Thursday 11 August 2016


DOVID ZITMAN (August 17, 1898-January 26, 1923)
            He was born in Czeladź, near Będzin, Poland, into a well-off family.  He studied in religious primary school, but at thirteen years of age he was compelled to go to work because of the death of his father.  In 1912 he went to Lodz where he worked with a goldsmith, was an employee in a business and a private tutor of Hebrew, and also engaged in business himself.  Over the years 1919-1922, he worked as a teacher in the “kindergarten” of Yitskhok Katsenelson in Lodz.  He possessed dramatic talents and helped with the staging of children’s performances in the school.  In 1913 he published in Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper) a poem and later contributed poems and short essays to: Lodzer tagebat, Folks-blat (People’s newspaper), Gezangen (Songs), Yung-idish (Young Yiddish), Idisher zhurnalist (Jewish journalist), Vegn (Ways), Shveln (Thresholds), Oyfgang (Arise), S’feld (The field), and other literary publications in Lodz.  Using the pen name “Dovid Zun,” he published poems in D. Ignatov’s collection Shriftn (Writings) 7 (1920) in New York.  In book form he brought a collection of modernist poetry: Af vaytkeytn krayznde fal ikh (I stumble on distant gyrations), lithographed with composition by Ida Broyner (Lodz: Akhrid, 1921), 12 pp.  Suffering from hunger and want, in early 1922 he became seriously ill, checked into various hospitals, and died all alone in a hospital in Breslau, Germany.  In issue no. 5 of S’feld (Lodz, 1923), which was dedicated to his memory, were published his “Shpitol-lider” (Hospital poems).  A small portion of his literary bequest was published in the anthology Yung-zaglembye (Young Zagłębie) (Będzin, 1932).

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1 (with a bibliography); Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957).

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