Thursday 24 September 2015


YOSL GROSBARD (Summer 1905-Auschwitz)
            He was born in Srock (Srotsk), near Nowy Dwór, Poland, into a poor working-class family.  In his youth he moved with his parents to Tshekhanove (Ciechanów).  He studied in religious primary school and in a Polish public school.  Later he became a laborer and was active in the youth organization “Tsukunft” (Future).  He lived in Warsaw, 1918-1928, and worked there in a metal factory, later returning to Ciechanów.  In 1927 he debuted in print with a poem in Unzer vort (Our word) in Pułtusk.  He published articles and poems in Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw, Der shpigl (The mirror) in Buenos Aires, and elsewhere.  From 1937 until WWII, he published poems in Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm), Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), and Foroys (Onward) in Warsaw.  His poem “Do” (Here), which conveyed the mood of Jewish youth on the eve of the Holocaust, was republished in a number of Yiddish newspapers—e.g., Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper) in Lodz, Unzer lebn (Our life) in Bialystok, and Vilner tog (Vilna day), among others.  In 1976 his work, Lider-shirim (Poetry) was published, with Hebrew translation by Noaḥ Peniel, in Tel Aviv (63 pp.).  Some of his poems were published earlier in Folkstsaytung (June 30, 1939).

Source: Y. Horn, In unzer dor, erev un nokh treblinke in yidishn lid (In our generation, on the eve and after Treblinka in Yiddish song) (Buenos Aires, 1949), p. 43.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 172.]

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