Monday 21 September 2015


YEKHIEL GRANATSHTEYN (June 6, 1913-February 7, 2008)
            He was born in Lublin, Poland.  He first published in Lodzher folksblat (Lodz people’s newspaper) in 1936.  He was a regular contributor to Dos yudishe togblat (The Jewish daily newspaper) in Warsaw and to Yudishe arbeter shtime (Voice of Jewish laborers) in Lodz, organ of the Agudat Yisrael and Poale Agudat Yisrael.  He wrote impressions, miniatures, and short stories.  During WWII, he lived in Slonim, Byelorussia.  Amidst Hitler’s massacres, he lost his wife and child and for nearly three years was a partisan in the woods.  He contributed as well to Vol’naya fraza (Free expression), which was published in the forest, and in 1944 after liberation to the Byelorussian Chervonnaya zviazda (Red star).  Shortly thereafter, he moved to France via Poland.  From 1947 until 1950, he edited Bashaar (At the gate) in Paris, a weekly put out by Poale Agudat Yisrael.  In 1950 the publishing house of Tserate in Paris brought out his volume of stories from partisan life in Byelorussia: Ikh hob gevolt lebn (I wanted to live), 210 pp.; translated into Hebrew by Y. Ginaton as Yedudi bayaar (Tel Aviv: Moreshet, 1955), 187 pp.. and later by the author (Tel Aviv, 1983).  He also wrote: Fremde velder, eygene erd (Alien woods, one’s own soil), a story of a Jewish family in Poland (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1979), 215 pp.  His works Orot meofel (Lights from the darkness) (Jerusalem, 1958), Shemesh baanan (Sun in the clouds) (Jerusalem, 1975), and Shalekhet baaviv (Autumn in spring) (Jerusalem, 1980) were all originally written in Yiddish.  He was living in Israel from 1950, was a member of the central council of Poale Agudat Yisrael, and regularly contributed to the daily newspaper Shearim (Gates).  In addition, he published stories and novellas in Davar (Word), Haboker (This morning), Hatsofe (The spectator), Letste nayes (Late news), Yerusholaimer almanakh (Jerusalem almanac), Folk un tsien (People and Zion) in Jerusalem, and Forverts (Forward) and Di idishe heym (The Jewish home) in New York, as well as in other Hebrew publications.  He coedited Leksikon hagevura (The biographical dictionary of heroism), 1965-1968. 

Sources: Y. Artuski, in Unzer shtime (Paris) (May 7, 1950); E. Ben-Gurion, in Davar (September 25, 1950); Z. Vasertsug, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (November 26, 1950); Y. Leshtshinski, in Forverts (New York) (December 17, 1950); Kh. L. Fuks, in Arbeter-vort (Paris) (June 9, 1950); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (June 7, 1951).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 171.]
Ruvn Goldberg

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