SHIMEN YANOVSKI (1913-September 1944)
He was born in Lodz, Poland. He graduated from a secular Jewish school. He later was a laborer, active in the socialist youth organization Tsukunft (Future) and in the Bund. He published humorous poetry in Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper) in Lodz. His books include: Feygl in der luftn (Bird in the air), humorous sketches, parodies, and caricatures (Lodz, 1935), 62 pp.; Tsu zingen un tsu zogn: groteskn, improvizatsyes, parodyes un stsenkes (To sing and to speak: grotesqueries, improvisations, parodies, and sketches (Lodz, 1938), 162 pp. In the Lodz ghetto he wrote scenes for the theatrical revue, in which he also acted and sang. He was active in the underground Bund and in a secret writers’ circle surrounding the poet Miriam Ulinover. His satirical poems were a part of the anonymous derisive propaganda which encouraged Jews to withstand the difficult horrors of the ghetto. In August 1944, when at the time of the liquidation of the Lodz ghetto, he was sent to Auschwitz and murdered there in early September. His writings from the ghetto were lost, save one poem that remained: “A tantsenish af ayere kep” (A dance on your heads), which was discovered in the archive of the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland.
Sources: Y. Shpigel, in Dos naye lebn (Lodz) (August 31, 1946); A. Ayzenbakh, in the anthology Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings) (Lodz, 1948); Sh. Katsherginski, Lider fun getos and lagern (Songs of the ghettos and camps) (New York, 1948), p. 171; Y. Brisk, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (September 28, 1953; April 27, 1960); Brisk, in Der amerikaner (New York) (November 11, 1960); B. Mark, Umgekumene shrayber fun di getos un lagern (Murdered writers from the ghettos and camps) (Warsaw, 1954), pp. 161, 169; Mark, in Unzere lodz (Buenos Aires) 3 (September 1954), p. 47; Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), pp. 264, 266; Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (December 9, 1960); A. V. Yasni, Di geshikhte fun yidn in lodzh (The history of Jews in Lodz) (Tel Aviv, 1960).
Khayim Leyb Fuks