Sunday 13 November 2016


GEDALYE TSHARNEZON-SHAYAK (GEDALIAH SHAIAK) (September 9, 1905-September 9, 1983)
            He was born in Loyvitsh (Lovich, Łowicz), Warsaw district, Poland.  He lived in Lodz and Warsaw, and from there with the German attack on Poland in September 1939, he fled to Soviet-occupied Brest Litovsk.  In 1940 he was deported to Russian camps.  With the amnesty for Polish citizens, he was freed and  with the Polish army, and then made his way through Persia, Iraq, and Egypt to Israel.  He took part in battles against the Germans in Italy.  From late 1949 he was living in Melbourne, Australia.  He began publishing poems in Literarishe horizontn (Literary horizons) in Lodz (1925), and thereafter he contributed poems, stories, and translations from Polish poetry to: Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper), Lodzher post (Lodz mail), and Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper) in Lodz; Di post (The mail) in London; Belgisher tog (Belgian day) in Antwerp; and Unzer vort (Our word) and Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word) in Paris; among others.  From 1949 he was placing work in Oystralishe idishe nayes (Australian Jewish news) and Di idishe post (The Jewish mail) in Melboune.  His books include: Iber thomes (Over precipices), poetry (Warsaw, 1928), 64 pp.; In zilberne nekht (On silver nights), poetry (Lodz, 1937), 48 pp.; Bazil vil nisht shtarbn (Basil does not want to die), an anti-war poem (Lodz, 1938), 32 pp.; Der opgot in fayer (The idol in fire), historical novel (Melbourne, 1977), 288 pp.  He wrote his volume of stories, In shotn fun haknkrayts, detseylungen (In the shadow of the swastika, stories), with a foreword, two poems, and an afterword by Daniel Leybl (Tel Aviv, 1944), 134 pp., in the Iraqi desert, as he prepared to fight the Germans.  From Polish he translated Juliusz Słowacki’s poem, Der foter fun di fardzhumete in el arish (The father of the plague in El Arish [original: Ojciec zadżumionych w El Arish]) (Warsaw, 1926), 22 pp.  He also edited the weekly newspaper Lodzher post (1936-1938).  He died in Melbourne.

Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928); D. Leybl, afterword to In shotn fun haknkrayts, detseylungen (In the shadow of the swastika, stories) (Tel Aviv, 1944), p. 134; Kh. Lazdeyski, in Der shpigl (Buenos Aires) (April 1946); Oystralishe idishe nayes (Melbourne) (September 22, 1950); Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 288.]

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