Friday 28 October 2016


YOYSEF TEPER (d. September 23, 1941)
            He was born in Kolomaye, eastern Galicia.  He graduated from a high school in Germany.  Between the two world wars, he was a teacher of German in the Vilna high schools of S. M. Gurvevitsh and Y. Oks.  He was a leader in the society “Friends of the Yiddish Theater” and (from 1935) in the Vilna literary association.  He began writing (using the name “Sharf”) as a theater reviewer in the Vilna assimilationist daily newspaper Undzer shtime (Our voice) in January 1934.  At the same time, he was a contributor (using the name “A Nayer”) to the leftist Saturday newspapers Kurts (Short) and Nays (News) in February 1934, as well as to Vilner tog (Vilna day) in March 1934, where (using the names Yoysef Fray and Okey, among others) he published, among other items, a series of articles about homeless children (November-December 1934).  He also published articles in Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) in Warsaw.  In Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) (Vilna) 12 (1937), pp. 338-50, he published a piece concerning Dr. Roback’s English-language volume, I. L. Peretz, Psychologist of Literature (Cambridge, Mass., 1935).  He co-edited the anthologies: Simkhe natan (Nathan’s joy) (Vilna, April 1933, 16 pp.; and Zamelheft tsum 20 yorikn stsenishn yoyvl fun ide kaminski (Anthology on the twentieth stage anniversary of Ida Kaminski) (Vilna, 1936), 34 pp.  He translated into Yiddish Karol Hubert Rostworowski’s four-scene drama, Mer vi a toes (More than an error), and from Yiddish into German Dr. Max Weinreich’s Der veg tsu undzer yugnṭ, yesoydes, metodn, problemen fun yidisher yugnṭ-forshung (The way to our youth: foundations, methods, and problems of research on Jewish youth).  When the Red Army (1939) entered Vilna, Teper was appointed director of a Jewish high school.  Under the Nazis he worked with a Jewish brigade near Shumsk, not far from Vilna, and on the second day of Rosh Hashanah (1941), they were all taken out and shot.  Teper’s wife and child were later murdered by the Nazis at Lide (Lida).

Sources: N. S(verdlin), in Di tsayt (Vilna) (June 4, 1935); Sh. Kohen, in Vilner tog (Vilna) (June 6, 1935); Sh. Katsherginski, in Khurbn vilne (The Holocaust in Vilna) (New York, 1947), pp. 69, 197; Lerer-yizker-bukh (Remembrance volume for teachers) (New York, 1954), p. 180; D. Tsharni (Daniel Charney), A litvak in poyln (A Lithuanian in Poland) (New York, 1955), p. 14.
Leyzer Ran

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