Wednesday 13 September 2017


YOSEF MAGEN (b. May 27, 1909)
            The adopted name of Yosef Shif, he was born in Yedinets (Edineţ), Bessarabia.  He graduated from a Tarbut school and a Hebrew and a Romanian high school, and he went on to study law at Czernowitz University.  He was active in “Heḥaluts” (The pioneer), the student organization “Avoda” (Labor), and was later secretary general of the united Zionist labor party, “Poele tsiyon-Tseire tsiyon” in Romania.  From 1938 he was living in Israel.  He lived on kibbutzim, served later in the British military, and fought against the Nazis on the Italian front.  In 1945 he was involved with the group Briḥa (“escape” [organized, illegal emigration from postwar Soviet zones into Allied-held terrain in Europe]) in Eastern Europe and in the Holocaust survivors’ camps in Germany, Estonia, and Italy.  He was back in Israel from 1946.  His journalistic activities began in the youth publication Yugnt-shtime (Voice of youth) in Czernowitz (1931); he was later Czernowitz correspondent for Unzer tsayt (Our time) in Kishinev, as well as a member of the editorial board of the weekly Oyfboy (Construction) in Czernowitz (1937).  He also contributed work to: Bafrayung (Liberation) and Der morgn (The morning) in Munich (1946-1947); Folk un tsien (People and Zion), Iḥud (Unity), and Yediot (News) in Tel Aviv; Unzer vort (Our word) in Paris; Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal) in New York; and in Hebrew to Ḥadashot haarets (News of the land), Ḥadashot haarets (News of the land), Yom-yom (Daily—also on its editorial board), Haolam haze (The world), Davar hashavua (Word of the week), Ashmoret (Night watch), Omer (Speech), and Tafrit (Menu), among others.  From 1950 he served on the editorial collective of Davar (Word) in Tel Aviv.  Together with Moshe Grosman, he co-edited the Yiddish-language Mapai newspaper Dos vort (The word) in Tel Aviv (1951-1953), initially published thrice weekly, later a daily.  He was editor-in-chief (1957-1958) of the daily newspaper Unzer vort out of Paris.  He authored the reportage works: Eilat (Eilat) (Tel Aviv, 1952), 46 pp.; Mishpote prag (The trials in Prague) (Tel Aviv, 1958); among other works.  He published under such pseudonyms as: Y. M. Sniper, Ḥidkel, A. Aviezer, Ben-Magen, and M. Kama.  He was last living in Tel Aviv, where he was editor of Ilustrirte velt-vokh (Illustrated world-week).

Sources: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 6 (Tel Aviv, 1955), p. 2494; Sh. Sand, in Sefer hashana shel haitonim (Newspaper yearbook) (Tel Aviv, 1952/1953), p. 228; L. Shtern, in Unzer shtime (Paris) (February 7, 1958).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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