KHAYIM DUSHATSKI (1909-1943)
He was a poet whose biographical information remains largely unknown. According to his writings, which he published over the late 1920s and early 1930s, it would appear that he was connected to agriculture, worked in a collective farm as a shepherd and tractor driver, and loved the peasant’s labors. He was drafted into the military before he could complete his education, and his army service coincided with the start of WWII. He composed his last poems in his barracks: “If there will be a day when the gunpowder starts screaming, / My Red Army is preparing a fighting hand…” He fell in one of the war’s battlefields in 1943.
His works include: Korntsvit, lider, 1930-1933 (Rye blossom, poetry, 1930-1933) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1934), 72 pp.; and the poetry cycle “Ikh fir mayn harts” (I lead my heart), in Lire (Lyre) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1985), pp. 116-35. His work was also included in: Litkomyug, a komyugisher zamlbukh: proze, poezye un kritik (Literary Communist youth: a Communist youth anthology of prose, poetry, and criticism) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1933).
Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 194-95; additional information from Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 99-100.