Thursday 29 September 2016


LEON TALMI (LEYZER TALMINOVITSKI) (January/February 1893-August 12, 1952)

            He was a current events author and translator, born in the town of Lyakhavichy, Byelorussia, into a family of merchants. He studied in religious primary school, later attending the local senior high school. He early on joined the territorialist movement and later joined the Zionist Socialist Party. Around 1912 he moved with his parents to the United States, lived for a time in a provincial city in the state of Ohio, and then settled in New York where he became (1916) secretary of the territorialist newspaper Unzer vort (Our word). From that time forward, he remained connected to the journalistic world. After the February Revolution (1917), he departed for Russia, where he worked for the Kiev-based Naye tsayt (New times), the daily organ of the “Fareynikte” (United socialist party), and survived all the metamorphoses of the Fareynikte until its merger with the Russian Communist Party, when he became a Communist. In 1919 he published a translation of Oscar Wilde’s Der shlekhter riz (The bad giant [original: The Selfish Giant]) (Kiev: Kiever farlag), 14 pp. In 1920 he returned to the United States. He edited the monthly Oyfboy (Construction), published (1922-1923) in New York by the American division of the Idgezkom (Idishe gezelshaftlekhe komitet, [All-Russian] Jewish Social Committee [for relief to pogrom victims]); he published in issues 3 and 10 of Oyfboy a list of 515 Yiddish books and pamphlets that were published in Russia over the years 1917-1922. He later became a regular contributor to Morgn-frayhayt (Morning freedom), the Communist newspaper in New York. He was also co-editor of the Communist monthly Der hamer (The hammer). He was one of the principal leaders in the IKOR (Yidishe kolonizatsye organizatsye in rusland [Jewish colonization organization in Russia]) movement in America; the group was founded in the U.S. in the fall of 1924. In 1929 he went with an IKOR expedition to Birobidzhan, and as a result he published a book entitled Af royer erd, mit der “ikor” ekspeditsye in biro-bidzhan (On rough terrain, with the IKOR expedition to Birobidzhan) (New York: Frayhayt, 1931), 258 pp. This was a pro-Soviet book, full of rapturous praise for the Jewish migrants’ epic. In the early 1930s, after his return to the United States, he continued his editorial activities with Communist publications, including several IKOR works in New York, and he co-edited the Ikor-yorbukh (IKOR annual) (New York, 1932). In 1934 he settled for good in the Soviet Union, withdrew from Yiddish work, and became one of the editors of English-language propaganda for the Bolshevik regime. His name appeared very seldom in Yiddish publications thereafter, and he went on to work as one of the translators and editors of propaganda publications in English. His work appeared in the anthology Birebidzhan (Birobidzhan) (Moscow, 1936).

            During the years of WWII, Talmi’s name was frequently mentioned as a member of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in Moscow. He wrote articles on the fight against fascism. His last place of work was “Sovinformbyuro” (Soviet Information Bureau). He was arrested on July 3, 1949, charged with “anti-Soviet and nationalist activities, as well as espionage on behalf of America,” and in accordance with the sentence of the military jury from the high court of the Soviet Union, he was executed on August 12, 1952, with twelve other accused of the same offenses.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; A. Pomerants, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (April 27, 1931); P. Vyernik, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (April 19, 1931); A. Glants, in Tog (New York) (May 8, 1931); V. Abrams, in Der hamer (New York) (June 1931); A. Abtshuk, Etyudn un materialn tsu der geshikhte fun der yidisher literatur bavegung in FSRR (Studies and material for the history of the Yiddish literature movement in the Soviet Union) (Kharkov, 1934), p. 25.

Borekh Tshubinski

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 276; and 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. 160-61.]


KHAYIM TOLMATSH (May 24, 1895-August 27, 1971)
            He was born in Turov (Turaŭ), Minsk district, Byelorussia.  In 1911 he moved to the United States.  From 1920 he was living in Montreal, Canada.  He debuted in print with a poem in Der veg (The way) in Detroit in 1918.  He later contributed poems, sketches, articles, and a one-act play to: Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; Kanade (Canada) 1, 2, 3 (1925); Kanader vokhnblat (Canadian weekly newspaper); Der kanader id (The Canadian Jew), 1928-1935; and other serials.  He also published under the name Rokhl Tunin.  He died in Montreal.

Sources: Zalmen reyzen-arkhiv (Zalmen Reyzen archive) (New York, YIVO); Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; Y. Rabinovitsh, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (November 1, 1959).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


MOYSHE TOLTSHIN (TOLCHIN) (January 16, 1895-June 6, 1953)
            He was born in Makarov (Makariv), Kiev district, and he was raised in Chernikhov, Volhynia.  He attended religious primary school until age thirteen, later studying Talmud, Hebrew, and Russian at home.  Until 1914 he lived in Lodz, where he worked in a textile factory, before moving to the United States and settling in Chicago.  He served as a soldier, 1917-1918, in the American army fighting in France against the Germans.  He debuted in print in 1913 with a sketch—“Der nasher” (The snacker)—in Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper).  In America he published articles, stories, children’s tales, and novels in: Tog (Day), Forverts (Forward), Di vokh (The week), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper), Di varhayt (The truth), Der firer (The leader), Idisher rekord (Jewish record), the monthly Ineynem (Altogether) in Chicago, and Di idishe velt (The Jewish world) in Philadelphia, among others.  Over the course of many years, he was a regular contributor to Shikager forverts (Chicago forward).  His books include: In shtiln geroysh, roman (Amid quiet noise, a novel) (Chicago, 1929), 214 pp.; Ayola, a novele un andere dertseylungen (Ayola, a novella and other stories) (Chicago, 1933), 207 pp.; Dem vint antkegn (Against the wind), stories (Chicago, 1940), 87 pp.; Etlikhe dertseylungen (Several stories) (Chicago, 1949), 15 pp.  He also wrote under the name: A. Vintinfeld.  He died in Chicago.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; A. Sh., in Dray (Tel Aviv) (July 1929); B. Rivkin, in Shikage (Chicago) (November-December 1933); N[egel], in Tshernovitser bleter (Czernowitz) (September 23, 1934); Y. Glants, in Der veg (Mexico City) (December 31, 1940); N. Y. Gotlib, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (January 21, 1941); obituary notice in Forverts (New York) (June 7, 1953); Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), p. 199.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


MOTL TALALAYEVSKI (1908-September 22, 1978)

            He was a poet, playwright, and prose author, born in the village of Mokhnachka, Ukraine. One can see from his first autobiographical poems that he came from an exceedingly poor home with numerous children: “Some had two, some four, and my mother eight—she had four by day and four by night.” All were boys and when WWII erupted, all went to the front to fight, among them Motl. In 1919 the family moved to Kiev, and there at eleven years of age he earned his keep by selling cigarettes and nuts on the street corners. Five years later the future poet was working in a candy factory. Only later did he receive an education in a Soviet Jewish school. Over the years 1927-1929, he studied in Kiev initially at an “Arbfak” (Workers’ faculty) and later at the Jewish Pedagogical Institute and the Yiddish division of the Literature Department of Kiev University, but he interrupted his education after the latter course of study. In 1926 he debuted in print with a poem in the Moscow magazine Yungvald (Young forest); one year later, his work appeared in a Kiev one-off publication in honor of the tenth anniversary of the October Revolution. His first poetry collection—Geslekh un gasn, lider 1926-1930 (Alleys and streets, poems, 1926-1930)—is lyrically tinged and naively sincere, mostly drawn from autobiographical episodes and feelings, but in subsequent collections he turned to conventional sloganeering poetry, a social requisite laid down by the Communist Party. Like the majority of young Soviet poets who came to literature at that time, his poems were full of enthusiasm and empty rhetoric:

The engines need resound, the walls tremble here—who’d bother, who’d interfere with this din and clamor?! No one would dare bar us, no one would fetter us, the din and clamor of the machines—this is our construction on the march!

