HILLEL MAYMUN (1885-winter 1942)
He was born in Kalvarye (Kalvarija), Suwalk region, Lithuania. In his youth he moved with his parents to Lodz, and there he studied in religious elementary school and in a Russian high school. In 1904 he joined the Lodz Labor Zionists, and from 1907 he was one of the leaders of the Lodz organization; he was later arrested and exiled for three years to Siberia. In 1910 he returned to Lodz and went on to live in Warsaw. When the Germans invaded Poland in 1939, he fled to Bialystok and was persecuted there as a Labor Zionist; he then moved on to Lide (Lida) where he was arrested by the N.K.V.D. (Soviet secret police) and was thrown into prisons in Lida and Vilna, before being exiled to the far northern regions of the Komi wastelands, where he died of hunger. His writing work began in the Labor Zionist publication Der proletarisher gedank (The proletarian idea) in Vilna (1906), and he went on to write for: Forverts (Forward) in Vilna (1906-1907); Dos yudishe arbayter-vort (The Jewish workers’ word), Arbayter-tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper), and Arbayter-vort (Workers’ word) in Warsaw (1906-1907); Lodzer nakhrikhtn (Lodz reports) (1907) and Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper) (until 1910), for which he served as assistant editor; Unzer leben (Our life) in Warsaw (1911-1912); Nayer morgenblat (New morning newspaper) in Lodz (1912-1913), in which he wrote every Friday a “Kinder baylage” (Children’s supplement) and published poetry, children’s stories, humorous sketches, feature pieces, and puzzles under such pen names as Rabbi Hillel, Hillel Hazokn, Der Zeyde, and Der Alter; and Haytn (Today) in Warsaw (1913); Lodzer folksblat (Lodz people’s newspaper) (1915-1917); Varshever tageblat (Warsaw daily newspaper) (1916-1917); and once again Haynt (1928-1939). In addition he contributed to: Di kopike (The kopek) in Warsaw (1906); Erev shabes (Sabbath eve)—initially, an occasional journalistic and literary periodical (1913-1914) and later (from July 31, 1914) a weekly—for which he was also an editor; the literary periodicals Shvat, Oder, Nisn, Ier, Sivn, and Tamez [names in Yiddish for the months of the Jewish calendar: Shevat, Adar, Nissan, Sivan, and Tammuz] and the humorous anthology Di shviger (The mother-in-law)—all in Warsaw (1910-1913), and served as editor for them all; and Unzer shtime (Our voice) in London (1910). He was one of the principal contributors to the Labor Zionist presses, Der hamer (The hammer) in Vilna (1907-1907) and Arbayter-heym (Workers’ home) in Warsaw (1919-1935). For the latter he translated (from Russian), adapted, and popularized Ber Borokhov’s Klasn-interesn un di natsyonale frage (Class interests and the national question [original: Klassovye momenty nat︠s︡ionalʹnogo voprosa]) (Vilna, 1907), 71 pp., which appeared as well in a number of subsequent editions, the last of which in Munich in 1947; Herman Garter’s Historisher materyalizm (Historical materialism [original: Istoricheskii Materializm]) (Warsaw, 1919), 125 pp., five editions, the last of which appeared in 1925; Dr. Yitsḥak Shiper’s Onhoyb fun kapitalizm bay yidn in mayrev-eyrope (The beginning of capitalism for Jews in Western Europe [original in German: Anfänge des Kapitalismus bei den abendländischen Juden]) (Warsaw, 1920), 80 pp., as well as a series of pamphlets from “Der Hamer” publishers in Vilna (1906-1907).
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Y. Zerubavel, in Yidisher arbayter-pinkes (Jewish workers’ records) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; A. Kirzhnits, Yidishe prese in der gevezener rusisher imperye, 1823-1916 (The Yiddish press in the former Russian empire, 1823-1916) (Moscow, 1930), see index; Dr. R. Feldshuh, Idishe gezelshaftlikher leksikon (Jewish communal handbook), vol. 1 (Warsaw, 1939), pp. 836-37; M. Mozes, Der poylisher yid (The Polish Jew), yearbook (New York, 1944); Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings), anthology (Lodz, 1946), section on “remembrance”; B. Kutsher, Geven amol varshe (As Warsaw once was) (Paris, 1955), see index; Avrom Zak, Knekht zenen mir geven (We were slaves), vol. 1 (Buenos Aires, 1956), p. 64; A. Tenenboym, Lodzh un ire yidn (Lodz and its Jews) (Buenos Aires, 1956), see index; Kh. Finkelshteyn, in Fun noentn over (New York) 2 (1956), pp. 206, 209, 210; Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over 3 (1957), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks