YOYSEF MESHOYRER (1868-August 14, 1914)
He was born in Proskurov, Podolia. He attended religious elementary school and a Russian high school, and he studied philosophy, chemistry, and mathematics in the universities of Frankfurt (Germany) and Warsaw (Poland), from which he received his doctoral degree. He first went to Warsaw in 1896 and became an intimate friend of Y. L. Perets and Nokhum Sokolov, before returning to Germany where he was active in the Jewish student organization. He later settled in Warsaw. He was active in Jewish community and cultural life, as well as the Zionist movement. He was a cofounder and for a time vice-chairman of “Hazemir” (The nightingale). Over the years 1897-1902, he was the commissary officer of the Jewish hospital in Czyste [a neighborhood in Warsaw]. He began writing poetry in German and under Perets’s influence switched to Yiddish. He was a contributor (from 1891) to Perets’s Yudishe biblyotek (Yiddish library), Bletlekh (Leaflets), and other publications. He wrote about philosophy and chemistry. He contributed as well to the German Jewish, Polish Jewish, and Russian Jewish press, such as: Der fraynd (The friend) in St. Petersburg; and Haynt (Today) and Hatsfira (The siren) in Warsaw, in which he published parts of one of his stories about Proskurov. He authored a four-act play about Jewish student life (which he read aloud before at the “Jewish Mondays” led by N. Sokolov), and together with others of his manuscripts it was lost during WWI. In 1963 in the Polish journal Problemy (Problems) 1 (Warsaw), portions of his work “On the Significance of Encyclopedic Knowledge” was published; it was translated into Polish by his son Adolf. He died in Bendin (Będzin).
Sources: Dr. Gershon Levin, Perets (Perets) (Warsaw, 1919), pp. 43, 48, 54, 55, 67, 74, 105; Meir Yaakov Fried, Yamim veshanim (Days and years) (Tel Aviv, 1939), p. 127; N. Sokolov, Perzenlekhkeytn (Personalities) (Buenos Aires, 1948), p. 171; Mark Turkov, Di letste fun a groysn dor (The last of a great generation) (Buenos Aires, 1954), p. 104; Yedies fun yivo (New York) 73 (January 1960); information from his son Adolf in Warsaw.
Khayim Leyb Fuks