Monday 13 November 2017


BOREKH MELAMED (1893-1937)
           He was born in a town near Vilna, into a working-class family.  Until WWI he was active in the Bund in Vilna district.  Until March 1917 he was living in Saratov, and there he worked on the relief committee for war victims.  At the central conference of the Bund in St. Petersburg in 1917, he was a delegate from the Volga region.  He later switched to the Communists.  He lived for a time in Moscow, where he continued his education.  He later—until 1937—was active in Ukraine, mainly in Odessa, where for a lengthy period of time he was professor of dialectics, history, and languages at the pedagogical technical school.  He was a contributor to: Der emes (The truth) and Der apikoyres (The heretic) in Moscow; Der shtern (The star) in Kharkov; and other serials.  Over the years 1927-1931, he was a member of the editorial collective and for a time editor of Der odeser arbeter (The Odessa worker).  For his “haphazard language work” and impure Yiddish, he was attacked at the All-Ukrainian Yiddish Language Conference (Kharkov, 1935), which precipitated repressive measures against him.  He was the author of pamphlets and booklets which were used until 1937 in the Yiddish schools of Soviet Russia, among them: Antiklerikale arbet in shul (Anti-clerical work in school) (Minsk, 1930), 84 pp., second edition (Kharkov, 1932).  During the Moscow show trials of 1936-1937, he was arrested and shot by the Stalinist authorities.

Sources: Y. Kaner, in Afn shprakhfront (Kiev) 3-4 (1935), p. 281; H. Vaynraykh, Blut af der zun (Blood on the sun) (New York, 1950), p. 50; Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; information from G. Aronson and H. Vaynraykh in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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