Wednesday 1 November 2017


            He was born in the town of Pilts (Pilce), Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school, later in a Russian public school.  At age fifteen he moved to Warsaw, where he worked in a hardware shop and continued his studies.  From 1924 he published sketches and stories in: Ilustrirte vokh (Illustrated week), Shprotsungen (Young sprouts), Oyfgang (Arise), Literarishe zamlheftn (Literary notebooks), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Moment (Moment), Haynt (Today), and Inzer hofening (Our hope)—in Warsaw; Dos yidishe lebn (The Jewish life) in Leipzig; Zaglembyer tsaytung (Zagłębie newspaper); and the weekly Far groys un kleyn (For big and small) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  In 1926 he was awarded a prize from Tog (Day) in New York for his story “Shmates” (Rags).  At the beginning of the 1930s, he became a contributor to Literarishe tribune (Literary tribune) in Lodz, around which assembled the young writers: B. Heler, M. Shulshteyn, B. Shlevin, and others.  He wrote for Warsaw’s Fraynd (Friend), edited by A. Katsizne and K. Molodowsky, over the period 1934-1935.  His books include: Shmate-kloyber un andere detseylungen (Rag-picker and other stories) (Warsaw, 1926), 104 pp.; Di kapelye, dertseylungen (The band, stories) (Warsaw, 1930; Moscow, 1941), 221 pp.; Afn bruk, roman (On the pavement, a novel) (Warsaw, 1931), 159 pp.; Mentshn (People) (Vilna: B. Kletskin, 1935), 114 pp., republished in Folks-shtime (Voice of the people) in Warsaw (1960); and Dertseylungen (Stories), foreword by B. Mark (Warsaw, 1951), 150 pp.  He also published novels serialized in the newspaper under a pen name.  His work appeared as well in Lebn un kamf, zamlbukh fun der yidisher linker literatur in poyln (Life and struggle, anthology of leftist Yiddish literature in Poland) (Minsk, 1936).  When the Nazis occupied Warsaw, he and his wife and daughter left for Bialystok, and there he experienced all the torments of the refugee.  He later managed a home, worked in a state-run shop, and from time to time published reportage pieces and sketches in Bialystok’s Shtern (Star) and elsewhere.  In June 1941, several days before the Germans attacked Russia, he went for a summer’s rest to Druskenik, and his subsequent fate remains unknown.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (September 6, 1932); Y. Rapoport, in Vokhnshrift far literatur (Warsaw) (July 10, 1931); M. Litvin, in Literarishe tribune (Lodz) 35 (1932); A. Shvarts, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (September 26, 1935); B. Mark, in Shtern (Minsk) (November-December 1940); M. Mozes, in Der poylisher yid, yearbook (New York, 1944); Y. Y. Trunk, Di yidishe proze in poyln in der tekufe tsvishn beyde velt-milkhomes (Yiddish prose in Poland in the era between the two world wars) (Buenos Aires, 1949); Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; Dr. Y. Shatski, in In Jewish Bookland (New York) (June 1952).
Benyomen Elis

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 375.]

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