussia, to devout parents.  He received a rigorous religious education.  He was skilled in ancient Hebrew literature.  Until 1903 he studied in Kharkov, where he was active in the Zionist movement.  In 1903 he moved to New York, received a law degree there, but he did not practice.  He was also active in New York in the Zionist organization.  From 1910 until his death, he was living in Philadelphia.  He was the owner of a Yiddish publishing house.  He published articles on Zionist and Jewish issues in Der shtral (The ray) in Philadelphia in 1906, in Der idisher kemfer (The Jewish fighter) in New York in 1907-1909, and in Di bronzviler post (The Brownsville mail) and Di yidishe fon (The Jewish banner) in New York in 1910, among others.  He edited the last two of these publications.  He left in manuscript a Hebrew commentary on Maimonides’s Yad haḥazaka (The mighty arm).

Sources: D. B. Tirkel, in Pinkes (New York, 1927-1928), p. 261; Y. Khaykin, Yidishe bleter in amerike (Yiddish leaves in America) (New York, 1946), p. 203; Tsvi-Yoysef Kahan, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (March 26, 1956).


KHAYIM (HYMAN) GRUSHKIN (October 18, 1892-October 17, 1971)
            He was born in Ostrove (Ostrów), Lomzhe region, Poland, into a well-to-do family.  He studied in religious elementary school, later in the Lomzhe yeshiva.  For a longer time he lived in Warsaw, where he worked as a typesetter.  At that time he was active in the Jewish Zionist socialist party.  After the failed revolution of 1905, he emigrated to the United States and there continued his studies.  He graduated with a doctorate in physical therapy from Columbia University in New York.  He was an active leader in the Labor Zionist movement in America.  He was president of the typesetters’ union in New York.  In his youth, he wrote revolutionary poetry and proclamations.  He debuted in print with a treatise entitled “Der arbeter-tsienizm” (Workers’ Zionism) in the monthly Der pyoner (The pioneer) (New York, 1925).  He contributed articles on Jewish and Zionist issues, as well as treatises on medical questions to such serials as: Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Forverts (Forward), Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Nyu yorker vokhnblat (New York weekly newspaper), Morgn frayhayt (Morning freedom), Der pyoner, Gezund un stark (Healthy and strong), Unzer gezund (Our health), and Gezund-almanakh (Health almanac)—all in New York.  He served on the editorial boards for Der pyoner (1925), Gezund un shtark (1932-1933), and Gezund almanakh (1945-1951), and he was the author of the pamphlet, Poyle tsienizm nokh der antshteyung fun medines yisroel (Labor Zionism after the rise of the state of Israel) (New York, 1954), 16 pp.  He was living until his death in New York.


ARYE GRUSHKO (LEON GRUSZKO) (February 25, 1913-September  1998)
            He later was going by the name Arye Bustan.  He was born in Łapy, near Bialystok, Poland.  He studied in religious primary school, as well as in a Hebrew school.  He received a diploma from a Polish high school.  In 1932 he emigrated to Costa Rica.  He first published in the Spanish-language press with articles and poems.  Over the years 1937-1939, he edited the Spanish Jewish weekly El mundo judío (The Jewish world) in Chile.  In Yiddish he contributed to Undzer veg (Our way) in Mexico City, Tsukunft (Future) and Tog (Day) in New York, Di prese (The press) in Buenos Aires, Dos vort (The word), Di prese (The press), and Pasifik (Pacific) in Santiago de Chile, and Letste nayes (Latest news) and Goldene keyt (Golden chain) in Tel Aviv.  Among his books: Geven a hoyz in poyln, lider un poemen (There was a house in Poland, songs and poems) (Mexico, 1945), 155 pp.; Khayim vaytsman, lebn un verk (Chaim Weizmann, life and work) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1063), 458 pp., for which he received the Kessel Prize.  And, he translated Golda Meir’s Mayn lebn (My life) (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1978), 457 pp.  He was living in Israel from 1949.  He was director of publications in the Latin American division of the Weizmann Institute in Reḥovot.  From 1968 he was the Israeli ambassador to Latin American countries, and from 1973 he served as consul-general in South Africa.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 175.]


MEYER GRUNVALD (MAX GRUNWALD) (October 10, 1871-January 24, 1953)
            He was born in Zabrze, Polish Silesia.  He graduated high school in Gliwice, and university and rabbinical seminary in Breslau.  In 1895 he became a rabbi in Hamburg, Germany.  He authored a great number of works on Jewish history and Jewish cultural issues in German, Hebrew, and Yiddish; he was a researcher into Jewish community life in Germany; he founded the Society for Jewish Folklore (Gesellschaft für Jüdische Volkskunde) which accomplished a great deal in the field of folk creation, folklore, and ethnography; and he was a cofounder of the Jewish Museum in Hamburg.  In 1911 he organized the Jewish division of the international hygiene exhibition in Dresden.  Until 1930 he was living in Vienna, where he took a productive part in Jewish community and cultural life.  He later settled in Israel where he devoted himself entirely to research on Jewish folklore.  He was the most ardent leader and research into Jewish folk creation, literally until the final days of his life.  He published a large number of works in various languages, including Yiddish, in which he traced Jewish folk creation and Jewish folksongs at an international forum.  He was the editor of Mitteilungen zur jüdischen Folkskunde (Notices on Jewish folklore) (Vienna, 1898-1922).  In Yiddish, he published in: “Fun m. l. ehrenraykhs literarishe yerushe” (From M. L. Ehrenreich’s literary heritage), Filologishe shriftn (Philological writings) 1 (Vilna, 1926), pp. 323-34, an important work with his own commentary; and “Shprikhverter un vertlekh fun dukle, mizrekh-galitsye” (Proverbs and saying from Dukle, eastern Galicia), Yidishe shprakh (Yiddish language) (New York, 1944), pp. 25-28.  A portion of his memoirs—entitled “Akhtsik yor lebn” (Eighty years of life)—was published in Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) (New York, 1952).  He was also a regular contributor to the Hebrew folklore journal Yeda am (Folklore) in Tel Aviv.  His last work, “The Statutes of the Three Jewish Communities in Germany: Hamburg, Altona, Wansbeck of 1915,” was published in Yeda am (Nisan, 1953).  He died in Jerusalem.  He left behind in manuscript hundreds of writings on Jewish folklore and concerning the Jewish community in Germany.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; A. Litvak, in Di tsayt (New York) (February 23, 1922); Tsukunft (New York) (May-June 1947); Yom-Tov Levinsky, in Yeda am (Tel Aviv) (Nisan 1953); Yedies fun yivo (New York) 48 (1954); Sh. Dubnov, Velt-geshikhte fun yidishn folk (World history of the Jewish people), vol. 10 (Buenos Aires, 1956), p. 233; Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 7 (Berlin, 1929), pp. 702-3.


