Monday 21 September 2015


MOYSHE GRANITSHTEYN (GRANITSTEIN) (February 13, 1897-June 22, 1956)
            He was born in Kovle (Kovel), Volhynia.  He studied in religious primary school and in the Lubavitcher Yeshiva.  During WWI, he was evacuated with the community to Rostov-on-Don.  He made his literary start in the weekly newspaper Di idishe tribune (The Jewish tribune), edited by L. Kestin, in Warsaw (1922); and he contributed to the weekly Di idishe vokh (The Jewish week), edited by M. Gotlib, in Rovno, and to Voliner gedank (Thoughts of Volhynia), edited by Meyer-Yehude Rayz, in Lutsk.  In 1927 he emigrated to Buenos Aires, Argentina.  He worked as a furrier and was a teacher in Buenos Aires and in the hinterland.  He published poems, stories, and essays in Di prese (The press), and from 1936 he worked on the editorial board of Di prese and of the weekly Penemer un penemlekh (Appearances, big and small) in Buenos Aires.  He contributed to Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Yiddish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944).  Among his books: Bam taykh (By the river) (Warsaw, 1925), 77 pp.; Tsimern, lider (Rooms, poems) (Warsaw, 1926), 53 pp.; Shtaplen, lider (Rungs, poems) (Buenos Aires, 1930), 51 pp.; Fun thom tsu thom, zikhroynes un batrakhtungen ibern shtetl (From precipice to precipice, memories and consideration of the shtetl) (Buenos Aires, 1933), 94 pp.; Vos hot gevolt froy gaster? (What did Mrs. Gaster want?) (Buenos Aires, 1932), 98 pp.; Dos shtetl redt, noveln un skitsn (The town speaks, short stories and sketches) (Buenos Aires, 1933), 95 pp.; Fun beyde zaytn brik, noveln (From both sides of the bridge, short stories) (Buenos Aires, 1934), 91 pp.; Di aventures fun khaver hamerl (The adventures of Comrade Hamerl) (Buenos Aires, 1934), 62 pp.; Di mase un ire derleyzer (The crowd and its savior) (Buenos Aires, 1935), 111 pp.; Kurtse velt-geshikhte fun idishn folk (A short world history of the Jewish people) (Buenos Aires, 1936), 175 pp.; Bam vogzal (At the train station) (Buenos Aires, 1938), 97 pp.; Mentshn fun baginen (Men at dawn) (Buenos Aires, 1939), 79 pp.; Tsurik tsum geto (Back to the ghetto) (Buenos Aires, 1939), 71 pp.; Di gangrene, a geshikhte fun libe un has (The gangrenous one, a tale of love and hate) (Buenos Aires, 1940), 164 pp.; Der betler, der lets, der sotsyaler mentsh: a klinishe geshikhte (The beggar, the clown, the social person: a clinical story), with an afterword by Shloyme Suskovitsh (Buenos Aires, 1940), 116 pp.; Nora, a geshikhte fun tsinizm un gloybn (Nora, a tale of cynicism and belief) (Buenos Aires, 1941), 113 pp.; Bolvanevke, roman (Blockhead, a novel) (Buenos Aires, 1942), 296 pp.; Der soltero (The unmarried man) (Buenos Aires, 1942), 95 pp.; Masoes fliglman (Fliglman’s travels) (Buenos Aires, 1943), 347 pp.; Bashele (Bashele) (Buenos Aires, 1943), 68 pp.; Harbst-bleter, a zamlung (Autumn leaves, an anthology) (Buenos Aires, 1943), 84 pp.; Libavitsh un di velt, zikhroynes fun a gevezenem yeshive-bokher (Lubavitch and the world, memoirs of a former yeshiva student) (Buenos Aires, 1946), 119 pp.; Profesor got profesor idyot, panegirik tsum oybershtn un zayne arumzukher (Professor God and Professor Idiot, a panegyric to the Supreme One and his searchers) (Buenos Aires, 1946), 54 pp.; Teater-univers, psikhoanalitishe revelatsyes fun der mentsh-imperye (Theater universe, psychoanalytic revelations from the human empire) (Buenos Aires, 1947), 16 pp.; Mentsh-univers (Human universe) (Buenos Aires, 1947), 55 pp.; Umet (Gloom) (Buenos Aires, 1947), 20 pp.; Di mentsh simfonye (The human symphony) (Buenos Aires, 1947), 88 pp.; Al ḥet sheḥatati beratnfarband, argentiner-idisher roman (For the sin of the Soviet Union, an Argentine Yiddish novel) (Buenos Aires, 1947), 333 pp.; Shir hashirim asher legrafomanye (Song of Songs à la graphomania) (Buenos Aires, 1947), 16 pp.; Khasimes haodem vehamentshheyt, in opgrunt fun felker un tsaytn (Sign of man and of humanity, at the edge of peoples and times) (Buenos Aires, 1948), 96 pp.; Der umderherter her umzin (The unheard-of Mr. Nonsense) (Buenos Aires, 1948), 62 pp.; Ṿolin, mayn heym: vide-memuarn fun eynem sheyatsa velo khazar (Volhynia, my home: confessional memoirs of one who left and did not return) (Buenos Aires, 1949-1950),  3 volumes; Libavitsh redt tsu der ṿelṭ: vide-memuarn fun eynem sheyatsa velo khazar (Lubavitch speaks to the world: confessional memoirs of one who left and did not return) (Buenos Aires, 1949), 49 pp.; Der anonym fun koyt un gloybn, shriftn funem hoyz fun lebn in toyt (The anonymity of filth and belief, writings from the house of life in death) (Buenos Aires, 1951), 77 pp.; Di eybike tfise (The eternal prison) (Buenos Aires, 1951), 141 pp.; Der fataler aktsident mitn komedyant mamont (The fatal accident with the comedian Mamont) (Buenos Aires, 1951), 94 pp.; Di zingendike byologye, lider (The singing biology, poems) (Buenos Aires, 1951), 53 pp.; Der bunt fun di eyzlen, dertseylungen (The donkey rebellion, stories) (Buenos Aires, 1951), 77 pp.; Di geratevete, novele (The saved ones, a novella) (Buenos Aires, 1952), 148 pp.; and Der intelligent, roman (The intellectual, a novel) (Buenos Aires, 1954), 550 pp.  He died in Buenos Aires.  Granitshteyn was one of the most productive writers in Yiddish in Argentina.  A man with considerable education, a rich language, and full of internal anxiety, he had the will to express everything to everyone.  He was a writer with numerous complaints about everything for everyone—but without a fixed world view.  Very little bothered him, save—published individually or in small editions—that his books would be read by few.  He wrote them non-stop.  He was the unsettled son of an unsettled era.

Sources: Y. Botoshanski, in Tsukunft (New York) (August 1931); Botoshanski, Mame-yidish (Mother Yiddish) (Buenos Aires, 1949); Y. Shtern, in Haynt (Warsaw) (March 8, 1935); Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (June 1935; November 1936); Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The printed Yiddish word in Argentina) (New York, 1941); Sh. Suskovitsh, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (1946); Suskovitsh, in Davke (Buenos Aires) 14-15 (1953) and 29 (1956), pp. 369-74; P. Kats, Yidishe literatur in argentine (Yiddish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1947); P. Lerner, in Di prese (June 23, 1956); Sh. S. (Shloyme Suskovitsh), in Davke 27-28; Sh. Slutski, Avrom reyzen biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen’s bibliography) (New York, 1956); A. Tsaytlin, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 11, 1957).

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