Tuesday 13 October 2015


ITSIK GRINZAYD (1905-1942)

            He was a Soviet Jewish prose writer and journalist, born in Mohyliv-Podil's'kyy, Ukraine, into the home of a carpenter.  He lost his parents early in life and was raised in a children’s home. He worked as a locksmith and later graduated from the Vinnytsya Pedagogical Technicum. From 1927 he began his work as a journalist, as well as fiction author and editor. His first sketches and stories appeared in the Kharkov newspaper Zay greyt (Get ready) and Yunge gvardye (Young guard), of which he was, first, a contributor and later the editor-in-chief. He subsequently published stories in the Kharkov monthly Prolit (Proletarian literature) and in other periodical publications. In 1932 he brought put a collection of stories, but more than anything he was occupied with editorial and organizational work in the editing of Yiddish newspapers and journals—later, with “Ukrnatsmindfarlag” (Publishing House for Ukrainian Ethnic Minorities), a press that also brought out books in Yiddish. In the initial days of WWII, he departed for the front and was killed shortly thereafter.

            His work includes: In 1926 he began publishing short sketches in Moscow’s Yungvald (Young forest), such as “Gubernyal yidn” (Provincial Jews) 4 (1926), “Freylekh in klub” (Happy in the club) 1 (1926), “In plonter” (In a jumble) 5 (1927); “In di negl fun boheme” (In the clutches of Bohemia), in Yunger boy-klang (Young sound of construction) 6 (1928); “In kesl” (In the kettle) 7 (1928). He also wrote: Oyfkum (Arise), a collection of stories (Kharkov-Kiev, 1932), 177 pp. He edited (with an editorial board) Oktyaberl (Little October) in Kiev, Litkomyug, a komyugisher zamlbukh: proze, poezye un kritik (Literary Communist youth: a Communist youth anthology of prose, poetry, and criticism) (Kharkov: State Publisher for National Minorities of the USSR, 1933); and Kinder-shafung (Children’s creation), an anthology, with Leyb Kvitko (Odessa: Kinder farlag, 1935).  In addition, his work was included in: Shlakhtn (Battles) (Kharkov-Kiev, 1932).

Sources: A. Holdes, in Shtern (Kharkov) 47 (1933); F. Reminik, in Farmest (Kharkov) 2-3 (1933); Y. Lit, in Yunger boy-klang (Kharkov) 6 (June 1928).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 180; Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), p. 89.]

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