            He was born in Lodz, from a religiously devout home.  Against his parents’ wishes, he studied in a secular Jewish school.  After graduating from the Medem School, he was sent—because of his great talent and eagerness to learn—to the Vilna Jewish teachers’ seminary.  He was later a teacher in Visoke Litovsk, and in the same Lodz Medem School in which he was earlier a student himself.  A talented pedagogue, he was also an active community and cultural leader.  He excelled at creating interesting games, jokes, and songs for school children.  Together with M. Gilinski (“Batke”) and K. Wapner, he published Shpil un farveylung (Play and recreation), with an introduction by L. Hodes (Warsaw: SKIF-biblyotek, no. 6, 1938), 184 pp.  When WWII broke out, he escaped to Bialystok and from there to Brest, where he worked as a teacher under Soviet rule.  Afterward, when the Nazis took the city in 1941, he joined the partisans.  When and how he died remain unknown.

Source: Lerer-zikher-bukh (Teachers’ memory book) (New York, 1954), pp. 116-17.


            He published stories written in a popular style for Yone Krepl’s Der tog (The day), beginning in December 1909.  He never published his own work in book form.  Biographical information remains unknown.

Source: M. Naygreshl, in Fun noentn over 1 (New York, 1955), p. 345.


            He was born in Shrensk (Szreńsk), Poland, into a pedigreed rabbinical family.  From his earliest years, he was marked as a child prodigy.  At age sixteen he received rabbinical ordination.  He became rabbi of Janów, later of Maków, and then until WWI of Staszów.  R. Groybart was a cofounder and leader in 1910 of the Warsaw Asife Harabonim (Assembly of rabbis) of Poland, from which he was selected to be a member of the editorial commission of its Yiddish and Hebrew publications.  With the outbreak of WWI, he was taken by the Tsarist military authorities as a hostage from the Jewish population and sent deep into Russia.  He later came to Moscow, where he caused great activity.  He was the founder of the organization “Masoret veḥerut” (Tradition and freedom), which fought for Jewish religious and national autonomy and for which he wrote the call: On di yudn in rusland (Russia without Jews) (Moscow, 1917).  He was active in the administration of the assistance committee for Jewish refugees.  He returned to Poland in late 1918 and became the leader of the Mizrachi movement.  A fiery speaker, he traveled across the Polish provinces on behalf of Mizrachi and became its candidate in the Zionist bloc in the elections to the Polish Sejm in 1919.  He took part in the world Zionist Congress in London in 1920.  He later moved to Canada, where he was until his death the head rabbi of Toronto.
            He was the author of a great number of religious texts, among them: Ḥavalim baneimim (Pleasant lots in life) concerning issues of Jewish law, with a portion of text in Yiddish (part 1, Warsaw, 1908; parts 2 and 3, Toronto, 1929 and 1931); and Sefer zikaron (Memoirs) (Lodz, 1926), 337 pp., in which he described his experiences in the war, 1914-1918, and concerning the spiritual state of Russian Jewry, as well as a hefty letter exchange on the condition of Jews during the war with major Jewish figures (R. Maza, Refuel Gots, R. Rabinovits, and others).  Numerous articles and sermons were also included in this text, such as “Oyruf vegn der shabes frage” (Call on the issue of the Sabbath), which he published in the Yiddish press in Poland (1912-1920); Haynt (Today), Moment (Moment), Der mizrakhi-veg (The Mizrachi way), Hamizrakhi (The Mizrachi), and others.  He was also the author of the religious texts: Yamin usmol (Right and left), essays on Jewish issues and relations between Jews and Gentiles; and Yabia omer (Uttering speech), Devarim kikhtavam (Words just as they are written), and others.  He died in Toronto.

Sources: Ahale shem (The Jewish people) (Pinsk, 1912), pp. 135-36; N. Boymeyl, in Der idisher zhurnal (Toronto) (October 7, 1937); Y. Y. Vol-Gelernter, in Der idisher zhurnal (October 8, 1937); Y. P. Kats, in Der idisher zhurnal (October 10, 1937).

Monday 28 September 2015


DOVID GROYBART (DAVID GRAUBART) (April 6, 1906-April 27, 1984)
            He was born in Staszów, Kielce region, Poland.  He descended from an old rabbinical family.  His father Yehude-Leyb Groybart was a rabbi in Canada.  He studied in religious primary school; later when already in Canada, he graduated from middle school.  He received his higher education in the United States, where he lived from 1924.  He graduated as a rabbi from the Jewish Theological Seminary and acquired his doctoral degree in 1949 from Indiana University.  From 1946 he was professor of rabbinical literature at the College of Jewish Studies (Spertus College) in Chicago.  He wrote essays in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English.  In Yiddish he published in Idisher kuryer (Jewish courier) in Chicago, Idishe zhurnal (Jewish journal) in Toronto, and Dos idishe vort (The Yiddish word) in Winnipeg, among other places.  He was the Yiddish editor of the Britannica World Language Dictionary (1954).  In Hebrew he published in Hadoar (The mail) and Hapardes (Paradise).  In English, he edited his college publications in the 1920s and was a contributing editor to Colliers Encyclopedia.  He authored English-language books on Jewish themes.  He won literary awards in university and in the theological seminary, among them for an essay on Job.  From 1971 he was a regular contributor to Forverts (Forward) in New York.  He was living in Chicago where he died.

Sources: M. Ginzburg, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (January 10, 1955); Who’s Who in World Jewry (New York, 1955).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 175.]


