SONYE TUSHINSKI (TUTSHINSKI?, 1902-1987)
She was a poet, born in Bohuslav, Kharkov district, Ukraine. Until age ten she studied in a religious elementary school for girls. At age twelve she lost her father, left home, moved to Kiev, and became a laborer in a weaving plant. During the revolution of 1917-1918, she was active in the trade union and political movement in Kharkov. From the early 1920s, she was living in Kharkov and was an activist in the trade union movement. In 1921 she began publishing correspondence and reportage pieces on workers’ lives, and later poetry as well, in Yiddish newspapers. A number of her poetic works were included in collective anthologies. In 1934 her poetry collection Veretenes (Spindles) was published, and it was warmly received by readers and literary critics. The main themes of her poetry involved labor and love. WWII interrupted the work of this gifted poet, as she found herself at the start of the war confined in Transnistria. Afterward she settled in Koziatyn, Ukraine, where lived under harsh conditions—she wrote nothing further.
Her works include: “Lider” (Poems), in Di royte velt (The red world) 3 (1925); and in Yidishe dikhterins (Female Yiddish poets), an anthology edited by Ezra Korman (Chicago: L. M. Shteyn, 1928); Veretenes (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1934), 79 pp. Her poetry also appeared in: Emes (Truth) in Moscow; Shtern (Star) in Kharkov; and Oktyabr (October) in Minsk; among other venues.
Sources: Di royte velt (Kharkov) 3 (1925); Ezra Korman, Yidishe dikhterins (Jewish women poets) (Chicago, 1928), pp. 315-18, 343; N. Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher arbeter in sovetn-farband (Jewish creation and the Jewish worker in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), p. 128.
Khayim Leyb Fuks
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 279; 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. 162.]