OYZER HOLDES (GOLDES) (1900-1966)
He was born in Kishinev. He studied in the official Jewish school in Berdichev, graduating from a Russian high school, before studying philology at the Second Moscow University [now, Moscow State Pedagogical University]. He belonged to the first post-October group of Yiddish writers. From 1919 he was working as a teacher in Berdichev, Kiev, and Kharkov. He published initially in Di royte velt (The red world) in Kiev (1927). He contributed pieces to: Shtern (Starn), Yunge gvardye (Young guard), and Zay greyt (Be prepared) in Kharkov; Shtern in Minsk; and elsewhere. He also wrote for Soveitsh heyland (Soviet homeland) in Moscow on the topic of Sholem-Aleykhem and Y. L. Perets. Among his books: Literarishe khrestomatye farn 7tn lernyor der politekhnisher shul (Literary reader for the seventh school year at the polytechnic school), with F. Shames (Kharkov-Kiev, 1933), 343 pp.; Literatur-lernbukh farn 7tn klas (Literature textbook for the seventh class) (Kharkov, 1936), 121 pp.; Moyshe lang, pyese in 4 aktn (Moyshe Lang, a play in four acts), published in the anthology Sovetishe literatur (Soviet literature) (Kiev, August 1939); Mayses, vitsn un shpitslekh fun hershl ostropolyer (Tales, jokes, and pranks of Hershl Ostropolyer), as retold by Holdes with a critical biographical preface (Kiev, 1941), 199 pp. His work was included in: Almanakh, fun yidishe sovetishe shrayber tsum alfarbandishn shrayber-tsuzamenfor (Almanac, from Soviet Jewish writers to the all-Soviet conference of writers) (Kharkov, 1934). He translated: Anton Chekhov’s Shlofn vilt zikh (Let me sleep; Sleepy [original: Spat’ khochetsya]) (Kharkov, 1935), 31 pp.; and Maxim Gorky’s Danko, a maysele (Dank, a short story) (Kharkov, 1935), 14 pp. He prepared for publication Sholem Aleykhem’s Blondzhende shtern (Wandering stars), with a literary critical preface, background history, and selection of variants (Kiev, 1936). In 1947 his play Andere mentshn (Other people) was performed in Kharkov. After WWII he lived in Kiev. He was arrested in 1948 and deported by the Stalinist government to a camp deep in Russia. He survived, was rehabilitated, and was subsequently living in Kiev. He died in Kharkov.
Sources: A. Kushnirov, in Naye prese (Paris) (July 27, 1945); Eynikeyt (Moscow) (April 2, 1946; December 23, 1947); N. Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher shrayber in sovetnfarband (Jewish creation and the Yiddish writer in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), see index.
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 206.]