BOREKH GROYBARD (BARUCH GRAUBARD) (September 17, 1900-1976)
            He was born in Skole, eastern Galicia.  He graduated from the Universities of Lemberg and Vienna.  Between 1923 and 1939, he worked as a teacher in the Polish Jewish high schools in Konin, Będzin, and Sosnowiec, as well as director of a high school in Kielce.  During the Nazi occupation he was with his family on the Aryan side of Cracow.  After liberation, he was director of the cultural office at the “Central Committee of Liberated Jews in the Western Zone of Germany,” and from 1951 he was a lecturer in Jewish scholarship at Marburg University and a member of the “Central Council of Jews in Germany.”  He wrote for the Yiddish press of survivors.  Over the years 1945-1951, he published articles and feature pieces in Morgn (Morning), Bafrayung (Liberation), Nayvelt (New world), Undzer veg (Our way), Undzer haynt (Our today), and Yidishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper)—all in Munich, Germany.  He was co-editor of the literary journal Hemshekh (Continuation) in Munich.  He was the author of the pamphlet of features: Geven a sheyres-hapleyte, notits-bukh fun moyshe yosln (I was a survivor, notice book of Moyshe Yosl) (Munich, 1949), 112 pp.  This was the sole booklet in Yiddish concerning the community relations of the Jews from the concentration camps in West Germany after liberation.  He was living in Munich, Germany.

Source: Who’s Who in World Jewry (New York, 1955).


YEHUDE-LEYB GRUZMAN (March 4, 1902-June 11, 1961)
            He was born in Yedenits (Edineţ), Bessarabia, into a stern Hassidic home.  He ran away from home in 1915 to Odessa, where he studied in a yeshiva and later in a secular high school.  He became a Hebrew teacher in Czernowitz (Bukovina).  In 1922 he emigrated to Argentina, where he served as director of an YIKO (Jewish Cultural Organization) school in Mosesville (over 600 children).  He began writing in Hebrew in Czernowitz.  He published in Hashiloa (The shiloah), Hateḥiya (The regeneration), and Hatsfira (The siren).  In Argentina he wrote for: Di yidishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper), Far groys un kleyn (For big and small), Zeglen (Sails), Habima haivrit (The Hebrew stage), and Heḥaluts (The pioneer).  He edited Di tribune (The tribune) in Mosesville and co-edited Penemer un penemlekh (Appearances, big and small) in Buenos Aires.  From 1929 he was the editor of the monthly Der shpigl (The mirror) in Buenos Aires.  In the jubilee volume for Di yidishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires, 1940), he published a long work entitled “Pyonern funem hebreish geredtn un geshribenem vort in argentine” (Pioneers of the Hebrew spoken and written word in Argentina), which later appeared in Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Yiddish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), with the title “Hebreishe bikher un zeyere mekhabrim” (Hebrew books and their authors), pp. 227-38.  For many years he served as the Argentinian correspondent for Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) in New York.  Together with Yankev Botoshanski, he published four books in the series Besaraber yidn (Bessarabian Jews).  He traveled on lecture tours through the United States and Canada.  Among his pen names: Leybele Bar-Mazl.  He was living until his death in Buenos Aires.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; N. Khanin, A reyze ariber tsentral un dorem amerike (A trip through Central and South America) (New York, 1942), pp. 236-38; Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Buenos Aires, 1944), p. 227; Y. Botoshanski, in Di naye tsayt (Buenos Aires) (April 30, 1953); Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (September 15, 1954); A. Lipiner, in Der nayer moment (Sao Paulo) (May 22, 1953); M. Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (June 28, 1954); D. Krants, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (May 13, 1956); Dr. N. Sverdlin, in Tog-morgnm-zhurnal (March 22, 1954).



            He was born in Warsaw, brother of Zigmunt and Yonas Turkov (Turkow).  He studied in religious primary school and in the initial years of a secular high school and a teacher’s course of study.  In his youth he worked on a Pioneers’ farm in Grochów near Warsaw, served as secretary of a youth organization of the “right Labor Zionists,” and co-edited its journal Arbeter yugnt (Laboring youth).  In 1924 he began to act in Yiddish theater and was a member of the wandering troupe of Zigmunt Turkow and Ida Kaminska; later, he performed in various Yiddish theaters in Poland.  During WWII he left for Russia.  Returning to Poland after the war, he acted in Yiddish theaters, directed, was artistic director and author of scenic compositions in the Yiddish theater of Lower Silesia in Wrocław, and worked in the state Yiddish theater of Lodz and Warsaw.  He also contributed to the local Yiddish press.  From 1925 he was writing for Yiddish periodicals in Poland, primarily on matters concerning theater.  He published interviews with actors in Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Warsaw; he published in 1926 a short biography of Esther Rokhl Kaminski in Haynt (Today), Warsaw.  He wrote the following stage plays: Dos genehem (Hell) and Der korbn (The victim).  He translated into Yiddish: Baginen, tog un nakht (Dawn, day, and night); Di gril afn oyvn (The cricket on the hearth) by Charles Dickens; Di romantishe nakht fun borvits (The romantic night in Borvits); and Juliusz Słowacki’s poem Dżuma (Plague) (Warsaw: Bzhoza, 1926), 21 pp.  Among his own writings in book form: Yidish teater in poyln (Yiddish theater in Poland) (Warsaw, 1951), 199 pp.; Di mame ester rokhl (Mother Esther Rokhl) (Warsaw, 1953), 286 pp., a monograph on the life of Esther Rokhl Kaminski; and Varshe dos vigele fun yidishn teater (Warsaw, the cradle of Yiddish theater) (Warsaw, 1956), 75 pp.; Penemer un maskes, dertseylungen un skitsn (Faces and masks, stories and sketches) (Buenos Aires: Association of Polish Jews, 1960), 174 pp.; Af mayn veg, shrayber un kinstler (On my way, writer and artist) (Buenos Aires: Association of Polish Jews, 1964), 343 pp., second edition (1971); Y. l. perets, der veker (Y. L. Perets, the alarm) (Tele Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1965), 112 pp.; Sholem ashs derekh in der yidisher eybikeyt, monografye (Sholem Asch’s path into Jewish eternity, a monograph) (Bat-yam: Bet Sholem Ash, 1967), 190 pp.; Geven a yidish teater (There was a Yiddish theater) (Tel Aviv, 1968), 50 pp.; Zigmunt turkov (Sigmund Turkow) (Tel Aviv, 1970), 263 pp.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Z. Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2; Y. Turkov, Azoy iz es geven (That’s how it was) (Buenos Aires, 1948), 543 pp., see index; H. Vaynraykh, Blut af der zun (Blood on the sun) (Brooklyn, 1950), p. 94; D. Sefarad, in Yidishe shriftn (Warsaw) 12 (80) (1953); Y. Lazebnik, in Yidishe shriftn 7 (75).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 174.]