So screams the poet in his “In tsekh” (In the shop), from the volume Komyugisher farmest (Jewish Communist youth competition). He was a member of the Kiev group of young poets and prose writers, led by Dovid Hofshteyn, and from that point on he published his poetry in the daily newspaper Shtern (Star) in Kharkov and in the journals: Prolit (Proletarian literature) in Kiev; Royte velt (Red world) and Yunger boy-klang (Young sounds of construction) in Kharkov; Shtern in Minsk; in Kiev’s Literaturna hazeta (Literary gazette) in Ukrainian; and numerous other newspapers and magazines.

He wrote and published not only in Yiddish, but in Ukrainian and Russian as well. He sobered up from this false rhetoric only later, after the severe war years and especially after the pogrom in Yiddish culture in the late 1940s. On November 15, 1951, when he was on a creative assignment in the southern Ukrainian city of Nikolayev (Mykolayiv), during a meeting with readers to whom he was reading Ukrainian poems, he was arrested. He was banished for ten years to a camp with a severe regimen—the “reason” for such a harsh sentence: In his notebook there was discovered a poem entitled “Mayn tsveyter onheyb” (My second beginning):

I have forgotten that I am a Jew,

Though not once in this life has it been mentioned to me,

Then a new poem came to me

And I swore never to forget

And released from this distinct sin, neither who, what, or where I am….

This poetic oath remains deep in my heart,

But who can say if I’ll survive the war….

And so I write down this poem in my notebook,

Confusing the color with my own blood,

Written so thickly.

            He was rehabilitated three years later, following the death of Stalin, for whom the poet sang paeans in the 1930s. Only many years later, however, did the opportunity return for him once again to publish in his mother tongue. Characteristic of this era was his poem “Far vemen shrayb ikh” (For whom do I write) which might generally be considered a justification for all Soviet Yiddish writers in those bitter years:

For whom do you write?—I was asked by a neighbor,

Who had forgotten his mother tongue….

A faint light which once burned,

Had for so long been extinguished,

As one puts out a light together with shadows on the walls….

For whom do you write? Wretched, depraved

Is your word now, what good is it for you to kindle it?

It’s like Latin—it was, no more, dead,

Your children won’t begin to understand your writing….

For whom do I write? My conscience offers up an answer for you.

Does one asks a tree for whom it is green,

Or the sun how it weaves so neatly with gold

The very least corners of our mother earth?

I write for those with whom it’s destined to speak my language,

It’s unimportant—whether their number is large or small—

In the great choir of mankind, it rings in my voice!

            He wrote not only poetry but also prose. He published several novels in Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland): Heyse hertser (Warm hearts) 11-12 (1970); Geknipt un gebundn (Closely linked) 11-12 (1974); and Yorshim (Heirs) 8-10 (1979); and a long story, Der mames bukh (Mother’s book) 3-5 (1977). When little time remained for him, he brought out his last poetry collection, In lebn farlibt (In love with life).

During WWII, he was a major in the Red Army, and he survived the road from Stalingrad to Poland, working on the editorial boards of front newspapers. He also took part in battles against the Germans and in 1945 was decorated with the “Order of the Patriotic War” and other distinctions. Soon after WWII, at a Sholem-Aleykhem celebration in Czernowitz, he chastised Russian and other Jews among the Holocaust survivors for escaping from the Soviet Union. Together with the Kharkov poet Z. Kats, he wrote two volumes of poetry in Russian, entitled [in English translation]: The Soldier and the Banner and Legend (published by the association of Soviet writers in Ukraine, “Radianski Pismenik”). Together with Hershl Polyanker and Yekhiel Falikman, he was (in 1947) a member of the organizing bureau of the revived section of Yiddish writers in the association of Soviet writers in Ukraine. In 1948 he published poems in Eynikeyt (Unity) in Moscow. He also translated from Ukrainian literature into Yiddish, and his plays were staged in the Ukrainian theater. Among his dramas in Ukrainian, there is one about Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of printing, translated by the Soviet Jewish writer M. Danyel (Daniel Meierovich).[1] He died in Kiev.

His published books include: Geslekh un gasn, lider 1926-1930  (Kharkov: Central Publ., 1930), 188 pp.; Oyfshteyg (Ascent) (Kharkov, 1932), 55 pp.; Komyugisher farmest (Kiev: Literatur un kunst, 1932), 157 pp.; Erdn kolvirtishe (Earthen collective farm) (Minsk: Byelorussian State Publishers, 1934), 94 pp.; Af der vakh (On guard), poetry (Kiev-Kharkov: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1934), 137 pp.; Fun fuln hartsn, lider (With a full heart, poems) (Kiev-Kharkov: State Literary Publishers, 1935), 165 pp.; In mayn ukraine (In my Ukraine) (Kiev, 1937); Heymland, lider (Homeland, poetry) (Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1939), 204 pp., with drawings by A. Fayershtuk; Libe (Love), poetry (Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1940), 104 pp., with a picture of the author; Vi a soldat, lider 1941-1945 (As a soldier, poems 1941-1945) (Moscow: Emes, 1946), 125 pp.; a poetry cycle in Horizontn (Horizons) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1965); In lebn farlibt, lirishe lider (In love with life, lyrical poems) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1978), 133 pp.

His work also appeared in: Shlakhtn (Battles) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1932); Komsomolye (Communist Youth) (Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1938); Heymland (Homeland) (Moscow: Emes, 1943); and Tsum zig (To victory) (Moscow: Emes, 1944). The Sholem-Aleykhem state theater in Kiev in 1947 staged his play Afn gantsn lebn (For a whole life). He also wrote a second play in 1947 entitled An ort unter der zun (A place beneath the sun), which was neither published nor produced, as well as a new book of poems entitled Lekhayim (To life).

Sources: A. Holdes, in Farmest (Kharkov) (May-June 1934); I. Druker, in Farmest (February 1936); Druker, in Sovetishe literatur (Kiev) (February 1938); N. Y. Gotlib, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (October 3, 1941); Gotlib, Sovetishe shrayber (Soviet writers) (Montreal, 1945), pp. 51-52; A. Kushnirov, in Naye prese (Paris) (July 27, 1945); Kushnirov, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (February 4, 1947); Kushnirov, in Yidishe kultur (New York) (April 1947); Y. Dobrushin, in Eynikeyt (August 9, 1945); A. Kipnis, in Eynikeyt (September 25, 1945); H. Vaynraykh, Blut af der zun (Blood on the sun) (New York, 1950), p. 21; Y. Katsenelson, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (March 11, 1956); N. Mayzil, in Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher arbeter in sovetn-farband (Jewish creation and the Jewish worker in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), see index; oral information from Y. Birnboym in New York; E. I. Simons, Through the Glass of Soviet Literature (New York, 1953), pp. 146, 148, 150.

