Tuesday 9 February 2016


LEYB HANDELMAN (1864-January 1944)
            He hailed from Ukraine, and he lived in Kiev, Odessa, and Minsk, where he received his Jewish and general education.  He was a Zionist activist among student youth, later becoming a businessman and manufacturer.  He was employed during WWI in Irkutsk.  After the Bolshevik Revolution, he left for Poland, became impoverished, and moved from there to South America.  From the end of 1942 until his death, he was living in New York.  He began his literary activities with articles on Jewish and general themes in the liberal Russian press and in the Russian Jewish Voskhod (Sunrise).  He debuted in print in Yiddish with his book Shtrikhn un problemen fun natsyonaln kharakter, batrakhtungen un oysfirungen (Traits and problems of national character, considerations and performance), vol. 1 (Warsaw: Akhisefer, 1927), 227 pp., which appeared in three printings, the last in 1931.  His second book, Problemen un shtrikhn fun gaystikn kharakter, populere shmuesn vegn ernste inyonim (Problems and traits of spiritual character, popular chats on serious matters), eighteen essays (New York: 1943), 229 pp., with a preface by the author in which he explains his philosophy of life and says that, although he is an octogenarian, he nonetheless still suffers from an inner conflict between religion and free thinking.  He was also the author of a book in Russian: Voprosy sovremennaya zhizni (Problems of contemporary life) (Kiev, 1914), 180 pp.  He died all alone in New York.

Sources: Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (February 20, 1931); Tsukunft (New York) (January 1944); oral information from Sh. Shulzinger in New York.
Khaim Leyb Fuks

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