Tuesday, 8 December 2015


IRME (YIRMYAHU) DRUKER (December 15, 1906-1982)
            He was born in Chernobyl, not far from Kiev, Ukraine.  He graduated from the Jewish Pedagogical Technicum in Odessa.  His first publication was a critical treatment of the novel Der step ruft (The step beckons) by Note Lurye, which appeared in a journal in Kharkov in 1929.  He also published in: Odeser arbeter (Odessa laborer), Prolit (Proletarian literature), Shtern (Star) in Kharkov, Shtern in Minsk, Farmest (Challenge) in Kiev, and others.  Among his books: Sholem-aleykhem, kritishe etyudn (Sholem-Aleykhem, critical studies) (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1939), 99 pp.; Sholem-aleykhem, byografishe fartseykhenungen (Sholem-Aleykhem, biographical notes) (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1939), 82 pp., with Shloyme Bilov; Klezmer, roman (Musicians, a novel) (Kiev: Ukrainian state publishers for national minorities, 1940), 172 pp., new edition (Moscow, 1976), 338 pp.; Der zeyde mendele (Mendele, the grandfather) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1964), 139 pp.; Literarishe eseyen (Literary essays) (Moscow: Sovetish heyland, 1981), 62 pp.  His work was also included in: Almanakh fun yidishe sovetishe shrayber (Almanac from Soviet Jewish writers) (Kharkov, 1934).  After WWII, he settled in Odessa, where even after Stalin’s pogroms against Yiddish culture in 1948, he did not cease preparing longer works in Yiddish and made strenuous efforts to support Jewish cultural life in Odessa.  The critics strongly praised his book Klezmer for “a great deal of folkloristic material” and its clearly drawn characters.  In his last years, he contributed frequently to Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) in Moscow. 

Sources: Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) (February 1930); Sh. Bilov, in Sovetishe literatur (Kiev) (March 1941); N. Y. Gotlib, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (March 13, 1942); A. Kushnirov, in Naye prese (Paris) (July 27, 1945); Eynikeyt (Moscow) (February 16, 1946; June 1, 1947); H. Vaynraykh, Blut af der zun (Blood on the sun) (New York, 1950), p. 51.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 203.]

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