Sunday 9 July 2017


RUVN MATIS (April 27, 1890-February 19, 1958)
            He was born in Siady (Seda), Lithuania.  He studied in yeshivas and later was an external student and attended the Hebrew teachers’ seminary in Vilna.  He was a teacher in the Shavel (Šiauliai) Hebrew high school “Bet Sefer” (School), and later, until 1939, its director.  In 1930 he began publishing in Kovno’s youth magazine Shvalbn (Swallows), and later he placed poetry and articles in: Folksblat (People’s newspaper), its supplement Kinder-blat (Children’s newspaper), Idishe shtime (Jewish voice), Shtraln (Beams [of light]), and Naye bleter (New leaves)—in Kovno; and Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) in New York.  During WWII he was confined in the Shavel ghetto and in the concentration camps of Stutthof and Dachau.  After Liberation in 1945, he settled in Munich and worked in the administration of Undzer vort (Our word).  He contributed poetry, stories, and articles to: Af der vakh (On guard), Undzer vort, Shriftn (Writings), and Hemshekh (Continuation)—in Munich; Kiem (Existence) in Paris; and Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine), Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), and Tsukunft (Future) in New York.  In 1948 he moved to Cape Town, South Africa.  There he worked as a teacher of Hebrew and Hebrew literature.  He contributed to the monthly put out by the Jewish cultural federation, Dorem afrike (South Africa), and to the Hebrew-language Barkai (Morning star)—both in Johannesburg.  He placed Hebrew stories and poems also in Haolam (The world), Dapim (Pages), and Nitsots (Spark).  Among his pen names: Roman Salim, Stam, and Ram.  He died in Cape Town.

Source: Y. Gar, “Bafrayte yidn” (Liberated Jews), in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957).
Benyomen Elis

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