Monday 28 March 2016


YOYSEF HERNHUT (1913-late 1941)
            He was born in Lublin, Poland, into a well-to-do family.  Until age ten he studied in a religious elementary school.  In 1929 he graduated from the Y. L. Perets School.  For a short time he was (1930) a student in the Vilna Jewish senior high school, but on account of his ill health he had to leave Vilna and return to Lublin.  From his youth he was active as a leader, initially in the socialist children’s union “SKIF,” later in the socialist youth organization “Tsukunft” (Future) in Lublin, where he was also cofounder of the Jewish teacher course and a leader in educational and cultural work of the Bund.  Over the years 1931-1939, he was secretary of the Medem Library.  He began writing as early as his high school years in the Vilna Yiddish press under the pseudonym “Yosipon,” and he was later a regular contributor to the Bundist weekly Unzer shtime (Our voice) in Lublin, in which he published poems, articles, and feature pieces.  He also wrote for: Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm) and Kleyne folks-tsaytung (Little people’s newspaper) in Warsaw; and for the Vilna YIVO publication Yidish far ale (Yiddish for everyone), edited by Noyekh Prylucki, in which he published the linguistic studies: “Flign-shvemlekh” (Flies-mushrooms) 1 (1938), pp. 118-20; “Lubliner gasn” (Lublin streets) 1 (1938), pp. 155-56.  He published in book form: In undzere teg, a zamlung lider (In our days, a collection of poetry) (Lublin: Rekord, 1934), 34 pp., with a woodcut cover by Rivke Berger (murdered by the Nazis); Tsvey folks-mayses (Two folktales) (Warsaw, 1939), 16 pp.  When the Germans took Lublin, Hernhut escaped into western Ukraine, near Volodymyr-Volynsky, where he worked as a teacher in the local Jewish school.  During the German invasion of Russia in 1941, he was in Kemenits, Volhynia, and there he was killed by the Nazis.

Sources: Yivo-biblyografye (YIVO bibliography), part 1, 1925-1941 (New York, 1943); Dos bukh fun Lublin (The book from Lublin) (Paris, 1952), p. 268; Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (October 5, 1956); L. Lerer, entry on Lublin, in Entsiklopediya shel galuyot (Encyclopedia of the Diaspora) (Jerusalem, 1957), pp. 462-63; Run, in Entsiklopediya shel galuyot, p. 588; information from Khayim Nisenboym, Montreal, Canada.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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