Friday 26 May 2017


MESHULEM LEVIN (b. March 15, 1903)
            He was born in Loyvitsh (Lovich, Łowicz), Warsaw district, Poland.  He was a grandson of the Polish Jewish musician Shloyme-Arn Shtift and a nephew of the composer and playwright Herman Shtift.  He attended religious primary school and a Polish Jewish high school in Lodz, later studying at a conservatory and university in Nancy, France, where (in 1928) he graduated as a lawyer.  He then returned to Lodz, and in 1937 once again came and settled in France.  He was a member of the central committee of the Labor Zionist-Hitaḥdut (unity) party in France, a member of the central committee of the Jewish community federation, and a member of the executive of the Parisian bureau of the World Jewish Culture Congress, among other posts.  He began writing articles on economic issues in the monthly Der soykher (The merchant) in Lodz (1934-1935).  From 1946 he was a regular contributor to the daily newspaper Unzer vort (Our word) in Paris, in which he was also in charge of a column entitled “Yuridishe opteylung” (Legal department).  He contributed to: Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word) and Kultur-yedies (Cultural information) in Paris (1949-1951); Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) in New York (1952), pp. 364-68; Almanakh fun yidishe shrayber (Almanac of Yiddish writers) (Paris) 1 (1955), an enlarged treatment of Shtift; “Der natsyonaler oyfn fun unzer negine” (The ethnic manner of our music), Almanakh fun yidishe shrayber 2 (1960); and Ilustrirte literarishe bleter (Illustrated literary leaves) (Buenos Aires); among others.  He wrote the music for a number of poems by Yiddish poets.  His cantata to a text by Dr. M. Dvorzhetski (Mark Dvorzetsky), “Hayinu keḥolemim” (We were like dreamers) was performed in 1953 in Paris at the Palais de Chaillot.  His compositions “Khsidishe rapsodye” (Hassidic rhapsody) and “Elegye nokhn shtetl” (Elegy for a town) were recorded on record albums.  He served as editor of Tygodnik handlowy (Business week) in Lodz (1935); co-editor of Almanakh fun yidishe shrayber (Paris, 1955).  He was last living in Paris.

Sources: Y. Kornhendler, in Unzer vort (Paris) (January 23, 1955); Y. Zilberberg, in Unzer vort (October 8, 1955); Y. Stepler, in Tsienistishe shtime (Paris) (July 1, 1956).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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