Zaynvl Diamant

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 275; and 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), p. 158-60.]

[1] Translator’s note. A common error: Gutenberg was the inventor of printing in the West, as East Asians had printing many centuries before Gutenberg was born. (JAF)

Wednesday 28 September 2016


LEYB TALALAY (1906-Summer 1943)

            He was a poet, born in the city of Baranovich, Byelorussia. During WWI he moved with his parents to Zaverezh'ye, a village near Minsk in Mogilev district, where his parents became farmers, and he, too, established a connection with agriculture from his childhood. At that time, his first poems were born, dedicated to village life. They later occupied a major place in his first poetry anthology, Mayn snop, mayn ershtling, lider (My sheaf, my firstborn, poetry). He wrote about his brother, the healthy, broad-shouldered harvester with eyes “green as grass,” and about his grandfather who would search for wolves in the forest, and everyone had respect for his fortitude and courage. He later lived in Minsk, where he graduated from a middle school, and then completed a course of study at the Jewish Pedagogical Technicum in Vitebsk. He went on to become a teacher of Yiddish language and literature at one of the Jewish schools in Minsk. Students would often come to him from the Minsk Pedagogical Middle and Senior Schools. Destiny, though, would not allow him to only be a teacher. Over the years 1924-1926, he served in the Red Army, and military motifs became one of the principal themes of his poetry. When WWII broke out, he was called up again in June 1941 to serve in the army as an officer, and he fell at the front in 1943. His poems and stories were published after his death in Yiddish works in Russia and abroad.

            He debuted in print with a poem in Der yunger arbeter (The young worker) in Minsk (1924), and from that point on he contributed poetry and stories to: Der yunger pyoner (The young pioneer), Oktyabr (October), Shtern (Star), Atake, almanakh fun roytarmeyishn landshuts-literatur (Attack, almanac of the Red Army’s national defense literature) in 1934, and Sovetishe vaysrusland, literarishe zamlung (Soviet Byelorussia, literary collection) in 1935—in Minsk; Yungvald (Young forest), Emes (Truth), Pyoner (Pioneer), and Eynikeyt (Unity)—in Moscow; and Di royte velt (The red world) and Prolit (Proletarian literature) in Kharkov; among others.

            In book form: Mayn snop, mayn ershtling, lider (Minsk, 1932), 75 pp.; In marsh (On the march), poems (Minsk: Byelorussian State Publishers, 1940), 74 pp. His work, “Di brider fun mayrev-vaysrusland” (The brothers from western Byelorussia), appeared in Bafrayte brider, literarishe zamlung (Liberated brethren, literary anthology) (Minsk: Byelorussian State Publishers, 1939); and his poetry cycle “Di letste shlakht” (The last battle) appeared in the anthology Lire (Lyre) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1985).

Sources: L. Tsart, in Shtern (Minsk) 3 (1932); N. Levin, in Der yunger arbeter (Minsk) 104 (1932); Levin, in Oktyabr (Minsk) 263; Levin, in Shtern (November-December 1940); N. Rubinshteyn, Dos yidishe bukh in sovetn-farband in 1932 (The Yiddish book in the Soviet Union in 1932) (Minsk, 1933); N. Oyslender and Y. Dobrushin, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (May 13, 1944); A. Kushnirov, in Naye prese (Paris) (July 27, 1945); N. Mayzil, in Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher arbeter in sovetn-farband (Jewish creation and the Jewish worker in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), see index.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 275; and 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), p. 157-58.]


           He came from Kovno, Lithuania.  He was the author of Der kadish oder der gefunener zon (The mourner’s prayer, or the found son), “a highly interesting novel of Jewish life in two parts,” with primitive, moral poetry in the text and at the beginning of some chapters (Vilna, 1888), 127 pp.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


           He was born in Droye (Druja, Druya), Vilna district.  His parents brought him to Riga when he was two years of age.  At age eleven he published a correspondence piece in Halevanon (Lebanon).  Later, in 1889, he published a series of features in Hamelits (The advocate).  He published the reader Even hayeladim (The children’s Eden), later compiling More hayeladim (The children’s teacher) and More hasignon (The style teacher), among others, in which he used Judeo-German and Russian for his explanations.  In 1905 he moved to Vilna, became a regular contributor to Hazman (The time), and founded the daily newspaper for children, Haḥaver (The comrade).  Tavyov demonstrated his animosity for Yiddish at every opportunity, and in the revived Hatsfira (The siren) he wrote “Meolam lo tinafti et eti bezhargon” (I have never sullied my pen with zhargon [Yiddish]), but all of this notwithstanding, when Hazman brought a Yiddish daily Di tsayt (The time) in Vilna (1906), he published features and articles under the pseudonym “A Trakhter.”  In 1908 he returned to Riga and published his treatises and features pieces in such venues as: Hatekufa (The epoch), Hashelaḥ (The weapon), and the collection Hazman.  He edited the Hebrew-language anthology Mivḥar hasifrut (The selection of literature) (Pyotrków, 1899), 502 cols.  He was also the author of Torat hanikud (Rules of pointing) (Warsaw, 1904), 64 pp., and of Mikhtavim livne haneurim (Letters to youngsters) (New York: Hebrew Publishing Co., 1920), 102 pp.  From his philological works that were assembled in the volume Kitve y. ḥ. taviov (Writings of Y. Ḥ. Tavyov) (Berlin: Moriya, 1923), 346 pp., of interest to Yiddish philologists would be: “Al hameshalim vehapitgamim” (Concerning proverbs and sayings), “Hayesodot haivrim bezhargon” (The Hebrew foundations in Yiddish) which includes a dictionary of Hebreisms in the Yiddish language, “Hayesodot haselavim bezhargon” (The Slavic foundations in Yiddish), and “Shemot hayehudim” (Jewish names), but “the considerable scholar value of these writings,” wrote Zalmen Reyzen, “is hindered by the marked tendency to humiliate the Yiddish language and deny its national significance.”  He displayed this very tendency in his introduction to Elazar Shulman’s Sefat yehudit-ashkenazit vesifruta (The Ashkenazi Jewish language and its literature) (Riga, 1913), which he edited.  At the beginning of WWI, he moved to Moscow where he worked as a translator for Shtibl Publishers.  When the Bolsheviks shot his son, Tavyov went to join his son-in-law in Samara, and after the latter’s death, with great trouble made his way back to Riga and died there of a heart attack.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; D. A. Fridman, in Hatekufa (Moscow) 1 (1918), pp. 634-55; Ts. H. Maslyanski, Zikhroynes (Memoirs) (New York, 1924), p. 129; Maslyanski, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (November 4, 1932); Y. D. Berkovitsh, in Forverts (New York) (March 1, 1931); M. Gerts, 25 yor yidishe prese in letland (25 years of the Yiddish press in Latvia) (Riga, 1933), pp. 21-22; Dov Sadan, Kearat tsimukim (A bowl of raisins) (Tel Aviv, 1950); B. Ts. Kats, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 2, 1955); Kh. Sh. Kazdan, Fun kheyder un shkoles biz tsisho (From religious and secular primary schools to Tsisho) (Mexico City, 1956), pp. 228-29; Evreiskaia entsiklopedia (Jewish encyclopedia), vol. 14, col. 673.
Zaynvl Diamant


