Wednesday 27 April 2016


            He was born in Kalish, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school and later in a middle school in Russia.  His literary activities began in 1920 in Hebrew in the Hebrew-German journal Menora (Menorah) in Vienna.  Thereafter, he published and edited—in Warsaw—the Hebrew-language journals Had hanoar (The echo of youth) and Alim (Pages), was co-editor of Hayom (Today), served as editorial secretary of Hatsfira (The siren), together with Y. Vayngartn edited the children’s newspaper Iton katan (Little newspaper), and together with Y. A. Handelzolts edited Itoni (My newspaper).  He later switched to Yiddish and Polish, wrote articles, critical treatises, and stories in: Moment (Moment), Haynt (Today), Ekspres (Express), Radyo (Radio), Nayes (News), Chwila (Moment), Nowy Dziennik (New daily), Nasz przegląd (Our review), Nowy głos (Our voice), Opinia (Opinion), and Wiadomości literackie (Literary news), among others, in Warsaw.  He also placed pieces in Hebrew-language newspapers in other countries, such as: Haolam (The world), Haarets (The land), Hadoar (The mail), and Davar (Word).  His books would include: Beli emuna (Without faith), short stories (Warsaw, 1927/1928), 143 pp.; Orot meofel (Light from darkness), a novel of Jewish life in Poland (Warsaw, 1930), 188 pp.; Afilot (Late ripeners), sketches (Warsaw, 1935), 124 pp.  In Yiddish he published Poyln (Poland), an anthology of Polish prose (subsidized by the Polish government).  He was also a contributor to the encyclopedia Masada (in German), Entsiklopediya kelalit (General encyclopedia), and Tsienistisher leksikon (Zionist handbook).  He also served as secretary of the Hebrew Pen Club and a member of the executive of the Hebrew literary association of Warsaw.
            In the Warsaw Ghetto he was assistant to the sad and eminent Avrom Gantsvaykh in “Draytsntl” (Thirteenth), “an office to combat usury and speculation,” exposing information for the Gestapo, founded in December 1940 and liquidated in July 1941; they were Draytsntl because their office was located at 13 Leszno Street.  He was Gantsvaykh’s press chief, and he directed loudspeaker propaganda among Jewish writers and artists in the ghetto concerning “great cultural perspectives” that the Draytsntl, under Gantsvaykh’s direction, opened up for Jewish intellectuals in the ghetto.  His propaganda worked for many Jewish writers, but the majority of them soon washed their hands of him.  Only a few remained with him until the end.  Varshavyak also wrote for Gazeta Żydowska (Jewish gazette), “organ of the Jewish council,” for which “no respectable journalist would ever write” (according to Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum, Notitsn fun varshever geto [Notices from the Warsaw Ghetto]).  He wrote there, under the pen name “Varshou,” eulogies for the ghetto police and the like.  He later worked for “First Aid” under Draytsntl and “paraded about with his hat and its little stars” (Y. Turkov, Azoy iz es geven [That’s how it was]).  No one knows what happened to him in 1942 or 1943.  Writers who knew him believe that he was shot in 1942.  In any event, he did not participate in the Ghetto Uprising.

Sources: Dr. R. Feldshuh, Yidisher gezelshaftlekher leksikon (Jewish communal handbook) (Warsaw, 1939), pp. 896-97 (with a bibliography); D. Tsharni (Daniel Charney), in Tsukunft (New York) (January 1943); Yanos Turkov, Azoy iz es geven (That’s how it was) (Buenos Aires, 1948), pp. 92, 155, 162, 166, 168, 246; Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum, Notitsn fun varshever geto (Notices from the Warsaw Ghetto) (Warsaw, 1952), pp. 84, 200; B. Mark, Umgekumene shrayber fun di getos un lagern (Murdered writers from the ghettos and camps) (Warsaw, 1954), pp. 40-44; M. Flakser, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), p. 379.

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