Sunday 20 September 2015


PINKHES (PINCHAS) GRAUBARD (August 1, 1892-December 23, 1952)
            He was born in Sochaczew, Warsaw region, Poland, into a family of timber merchants and property owners.  He studied in religious elementary school and secular subjects with private tutors.  When still quite young, he joined the Labor Zionists.  Over the years 1905-1908 he lived abroad; in 1911 he was in Israel where he took part in farming in the Jewish colonies.  He returned to Poland in 1912, and there he turned his attention to collecting Jewish folklore.  His first collections were published in the anthology Literarishe shriftn (Literary writings), children’s poetry, and Noent un vayt (Near and far) in Warsaw (1912); also in his own anthology that he brought out for the jubilee of Dovid Frishman, love poetry; as well as in Noyekh Prilucki’s anthologies.  He was arrested in early 1915 by the Russian authorities for collecting materials about the cruelties perpetrated by the Russian army against the Jewish population.  When the Tsarist regime withdrew from Poland, he was released from prison.  From that point on, he handled major business ventures, primarily dealing with forestry.  Over the years 1916-1919, he was one of the founders in Warsaw of the Society for the Plastic and Dramatic Arts: Di muze (The muse).  In 1923 he brought out through his own publishing house, edited by M. Vanvild, a large collection of folklore and philology: Bay undz yudn (For us Jews), 317 pp., in which he published his collection of 133 songs of thieves, convicts, and streetwalkers, entitled Gezangen un thom (Songs from the precipice).  He also published the works of fiction: Oyf vegn fun erets-yisroel (On the streets of Israel) (Warsaw, 1925), 340 pp.; and An ander lebn (Another life) (Warsaw, 1929), 329 pp.  With the outbreak of WWII, he emigrated to the United States.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Z. Skuditski, in Tsaytshrift (Minsk) 5 (1931); Dr. R. Feldshuh, Yidishe gezelshaftlekhe leksikon (Jewish community handbook), vol. 1 (Warsaw, 1939); M. Mozes, in Poylisher id, yorbukh lekoved der konvenshon fun der amerikaner federatsye far poylishe yidn (New York, 1944); A. Almi, in Der tog (New York) (January 11, 1953); H. Abramovitsh, in Forverts (New York) (May 24, 1953).

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