YOYNE GRUBER (b. 1912)
            He was born in Czernowitz, Bukovina.  He studied in one of the secular Jewish schools which emerged in Greater Romania in the aftermath of WWI.  In the late 1920s he began publishing poems in Czernowitz Yiddish publications, and he later contributed to periodicals in other Jewish centers in Romania.  In the early 1930s he published a small poetry collection in Czernowitz, which garnered attention in Yiddish literary circles in Romania.  In 1938 the Yiddish PEN club in Warsaw brought out his poetry collection Fun shtot avek (Out of the city), 68 pp.  During WWII he escaped to Russia.  He was living in Czernowitz.  He also published: Zun far der tir (Sun before the door) (Czernowitz, 1940), 45 pp.

Sources: B. Shnabl, in Oyfgang (Sighetu Marmației) (May-June 1939); B. Shnaper, in Foroys (Warsaw) (August 18, 1939); T. Fuks, in Naye prese (Paris) (August 14, 1945); “In der yidisher un hebreisher literatur” (In Yiddish and Hebrew literature), Tsukunft (New York) (March 1945); H. Vaynraykh, Blut af der zun (Blood on the sun) (Brooklyn, 1950), p. 21.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 174.]


MOTL GRUBYAN (1909-February 9, 1972)

            He was a Soviet Yiddish poet, born in the town of Sokolivka, Ukraine, into the family of a teacher.  He worked in a factory before moving to Minsk where he graduated in 1938 he graduated from the literature faculty at the Pedagogical Institute there.  He debuted in print in Zay greyt (Get ready), a children’s newspaper in Kharkov.  With the outbreak of the Soviet-Nazi war in 1941, he volunteered for service at the front and took part in the Battle of Stalingrad.  He was wounded three times, and after a severe wound in 1943 he was demobilized. He then moved to Moscow and began working as an editor for the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. Already in his student days, he brought out his first literary collection in Minsk, which demonstrated his capacity as an original poet with a graphic ability with words and an inclination for philosophical generalizations. These qualities later deepened and broadened in the 1940s and especially in the 1960s, and distinguished him among the foremost tier of Soviet Yiddish lyricists. His style had a characteristically vivid folk quality and innovative search for word and poetic expression. His main poetic genre was the lyrical miniature, through which he embodied both actual problems of the contemporary historical era and individual, subjective experiences. He was living until his death in Moscow.

Among his books: Fun keler af der zun, lider (From the cellar to the sun, poems) (Minsk: Byelorussian State Publishers, 1935), 79 pp.; Lirik (Lyric) (Minsk: State Publ., 1940), 60 pp.; Gezang vegn mut (Song for courage) (Moscow: Der emes, 1947), 144 pp. “In Grubyan’s book [Gezang vegn mut],” wrote Rivke Rubin, “there are a fair number of poems with tragic motifs concerning the extermination of the Jewish population during the German occupation….  The largest number of poems are linked by a lyrical image—with the ordinary folk.”  He also published: Umruiker vint, geklibene lider (Un settled wind, collected poetry) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1970), 214 pp.; Dos eybike fayer (The eternal fire), his last poems (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1976), 310 pp.; In veg (On the road) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1984), 62 pp. His work was included in: Tsum zig (To victory) (Moscow, 1944); and Bafrayte brider, literarishe zamlung (Liberated brethren, literary anthology) (Minsk: Byelorussian State Publishers, 1939). 

Sources: Y. Nusinov, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (August 5, 1942); M. Notovitsh, in Eynikeyt (October 28, 1943); U. P., in Eynikeyt (February 19, 1944); A. Kushnirov, in Eynikeyt (May 26, 1945); Rivke Rubin, in Eynikeyt (June 10, 1948); H. Vaynraykh, Blut af der zun (Blood on the sun) (Brooklyn, 1950), pp. 10-11; N. Y. Gotlib, in Tsukunft (New York) (May 1951); Moyshe Kats, in Morgn frayhayt (New York) (May 26, 1957).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 174; and Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 87-88.]


MEYLEKH GRAFSTHEYN (MELECH GRAFSTEIN) (February 19, 1893-January 17, 1960)
            He was born in the town of Voshnev (Waśniów) near Apt (Opatów), Poland, into a devout, commercial household.  He studied in religious elementary school and in the Lomzhe yeshiva.  In 1907 he moved to Warsaw and became active in the “Little Bund.”  He became acquainted with the author Shloyme Gilbert, who befriended him and introduced him to the drama circle of Hazemir.  He participated, under Peretz’s direction, in the first staging of “In polish af der keyt” (Chained in the synagogue anteroom) together with M. Shveyd and T. Artsishevska.  In 1912 he emigrated to the United States and became involved in various jobs.  From 1913 he was living in Canada, where he was active in Jewish community and cultural life.  He began writing in his youth, and in 1911 he published his first humorous correspondence piece (an image of a small town Jewish wedding) in Unzer lebn (Our life) in Warsaw.  He published poems, stories, one-act plays, and reviews of books and theatrical performances in: Naye tsayt (New times) in Warsaw, Minsker yontef bleter (Minsk holiday leaves), Forverts (Forward) in New York, Idishe zhurnal (Jewish journal) in Toronto, Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal, Kanader yugend (Canadian youth), and in the local English-language daily press.  He edited issue no. 2 of Kanader yugend in Toronto (1917); Jewish Observer in London, Ontario; and Jewish Omnibus in Miami Beach.  He published a special issue of Jewish Observer on Y. L. Peretz in 1945 (108 pp.), and Sholom Aleichem Panorama (London, Ontario, 1948), 415 pp. which appeared in album format with a large number of illustrations, appreciations, and translations from their writings.  In 1954 he published Shloyme Gilbert’s Dertseylunbgen un drames (Stories and plays), with his own remembrances of the writer’s personality (Toronto, 336 pp.).  He was also the author of a four-act melodrama entitled Bay di toyern fun elis ayland (At the gates of Ellis Island) and of the one-act plays: Tate un zun (Father and son), Baym rebens tish (At the rebbe’s table), In moyshev skeynim (In the old-age home), and others, which were staged under his direction in the theaters of the United States and Canada.  He also published under the pen names: Zev Elimelekh, Ben Yerakhmiel, Zev G. Elimelekh, A. Voshniver, A. Londoner, Rabi Elimelekh, Ben Fehl, and Ben Safra-raba.  In English, he used such pseudonyms as Dr. G. V. Maxwell.  He was living until his death in London, Ontario, Canada.

Sources: H. M. Kayzerman, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (July 28, 1948); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Der tog (New York) (August 22, 1948); Sh. Slutski, Avrom reyzen biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen’s bibliography) (New York, 1956), no. 5362.


GERSHON GRAFSHTEYN (1890-December 30, 1950)
            He was born in Radom, Poland, the younger brother of Gavril Grafshteyn (Al. Gurye).  Until age ten he studied in religious elementary school.  He subsequently joined the “Little Bund.”  In 1909, while keeping weapons for the self-defense organization, he accidentally was shot in the face.  To avoid a police investigation, he emigrated to the United States.  In 1917 he published for the first time poems in the monthly magazine Onheyb (Beginning), and later in the anthology Fun mentsh tsu mentsh (From person to person), Ist brodvey (East Broadway), Inzl (Island), Shriftn (Writings), and later as well in Frayhayt (Freedom) and Signal (Signal).  For many years, he disappeared from the literary arena.  With a new start in 1947, he published poems in Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice on labor).  He died in New York.  After his death, the poets Mani Leyb and Nokhm Bomze were preparing a collection of Grafshteyn’s poetry.  However, the work remained incomplete, because of the sudden deaths of both compilers.

Sources: L. Lehrer, in Tsukunft (New York) (July 1918); Z. Vaynper, Yidishe shriftshteler (Yiddish authors), vol. 1 (New York, 1933), pp. 46-50; obituaries in Kultur un dertsiung (December 1950) and N. Mayzil, in Yidishe kultur (August-September 1954).

Sunday 27 September 2015


            He was known by the name Al. Gurye, born in Radom, Poland.  His father was a teacher of Russian in the local crown school, who remained traditionally devout and cultivated in his children a love for Yiddish language and literature.  Grafshteyn studied in religious primary school, secular subjects with private tutors, and at age eighteen he received a teacher’s diploma.  In 1909 he published for the first time a story in Lebn un visnshaft (Life and science) in Vilna.  In 1913 he emigrated to the United States.  In New York, he was close to the group “Yunge” (Young).  He published poems and stories in: Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Tageblat (Daily newspaper), Dos yidishe folk (The Jewish people), Tog (Day), Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), Varhayt (Truth), Tsayt (Time), Natur un vunder (Nature and wonder), Frayhayt (Freedom), Forshrit (Progress), Gerekhtikeyt (Justice), In-zikh (Introspective), Tsukunft (Future), Nay-yidish (New Yiddish), and Inzl (Island), Zishe Landau’s Antologye (Anthology), Di feder (The pen), Dos vort (The word), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), and Der kundes (The prankster)—all in New York; and Kritik (Crtic) in Vienna, among others.  He also wrote a four-act dramatic poem entitled Fun beyde zaytn vant (From both sides of the wall).  His stories depict the confusion among people, a kind of internal fear of reality and at the same time a striving to escape from oneself.  He was living in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Der Lebediker, in Poezye (Poetry), a collection (New York, 1919); A. Glants-Leyeles, in In-zikh (New York) 54 (1939).


AVROM-YITSKHOK GRAFMAN (April 1891-1941/1942)
            He was born in Yadov (Jadów), Warsaw region, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school and in a yeshiva, later graduating from a middle school in Warsaw.  In 1910 he began to publish poems and sketches in various Yiddish newspapers in Warsaw.  From 1912 he was a regular contributor to Moment (Moment) in Warsaw, for which he wrote feature pieces and topical articles.  He published the anthologies Friling (Spring), Goldene shtraln (Golden rays), and In shvere tsaytn (In difficult times) (Warsaw, 1917), among others.  In 1921 he joined the Jewish People’s Party in Poland and edited (1921-1922) the popular weekly newspaper Di idishe tribune (The Jewish tribune).  In 1924 he began to publish the popular magazine Di ilustrirte vokh (The illustrated week).  With the outbreak of WWII, he left for Vilna.  Having no time to escape when the Germans took Lithuania, he was killed in 1941 or 1942.  Among his books: Zangen, lider (Stalks of corn, poems) (Warsaw, 1921), 80 pp.  He also wrote under the pseudonyms: Izidor G., A. Giml, Dr. A. Gloyber, and the like.  He was one of the dynamic new journalists and new editors in the Warsaw press, with a strong sense for the sensational.  He would powerfully dramatize and even poeticize his news reporting.  He was confined to the Riga ghetto and was deported from there to his death in Auschwitz.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Dr. R. Feldshuh, Yidisher gezelshaftlekher leksikon (Jewish community handbook) (Warsaw, 1939), vol. 1; Z. Segalovitsh, Tlomatske draytsn (13 Tłomackie St.) (Buenos Aires, 1946); M. Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 2 (Montreal, 1947).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 173.]


YANKEV GRAF (1840-1895)
            He was a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment movement from Warsaw, a journalist, and a playwright, son-in-law of the wealthy man Tsvi Hirsh Finklman.  He contributed to the Warsaw Yiddish press in the second half of the nineteenth century.  He wrote for Izraelita (Israelite) and for Varshoyer yudishe tsaytung (Warsaw Jewish newspaper).  He is considered the first Warsaw social reporter.  He wrote about contemporary concerns involving the productivity of Polish Jewry and treatises on Hassidism; he made known Jewish undertakings which were conducive to employing Jewish laborers, and he fought for the Enlightenment in community institutions.  Among other things, he called for a library in the Warsaw Jewish hospital.  He died in Warsaw.

Source: Y. Shatski, Geshikhte fun yidn in varshe (History of Jews in Warsaw), vol. 3 (New York: YIVO, 1953), see index.


HARRY GRAFF (November 17, 1882-July 1, 1968)
            This was the adopted named of Hershl Shnayder, born in Bialystok, Poland.  He studied in religious primary school, yeshiva, and with private tutors.  As a youth he was active in the Bund.  In 1902 he emigrated to England, lived for a time in London, and later left for the United States.  There he became an active leader in the Jewish socialist and trade union movement.  In more recent years he was involved in clubs for older persons connected to the Workmen’s Circle.  He began publishing in his youth and contributed pieces to Der fraynd (The friend), Byalistoker fraynd (Bialystok friend), a publication of the Workmen’s Circle Branch 88, in New York (1934-1950), Byalistoker lebn (Bialystok life), Tog-morgn-zhurnal (Day morning journal), and Byalistoker shtime (Voice of Bialystok) in New York—in the last of these, he published a variety of articles on the lives of laborers as well as feature pieces under the title “Zalts un fefer” (Salt and pepper).  He also published in Unzer heym (Our home) in New York (1946-1956), and elsewhere.  He was the author of several pamphlets on various labor issues, such as: Vos vet a cooperative bekeray far aykh oyfton? (What will a cooperative bakery accomplish for you?) (New York, 1919), 18 pp.  He used the pseudonym “Hershl Glates.”  He was living in Englewood, New Jersey.

