Sunday 17 April 2016


YOYSEF VOLF (JOSEF, JOSEPH WULF) (December 22, 1922-October 10, 1974)
            He was born in Chemnitz, Germany.  At age thirteen he studied in the Czortków shtibl (small synagogue) in Cracow, and later he was living in Israel.  At age nineteen he graduated from high school in Tarnopol, and until 1934 he studied philosophy in the Universities of Nancy and Paris, France.  In 1934 he returned to Cracow.  Over the years 1941-1943, under the Nazis, he was a member of the Jewish Fighting Organization against the Germans in Cracow, was arrested by the Germans who at first held him in custody in the Cracow Gestapo’s Montelupich Prison, before deporting him to Auschwitz, where he remained from April 1943 until January 1945.  After liberation he was—1945-1947—a contributor to the Central Jewish Historical Commission in Warsaw.  For political reasons in 1947, he left Poland, traveled across, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland before reaching Paris, where over the years 1948-1951 he was active in Centre d’Etudes de l’Histoire des Juifs Polonais in France.  He was a delegate in 1948 to the World Jewish Culture Congress in New York.  He began writing with an article on H. G. Wells in Radomer shtime (Voice of Radom) in 1938.  He later published feature pieces and managed regular departments in the Parisian daily Unzer shtime (Our voice) and Unzer vort (Our word).  He published longer works in Kiem (Existence) in Paris, as well as Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter) and Tsukunft (Future) in New York.  He co-edited Problemen (Issues), the publication of his research center in Paris.  Among his books: Kritishe minyaturn (Critical miniatures) (Warsaw-Cracow, 1939), 138 pp.; Leyendik peretsn (Reading Perets) (Buenos Aires, 1948), 99 pp.  In German (as Josef Wulf) with Léon Poliakov, he brought a three-volume edition of documents and writings on the Hitler era: Das Dritte Reich und die Juden (The Third Reich and the Jews) (Berlin, 1955), 457 pp.; Das Dritte Reich und seine Diener (The Third Reich and its servant) (Berlin, 1956), 540 pp.; Das Dritte Reisch und seine Denker (The Third Reich and its thinkers) (Berlin, 1959), 572 pp.  He published some twenty books all told in German, virtually all research work on the Holocaust in Europe.  He was said to have published a book in Cracow entitled Psikhishe portretn (Psychic portraits) which had not been seen.  Among his pen names: V. Yoselevitsh, Y. Falik, Y. Ber, Sh. Shpiro, and Y. Emdn.  He committed suicide in Berlin.

Sources: Sh. Katsherginski, in Arbeter-vort (Paris) (August 1, 1947); Dr. H. Zaydman, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (October 14, 1948); Sh. D. Zinger, in Forverts (New York) (October 31, 1948); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (May 22, 1949); Y. Shmulevitsh, in Forverts (April 17, 1950); Y. Leshtshinski, in Forverts (July 26, 1956); D. Naymark, in  Forverts (March 10, 1957).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 229-30.]

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