PERETS GRANATSHTEYN (PERETZ GRANATSTEIN) (b. March 7, 1907)
He was born in Sokolov, near Shedlets (Siedlce), Poland, into a pious household. He received a Jewish education. From his youth he was active in the Zionist socialist and pioneer youth movements, and the Freedom-Young Pioneers. For several years he was in the preparatory course for agricultural work in a kibbutz in Vilna, which was aimed at settling the land in Israel. He lived for a time in 1937 in Paris, and in 1939 he emigrated from Poland to Bolivia where he became a peddler. He settled at the end of that year in Argentina and was active in the Labor Zionist Party, Jewish Culture Congress, and YIVO. From 1950 he made aliya and became a resident of the state of Israel. Initially he worked in a metal factory, was an employee for a while in the administration of Hapoel hatsair (Young laborer), the Mapai weekly. He began writing when young and debuted in print with articles in Frayhayt (Freedom) in Warsaw in 1930. From then on, he contributed to: Bafrayung (Liberation), Bafrayung-arbeter-shtime (Liberation-voice of labor), and Unzer vort (Our word)—in Buenos Aires; Yisrael (Israel) and Tog-eyn, tog-oys (Day in, day out), a publication of Iḥud olami (World union), in Tel Aviv, among others. Among his books: Mayn khorev shtetl sokolov (My destroyed town of Sokolov) (Buenos Aires, 1946), 188 pp., in which he poignantly describes the environs and types of Jewish town life in Poland between the world wars; and Mentshn fun nekhtn (People of yesterday) (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1959), 224 pp, which was translated into Hebrew by Shelomo Shenhod as Anshe etmol (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1983), 248. This book, which was well received by the critics, was an important contribution to literature about the Holocaust. Over the decade 1960-1970, he was in New York before returned to Israel where he lived in Bat Yam.
Sources: B. Vaynshtok, in Hayntike nayes (Buenos Aires) (July 23, 1946); Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (August 28, 1946); Dr. L. Zhitnitski, in Ikuf (Buenos Aires) (September 1946); Y. Leshtshinski, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (January 31, 1947); P. Shvarts, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York) (April 1947); Grigori Aronson, in Tsukunft (New York) (March 1951).
Khayin Leyb Fuks
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 171.]