SHOSHANE (SUSANNE, SUSAN) TAUBE (b. January 9, 1926)
            She was born in Vacha, Thüringen Province, Germany.  Until 1936 she studied in the local school, later moving with her parents to Frankfurt, where until 1940 she studied Jewish and general subject matter in a religious school.  She spent 1940-1941 in Berlin, after which she was sent to the Sophienwalde sub-camp of Stutthof (Sztutowo) concentration camp.  She was liberated on March 9, 1945, and from 1947 she was living in the United States.  She began writing in German, later switching to Yiddish.  She debuted in print with stories (reworked from her diary which she kept in the concentration camp) in Forverts (Forward) in New York and in Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Lodz—republished in Yiddish, Polish, German, and other periodicals.  Among her books: Di umfargeslekhe, fartseykhnungen (The unforgotten, notes), translated from German by her husband Herman Taube (Baltimore, 1948), 142 pp.  Her book Gedenk (Remember), stories and reportage pieces published in Yiddish journals was translated by Helena Frank into English and appeared as Remember (London, 1951), 182 pp., with a foreword by Henry Turk.  She was last living in Baltimore.

Sources: Y. M. Kertsh, in Forverts (New York) (September 5, 1948); M. Gaft, in Nyu yorker vokhnblat (New York) (August 1948); N. Mayzil, in Yidishe kultur (New York) (July 1950); M. Tavitsh, in Yorbukh tsh”y (New York, 1950), p. 85; M. Shochet, in The Jewish News (Baltimore) (September 28, 1951).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


YISHAYE (ISAIAH) TAUB (b. February 18, 1904)
            He was born in Loyvitsh (Lovich), Poland.  He studied in religious primary school, yeshiva, and a teachers’ course run by Tsisho (Central Jewish School Organization) in Warsaw.  In 1927 he graduated from the Warsaw teachers’ seminary at the Institut für Judaistik in Warsaw.  Over the years 1927-1939, he worked as a teacher in Hebrew schools in Kutne (Kutno) and Ripin (Rypin).  At the start of WWII (1939), he was an officer in the Polish army and fell into German captivity.  In early 1945 he was in Italy, working with the Jewish Brigade.  He was the manager of a public school in Tel Aviv (1945-1953), and from 1953 the administrator of a Hebrew school in Melbourne, Australia.  He began writing in Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw (1924), and later published various language research work in: Filologishe shriftn (Philological writings) (Vilna) 3 (1929), 143-52; Sh. Lehman’s Arkhiv far folklor un etnografye (Archive for folklore and ethnography) (Warsaw, 1933); Yidish far ale (Yiddish for everyone) (Warsaw, 1938-1939); and other serials.  He was a regular contributor to Landkentnish (Geography) in Warsaw (1933-1936)—e.g., “Yidish in onheyb 19tn yorkundert” (Yiddish in the early nineteenth century), “Hayntike idyomen” (Contemporary idioms), and “Yidishe antologyes” (Yiddish anthologies).  After WWII, he was a contributor to the Yiddish-Hebrew journal Baderekh (On the road) in Italy.  He served as the Tel Aviv correspondent, 1945-1946, for the Melbourne-based Di yidishe post (The Jewish mail) and Oysralyer yidishe nayes (Australian Jewish news).  He translated into Polish and reworked for school children chapters from Sholem-Aleykhem’s Funem yarid (From the fair) (Warsaw, 1938), 64 pp.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


YISROEL-KHAYIM TAGLIKHT (ISRAEL TAGLICHT) (March 9, 1862-December 13, 1943)
            He was born in Nagy Berezna, Hungary, into a family that drew its lineage back to the Maharam Schick [1807-1979].  He studied in religious elementary school and yeshiva, later graduating from high school and going on to study in Berlin at the Rabinner-Hochschule and at the University of Berlin; from the latter he received his Ph.D. degree in 1888.  From 1893 he assumed the position of rabbi in the Vilna community and in 1936 he became chief rabbi of Austria.  He was the author of a series of important studies in German on topics from Tanakh, on Jewish cultural history, as well as treatments of Jewish issues of the day.  In Yiddish he published two studies: a lexicographical treatise, “Di geografishe nemen fun tshekhoslovakay un fun shkheynesdike burgenland in di yidishe mekoyrim” (The geographical toponyms of Czechoslovakia and neighboring borderlands in Jewish sources), in YIVO’s Filologishe shriftn (Philological writings) 1 (1926), pp. 337-46; and “Lider fun ungarn un der slovakay” (Poems from Hungary and Slovakia), a collection of folklore with an introduction in Western Yiddish, in Filologishe shriftn 3 (1929), pp. 277-312.  He was connected to YIVO and actively contributed to the circle of YIVO work in Vienna.  He had compiled an immense body of material on the history of Viennese Jewry, but when it was all prepared for publication, the catastrophe of the Holocaust arose in 1938 when the Nazis seized his entire library with all of his manuscripts.  The same fate befell the eleventh volume of the Forschungen zur Geschichte der Juden in Österreich (Research on the history of Jews in Austria), which the historical commission of the Vienna religious community published and which was to publish the continuation of Taglicht’s work, “Legacies of Viennese Jews in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries”; the Nazis destroyed this volume, when it was waiting at the bindery.  Taglicht also wrote other historical works in German.  Several months before the outbreak of WWII in 1939, he escaped to Great Britain.  He died in London.

Taglicht seated fourth from left

Sources: S. Wininger, Grosse Jüdische National Biographie (Great Jewish national biography) (Czernowitz, 1931), vol. 6; Yedies fun yidishn visnshaftlekhn institut (Vilna) 71-72 (January-February 1938), pp. 8-9; obituary, in Dray-shprakhik yorbukh 3 (1944), p. 78; Kh. Blokh, in Yivo-bleter (New York) (23 (March-April 1944), pp. 249-54; Dr. M. Naygreshl, in Fun noentn over (New York) 1 (1955), p. 392.
Borekh Tshubinski


KHAYIM TOBRIS (1869-June 2, 1933)
            He was born in Vilna.  He studied in religious primary school, Rameyle’s yeshiva, and through self-study secular subject matter.  He later became a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment and a Zionist activist.  He frequently visited with Kalman Schulman and Shmuel Yosef Fin.  Until 1918 he earned a living as a merchant in Vilna.  Thereafter he moved to Kovno.  He began his writing activities in 1912 with feature pieces in the Vilna Yiddish press, later serving as the Kovno correspondent for Di tsayt (The times) in Vilna, in which, among other items, he published the humorous piece, “Briv fun kovne un vilne” (Letter from Kovno and Vilna).  He was a regular contributor to Di idishe shtime (The Jewish voice) in Kovno.  From time to time, he also published in Frimorgn (Morning) in Riga.  He mostly wrote under the name “Khayml.”  He died in a Riga sanitarium.

