Tuesday 25 April 2017


VOLF-ZEV LIPSKER (1902-1943)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland, into a family that drew its pedigree back to Yeḥezkel Landau [1713-1793], the Noda Beyehuda (“known in Judah”).  He studied in religious elementary school, a small Hassidic synagogue, and the Ger yeshiva—and through self-study he acquired secular knowledge.  From his early youth he was an active leader of “Agudat Shelume Emune Yisrael” (Organization of the peaceful and faithful of Israel) and one of the directors of “Tseire Emune Yisrael” (Young believers in Israel) and of Poale Agudat-Yisrael (Workers of Agudat Yisrael) in Poland.  He began his writing works with lyrical poetry in Hebrew and published in the monthly Deglanu (Our banner) in Warsaw (1920), which he was then co-editing, and from that time he went on to publish poems, Hassidic tales, historical novels, and journalistic articles in: Der yud (The Jew), Dos yudishe togblat (The Jewish daily newspaper), Ortodoksishe yugend-bleter (Orthodox youth sheets), Darkhenu (Our path), Der flaker (The flare), Yugend-kreftn (Talents of youth) which he also edited in 1926, Hayom (Today), and Moment (Moment)—in Warsaw; Beys-yankev zhurnal (Beys Yankev journal), Der idisher arbayter (The Jewish worker), and Idishe arbayter-shtime (Voice of Jewish labor)—in Lodz; Unzer veg (Our way) in Shedlets; Der idisher veg (The Jewish path) in Cracow; Dos vort (The word) in Vilna; and Bendiner vokhnblat (Będzin weekly newspaper); among other serials.  In 1925 when B. Yushzon moved from Moment to Haynt (Today), for a time he wrote for Moment (using the name “Lukus”) feature pieces and political-polemical essays in Yushzon’s style.  He later became a polemicist in Yudishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper) and reacted in his daily features and articles to Jewish and world politics with a distinctive style.  He also published there the historical stories: Don yitskhok abarbanel, shpanende historishe ertseylung (Don Isaac Abarbanel, a thrilling historical story); Bay di bregen fun rhayn (On the banks of the Rhine)—which appeared in book form in Hebrew as Al gadot harhayn (On the banks of the Rhine) (Jerusalem, 1958/1959), two parts, 110 pp.—Tsvishn tsvey heymen (Between two homes); and the monographs Noda Beyehuda (later published in Hebrew [Jerusalem, 1960], 136 pp.) and Khasam soyfer (Chatam Sofer), among others.  He was the author of the hymn of Poale Agudat Yisrael, “Nisht fartsveyflen” (Don’t despair), and other songs, which were used in the Beys Yankev schools in Poland.  During the Nazi occupation of Poland, he was confined in the Warsaw Ghetto.  He worked in the ghetto mail (1941), continuing his writing and remaining active in “Jewish self-help.”  According to one source, on September 10, 1942, during the pass expulsion from the ghetto, he was sent from Umschlagplatz (the collection point in Warsaw for deportation) to Treblinka and killed there.  Others claim that he died in the Warsaw Ghetto the next year.  He also wrote under such pseudonyms as: Lukus, Lupus, Lamed-Vov, L. Zev, Politikus, Vel, Velvele, and Yekusiel.  His poetry and stories were republished in Udim (Firebrands) (Jerusalem, 1960), pp. 193-95, 330-35.

Sources: R. Feldshuh, Yidisher gezelshaftlekher leksikon (Jewish communal handbook) (Warsaw, 1939), p. 745; Z. Segalovitsh, Tlomatske 13, fun farbrentn nekhtn (13 Tłomackie St., of scorched yesterdays) (Buenos Aires, 1946), p. 154; Dr. H. Zaydman, Tog-bukh fun varshever geto (Diary of the Warsaw Ghetto) (Buenos Aires, 1947), pp. 50, 110, 139; Ele ezkara (These we remember), vol. 3 (New York, 1959), pp. 232-35; M. Prager, Antologye fun religyeze lider un dertseylungen (Anthology of religious poems and stories) (New York, 1955), p. 406; Prager, in Fun noentn over (New York) 2 (1956), pp. 473, 482, 513, 514; Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962), see index; information from Rabbi Meyer Shvartsman in Winnipeg.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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