Friday 25 March 2016


NOTE HELFER (NOTE MANGER) (August 10, 1903-1942)
            He was born in Czernowitz, Bukovina.  A journeyman tailor from age twelve, he never stopped studying and continued reading a great deal, primarily poetry.  After the world war, he lived for a time in Paris, where he acquired a solid knowledge of the French language and literature.  In 1934 he published (together with Khayim Giniger, Hersh Segal, and Itsik Shvarts) an anthology of modern Yiddish poetry in Romanized transcription, entitled Naje jidise Dichtung (New Yiddish poetry) (Czernowitz, 1934), 96 pp.  He exercised a significant influence on his older brother, the famed poet Itsik Manger, and in many regards he was Manger’s literary mentor.  With the Nazi invasion of Romania, he was saved in the first years of WWII by escaping to Soviet Russia.  Forlorn, exhausted, and hungry, Helfer died in distant Samarkand.

Sources: Dr. Max Weinreich, in Yivo-bleter (Vilna) 7 (1934), pp. 268-71; A. M. Kyever, in Oyfgang (Sighet-Marmației) (July 1934); Shloyme Bikl, Eseyen fun yidishn troyer (Essays of Jewish sorrow) (New York, 1948), pp. 219-22.

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