Sources: Frimorgn (Riga) (June 4, 1933); A. Balosher, in Di idishe shtime (Kovno) (July 2, 1933; July 8, 1933; July 15, 1933); Y. Broydes, Vilna hatsiyonit ṿeaskaneha (Zionist Vilna and its officials) (Tel Aviv, 1939), see index; Zamlbukh lite (Anthology Lithuania), vol. 1 (New York, 1951), p. 1111.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


FISHL TABYASH (b. July 2, 1909)
            He was born in Mishenits (Myszyniec), Poland.  He was a journalist who moved to Uruguay in 1935.  From that year he contributed work to the daily newspapers: Unzer fraynt (Our friend), Unzer lebn (Our life), In gang (In progress), and other leftist publications in Uruguay.  He also wrote under the pen name: A Geyer.
Sh. S.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 275.


TSVI TABARI (b. September 15, 1904)
            He was born in Vilkomir (Ukmergė), Lithuania.  In 1924 he graduated from the Hebrew teachers’ seminary in Kovno.  In 1929 he received ordination into the rabbinate.  He later moved to the United States, was the manager of a Talmud-Torah in Seattle, Washington, and later of a rabbinical seminary in Baltimore.  From 1949 he was director of the Torah Department of the Jewish Agency in New York.  He published articles on religion and general Jewish issues in: Forverts (Forward), Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), Tog-morgn-zhurnal (Day-morning journal), and Tsien (Zion) in New York; Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; Unzer veg (Our way) in Paris; Di shtime (The voice) in Mexico City; and other Hebrew and Yiddish religious publications.

Source: Who’s Who in World Jewry (New York, 1955), p. 765.


MOYSHE-YITSKHOK TABAKSHNAYDER (September 14, 1893-November 20, 1976)
            He was born in Warsaw.  He received a traditional Jewish education, later graduating from a Polish middle school and a Polish drama school in Warsaw.  He worked as an employee of the Warsaw Jewish community.  From 1923 he was living in Argentina where he was director of theatrical studios.  He staged works by Jewish and non-Jewish writers in both Yiddish and Spanish.  He wrote and produced film scenarios in Spanish (using the name Muni Skobatt).  His own writing began for the Varshever tageblat (Warsaw daily newspaper) in 1917.  He was the Argentinian correspondent for Moment (Moment) in Warsaw.  He also published in: Far groys un kleyn (For big and small [adults and children]), Penemer un penemlekh (Appearances, big and small), Dos naye vort (The new word), Avezhaneder shtime (Voice of Avellaneda)—he was editor of the last two—and Di prese (The press)—all in Buenos Aires.  Together with Sh. Freylikh, P. Vald, and N. Tsuker, he brought out Fun zeydns kval (From Grandfather’s source), four dramatizations commemorating the tenth anniversary of the death of Mendel Moykher-Sforim (Buenos Aires, 1927), 79 pp.  He also edited Mebl-industrye (Furniture industry) in 1934.  He additionally used such pen names as: Y. Ben-Osher, A. Foygl, and Y. Redeynsh.  He died in Buenos Aires.

Sources: Z. Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun idishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2, p. 802; Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The published Yiddish word in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), p. 247; Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Yiddish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), p. 930.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            He lived in Friedrichstadt (Jaunjelgava), Latvia, and there he brought out the publications “dedicated to Jewish interests in Friedrichstadt”: Fridrikhstater forverts (Friedrichstadt forward) (September 1930); Nayerer togblat (New daily newspaper) (November 1930); Fridrikhstater tsayshrift (Friedrichstadt periodical) (May 1931); Nayerer byuleten (New bulletin) (July 1931); Zemgaler vort (Zemgale word) (October 1932).  Other biographical details remain unknown.

Source: M. Gerts, 25 yor yidishe prese in letland (25 years of the Yiddish press in Latvia) (Riga, 1933), pp. 65-66.
Zaynvl Diamant


YISROEL TABAKSBLAT (January 12, 1891-July 21, 1950)
            He was born in Lodz, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school, in a Russian middle school, and later graduated from a technical school and became a master weaver.  In 1905 he founded in Lodz the student organization Degel Tsiyon (Banner of Zion), from which emerged prominent leaders of Labor Zionism.  He was also a cofounder of the society “Dramatic Art,” of secular Jewish schools, and of other cultural institutions in Lodz.  An industrialist by occupation, he was for a time chairman of the Lodz Jewish merchants’ and manufacturers’ association.  During the Nazi occupation, he was confined in the Lodz ghetto, where he stood at the head of the partisans’ conspiratorial, anti-Nazi movement.  He also survived the hell of Auschwitz and the death march through Germany and Austria.  After liberation he returned to Lodz and from there left for Sweden, was active in the Zionist labor movement, in relief work for refugees, and in the Jewish World Congress.  Over the years 1946-1949, he lived in Paris.  In 1949 he moved to the state of Israel.  He began writing poetry for Roman-tsaytung (Fiction newspaper) 1-2 (1907-1908) in Warsaw, and later contributed to Der shtral (The ray [of light]) in Warsaw and Der fraynd (The friend) in St. Petersburg, as well as in the Labor Zionist press.  In 1910 he became a contributor to Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper), in which he published, in addition to articles, short features entitled “A tabakshketele” (A tobacco box) and ran the division “Fun der yudisher handls-velt” (From the Jewish business world).  He also published in: Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper); Lodzer merkur (Lodz Mercury) (1924-1927), of which he was also editor; Lodzer handls-tsaytung (Lodz commercial newspaper); Lodzer mantshester (Lodz Manchester); and other venues in the progressive Polish and German press in Lodz.  After WWII he wrote for: Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Lodz; Unzer vort (Our word) and Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word) in Paris; Tog (Day) and Forverts (Forward) in New York; and Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; among others.  In book form he published: Khurbn lodzh, 6 yor natsi-gehenem (The destruction of Lodz, six years of Nazi hell) (Buenos Aires, 1946), 203 pp.; Avodim hoyinu, zikhroynes fun di katsetlagern (We were slaves, memoirs from German concentration camps) (Paris, 1949), 206 pp.

Sources: Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (August 28, 1946); H. M. Kayzerman, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (March 3, 1947); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (May 4, 1947); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (new York) (May 30, 1947); Dr. Shloyme Bikl, in Unzer veg (New York) (October 15, 1947; November 1, 1947); V. Shulman, in Tsukunft (New York) (December 1948); Ben-Miryam, in Unzer shtime (Paris) 774 (1949); Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Arbeter-vort (Paris) (May 20, 1949; January 5, 1951); Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), see index; B. Y. Byalastotski, in Yorbukh (New York, 1948/1949); A. Alpern, in Tog (July 12, 1950); Dr. P. Fridman, in Yorbukh (1950/1951); M. Shenderay, in Idishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (August 20, 1951); Y. Yonasovitsh, in Yorbukh fun der yidisher kehile (Annual from the Jewish community) (Buenos Aires, 1954); A. V. Yasni, Di geshikhte fun yidn in lodzh in di yorn fun der daytsher yidn-oysrotung (The history of Jews of Lodz in the years of the Germany extermination of Jews) (Tel Aviv, 1960), see index; L. Shpizman, Khalutsim in poyln, antologye fun der khalutsisher bavegung (Pioneers in Poland, anthology of the Pioneers movement), vol. 1 (New York, 1961).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

