Thursday, 15 December 2016


ARN YUDELSON (July 17, 1907-1937)
            He was born in Riga, Latvia.  He received an elementary education.  From his youth he was active in the Communist youth movement.  In 1927 he moved to Poland, lived for a time in Vilna, and then in 1928 left illegally for Soviet Russia; he lived in Minsk and there graduated from university.  Until the trials of 1936-1937, he was an active leader in the field of Yiddish literature and culture, as well as in the general activities of the Communist Party in Minsk.  He began writing in 1923 in illegal Latvian Yiddish publications: Yunge pleytses (Young shoulders), Yung-shturem (Young storm), and other serials in 1923-1927.  He later contributed work to: Emes (Truth), Yungvald (Young forest), and Pyoner (Pioneer) in Moscow; Prolit (Proletarian literature) in Kharkov-Kiev; Der yunger arbeter (The young worker), Der yunger pyoner (The young pioneer), Oktyabr (October), and Shtern (Star)—in Minsk; and in almost all of the Yiddish literary periodicals in Soviet Russia.  The critics very warmly received his long poetic work, “Negoreloye” (as the railroad station at the Byelorussian-German border was known), in which the hero bids farewell to his childhood and expresses his great joy in arriving at his new home, the Soviet Union.  His later work, Kombinat (Multi-purpose enterprise) (Minsk, 1931), 75 pp., is a poem about socialist construction in Byelorussia which lauds the productivity of the Jewish population there.  In his poetry collection, Grenetsn (Borders) (Minsk, 1934), 149 pp., he engages in a polemic with those who entertain doubts about patriotism toward their new fatherland.  In this same spirit of ultra-patriotic feeling, he wrote two volumes of notes: Ba unz in land (With us on the land) (Minsk, 1934), 75 pp.; Roytfoniker kolvirt “kolos” (Red-banner collective farm Kolos) with F. Shefner (Minsk, 1934), 104 pp.  Other books include: Zangen (Stalks) (1936), 85 pp.  His work was represented in Deklamater fun der sovetisher yidisher literatur (Reciter of Soviet Yiddish literature) (Moscow, 1934); Atake, almanakh fun roytarmeyishn landshuts-literatur (Attack, almanac of the Red Army’s national defense literature) (1934).  He also translated from German into Yiddish a volume of poetry by Berthold Brecht (Minsk, 1937), 96 pp.  His writings were starkly denounced by an official Communist critic who accused him, on the one hand, of being “under pressure from nationalistic ideological baggage hostile to the proletariat,” and, on the other, simply renounced him as a Trotskyist who “served, under a literary mask, the contemptible enemies of the revolution.”  He was arrested in 1937 and died in a camp.  His poem, “Land fun magnit un boyung” (Country of great works and construction), which was published in the anthology Shtern, no longer appears in book form, and his name was, after 1937, no longer mentioned in Soviet Yiddish literature or the press.

Sources: M. Khashtshevatski, in Prolit (Kharkov-Kiev) (March-April 1930), p. 102; H. Bloshteyn, in Nayerd (Riga) (January 1932); L. Tsart, in Shtern (Minsk) (March 1932), pp. 47-52; A. Damesek, in Shtern (April-May 1935), p. 203, (October 1936), p. 68; Kh. Dunets, in Di royte velt (Kharkov) 3 (1933); Y. Bronshteyn, Sheferishe problemen fun der yidisher sovetisher poezye (Creative problems in Soviet Yiddish poetry) (Minsk, 1936), p. 64; N. Rubinshteyn, Dos yidishe bukh in sovetn-farband in 1934 (The Yiddish book in the Soviet Union in 1934) (Minsk, 1934), nos. 132, 151; N. Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher shrayber in sovetnfarband (Jewish creation and the Yiddish writer in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), see index; Pisʹmenniki Saveckaj Belarusi (Writers from Soviet Byelorussia) (Minsk, 1959), pp. 215-16.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 300; 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), pp. 179-80.]

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