Thursday 15 October 2015


MEYER GRINSHPAN (November 3, 1900-December 29, 1981)
            He was born in Kostopol (Kostopil), Volhynia, into a well-to-do family.  He studied in religious elementary school and in a state school.  He later became a business employee.  In 1926 he debuted in print with some humorous poetry and sketches in Voliner vokh (Volhynia week) in Rovno.  He also placed pieces in: Voliner tsaytung (Volhynia newspaper), Di idishe vokh (The Jewish week), Voliner prese (Volhynia press), Podlasher lebn (Podlasie life), Shedletser vokhnblat (Shedlets weekly newspaper), and Haynt (Today) in Warsaw.  He spent the years of WWII in the Soviet Union.  He later moved to Germany and lived in Lager Neu-Ulm, where he worked in the local Jewish cultural office.  He wrote humorous poetry and stories for the local newspaper Aheym (Homeward) and in Undzer veg (Our way) in Munich.  He authored the pamphlet (in Yiddish written in Latin letters): Mayn shtetele kostopol (My little town of Kostopol), poems (Neu-Ulm and Ludendorff- Kaserne, 1947), 38 pp.  He made aliya to Israel in 1948, where his surname became Hebraized as Ben-Yesha.  He published in Yidishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) and Letste nayes (Latest news) in Tel Aviv.  His work was included in: Yalkut volin (The book of Volhynia) and Sefer kostopol (The book of Kostopol).  His play A khasene in yisroel (A wedding in Israel) was staged in 1959 in London.  He had two novels ready for publication: Holoveshkes (Embers) and Oyfkum un umkum (Rise and destruction).  He died in Ramat-Gat.

Sources: D. Tidhar, Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel), vol. 16 (Tel Aviv, 1967); M. Hampel, in Yidishe tsaytung (Tel Aviv) (October 25, 1967).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 181.]

Ruvn Goldberg

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