Sunday 18 September 2016


G. (HERSHL) ZHITS (1903-1954)

            He was a bibliographer and editor, one of the leaders in the Soviet Yiddish press. Biographical details before 1930 remain unknown, but in 1934 he was living in the Jewish region of Nay-Zlatopol (Zlatopil', Ukraine) and was the editor of the newspapers Kolvirt-shtern (Star of the collective farm) and Baveger fun kolektivizatsye (Mover of collectivization). He was chief editor, 1935-1937, of Der shtern (The star) in Kharkov, the central Yiddish newspaper in Ukraine. In the late 1930s, he worked for the central state publishing house of Ukraine (Ukrnatsmindfarlag), and he published articles on political topics and bibliographic reports in the newspaper Der shtern and the journal Sovetishe literatur (Soviet literature). He prepared the bibliography for “Di yidishe bikher-produktsye funem ukrmelukhenatsmindfarlag” (The Yiddish book production of the Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities), for Sovetishe literatur (Kiev, 1940). During WWII, he worked for the press at the front lines. After demobilization, he was named editor of Eynikeyt (Unity), the organ of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, in July 1945. With the liquidation of the Committee, the newspaper was also closed. He died in a prison hospital.

Sources: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 270; 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. 155-56.

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