Wednesday 13 April 2016


FROYM-YOYSEF VALDMAN (1893-summer 1917)
            He was born in Jassy, Romania.  He studied philosophy at the local university; at the same time, he was active in the field of Yiddish literature and language.  He began writing in his early youth.  He wrote sketches and stories in the distinctive Moldavian Yiddish, later switching current events pieces and criticism.  He was a cofounder (with Y. Botoshanski, Y. Groper, M. Rabinovits, and Matesl Fridman) of the first serious Yiddish literary quarterly for literature and culture—Likht (Light), of which four issues appeared, Jassy, December 1914-September 1915, with drawings by the Romanian Jewish artists R. Zelikovitsh, Y. Glantsenshteyn, and R. Rozenfeld.  According to Y. Botoshanski, Valdman was in charge of the section in the journal entitled “Signifying a revolution in the Yiddish word in Romania” and of literary criticism.  He also contributed to Botoshanski’s biweekly magazine Der hamer (The hammer) in Brăila (1916), and in the anthology Kadime (Onward), among others.  He translated into Romanian stories by Mendele, Sholem-Aleykhem, and Perets, and using the pen name “Efrati” published them—as well as articles on Yiddish literature—in the such Romanian-language Jewish periodicals as Hatikvah and Kadimah.  According to P. Almoni’s Epoca “Licht”: Istoria unei epoci de luminä in trecutul evreilor din Romänia (The era of Likht: An era of lights in the Jewish history of Romania), he planned to establish a publishing house for the translation of fictional works from Yiddish into Romanian, but with the outbreak of WWI this was never realized.  In 1916 he was mobilized into the Romanian army and fell at the front in a battle in the Carpathians.  He also published under such pen names as: Dovid Yoysef, V. M. and Froym.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Y. Botoshanski, in Mame yidish (Mother Yiddish) (Buenos Aires) (1949), see index; Dr. Shloyme Bikl, in Shmuel Niger bukh (Volume for Shmuel Niger) (New York: YIVO, 1958), pp. 79, 83, 84.
Borekh Tshubinski

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