Wednesday 11 October 2017


            He was born in Lublin, Poland, the son of a Hebrew teacher, one of the most revered followers of the Jewish Enlightenment in Lublin.  He received a Jewish and a general education.  He graduated from the Lublin Russian high school.  Together with Yankev Glatshteyn, who was then a student with him in school, he published (1912-1913) a hectographically-produced Russian-language monthly.  During WWI he was active in the Jewish Folks-partey, and he represented it on the management committee of “Cultural Association” and “Hazmir” (The nightingale) in Lublin.  From 1918 to 1921, he was active in the Bund, though he soon came into secret contact with the leftist movement, was a cofounder of the Kombund (Communist Labor Bund), and subsequently became a leading member of the Jewish Bureau of the Communist Party in Poland.  He was active in Warsaw, Cracow, and Lemberg.  In 1933 he was arrested and sentenced to three years in prison, but after serving half a year he was involved in a prisoner exchange with the Soviet authorities.  He then worked for the foreign office of the Comintern in Moscow.  During the Show Trials of 1936-1937, he was sentenced to exile in the far North.  With the formation of the Polish government in 1945, he was set free from camp and returned to Poland.  He began writing in Russian and Polish, later switching to Yiddish.  He was a contributor to: Lubliner togblat (Lublin daily newspaper), in which, among others items, he published articles on Jewish philosophy; Lemberger togblat (Lemberg daily newspaper) (1916-1918); Lebens-fragen (Life issues) in Warsaw (1919-1920); and Vilner tog (Vilna day).  During his stay in Russia, he also wrote for: Veker (Alarm) in Minsk; Di naye tsayt (The new times) in Kharkov; and Emes (Truth) in Moscow.  He also contributed to the one-off Kombund publication Lodzher veker (Lodz alarm), among other one-off publications of the Kombund in Poland.  He served on the editorial board of: the illegal monthly Tsum kamf (To the struggle) in Warsaw (differing years); the periodical Dos lebn (The life) in Cracow (1923-1924); the weekly Di tsayt (The times) in Lemberg (1924); Unzer vort (Our word) in Cracow (1928-1929); and Fraye tribune (Free tribune) in Lodz (1930-1931); among others.  He authored the pamphlets: Der bund un der 2ter internatsyonal (The Bund and the Second International) (Lodz, 1930), 44 pp., using the pseudonym Y. Mendlin; 35 yor in dinst fun der burzhyazye (Thirty-five years in the service of the bourgeoisie) (Petrikov, 1933), 60 pp., under the pen name M. Landoy.  He also translated for the publisher “Di velt” (The world): Wilhelm Bölsche’s Di libe in der natur, entviklungs-geshikhte fun der libe (Love of nature, history of the development of love [original: Das Liebesleben in der Natur eine Entwicklungsgeschichte der Liebe]), vols. 1 and 2 (Warsaw, 1922), 198 pp., including a ten-page Yiddish glossary for terminology, and vol. 3 (Warsaw, 1922), 152 pp.  Over the years 1946-1956, he placed work in: Trybuna ludu (Tribune of the people), Nowe drogi (New road), and other Polish-language periodicals, but only very rarely did he write in Yiddish.  In 1956 he retired.  He spent 1960-1962 in Geneva, where he turned his attention to a monograph about Lenin and to translating and editing the entire corpus of writings by Marx and Engels.  From the beginning of 1963 he was back in Poland.  (His older brother, AVROM TSIMERMAN, died during the Nazi bombardment of Minsk in June 1941; he was well-known as a translator of Pushkin and Lermontov into Yiddish.  He published in Lubliner togblat and in Vaysenberg’s Inzer hofening (Our hope) in Warsaw.)

Sources: Y. Yashunski, in Bikher-velt (Warsaw) 2 (1922), pp. 182-83, 1-2 (1923), p. 45; Y. Sheyn, in Unter der fon fun k. p. p. zamlbukh (Under the banner of the Polish Communist Party, collection) (Warsaw, 1959), pp. 325, 326, 329, 337; Sh. Rozenberg, in Yizker-bukh pulav (Remembrance volume for Pulav [Puławy]) (New York, 1963); information from Yankev Glatshteyn in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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