YISOKHER MADFIS (1878-April 1942)
He was born in Lemberg, eastern Galicia. He was a descendant of the first Hebrew-Yiddish book publishers in Galicia. He received his education in public school, high school, and universities in Lemberg and Vienna. Together with Dr. Leon Raykh, in 1895 he founded the society Tsiyon (Zion). He contributed to the Yiddish, German Jewish, and Polish Jewish presses in Galicia and in Austria. He wrote for: Togblat (Daily newspaper) (1904-1906) and Der morgn (The morning) in Lemberg; Der tog (The day) in Cracow; and Viner morgntsaytung (Vienna morning newspaper) and Yidisher folksblat (Jewish people’s newspaper) in Vienna; among others. He was the author of a string of books on the history of Jews in Galicia, written in German and Polish. In Yiddish he wrote: Geshikhte fun tsienizm (History of Zionism), vol. 1 (from “Ḥibat tsiyon” [Love of Zion] to Herzl’s death in 1904) (Lemberg, 1934), 265 pp., vol. 2 (from Herzl’s death to the outbreak of WWI) (Lemberg, 1936), 212 pp., vol. 3 (from 1914 to the White Paper), not published because of WWII. He also published under the names: Hamadfis and Eḥad min Hamadfisim (One among the publishers), among others. He was murdered by Ukrainians as he was exiting the open ghetto in the city of Lemberg.
Sources: Dr. Y. Y. Poznanski, Sefer hashana lebibliyografya yehudit bepolanya (Annual of Jewish bibliography in Poland) (Warsaw, 1934), p. 46; “Yizker” (Memorial prayer), in Dos naye lebn (Lodz) (1946); Y. Shiloni, in Sefer lvov (Volume for Lvov [Lemberg]) (Jerusalem, 1956), p. 760; N. M. Gelber, Toldot hatenua hatsiyonit begalitsiya (History of the Zionist movement in Galicia) (Jerusalem, 1958), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks