Tuesday, 17 November 2015


HERSHL DIAMANT (July 15, 1911-June 23, 1941)
            He was a Soviet Yiddish poet, born in the village of Veliki Lug (Velyky Luh), Volhynia.  He studied in the Zhitomir Jewish Workers’ School.  From 1935 he was living in Kiev where he graduated from the Pedagogical Institute and was working as a teacher.  His poems first appeared in Soviet Yiddish monthly journals in 1927-1928.  Among his books: Shvartserd (Black-earth), poetry (Kharkov, 1932), 106 pp.; Dos breyte lebn (The wide-open life), poetry (Kiev, 1936), 112 pp.  His last poem was published in Zay gereyt (Get ready) (Kiev) 5 (1941).  He died on the front during WWII.  A selection of his poems were published in Russian (1936) and in Ukrainian (1959).  Eight of his poems were published in Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture) in New York: 6 (1981).  “From his first poetic steps,” wrote I. Druker, “Diamant was set off from many young folks who squandered their bit of talent imitating and doing what was not for them a hardship.  Diamant is a juicy, strong poet; his ‘conscience is pure’ and his lips have ‘never slaked his delight.’”

Sources: M. Bashtshevatski, in Shtern (Kharkov) 83 (1933); D. Kurland, in Shtern (Minsk) (January 1934); I. Druker, in Farmest (Kharkov) (February 1937); Eynikeyt (Moscow) (July 25 and August 5, 1942; February 24, 1945; October 7, 1947); B. Mark, in Folksshtime (Poland) 40 (1947); Sovetish heymland, Materyaln far a leksikon fun der yidisher sovetisher literatur (Materials for a handbook of Soviet Jewish literature) (September 1975); information from Diamant’s brother Moyshe in Israel.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 195.]

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