Tuesday 27 September 2016


YISROEL TABAKMAN (October 1888-January 1, 1983)
            He was born in Shedlets (Siedlce), Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school, synagogue study chamber, and on his own in a small Hassidic house of prayer.  In 1904 he was active in the Bund, and from 1905 he was involved in the Labor Zionist movement.  During the Shedlets pogrom of 1906, he was arrested by the Tsarist authorities.  Until 1924 he lived in Warsaw and later in Paris and Brussels.  He survived WWII in the Belgian underground.  He did much to help the Jews in hiding inside Nazi-occupied France and Belgium.  From 1928, he was publishing articles in: Unzer vort (Our word) in Brussels; Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word) in Paris; Heymish (Familiar) in Tel Aviv; and elsewhere.  In Sefer yizkor lekehilat shedlets (Memory volume for the community of Shedlets), ed. A. V. Yasni (Buenos Aires, 1956), he published a work [in Yiddish] on Labor Zionism in Shedlets.  Among his books: Mayne iberlebungn, unter natsisher okupatsye in belgye (My experiences, under Nazi occupation in Belgium), with prefaces by Y. Zerubavel and Nakhmen Blumental (Tel Aviv, 1958), 240 pp.; In belgye af tsu morgns nokhn khurbn (In Belgium the morning after the Holocaust) (Tel Aviv: Ringelblum Institute, 1969), 117 pp.  He died in Netanya.

Sources: Reshumot (Tel Aviv), n.s. 3; Unzer vort (Brussels) (September 3, 1948); Yidishe tsaytung (Tel Aviv) 407; information from Yitskhok Kaspi.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 275.]


MEYER TABAK (b. 1904)
            He was born in Stanislawów (Stanislav, Stanisle), in eastern Galicia.  With the outbreak of WWI in 1914, he moved with his parents to Kosov (Kosów) where he attended religious primary school, and later when the Russian occupied eastern Galicia, he lived in Vienna where he attended high school.  He subsequently lived in Lemberg and graduated from the university there with a law degree.  He was active in Hashomer (The guard) and later became an active leader in Jewish school curriculum in eastern Galicia.  In the 1920s he published poetry in Der morgn (The morning) and Lemberger vokh (Lemberg week)—in Lemberg; Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw; Inzl (Island) in Bucharest (1935-1939); and in other periodicals.  He served as editor of the literary monthly Shtern (Star) in Stanislawów (1932-1937).  Aside from poems and articles, he also published therein translations of Ukrainian poetry.  He also wrote under such pen names as: Memtes, Mit., and Metamim.  He published a monograph on “Yisroel-meyer brender” (Yisroel-Meyer Brender), chapters of which appeared in Shtern (1936-1937).  He was the founder of a young Jewish writers group in eastern Galicia in 1933.  Since WWII, he has disappear without a trace.  His brother, ELYE-LEYB TABAK, also published poetry in Shtern, Lemberger vokh, and elsewhere.

Source: Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (December 18, 1936).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


AL. TABAK (b. 1900)
            He was born in Friedrichstadt (Jaunjelgava), Latvia, into a laboring family.  He studied in religious primary school, later in a Russian high school in Riga.  Over the years 1919-1921, he was a teacher in the evening course of the “Workers’ Home” and was active among the left Labor Zionists in Riga.  In 1922 he moved to the United States.  He worked as a Yiddish teacher in Chicago and Philadelphia.  In the late 1920s he moved to South America, and he worked as a teacher in Rio de Janeiro.  He began to write poetry and articles in Latvia.  He was a contributor to the Riga-based Yiddish daily newspapers Di idishe folksshtime (The voice of the Jewish people) in 1919 and Dos folk (The people in 1920, as well as to the weekly newspapers Letste nayes (Latest news) and Der veg (The way), both in 1922.  In America he published poems and articles in: Kultur (Culture) in New York; Idisher kuryer (Jewish courier) in Chicago; and Di idishe velt (The Jewish world) in Philadelphia; among others.  In book form: Grenits (Frontier), poems on revolutionary motifs, with an introduction by M. Shats (Riga, 1922), 40 pp.

Sources: “Briv fun m. kitay tsu z. reyzen” (Letters from M. Kitay to Z. Reyzen), in YIVO archives (New York); Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; M. Gerts, 25 yor yidishe prese in letland (25 years of the Yiddish press in Latvia) (Riga, 1933); Almanakh fun riger relif (New York) 2 (1947), pp. 10-11; Yahadut latviya (Judaism in Latvia) (Tel Aviv, 1953), pp. 152-53.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


KHATSKL TABATSHNIKOV (June 26, 1913-1988)

            He was a prose writer, born in Boslev (Bohuslav), Ukraine, into a laboring family. Orphaned as a youth, he wandered through towns during the years of the civil war, and the environment in which he grew up appears in his autobiographical novel Barshever motivn (Barshev motifs) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1975), 412 pp. From his early youth, he was involved in various trades, later working in a factory. He debuted in print with a story—“Tsvishn barzhes” (Among barges)—in the sixth issue of the Kharkov journal Yunger boyklang (Sounds of construction for youth), the literary supplement to the newspaper Yunge gvardye (Young guard), in 1928. Thereafter he published stories and novellas in Yiddish-language newspapers and other Soviet Yiddish journals. Prior to WWII, he published four books (see below), mainly stories of ordinary life, in which the protagonists were simple workers, laborers, and youngsters looking for and finding a way forward in life. He fought at the front during WWII; afterward, there was a sharp disruption in his work, as generally in Yiddish literature, with the Stalinist persecutions. In the early 1960s he returned to writing, and his work appeared in Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) in Moscow. In the 1970s he published in this journal his novel Barshever motivn which then appeared as a separate volume. In the early 1980s, he published his stories “Di shvester dvorkin” (The sisters Dvorkin) and “Leyzer barkus, der elektriker” (Leyzer Barkus, the electrician) in this same journal. He died in Kiev.

His books include: Afn front, dertseylungen (On the front, stories) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1932), 138 pp.; Donye (Donye) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1934), 78 pp.; A shtetl bam dnyeper (A town on the Dnieper), stories (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1936), 207 pp.; Der ershter shney (The first snow), stories (Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1939), 292 pp., also published in Russian translation (in Kiev) in 1939.

Sources: Y. Vorhaft, in Yunger boyklang (Kharkov) 7 (1928); A. Holdes, in Farmest (Kharkov) (May-June 1934); M. Mizhiritski, in Farmest (October 1934).

Benyomen Elis

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 274; and 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), p. 157.]


MENDL TABATSHNIK (TABATZNIK) (1894-November 20, 1975)
            He was born in Kletsk (Klieck), Minsk district, Byelorussia.  He was a teacher and administrator of a public school in Mir, Byelorussia (considered an exemplary school), and in other Tsisho (Central Jewish School Organization) schools in Poland.  From 1927 he was living in Johannesburg, South Africa.  He was a teacher of Yiddish and song in a local public school.  He wrote a number of children’s plays which were staged in Jewish schools.  He published articles on pedagogical topics in Unzer shul (Our school) in Warsaw (1920).  He also composed stories and travel narratives (from Europe, America, and Israel) which appeared in the Johannesburg serials: Afrikaner yidishe tsaytung (African Jewish newspaper), a weekly; and Dorem-afrike (South Africa), a monthly.  In Dorem-afrike zamlbukh (South African anthology) (Johannesburg, 1945), he published several chapters of an autobiographical novel entitled “Kalmen bulon” (Kalmen Bulon).  He also wrote under the pen name: Menkhem-Mendl.  His books include: Mentsh un zayn arum, lider un poemes (Man and his environment, poetry) (Johannesburg: Kayor, 1963), 340 pp.; In shpete shoen (In late hours), poems (Johannesburg, 1965), 170 pp.; Ikh lakh mit aykh tsu 70 (I rejoice with you at seventy) (Johannesburg, 1965), 237 pp.; Kalmen bulon, roman fun yidishn lebn (Kalmen Bulon, a novel of Jewish life) (Johannesburg: Kayor, 1968-1971), 3 vols.; Shtaplen in mayn lebns-veg, zikhroynes (Rungs along the path of my life, memoirs) (Johannesburg: Kayor, 1973), 2 vols.  He died in Johannesburg.

