Tuesday 31 October 2017


            He was born in Biten (Byteń), Slonim-Baranovich region, Byelorussia.  He studied in Talmud-Torah and with his father, a Hebrew teacher, later graduating from a Polish public school in Byteń and a commercial school in Baranovich.  He was active in “Heḥaluts” (The pioneer).  During WWII he served in the Polish army and later, as a Polish citizen, he was dispatched to military the labor battalion in the Urals.  After the war he lived for a time in refugee camps in Germany.  In 1947 he immigrated to Cuba, lived in Havana, assumed important positions, and took charge of a daily Yiddish radio broadcast for the Zionist movement.  He was a regular contributor to Havaner lebn (Havana life) and other Yiddish publications in Cuba.  In 1948 he moved to the land of Israel, served in the Israeli military, and took part in the war of independence for the state of Israel.  He returned to Cuba in 1949.  In book form he published: Fun goles daytshland biz medines yisroel (From the diaspora in Germany to the state of Israel) (Havana, 1952), 157 pp.; Gezamlte noveln (Collected stories) (Havana, 1952), 22 pp.; Gloybndik in oyfkum fun medines-yisroel, geklibene shriftn (Believing in the rise of the state of Israel, selected writings) (Havana, 1952), 44 pp.; Tsifern un faktn vegn idishn yishev in kuba (havana un provints) (Numbers and facts about the Jewish community in Cuba, Havana and the provinces) (Havana, 1952), 16 pp.; Biten (Byteń) (Havana, 1954), 84 pp.; Fun biten biz yerusholaim (From Byteń to Jerusalem) (Havana, 1955), 236 pp.; and a booklet in Spanish entitled Temas Cubanos (Cuban topics) (Havana, 1953), 15 pp.  In the spring of 1956 he returned to Israel where he was living in Haifa.

Sources: Y. Leshtshinski, in Forverts (New York) (September 27, 1952); Der Lebediker, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (May 23, 1955); M. Ginzburg, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (April 9, 1956); A. Volf Yasni, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (June 1, 1956).
Zaynvl Diamant


  1. Greetings,
    Gershon Minkowitz is my mother's uncle, I would like to know how to get copies if any of his books if they exist.

    Segev Nitzchona

    My grandmother Chaya Shalgi was a sister of Gershon Minkowitz