Sources: Byalistoker shtime (New York) (January 1943); Y. Sh. Herts, 50 yor arbeter ring in yidishn lebn (Fifty years of the Workmen’s Circle in Jewish life) (New York, 1950), p. 386.


YANKEV GROPER (August 21, 1890-December 12, 1966)
            He was born in Mihăileni, at the border between Moldavia and Bukovina, into a rabbinical family.  He studied in religious elementary school, in synagogue study hall, and later he turned his full attentions to secular subject matter, studying law at Jassy (Iași) University.  In 1913 he was a soldier in the Romanian army, and he took part in the Romanian war campaign against Bulgaria.  Over the years 1916-1919, he was a non-commissioned officer in the Romanian army during WWI.  He made his first stabs at writing in Romanian, German, and Yiddish.  He lived in Czernowitz, 1907-1908, attended the Yiddish language conference there, and from that time forward switched entirely to Yiddish.  In 1914 he published for the first time poems in Di yudishe velt (The Jewish world) in Vilna, and in Dos ilustrirte vokhnblat (The illustrated weekly newspaper) in Lemberg.  He later contributed to Hamer (Hammer) in Brăila (Romania), Der veker (The alarm) in Bukarest, Frayhayt (Freedom) in Czernowitz, Der id (The Jew) in Kishinev, Tog (Day) in Vilna, Tsayt (Time) in London, the anthology Y. l. perets (Y. L. Peretz) which appeared just before Peretz’s death (New York, 1915), and Bukareshter zamlbikher (Bucharest anthologies), among others.  In 1914-1915, he co-edited in Jassy Di pen (The pen), a humorous newspaper and the collection Likht (Light).  Among his books: In shotn fun shteyn (In the shadow of a stone), poems (Bucharest, 1934), 96 pp.  He translated works by Romanian and French poets into Yiddish, and his own poems were translated into Romanian.  Groper was also active in the Jewish community and belonged to the Labor Zionists in Romania.  He worked, 1911-1916, in the “Toybenhale,” an institution to spread Jewish culture in Jassy.  Among his pen names: Nurd, Hashir, and Ofir.  He was living in Bucharest.  “A Jewish lyricist who emerged from the middle class,” wrote Shloyme Bikl, “and whose poems were worthy of publication in 1914 in Di yudishe velt in Vilna….  Romania today, together with Bessarabia and Bukovina, possesses of course a considerable literary heritage….  However, without Groper it would have been impossible for there to have been Itzik Manger.”  Then, in 1964 he made aliya to Israel.  Posthumously: Geklibene lider, Shirim nivḥarim (Collected poetry) ((Tel Aviv, 1975), 353 pp.; the parallel Hebrew was prepared by various translators.  He died in Berlin and was buried in Haifa.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Zishe Bagish, in Indzl (Bialystok) 2 (1939); Y. Botoshanski, Portretn fun yidishe shrayber (Portraits of Yiddish writers) (Warsaw, 1933); Botoshanski, Mame yidish (Mother Yiddish) (Buenos Aires, 1949), pp. 145, 146, 151, 153, 158; Dr. Shloyme Bikl, In zikh un arum zikh (In and around oneself) (Bucharest, 1936); B. Tutshinski, in Tshernovitser bleter (December 4, 1934); Yankev groper un zayn tsayt (Yankev Groper and his time) (Tel Aviv, 1976), 299 pp.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 173.]


SHOYL (SAUL) GROSFATER (August 2, 1904-April 20, 1961)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school, later graduating from a business school and attending the Free Polish University in Warsaw as a student.  While still young, he joined the socialist youth movement and later the Bund.  From 1922 he was secretary of the Warsaw committee of the youth Bund, “Tsukunft” (Future).  He was also secretary of the trade unions of maintenance workers and later of the business and clerical workers in Warsaw.  He was active as well in the Jewish cooperative movement.  Until September 1939, he was living in Warsaw, later traveling through Vilna, Russia, and Japan, he arrived in Shanghai where he remained until 1945.  He later traveled via India to France.  In Paris, he was active in the Jewish labor movement and in the Bund.  He began writing in Polish, later switching to Yiddish.  He contributed to Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) and Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm) in Warsaw, Lodzher veker (Lodz alarm), and Unzer tsayt (Our time) in New York.  He published the pamphlet Proletaryat, a kapitl geshikhte fun der poylisher arbeter-bavegung (Proletariat, a chapter in the history of the Polish labor movement) (Warsaw, 1926), 51 pp.  From 1953 he was serving as editor of the daily newspaper Unzer shtime (Our voice) in Paris, in which he wrote under the pen names: Y. Gros, Sh. Gros, A. Dorn, and Sh. Lorman.  In 1956 he moved to the United States.  He was living in New York where he was active in the trade union movement.  He published current events articles under the name Sh. (Shoyl) Gros in Unzer tsayt, Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), Tsukunft, and Veker (Alarm), among others.  He died in New York.