Source: Dorem-afrikaner zamlbukh (South African anthology) (Johannesburg, 1945), p. 142.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 274.]

Monday 26 September 2016


DOVID TABATSHNIK (b. August 12, 1909)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland.  He graduated from a senior high school and spent two years studying in the Warsaw Polytechnicum.  In 1929 he made aliya to Israel and was living in Petaḥ Tikva.  From 1930 he was active in Labor Zionism.  He was a member of the secretariat of Aḥdut haavoda (Union of labor) of the Labor Zionists and a member of the Zionist Action Committee.  He joined the Hagana and was arrested several times by the British.  Over the years 1945-1947, he was active in Briḥa (“escape” [organized, illegal emigration from postwar Soviet zones into Allied-held terrain in Europe]) and in aid work on behalf of rescued Jews in Poland and in German camps.  In 1947 he became a member of the city council and in 1951 the mayor of Petaḥ Tikva.  From 1932 he was publishing articles (also using the pen names Dovid Fefer, Ben-Yoysef, and the like) in: Hapoel hatsair (The young worker), Davar (Word), Lemerḥav (Into the open), Nayvelt (new world), and Folksblat (People’s newspaper)—in Tel Aviv; Arbeter vort (Workers’ word) in Paris; Undzer veg (Our way) in New York; and Unzer vort (Our word) in Brussels; among others.  He was last living in Haifa.

Source: Who’s Who in World Jewry (New York, 1955), p. 765.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


AVROM-BER TABATSHNIK (TABACHNICK) (August 16, 1901-June 13, 1970)
            He was born in the village of Nizhny Altshedaev, raised there and in the village of Konotkovits, Mohilev-Podolsk district, Ukraine.  He studied in religious elementary school and with private tutors in Shargorod (Sharhorod) and Luchinets, graduating from a Russian middle school in Mohilev-Podolsk.  He moved to the United States in 1921, settled in Waterbury, and in 1922 graduated from high school there.  Over the years 1925-1936, he worked as a teacher in Workmen’s Circle schools in Erie, Pennsylvania and the Dorchester neighborhood in Boston.  He spent 1936-1938 employed on United States Work Projects (W.P.A.) and with the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia which was published by the Projects.  He served as a member of the editorial board of Di idishe velt (The Jewish world), 1928-1940, in Philadelphia.  From 1941 he was an internal contributor to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (ITA) in America.  He first began writing lyrical poetry in Russian, later switching to Yiddish.  He debuted in print in Der proletarisher gedank (The proletarian idea) in New York in 1923, and from that point he wrote poems, critical essays, literary treatments, and journalistic and current events articles for: Oyfgang (Arise), Tsukunft (Future), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Der veker (The alarm), Der tog (The day), Bodn (Terrain), Studyo (Studio), Signal (Signal), Masn (Masses), Fayln (Arrows), and Zamlbikher (Collections—no. 6), among others—all in New York; Literarishe zamlungen (Literary anthologies), Shikago (Chicago), and Brikn (Bridges)—in Chicago; Di idishe velt in Philadelphia; Tint un feder (Ink and pen) in Toronto; and Di goldene keyt (The golden chain) in Tel Aviv; among others.  He compiled the anthology, Di shtim fun yidishn poet (The voice of a Yiddish poet), in which he immortalized over twenty Yiddish poets in America—on a recorded electronic tape—in the form of questions and answers, which afforded it a character both from the poets’ own creations and the actual poetic issues of Yiddish work in general (several of the “questions and answers” were published in Tsukunft and Idisher kemfer in New York).  He also participated in the compilation of two volumes of Mani Leyb’s Lider un baladn (Poems and ballads) (New York, 1955).  In book form, poetry: In sheyd (In the sheath) (New York, 1936), 63 pp.; and Dikhter un dikhtung (Poets and poetry) (New York, 1949), 71 pp.; critical monographic essays: Der man fun lid, vegn zishe landoy (The man of the poem, on Zishe Landau), with three poetic dedications to Zishe Landau (New York, 1941), 60 pp.; Abe shtoltsenberg (Aba Shtoltsenberg), including the poem “Baym keyver fun abe shtoltsenberg” (By the grave of Aba Shtoltsenberg) and several biographical notices (New York, 1951), 64 pp.; Der mentsh in kholem, di dikhtung fun meyer shtiker (Man in dream, the poetry of Meyer Shtiker) (New York, 1962), 46 pp.; Dikhter un dikhtung, essays (New York, 1965), 511 pp.[1]  He also published and edited (with Shtoltsenberg, M. Shtiker, and Kh. N. Fisherman) three anthologies of Fayln (New York, 1928-1931), and (with Meyer Shtiker) the quarterly journal Vogshol (Scales) 1 and 2 (1959).  He published in various magazines and collections critical essays on L. Shapiro, Yehoash, Y. Rolnik, Moyshe Nadir, B. Vaynshteyn, Moyshe-Leyb Halpern, and many others.  Tabatshnik’s poetry was translated into Polish by Dvore Fogel and published in Chwila (Moment) in Lemberg (1936)
            Critics have considered him among the most important representatives of Neo-Impressionism in Yiddish literature.  “His essay is a specimen of classical criticism,” wrote Shmuel Niger about Tabatshnik’s book Der man fun lid, “exalted and to the point.  It is full of internal exaggerations—and yet precise.  Hymns without any exalted words.”  Concerning his book Opsheyd lider,[2] Niger wrote: “The poet Tabatshnik is stingy with words and poems, though he is rich in his love for them….  The poet of the quiet, courteous, sincere—and on another occasion inspired by literature and authentic poetic difference.”  “Tabatshnik’s essay is truly a classic,” wrote Melekh Ravitsh about his book Abe shtoltenberg; “written with calmness, it has the form to include the maximum.  It has the tact and the style, written to be a book and not to be published in fragments in newspapers.  It is chiseled as one piece, shot through with love and understanding.”  He also wrote under the pen names: A. M. Shafir, Tess, and others.  He died in New York.

