Sunday 17 April 2016


DOVID-ELEMEYLEKH VOLPE (DAVID E. WOLPE) (September 7, 1908-2006)
            He was born in Kaidan (Kėdainiai), Lithuania.  He was poet and literary essayist.  He studied in religious primary school, Hebrew public school, and a Tarbut high school.  In 1930 he made aliya to Israel.  In 1937 he returned to Lithuania, where he survived the Slobodka ghetto and later the Dachau Concentration Camp.  From 1945 he was living with other Holocaust survivors in Munich, and in 1951 he moved to South Africa where he was active in Jewish cultural work.  He wrote poetry, stories, current events pieces, and literary critical articles in Munich’s Unzer veg (Our way), Dos vort (The word), Yidishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper), Bafrayung (Liberation), Unzer velt (Our world), and Fun letstn khurbn (From the recent destruction); Goldene keyt (Golden chain) in Tel Aviv; and Afrikaner idishe tsaytung (African Jewish newspaper) in Johannesburg.  Over the years 1955-1970, he edited Dorem-afrike (South Africa) and in it published numerous articles, poems, and stories.  He wrote also in Hebrew.  Among his books: A volkn un a veg, lider un poemes oyfkleyb (A cloud and a way, poetry collection) (Johannesburg: Kayor, 1978), 450 pp.; A vort in a tsayt (A word in a time) (Johannesburg: Kayor, 1984), 450 and VIII pp.; Mit avrom sutskever iber zayn lidervelt, monografye (With Avraham Sutskever through the world of his poetry, a monograph) (Johannesburg: Kayor, 1985), 240 pp.  Among his pen names: D. E., Dov, D. Elemeylekh, D. Hapolet, Sh. Berliner, Shulik, Men-Moyshe, D. Vol, and Razili.  On far few occasions he used as a first name: Hapeylat.

Sources: L. Gudman, in Afrikaner yidishe tsaytung (Johannesburg) (October 9, 1978; October 18, 1978); Sh. Izban, in Unzer vort (Paris) (January 5, 1980); Sh. Kants, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (May 2, 1980); Y. Okrutni, in Yisroel shtime (Tel Aviv) (July 14, 1981; July 28, 1981); H. Osherovitsh, in Goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 100 (1982); S. Rappaport, in South African Jewish Times (Johannesburg) (September 27, 1978); S. B. Ludman, in The Citizen (Johannesburg) (November 25, 1978); A. Knox, in The Star (July 24, 1979).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 228-29.


  1. Hi, I am David's granddaughter. I am delighted to find someone writing on my Zeida. Please can you send me contact details. Thank you' Gila

    1. Gila, I translated several of Dovid Wolpe's stories about Keidan, and met him in Johannesburg 2 weeks before his passing in 2006. If you have any of his other works translated I would be interested to see them. Check out the translations here:

  2. This is a translation, part of a massive biographical dictionary.
    Best wishes