YISROEL DIMENTMAN (1904-September 19, 1944)
He was born in Vengrov (Węgrów), Poland, into a Hassidic family. He graduated from a Hebrew high school and studied history and philosophy at Kovno University. He was a teacher and an active leader in the Hebrew school curriculum, a member of the management division of the teachers’ union in Lithuania. Until 1940 he lived in Kovno, after which he moved to Vilna where he was one of the central figures in Jewish community life in the ghetto. He was administrator of the Yiddish-Hebrew school curriculum and a member of the executive of the literature association, of the Zionist coordinating committee, and other groups. He began writing at the end of the 1920s on pedagogical issues for Mishele haḥinukh (Pathways of education) in Kovno. He contributed articles and short stories to Dos vort (The word) in Kovno (1934-1940), and other serials as well. In 1932 he published a novel in Russian, Nakanune (The day before), concerning the coming war. In the Vilna ghetto, he translated from Yiddish into Hebrew Dovid Pinski’s Der eybiker yid (The eternal Jew) for the Hebrew-language ghetto theater, of which he was a manager. He also wrote a story entitled “Ad hashaar” (To the gate) and a play in Yiddish about ghetto life. He received a prize for the play from the Yiddish literature association. He also authored a diary about cultural work in the Vilna ghetto. He was deported to the Klooga Concentration Camp in Estonia. There he kept a diary about camp life. He died at Klooga during a Nazi massacre of the local camp.
Sources: Sh. Katsherginski, Khurbn vilne (The Holocaust in Vilna) (New York, 1947), p. 187; Dr. M. Dvorzhetski (Mark Dvorzetsky), Yerusholayim delite in kamf un umkum (The Jerusalem of Lithuania in struggle and death) (Paris, 1948), see index; Leyzer Bekher, in Eynikeyt (New York) (July-August 1946).