YOYSEF-LEYB TENENBOYM (JOSEPH TENENBAUM) (May 22, 1887-December 10, 1961)
He was born in Sasov (Sasów), eastern Galicia. He studied in religious elementary school, graduating later from a public school and a high school, and going on to study medicine in Vienna and Lemberg. From age fourteen he was active in the student organization Tseire-Tsiyon (Young Zionists). He founded an academic group Heatid (The future) in Lemberg. He served at the war front as a doctor with the Austrian army in WWI. He was a representative from eastern Galicia in the Jewish delegation to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. From 1920 he was living in the United States. He was active in the Zionist Organization, the American Jewish Congress, the World Association of Polish Jews, the World Jewish Congress, YIVO management, and Histadrut Ivrit (Hebrew organization), among other organizations. He published articles on general and medical topics in: Lemberger togblat (Lemberg daily newspaper); and the Polish Chwila (Moment), Morija (Moriah), and Voskhod (Sunrise); in Martin Buber’s Der Jude (The Jew); Idishe handelsblat (Jewish business newspaper) in London (1921); Forverts (Forward), Tsukunft (Future), and Der fraynd (The friend)—in New York; for many years was a regular contributor to Der tog (The day) in New York, in which he published weekly on medical matters. He also wrote reviews of Yiddish books for Congress Weekly. He brought out the journal Snunit (Swallow) in Lemberg (1910-1912). His books include: In fayer, ertsehlungen fun’m shlakhtfeld fun a doktor in der alter estraykhish-ungarisher armey (Under fire, stories from the field of battle of a doctor in the former Austro-Hungarian army) (New York, 1926), 151 pp., second edition (1926), 160 pp. (it appeared earlier in installment in Tsukunft, 1921-1922); Galitsye mayn alte heym (Galicia, my old home), memoirs revealing a picture of Galicia of old, its writers, leaders, religious scholars, and the like (Buenos Aires, 1952), 319 pp.; Tsvishn milkhome un sholem, yidn af der sholem-konferents nokh der ershter velt-milkhome (Between war and peace: Jews at the Peace Conference after WWI) (Buenos Aires, 1956), which also appeared in Hebrew as Ben milḥama veshalom, hayehudim beveidat hashalom bemotsae milḥemet haolam harishona (Jerusalem, 1960), 214 pp. In German he published in book form: Unsere Friedensfrage (von einem Zionisten) (Our question of peace, from a Zionist) (Vienna, 1917), 16 pp.; Der Lemberger Judenpogrom (November 1918-Jänner 1919) (The Jewish pogrom in Lemberg, November 1918-January 1919) (Vienna-Brünn, 1918), 167 pp., written under the pseudonym “Josef Bendow.” In Polish: Żydowskie problemy gospodarcze w Galicyi (Jewish economic problems in Galicia) (Wiedeń: Moriah, 1918), 129 pp. In French: La Question juive en Pologne (The Jewish question in Poland) (Paris, 1919), 61 pp. In English: The Riddle of Sex: The Medical and Social Aspects of Sex, Love and Marriage (New York, 1929), 362 pp., two further editions in 1929 alone and more subsequently; Mad Heroes: Skeletons and Sketches of the Eastern Front (New York, 1931), 226 pp.; Races, Nations and Jews (New York, 1934), 170 pp.; when Hitler came to power, Tenenboym led an action to boycott Germany and he wrote The Third Reich in Figures: Present Economic Conditions in Germany (New York, 1937), 36 pp.; Can Hitler Be Stopped? (New York, 1938), 36 pp.; The Economic Crisis of the Third Reich (New York, 1939), 31 pp.; American Investments and Business in Germany (New York, 1940), 39 pp.; The Road to Pan Americanism (New York, 1941), 59 pp. He dealt with postwar Jewish problems in: Peace for the Jews (New York, 1945), 182 pp. In later years, he devoted his attention to research on the Holocaust and wrote (together with his wife Sheila Tenenboym): In Search of a Lost People: Old and New Poland (New York, 1948), 312 pp., based on a trip to Poland in 1946. He also wrote a history of the Jewish resistance and destruction: Underground: The Story of a People (New York, 1952), 532 pp. In addition, there is also his book: Race and Reich: The Story of an Epoch (New York, 1956), 554 pp. This work was a study of the rise and history of the Nazis and the Jewish Holocaust in all realms; it appeared in an enlarged edition in Hebrew, entitled Malkhut hageza veharesha, haraykh hashelishi umalalav (The realm of race and evil, the Third Reich and its exploits) (Jerusalem, 1960), 609 pp. He died in New York. His community archive was given to YIVO.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Gershom Bader, Medina veḥakhameha (The state and its sages) (New York, 1934), see index; Y. Shatski, in Tsukunft (New York) (1927), pp. 183-84 (concerning In fayer); Shatski, in In Jewish Bookland (New York) (May 1954) (concerning Galitsye, mayn alte heym); A. L. Shusheys, in Di naye tsayt (Buenos Aires) 229 (1929); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Der veg (Mexico City) (May 31, 1952); Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 20 (1954), pp. 246-47; Dr. P. Fridman, in Tsukunft (April 1955); Dr. Z. Blatberg, in Hadoar (New York) (January 18, 1957); P. Shteynvaks, Siluetn fun a dor (Silhouettes of a generation) (Buenos Aires, 1958), pp. 216-21; N. M. Gelber, Toldot hatenua hatsiyonit begalitsiya (History of the Zionist movement in Galicia) (Jerusalem, 1958), see index; Arn Tsaytlin, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (September 25, 1959; July 21, 1961); M. Henish, in Davar (Tel Aviv) (Tishre 30 [= October 21], 1960); Universal Jewish Encyclopedia (New York), vol. 10, p. 197.
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