Sunday 20 March 2016


YEKHIEL HIRSHHOYT (JULIEN HIRSHAUT) (September 2, 1908-March 20, 1983)
            He was born in Drohobych, eastern Galicia.  He received his baccalaureate degree there and went on to graduate from Lemberg University with a Masters degree in law and political economy.  He also graduated from the Hebrew pedagogical institute in Lemberg.  He was thereafter a leading figure for Zionism in eastern Galicia and began to write articles on Zionist issues.  He experienced the Nazi occupation in Poland, where he stayed for a short time after the liberation.  In 1946 he emigrated to France and in January 1951 he arrived in the United States.  He began writing in 1929 in the Polish monthly magazine Naród (People), and he went on to write in Polish and Yiddish, publishing until WWII in such serials as: Der emes (The truth) in Warsaw; Der nayer veg (The new way) in Paris (later, in London); Der kamf (The struggle) in Lemberg; and Die neue Welt (The new world) in German in Vienna.  He also wrote correspondence pieces for the daily newspapers: Chwila (Moment) in Polish in Lemberg; and Haynt (Today) in Warsaw.  He was a co-creator of the postwar Yiddish press in Poland, founder and editor of the weekly newspaper Ichud (Unity) in Lodz in 1945, and member of the editorial board of the Jewish press agency in Lodz.  In 1946 when he was already in Paris, for a short time he edited Di tsienistishe shtime (The Zionist voice), the collections Videroyfboy (Reconstruction) which was published by the association of Polish Jews in France (1946-1947), and Unzer veg (Our way) which he administered until the beginning of 1951.  He published as well in Kiem (Existence) in Paris several series of essays: 1948-1949, on issues involving the Warsaw Ghetto uprising; April 1950, about Holocaust literature by Germans; 1950-1951, on Poles and Jews.  In America he published in: Amerikaner (American), 1951-1952; Tsukunft (Future); Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO), 1954, and others venues as well—in New York.  Among his books: Fintstere nekht in pavyak (Dark nights in Pawiak [Prison]) (Buenos Aires: Central Association of Polish Jews in Argentina, 1948), 250 pp.; Yidishe naft-magnatn (Jewish oil magnates) (Buenos Aires: Central Association of Polish Jews in Argentina, 1954), 390 pp.; Der nign fun nekhtn (The melody of yesterday) (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1978), 254 pp.; In gang fun der geshikhte, monografyes un eseyen (Over the course of history, monographs and essays) (Tel Aviv: Veltrat far yidish, 1984), 335 pp.  He also wrote the monograph, “D″r y. shiper, zayn lebn un shafn” (Dr. Y. Shiper, his life and work) in Fun noentn over (From the recent past) 1 (New York: Jewish World Congress, 1955), pp. 185-264; and “Meyer balaban” (Mayer Balaban), Fun noentn over 4 (1959), pp. 3-122.  In 1982 he published serially in Forverts (Forward) the novel, Der ritmayster (The horse captain).  His Fintstere nekht in pavyak appeared in English translation in 1983 (New York).  He was last living in New York, where he died.

Sources: A. L. Shusheym, in Yidishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (September 7, 1948); L. Rokhman, in Unzer veg (Paris) (December 31, 1948); Y. Yanasovitsh, in Tsienistishe shtime (Paris) (August 26, 1949); Liberman, in Unzer veg (Februatry 17, 1951); A. Glantz-Leyeles, in Tog (New York) (April 29, 1951); Der amerikaner (New York) (December 14, 1951), p. 24; Y. Granatshteyn, in Shearim (Jerusalem) (Kislev [= November-December] 1952); Dr. P. Friedman, Martyrs and Patriots: The Epic of the Warsaw Ghetto (New York, 1954), pp. 301-7; D. Naymark, in Forverts (New York) (February 20, 1955); Y. Leshtsinski, in Tsukunft (New York) (January 1956); Kh. L. Fuks, in Unzer stime (Paris) (July 12-13, 1956).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 220.]

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