Thursday 23 March 2017


YOYSEF LITITSHEVSKI (August 10, 1890-January 31, 1960)
            He was born in Krementshug (Kremenchuk), Ukraine.  He worked in a publishing house in Ekaterinoslav.  In 1910 he moved with his parents to Copenhagen, Denmark, and he worked there for the first six months in a Danish publishers and brought out a Yiddish newspaper for Jews living in Scandinavia.  After overcoming numerous material and technical difficulties, he acquired some Jewish type and a small hand machine, found among the Jewish immigrants from Russia some young folks with a desire to write, and with their help right at the deadline of May 21, 1911, published the first issue of Vokhen blat (Weekly newspaper), “independent weekly writing, first Yiddish newspaper in Scandinavia” (before this, he had produced two issues of the newspapers in Yiddish in Romanization).  Initially the newspaper was edited by Ben-Avrom and M. Kats, and Lititshevski was listed as the publisher; later, for a short period of time, H. L. Bregman served as editor.  In 1911 Kalmen-Arn Kohen (Arn Kohen) edited twenty issues, and from issue 14, Y. M. Brender (later to become editor) began to actively contribute.  On May 21, 1912, a commemorative issue of Vokhen blat was published: “one-year jubilee number,” in which was recounted how the newspaper became popular, how Danish Jews in particular had learned Yiddish in order to read this newspaper, and how the founder, Lititshevski, and his family made great sacrifices to make it possible for Vokhen blat to exist.  In 1914 Vokhen blat was published in both Yiddish and Danish (Mosaisk Ugeblad [Mosaic weekly newspaper]), and as editors it listed Lititshevski and Y. Mikhoelson.  He published and edited Vokhen blat until the early 1920s, and he later tried to publish other Yiddish newspapers, but they had no longevity to speak of.  He died in Copenhagen.

Sources: Y. Lititshevski, “Vi azoy ikh hob gegrindet dos vokhen blat(How I founded Vokhen blat), in the one-year commemorative issue of Vokhen blat (Copenhagen) (May 21, 1912); Jul Margolinsky, Jødisk Samfund (Jewish community) (Copenhagen, 1954); written information from Letitshevski’s daughter in Denmark, through the mediation of Y. Zilberberg in New York.
Zaynvl Diamant

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