Sunday 9 July 2017


PESYE MAYEVSKI (b. March 19, 1924)
            She was born in Zhetel (Zdzięcioł), Belarus.  She graduated from a secular Jewish public school.  During the Nazi occupation, she was confined in the ghettos of Zhetel and Novogrudok (Navaredok), from whence she fled in the winter of 1943 through an underground tunnel and then joined a Jewish partisan group led by Tuvye Byelski which fought the Germans in the Polesye forest.  In 1945 she came with the illegal aliya to Cyprus and in 1948 settled in the state of Israel.  She debuted in print in Kleyne folkstsaytung (Little people’s newspaper) in Warsaw (1936), later contributing to: Landsberger lager-tsaytung (Landsberg camp newspaper) in 1945; Aheym (Homeward), a displaced persons’ camp newspaper in Leipheim, Germany, and she also served on its editorial collective; Nayvelt (New world), Unzers (Ours), Letste nayes (Latest news), Yisroel-shtime (Voice of Israel), Lebns-fragn (Life issues), Folksblat (People’s newspaper), and Yedies oyle zhetl (Information from immigrants from Zhetel)—all in the state of Israel; and Proletarisher gedank (Proletarian idea), Undzer veg (Our path), and Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture) in New York; among others.  Her poetry was included in: Shmerke Katsherginski’s collection, Lider fun di getos un lagern (Songs from the ghettos and camps) (New York, 1948); José Horn’s anthology, In unzer dor, erev un nokh treblinke in yidishn lid (In our generation, on the eve and after Treblinka in Yiddish poetry) (Buenos Aires, 1949); and Pinkes zhetl (Records of Zhetel) (Tel Aviv, 1957).  She was last living in Petaḥ Tikva, Israel.  “There is a charm and a tone of freshness in her poetry,” noted H. Leivick, “of natural brightness, of youthful hopes.”

Sources: Y. Pat, in Folkstsaytung (Warsaw) (December 12, 1936); A. Shulevitsh, in Aheym (Leipheim) 1 (February 19, 1946); M. Edelshteyn, in Aheym 14 (July 12, 1946); H. Leivick, Mit der sheyres-hapleyte (With the survivors) (New York, 1948), pp. 273-76; José Horn, In unzer dor, erev un nokh treblinke in yidishn lid (In our generation, on the eve and after Treblinka in Yiddish song) (Buenos Aires, 1949), p. 14.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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