YEHOSHUA (SHIKE) DRIZ (March 29, 1908-February 14, 1971)He was born to a poor household in Krosno, Ukraine. He received a Jewish education, graduating from a Ukrainian school and a teachers’ institute. He volunteered to serve in the Red Army and acquired the rank of a first lieutenant in the Soviet border guard. Over the years 1939-1941, he served in the border towns of Galicia: Drohobych, Przemysl, and elsewhere (the Russo-German border at the time after the partition of Poland). He offered assistance to many Jewish refugees who were escaping the Nazis, as well as to the local Jewish population which suffered terribly under the Communist regime. He frequently visited Lemberg and sought to befriend the Jews. In the army he was editor of the wall newspaper. He was also known as a composer of children’s poetry. His work appeared in Soviet Yiddish publications. Among his books: Likhtike vor (Illustrious life), poems (Kharkov-Kiev, 1930), 126 pp.; Shtolener koyekh, lider 1930-1933 (Steel strength, poems 1930-1933) (Kharkov, 1934), 152 pp.; Di ferte strune (The fourth string) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1969), 222 pp. He work was also included in: Lider vegn stalinen (Poems about Stalin) (Kiev, 1937). Several films were made in Moscow from his works. He was living in Moscow where he died.
Sources: Y. Fefer, in Farmest (Kharkov) (October 1934); M. Dubilet, in Shtern (Kharkov) 127 (1934); G. Kenig, in Morgn frayhayt (New York) (October 21, 1956); Morgn frayhayt (May 29, 1957).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 203.]