Friday 22 January 2016


YERAKHMIEL BRIKS (RACHMIL BRYKS) (April 12, 1912-October 2, 1974)
            He was born in Skarzhisk (Skarżysko-Kamienna), Poland.  He received a traditional Jewish education.  As a youth he moved to Lodz, did a variety of different types of work, and acted in the Yiddish theater studio.  He survived the Lodz ghetto and Auschwitz.  From mid-1945 he was living in Sweden and in 1949 moved to New York.  He began by writing poetry, later switching primarily to prose.  He debuted in print with a poem in Inzl (Island) in Lodz.  After the war he published in an array of serials in the Yiddish world press: Tog (Day), Forverts (Forward), Zamlungen (Anthologies), Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), Amerikaner (American), and Unzer tsayt (Our time)—in New York; Lebns-fragn (Life issues), Nayvelt (New world), and Letste nayes (Latest news)—in Tel Aviv; Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) and Idishe zhurnal (Jewish journal) in Canada; Dorem-afrike (South Africa) and Afrikaner idishe tsaytung (African Jewish newspaper) in Johannesburg; Unzer veg (Our way), and Naye prese (New press) in Paris; and Der veg (The way) in Mexico City, among others.  Among his books: Yung grin may (Young, green May), poetry (Lodz, 1939), 46 pp.; Af kidesh hashem un andere dertseylungen (For the sanctification of God’s name and others stories)—including his story “A kats in geto” (A cat in the ghetto)—(New York: Bukh-komitet, 1952), 144 pp., new editions (1953, 1954, 1956), translated into Hebrew as Al kidush hashem, sipurim (For the sanctification of God’s name, stories) by Elchanan Indelman (New York, 1970), 176 pp.; Der “keyser” in geto, novele (The “emperor” of the ghetto, a novel) (New York: Bukh-komitet, 1961), 247 pp., second edition (1963); Geto fabrik 76, poeme (Ghetto factory 76, a poem) (New York: Blokh, 1967), 55, 56 pp.—in Yiddish and English; Di papirene kroyn, novele (The paper crown, a novel), part two of Der “keyser” in geto (New York: Blokh, 1969), 199 pp.; Di vos zaynen nisht geblibn, dertseylungen (Those who did not make it, stories) (New York-Tel Aviv: Bukh-komitet, 1972), 133 pp.; Di antloyfers, fun gsise tsum lebn, memuarn fun getos un katsetn (Those who escaped, from the agony of death to life, memoirs of ghettos and concentration camps) (New York, 1975), 272 pp.  Translations of his work include: A Cat in the Ghetto, trans. S. Morris Engel (New York, 1959); Ḥatul bageto (Cate in the ghetto), trans. Elchanan Indelman (New York, 1966)—these include as well translations of Af kidesh hashem.  A full series of translations of individual stories by Briks have been rendered into various languages.  He died in New York.

Sources: L. M. Petshenik, in Mazovsher vokhnblat (Łowicz) (July 1939); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (March 5, 1950); A. Leyeles, in Tog (August 19, 1950); Der Lebediker (Khayim Gutman), in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (December 17, 1950); N. Sverdlin, in Tog (May 4, 1951); Y. Varshavski (Y. Bashevis), in Forverts (New York) (March 9, 1952); M. Osherovitsh, in Forverts (December 21, 1952); Z. Vaynper, in Yidishe kultur (New York) (January 1953); M. Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (February 2, 1953); B. Frenkel, in Unzer shtime (Paris) (February 3, 1953); Avrom Reyzen, in Keneder odler (February 16, 1953); B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog (February 21, 1953); Kh. Sh. Kazdan, in Unzer tsayt (New York) (April 1953); Y. Rapoport, in Fraye arbeter shtime (New York) (April 10, 1953); Y. Bashevis, in Forverts (October 18, 1953); Volf Yasni, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (December 11, 1953); M. Yafe, in Haboker (Tel Aviv) (October 14, 1955); M. Astur, in Frayland (Paris) (March 1959); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Tog morgn zhurnal (New York) (January 28, 1962); Lili Berger, in Yidishe shriftn (Warsaw) (December 1962); Avrom Shulman, Unzer shtime (January 8, 1963); B. Grin, in Morgn frayhayt (New York) (April 12, 1963); Y. Kalman, in Naye prese (Paris) (June 9, 1968); N. Blumental, in Yidishe kultur (January 1969); D. Volpe, in Dorem afrike (Johannesburg) (April 1969); A. Baraban, in Yidishe tsaytung (Tel Aviv) (March 13, 1970); Kh. L. Fuks, Lodzh shel mayle, dos yidishe gaystike un derhoybene lodzh (Lodz on high, the Jewish spiritual and elevated Lodz) (Tel Aviv, 1972), see index; Y. A. Rontsh, in Morgn frayhayt (December 5, 1972); Y. Shpigl, in Yisroel shtime (Tel Aviv) (January 1, 1975).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 120-21.

1 comment:

  1. I have a dedicated copy of For The Sanctification of God's Name and Other Stories signed and dedicated by the author in 1953. The book was published in NY in 1952. Both the dedication and the book are in Yiddish.