Thursday 28 September 2017


GITL MAYZIL (1898-November 1985)
            The sister of Nakhmen Mayzil, she was born in Kiev, Ukraine.  She received a Jewish and a general education.  She graduated from a Russian high school in Kiev.  After the February-March Revolution (1917), she moved to Moscow, worked for the society “Kamf kegn analfabetizm” (Struggle against illiteracy), and taught domestic serving girls to read and write.  Over the years 1922-1925, she lived in Warsaw, continued her education in a French school for literature, and turned her attention to translating children’s literature from Russian and Polish.  Over the years 1925-1928, she visited Germany and the United States, and later settled in the land of Israel.  Her writing activities began with an article on Osher Shvartsman in Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Warsaw (1922); she later published poetry and critical treatment of books as well in: Arbeter-tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper), Haynt (Today), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), and Bikher-velt (Book world), among others, in Warsaw; Nayvelt (New world), Di goldene keyt (The golden chain), Folksblat (People’s newspaper), Yisroel-shtime (Voice of Israel), Fray-yisroel (Free Israel), and in Hebrew Davar (Word), Al hamishmar (On guard), and Lamerḥav (To the horizon), among others, in Israel; Der hamer (The hammer), Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture), Morgn-frayhayt (Morning freedom), Proletarishe velt (Proletarian world), Ikuf-almanakh (IKUF almanac), and Unzer veg (Our way)—in New York; Arbeter-vort (Workers’ word), Di naye prese (The new press), and Parizer shriftn (Parisian writings)—in Paris; Ikuf-bleter (Pages from IKUF) and Haynt—in Buenos Aires; and others.  Her book-length translations include: Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky, Far yugnt (For youth) (Warsaw, 1924), 301 pp.; Isaac Babel, Di geshikhte fun mayn toybnshlak un andere dertseylungen (The story of my dovecote [original: Istoria moei golubyatni] and other stories) (Warsaw, 1927), 138 pp.; Lev Tolstoy, Far kinder (For children) (Vilna, 1928), 171 pp.; M. G. Rozanov (N. Ognev), Dos togbukh fun kotsya ryabtsev (The diary of Kostya Ryabtsev [original: Dnevnik Kosti Ryabtseva]) (Vilna, 1930), 520 pp.; Wanda Wasilevska, Regnboygn (Raibow [original: Raduga]) (Tel Aviv, 1946), 265 pp.; and Lord Russell of Liverpool, Di baytsh fun haknkreyts (Scourge of the Swastika) (Tel Aviv, 1956), 328 pp.  Several of her poems were included in Ezara Korman’s anthology Yidishe dikhterins (Yiddish poetesses).  Among other items, she edited the volume Hayeled beerets yisrael (The boy in the land of Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1945), 167 pp., which includes works by Israeli children in cities and kibbutzim.  She died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Ezra Korman, Yidishe dikhtrerins (Yiddish poetesses) (Chicago, 1928), pp. 285-88, 349; Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO), vol. 1 (Warsaw, 1928), see index; B. Kutsher, Geven amol varshe (As Warsaw once was) (Paris, 1955), see index; Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), pp. 266-67; N. Mayzil, Tsurikblikn un perspektivn (Retrospectives and perspectives) (Tel Aviv, 1962), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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