Monday 20 June 2016


VOLF VEVYORKE (1896-January 18, 1945)
            The younger brother of Avrom Vevyorke, he was born in Zhirardov (Żyrardów), Poland.  He studied in religious primary schools and synagogue study hall, and secular subjects with private tutors and self-study.  After WWI he moved to Germany, lived for a time in Berlin, and became acquainted with immigrant Jewish writers who had lived there since the Russian Revolution.  In 1924 he moved on to Paris, ran an inexpensive restaurant for students in the Latin Quarter, a place which later became a meeting point for Jewish writers and men of literature.  Using the pen name Ish Khosid (Hassidic man), he debuted in print around 1920 with a story.  In 1925 he published and edited Nest (Nest), “a magazine for the artistic use of words,” in Paris (one issue appeared, 16 pp.).  He published stories, Hassidic tales, and articles in: Parizer bleter (Parisian leaves), a weekly and later a daily (published between September 1924 and October 1926); Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Warsaw; Forverts (Forward) in New York; and Di prese (The press) in Buenos Aires.  He served for a time as Parisian correspondent for the last two of these, also sometimes using the pen name Y. Feldman.  In 1932 he was a regular contributor to the Parisian daily Der tog (The day), edited by Noyekh Prilucki.  Together with Sh. L. Shnayderman and Shloyme Rozenberg, 1933-1934, he edited Parizer vokhnblat (Parisian weekly newspaper).  In 1937 he became a regular contributor to the daily Parizer haynt (Paris today), at which he later served as literary editor.  He held this position until the final issue (June 10, 1940), when the Germans reached Paris.  His books include: Mizrekh un mayrev (East and west), collected writings, vol. 1 (Paris, 1936), 190 pp.; Bodnloze mentshn (People without land), collected writings, vol. 2 (Paris, 1937), 190 pp.  In these two volumes, he included his stories of Parisian Jewish life between the two world wars, in which he depicts the “nice young people” come from Warsaw, the boors working their way up, youngsters with revolutionary ideas who went to Spain to sacrifice their young lives for the goal of fighting fascism, types of intellectuals and artists from Montmartre and Montparnasse, the squares and Belleville in Paris.
            In June 1940, as the Nazis approached Paris, Vevyorke, just like others, left on foot in the direction of the south of France, lived for a short while in Montauban, near Toulouse, then left there for Nice, and made strenuous efforts to escape to the United States, but was unsuccessful in this.  During the Italian occupation of Nice, he and the writers Khil Aronson, Zaynvl Diamant, Y. Kh. Klinger, and Simkhe Shvarts contributed in the cultural realm with the local relief committee for Jewish refugees, and Vevyorke in particular befriended and assisted his writer colleagues who reached that far.  In 1943, after the Germans took possession of the southern zone from France, he was taken from his place of hiding and deported to Germany.  According to testimony given by the young poet from Lodz, Avrom-Pinkhes Tsikert, in 1944 Vevyorke was in Auschwitz and worked in “Canada,” as the internees called the area where all new arrivals were told to leave their belongings.[1]  According to another piece of testimony, he was murdered in Birkenau on January 18, 1945.  His wife, two daughters, and sons-in-law were also deported to their deaths.  A collection of some of his published articles may be found at YIVO.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1, col. 989 (under the entry for Avrom Vevyorke); Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO), vol. 1 (Warsaw, 1928), pp. 7273-76, 8509-13; B. Shlevin, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (September 4, 1936); Shlevin, in notices in Literarishe bleter (April 3 and September 18, 1936); Z. Shaykovski, Yidn in frankraykh (Jews in France), vol. 1 (New York: YIVO, 1942), pp. 263-64; D. Tsharni (Charney), in Tsukunft (New York) (January 1943); A. Vayts, in Yizker bukh, tsum ondenk fun 14 umgekumene parizer yidishe shrayber (Remembrance book, to the memory of fourteen murdered Parisian Jewish writers) (Paris, 1946), pp. 120-23; M. Shulshteyn, in Yizker bukh, tsum ondenk fun 14 umgekumene parizer yidishe shrayber, p. 21; A. P. Tsikert, in Loshn un lebn (London) (April 1946); Idisher kemfer (New York) (August 29, 1947); Z. Diamant, in Haiton hademokrati (Tel Aviv) (October 26, 1946); Diamant, in Fun noentn over (New York) 4 (1959); H. Fentser, in Unzer shtime (Paris), jubilee issue (November 20, 1955) and subsequent issues; Y. Papyernikov, Heymishe un noente (Familiar and close) (Tel Aviv, 1958), pp. 233-34.
Zaynvl Diamant

[1] Canada was seen as a land of abundance, and this section of Auschwitz-Birkenau was a storage site for the belongings. (JAF)

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