Monday 28 September 2015


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).

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