Sources: Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (November 20, 1935; March 26, 1941); Z. Vaynper, in Oyfkum (New York) (February 1936); M. Kats, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (March 22, 1936; January 14, 1940); M. Saktsyer, in Shoybn (Bucharest) (May 1936); M. Birnboym, in Signal (New York) (May 1936); D. Tsharni (Daniel Charney), in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (July 31, 1936); Shmuel Niger, in Der tog (New York) (August 23, 1936; November 8, 1941; October 10, 1943; October 24, 1943; October 31, 1943; April 16, 1950); Niger, Kritik un kritiker (Criticism and critics) (Buenos Aires, 1959), pp. 156-62; Elye Shulman, in Proletarisher gedank (New York) (November 15, 1936); Y. Glants, in Der veg (Mexico City) (July 10, 1937); Y. Botoshanski, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (July 12, 1938); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Der tog (February 15, 1941); N. Y. Gotlib, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (March 31, 1941); N. B. Minkov, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (August 29, 1941); Alef Kats, in Havaner lebn (Havana, Cuba) (April 1, 1942); Avrom Reyzen, in Di feder (New York) (1949), pp. 211-12; M. Ravitsh, in Tsukunft (Future) (February-March 1953); Ravitsh, in Keneder odler (July 1, 1957); Der Lebediker, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (July 1, 1956); E. Fershleyser, Af shrayberishe shlyakhn, kritishe eseyen (On writerly paths, critical essay) (New York, 1958), pp. 164-70; Mina Bordo-Rivkin, Lider un iberblikn (Poems and overviews) (Buenos Aires, 1958), pp. 63-66; Sh. D. Zinger, Dikhter un prozaiker (Poet and prose writer) (New York, 1959), pp. 113-21; B. Rivkin, Yidishe dikhter in amerike (Yiddish poets in America) (Buenos Aires, 1959), pp. 268-78; Yankev Glatshteyn, In tokh genumen (In essence), vol. 2 (Buenos Aires, 1960), pp. 253-58; Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (New York, 1943), p. 152.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 274.]

[1] Translator’s note. Same title as his 1949 collection of poetry, but this is a volume of essays, and it is much longer. (JAF)
[2] Translator’s note. I have been unable to find any reference to this book by Tabatshnik. (JAF)


            He was born in Bialystok, Russian Poland.  He joined the Bund in his youth.  He was one of the most active community leaders in Bialystok.  Over the years 1918-1938, he the Bund representative in the Bialystok Jewish community administration, and he was a member (1926-1938) of the Bialystok city council.  He was the founder of the publishing house “Dos bukh” (The book), which published school books and children’s literature in Yiddish.  He was also a member of the chief administration of Tsisho (Central Jewish School Organization), ORT (Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades), and TOZ (Towarzystwo Ochrony Zdrowia [Society for the protection of health]) in Poland.  He was chairman of the Bialystok division of the Central Jewish School Organization.  From 1938 he was living in the United States; he was one of the leaders of the “Jewish Labor Committee” in America.  He was also active in the management of the World Jewish Culture Congress in New York.  He was a member as well of the World Coordinating Committee of the Bund, and he was well-known speaker.  He made a number of major trips: in 1932 to Europe and South American countries—on assignment for Tsisho; and in 1947 to Europe and the “displaced persons” camps” in Germany—on assignment for the Jewish Labor Committee.  He published articles in Byalistoker veker (Bialystok alarm), 1927-1938.  He was a regular contributor to Unzer lebn (Our life) in Bialystok.  He later published in: Forverts (Forward), Der veker (The alarm), Unzer tsayt (Our time), Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), and Lerer-yizker-bukh (Remembrance volume for teachers)—in New York; Unzer shtime (Our voice) in Paris; Lebns-fragn (Life issues) in Tel Aviv; and Foroys (Onward) in Mexico City; among others.  He also wrote under such pen names as: Besht and Breynin.  He died in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

Sunday 25 September 2016


            He was born in Bucharest, Romania.  He was a prominent figure in Jewish life in Bucharest in the 1870s and 1880s.  He was a representative of Hebrew Enlightenment literature in Romania, and he owned the principal agency for Hamagid (The preacher), Haivri (The Jew), and Hashaḥar (The dawn).  He wrote correspondence pieces for the Hebrew-language newspapers and in 1870 also for Kol mevaser (Herald).  His home was a meeting place for the Enlightenment “sages,” and every follower of the Enlightenment who visited Bucharest enjoyed his hospitality.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1.
Zaynvl Diamant


YANKEV KHARASH (1846-July 25, 1870)
            He graduated from rabbinical school in Zhitomir.  Together with Uri Kovner, Avrom Harkavy, and others he took part in a polemic which was carried on in the mid-1860s in the Hebrew-language press against the representatives of the older generation of writers of the Jewish Enlightenment with A. B. Gotlober first and foremost.  He wrote (sometimes using the pseudonym “Khet”) articles and stories in Hebrew in Hamelits (The advocate) and in Yiddish for Kol mevaser (Herald).  He died in Odessa where he was a student at the “New Russian University.”

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1.


ELKONE KHARMATS (CHARMATZ) (December 21, 1910-May 1986)
            He was born in Ostrovtse (Ostrowiec), Kielce district, Poland.  After his father’s death, he moved to Cracow and from there to Sosnovits (Sosnowiec), where he had a glass business.  During the Nazi occupation, he was confined in the Sosnovits ghetto.  In February 1940 he was arrested by the Gestapo, driven through a number of work camps in Lower Silesia and Upper Silesia, and he spent time in Auschwitz and Dachau.  After liberation he left in May 1945 for Paris, and from there in December 1946 he made his way to Brazil.  He began writing when young, publishing stories and reportage pieces in Moment (Moment) and Haynt (Today) in Warsaw, as well as in the Zaglembyer tsaytung (Zagłębie newspaper) in Będzin, and later he wrote for Unzer vort (Our word) and Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word) in Paris.  He traveled as a correspondent of the Parisian Jewish newspapers to the Nuremberg and Dachau Trials.  In Brazil he initially contributed to and co-edited Di idishe prese (The Jewish press) in Rio de Janeiro (edited by Arn Bergman), later becoming editor of Idishe prese (Jewish press) in São Paolo.  He published (using as well the pen names D. Hartsfelt, A. Kheyt, and Melekh Avyon) stories and articles in: Davar (Word) in Tel Aviv, Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires; and Folksblat (People’s newspaper) in Montevideo.  He was general secretary of the united Zionist organization (Unifikado), secretary of the united Israel campaign, member of the central committee of the Labor Zionist “Hitaḥdut” (union), and secretary of the local division of the World Jewish Culture Congress.  His books include: Koshmarn, zikhroynes fun di groylike yorn fun der natsisher memshole in Eyrope, 1939-1945 (Nightmares, memories of gruesome years under Nazi domination, 1939-1945) (São Paolo: Nayer moment, 1975), 326 pp.[1]  His work was included in Sh. Rozhanski, ed., Katsetlers, antologye (Concentration camp survivors, anthology) (Buenos Aires, 1982).

Sources: Sh. Kants, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (June 11, 1976); Y. Shmulevitsh, in Unzer vort (Paris) (August 19, 1976); B. Frenkel, in Unzer shtime (Paris) (December 1976); Z. A. Berbitshes, in Der veg (Mexico City) (February 17, 1978); L. Shalit, in Afrikaner idishe tsaytung (Johannesburg) (May 16, 1980).
Zaynvl Diamant

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 273.]

[1] Translator’s note.  There is an English translation of this memoir by Miriam Dashkin Beckerman, Nightmares: Memoirs of the Years of Horror under Nazi Rule in Europe, 1939-1945 (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2003), 274 pp.