MOYSHE GROSMAN (MOSHE GROSSMAN) (April 3, 1904-September 27, 1961)
            He was born in Koriv (Kurów), Lublin region, Poland.  As a child, in 1910, he moved to Warsaw.  He studied in religious elementary school, yeshiva, in a seminary course, and self-preparation as an external student.  During WWI in 1917, suffering from hunger, he returned with his parents to Koriv.  At age fourteen in his hometown, he was giving private lessons in Yiddish, Russian, and accounting.  In 1920, following the death of his father, he returned to Warsaw by himself.  There he was a street salesman, a business employee, and laborer, and in the evenings he studied primarily on his own.  From 1921 he was a member of the Labor Zionist organization “Yugend” (Youth).  For a time he worked in the secretariat of the Warsaw artists’ association, was an employee in the Labor Zionist publishing house, secretary of the youth section of the association of employees, and from 1925 until just the time of the German occupation of Warsaw, when the last issue of the newspaper had already appeared, he worked in the administration of Haynt (Today) in Warsaw.  Grossman began writing at age fourteen.  Using the pseudonym Godlman, he published several short, humorous items in Bontshe’s (Avrom Rozenfeld’s) humor magazine Der foygl (The bird).  In 1923 he published his first short story, “Brokhe un klole” (Blessing and curse) in Veltshpigl (Mirror of the world) in Warsaw (edited by A. L. Yakubovitsh).  From that point forward, he placed his writings in such serials as: Yugnt-fon (Banner of youth), Veltshpigl, Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Vokhnshrift (Weekly writings), Farmest (Challenge), Fraynd (Friend), and Haynt—in Warsaw; Yidishe bilder (Jewish images) in Riga-Warsaw; Arbeter tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper) in Warsaw-Lodz.  His first book appeared in 1931: Flamen un roykh, roman fun an arbeter-svive (Flames and smoke, a novel from a workers’ environment) (Warsaw), 136 pp.  Later, he published: Hamer af harfe (Hammer on the harp) (Warsaw, 1934), 65 pp.; Karl marks, bay zayn shvel, byografish montazh-roman (Karl Marx, at his threshold, a biographical montage novel) (Warsaw, 1934), 288 pp., second edition (Warsaw: Farlag M. Rakovski, 1936), 261 pp.—this last work also appeared in a Polish translation (Warsaw, 1935), 240 pp.—Dervakhung, historisher roman (Awakening, a historical novel), a biographical novel about the life of Rosa Luxembourg (Warsaw: Farlag literarishe bleter, 1937), 150 pp., which earlier appeared serially in Shikager kuryer (Chicago courier) with an introduction that was excised by the censor in Poland.  With the outbreak of WWII, in October 1939 he sought refuge in Soviet Russia.  He was, though, arrested there, tortured by the Soviet authorities, and deported to local concentration and labor camps.  After the end of the war, in 1945 he returned to Poland.  He contributed to Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Lodz and served as editor of Arbeter tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper) in Lodz in 1946.  He also co-edited the anthology Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings), published by the Yiddish literary association in Lodz in 1946.  Leaving Poland at the end of 1946, he spent just a year in Sweden, and in the fall of 1947 he moved to France, living in Paris, where he became active in the Parisian Jewish community and literary life.  He was the founder and one of the leaders of the association of Polish Jews in Paris, of the association of refugee writers, and of the Yiddish PEN club.  He contributed to the Parisian Jewish press, including: Unzer shtime (Our voice), Unzer vort (Our word), and Kiem (Existence).  Under his own name—and under such pen names as F. Grim Karl Grim, L. Anglister, P. Amster, M. Giml, M. Ben-Yankev, Y. Shabes, M. Fazant, Leye, M. Rozes, M. Flint, and Moyshe Yisroeli—he published his writings in: Tsukunft (Future) and Forverts (Forward) in New York; Folksblat (People’s newspaper) in Uruguay; Naye yidishe tsaytung (New Jewish newspaper) in Munich; Davar (Word), Hador (The generation), and Hatsofe (The spectator) in Tel Aviv.  In 1948 Grosman came to New York as a delegate to the World Jewish Culture Congress, returning to Paris after the congress.  He then published In farkisheftn land fun legendarn Dzhugashvili, mayne zibn yor lebn in ratnfarband, 1939-1946 (In the enchanted land of the legendary Dzhugashvili (Stalin)], my seven years living in the Soviet Union, 1939-1946) (Paris, 1949), vol. 1, 336 pp., vol. 2, 318 pp.  (This work appeared in an English translation by I. M. Lask as In the Enchanted Land: My Seven Years in Soviet Russia [Tel Aviv, 1960], 383 pp.)  A second edition appeared in Paris in 1950, and it was well received by the entire Yiddish and Hebrew press.  “This book,” wrote Yankev Glatshteyn, “is without a doubt a classic.”  “In his writing,” noted Shmuel Niger, “there is the clarity and simplicity of a man of truth.  This is at a high level.”  This important two-volume work also appeared in Hebrew translation: Baarets haagadit hakeshufa, sheva shenot ḥayim biverit hamoatsot (In the legendary land of enchantment, seven years living in the Soviet Union)—vol. 1 translated by A. Ben Meir (Tel Aviv, 1950), vol. 2 translated by Y. Ḥagi (Tel Aviv, 1951).[1]  In 1950 he made aliya to the state of Israel.  There he published: Heymishe geshtaltn: reportazhn, portretn, dertseylungen, minyaturn (Familiar images: reportage, portraits, stories, miniatures) (Tel Aviv, 1953), 317 pp.; and Der vide fun a revolutsyoner, politisher roman (The confessions of a revolutionary, a political novel) (Tel Aviv, 1955), 288 pp.  Over the years 1951-1953, he co-edited the Mapai newspaper Dos vort (The word), which initially appeared thrice weekly and later daily, and the biweekly illustrated magazine Yidishe bilder (Tel Aviv, 1951-1952).  In 1956 he began publishing in Tel Aviv the monthly Heymish (Familiar), which he edited and in which he published his literary and informative works concerning Yiddish cultural and literary life in the Jewish world.  He contributed to an important work concerning the Warsaw newspaper Haynt in vol. 2 of Fun noentn over (From the recent past), published by the World Jewish Culture Congress (New York, 1956), a well-documented monograph concerning the great Warsaw daily newspaper from its founding until the publication of its final issue, under the fire of Nazi bombs over Jewish Warsaw.  Posthumously: Shtoyb un eybikeyt (Dust and eternity) (Tel Aviv: Bukh-komitet, 1970), 308 pp.  He also edited Yizker-bukh koriv (Memorial volume for Kurów) (Tel Aviv, 1955), 1150 pp.  He was living in Tel Aviv, working in the Yiddish and Hebrew press, and was esteemed as an important literary figure.  He died there.  “Moyshe Grosman is a literary talent,” wrote Ezriel Carlebach, “of whom we have very few….  They know how great is the flame, how acute the eye, and how extraordinary the descriptive ability such a work as this one [Dzhugashvili] is, but without a shadow of a doubt this may be seen in his great biographical novel, Karl Marks.”

[1] Translator’s note.  An English translation by I. M. Lask appeared in 1960: In the Enchanted Land: My Seven Years in Soviet Russia (Tel Aviv: Rachel).

