Wednesday 27 September 2017


YOYSEF-DOVID MITLPUNKT (December 25, 1889-March 20, 1974)
            He was born in Izhitse (Iżyce), Lublin district, Poland.  He attended religious primary school and the Radom yeshiva, and he had private tutors.  He was active in the revolutionary movement, and he spent time in prison earlier under the Tsarist authorities and later under the Poles.  He studied at Kiev University and practiced as a lawyer in various cities in Soviet Russia.  After WWII he lived in Ulm, Leipheim, and other Jewish refugee camps in Germany.  From 1948 he was living in the state of Israel.  He began writing in Russian for the Russian-Jewish Razsvet (Dawn) in St. Petersburg (1910).  For many years he remained a Russian writer and (using the pen names: Lazarov, A. Poliakov, Igorev, and Vereshchagin) published four volumes of stories in Russian.  In Yiddish he published a sketch—entitled “Tsvaygn” (Branches)—in Der fraynd (The friend) in Warsaw (1912), and in 1945 he again began to write in Yiddish.  He contributed to the Yiddish-language periodical in the Roman script A heym (A home) in Leiheim (1946) and to Unzder veg (Our way) in Munich, among other newspapers put out by Holocaust survivors in Germany.  From 1948 he was writing miniatures and allegories for Letste nayes (Latest news) for which he was a regular contributor, Nay-velt (New world), Unzer haynt (Our today), Dos vort (The word), and Heymish (Familiar); and in Hebrew for Davar (Word), Omer (Speech), Haboker (This morning), and Al hamishmar (On guard), among others—all in Tel Aviv.  In book form: Untervegns (Pathways), poetry on Holocaust and refugee themes (Ulm, 1947), 23 pp.; Fun alts tsu bislekh (From everything to little bits) (Tel Aviv, 1950), 64 pp.; Ver iz shuldik? Bildlekh, refleksn un alegoryes (Who is guilty? Images, reflections, and allegories) (Tel Aviv, 1958), 247 pp.; Meaḥore hasoreg (Behind the rack) (Tel Aviv, 1953), 130 pp.; Mi asham? (Who is guilty?) (Tel Aviv, 1959), 207 pp.  A group of his miniatures were translated into Hebrew by A. Shlonski, Asher Barash, Natan Goran, Yaakov Fikhman, Y. Tverski, and others.  He died in Ḥolon, Israel.

Sources: A. Shlonski, Asher Barash, and Y. Tverski, preface to Meaḥore hasoreg (Behind the rack) (Tel Aviv, 1953), p. 5; Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn Leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), pp. 264-65; Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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