SHEBSL VAYTSNFELD (1896-1981)
An author on current events, he was born in Vilna, into a family of a compositor. He studied in a Jewish workers’ evening school in Vilna and worked in the office of a paper company. For his participation in the labor movement, he was arrested on several occasions and thrown in jail. In 1921 he left for the Soviet Union. In 1925 he graduated from Moscow’s Communist University of National Minorities of the West, and then was living in Kharkov and working in the head office of the Yevsektsye (Jewish division) of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine, while also taking up journalism. From 1926 he was editor of the newspaper Der yidisher poyer (The Jewish farmer) and later of Dos sotsyalistishe dorf (The socialist village). He also published articles in Emes (Truth) and Der shtern (The star). He fought at the front during WWII, and after demobilization settled in Moscow, publishing jottings, historical treatments, and memoirs in the Moscow journal Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland).
He wrote several books dedicated to the collectivization of the Jewish village and about cultural work in Jewish regions: e.g., Der dorfrat un di durkhoysike kolektivizatsye (The village council and thorough collectivization) (Moscow-Minsk: Central Publ., 1920), 20 pp.
Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 245; additional information from: Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 140-41.