Sources: Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (June 24, 1934); Dr. E. Carlebach, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (April 19, 1935); Carlebach, in Maariv (Tel Aviv) (April 23, 1954); Y. Rapoport, in Tsukunft (New York) (August 1938); Rapoport, in Fraye arbeter shtime (New York) (February 11, 1954); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (June 24 and December 25, 1949); Kh. Sh. Kazdan, in Foroys (Mexico) (June 1, 1949); Y. Leshtshinski, in Forverts (New York) (July 10, 1949); Dr. A. Borvitsh, in Problemen (Paris) (July 1949); Borvitsh, in Fraye arbeter shtime (November 11, 1949); Kh. Liberman, in Forverts (August 15, 1949; May 12, 1954); Y. Varshavski, in Forverts (October 9, 1949; January 31, 1950); G. Aronson, in Tsukunft (January 1951); A. Leyeles, in Tog (January 19, 1952); D. Pinski, in Dos vort (Tel Aviv) (January 15, 1953); Pinski, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (June 8, 1954); Y. Yanosovitsh, in Di naye tsayt (Buenos Aires) (March 12, 1954); Yanosovitsh, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (April 29, 1954; May 23, 1956); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (July 16, 1954); L. Domankevitsh, in Unzer vort (Paris) 6 (2679) and 109 (2782); Y. Guthelf, in Davar (Tel Aviv) (December 16, 1955); Y. Pat, in Der veker (New York) (December 15, 1955); Yizker-bukh koriv (Tel Aviv, 1955), pp. 813-14; Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (February 26, 1956); Sh. Rozhanski, in Yidishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (February 7, 1954); Sh. Katsherginski, Shmerke katsherginski ondenk-bukh (Memoirs of Shmerke Katsherginski) (Buenos Aires, 1955), pp. 46-52; Y. Y. Rapoport, in Di yidishe post (Melbourne) (March 9, 1956); A. Gordin, in Fraye arbeter shtime (September 7, 1956); M. Raynharts, in Foroys (April 1956); M. Valdman, in Tsukunft (February 1956); M. Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (July 16, 1956); Sh. Slutski, Avrom reyzen biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen’s bibliography) (New York, 1956), no. 4711; Literarishe heftn (Los Angeles) 53-54 (January-June 1957); M. Shmaryahu, in Maariv (August 16, 1957); Yankev Giml (Glants), in Der veg (Mexico) (December 14, 1957); I. Fefer, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (January 16, 1948); M. Yafe, in Haboker (Tel Aviv) (February 7, 1958); M. Ginzburg, in Keneder odler (February 17, 1958); Sh. G., in Omer (Tel Aviv) (February 1, 1958); Dibon, Omer (December 13, 1957).
Zaynvl Diamant

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 173.]

[1] Translator’s note.  An English translation by I. M. Lask appeared in 1960: In the Enchanted Land: My Seven Years in Soviet Russia (Tel Aviv: Rachel).

Friday 25 September 2015


            He was born in Temryuk, Kuban district, northern Caucasus.  He was the younger brother of Vladimir Grosman.  He received his secular education in Odessa, St. Petersburg, and Berlin.  He began his journalistic activities in 1905 in the Krasnodar Russian newspaper Kuban’skyi krai (Kuban region), and he later contributed to the Russian-language press in St. Petersburg and Moscow.  He was also editor for a number of Russian provincial newspapers, such as: Birzhevye (Exchange), Vedomosti (Gazette), Ruskoie slovo (Russian word), Den’ (Day), and Satirikon (Satyricon).
From 1910 he devoted his attention to Jewish journalistic matters.  He published in Fraynd (Friend), Haynt (Today), Moment (Moment), Novyi voskhod (New rising), and Razsviet (Dawn); and in the New York press for Tog (Day), Varhayt (Truth), and Tsayt (Times), among others.  In 1913 he edited in Berlin the Russian Jewish magazine Evreyskii student (Jewish student) and the illustrated humor newspaper Der ashmodai.  With the outbreak of WWI, he moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, where for a time he edited Kopenhagen tog-blat (Copenhagen daily newspaper), first issue dated August 10, 1914, later Di yudishe folkstsaytung (The Jewish people’s newspaper) from the end of November 1914 until 1916.  In late 1915, he published together with Vladimir Zhabotinsky the Zionist activist organ Di tribune (The tribune) which appeared with breaks (also for a time a daily newspaper) until late 1922 in Copenhagen and London, and ultimately as a monthly magazine in Berlin.  During the Russian Revolution of 1917, he spent some time in Ukraine.  In Kiev, he edited the Zionist weekly newspaper Af der vokh (During the week) and the daily Di velt (The world) in 1919.  He was a member of the Ukrainian Zionist Center, of the Jewish National Assembly, of the Provisional National Council, and of the Ukrainian Rada (parliament).  From 1919 he was living in London, where (together with Jacob Landau) he founded the Jewish Correspondence Bureau, with branches in New York, Warsaw, and Berlin, later reorganized into the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (ITA), of which he was director and editor, and on its behalf visited the United States in 1925.  He was a regular contributor to Tog (Day) in New York, and for a time he served as its news editor.
From 1925 Grosman was the main assistant to Vladimir Zhabotinsky in establishing the Zionist Revisionist movement (Brit Hatsahar) worldwide, and he remained its vice-chairman until the party rift in 1933.  From 1927 he was a delegate of the Revisionist Party to all Zionist congresses.  In 1929 his pamphlet appeared: Farvos zaynen mir kegn der “gemishter” idisher agentur? (Why are we opposed to the mixed Jewish Agency?) (Paris, 50 pp.).  In 1933 after the split of the party at Katowice, he left the Revisionist ranks, founded the Jewish State Party, and stood at the head of this new party until the reunification of the Revisionists in 1948.  In 1934 he made aliya to Israel.  In Tel Aviv he published Iton meyuḥad (Newspaper extra), and he founded the first English-language newspaper in Israel, Palestine Bulletin.  During WWII he lived in the United States, doing work for his party, and writing for newspapers.  In 1948 he returned to Israel and until 1951 was co-editor of Haboker (This morning) in Tel Aviv.  After the founding of the state of Israel, he joined the leadership of the Jewish Agency as director of its economics department.  He was a member of the Zionist World Executive, living in Jerusalem.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol.1; M. Y. Nirenberger, “Ernst un shpil afn tsienistishn kongres” (Seriousness and play at the Zionist congress), Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (September 9, 1935); D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 4 (Tel Aviv, 1950), pp. 1927-1928; Who’s Who in World Jewry (New York, 1955).

Yitskhok Kharlash