Monday 22 January 2018


DOVID-LEYB (ARYE) NAYMARK (December 11, 1891-September 10, 1960)
           He was born in Shedlets (Siedlce), Poland.  He studied with his father in religious elementary school and in a yeshiva.  At age fourteen he began to make money by giving Hebrew lessons in private homes.  Together with his friends, former yeshiva lad, he published a Hebrew work, Hayehudi hatsair (The young Jew); and with his fellow townsman, Y. H. Fishman, he edited and published (1910) Dos shedletser vort (The Siedlce word)—several issues appeared.  He was also active in the Siedlce association “Yidishe kunst” (Jewish art), at which he gave public lectures on literary topics.  In 1916 he became an active member of the Bund, wrote party proclamations and appeals, and traveled around on party assignments through the towns of Siedlce and other districts in Poland.  His journalistic activities began around 1909 or thereafter with correspondence pieces in Hebrew and Yiddish newspapers.  In 1920 he went to Warsaw, and from there the central committee of the Bund sent him (1921) to do party work in Lemberg, eastern Galicia.  There he edited the Bundist weekly, Arbeter-shtime (Workers’ voice), while at the same time publishing correspondence pieces in New York’s Forverts (Forward).  In 1924 he settled in Warsaw and was a regular contributor to the daily Bundist Folks-tsaytung (People’s newspaper), for which he wrote the chronicle and served as night editor.  Under the pen name “Arye,” he published political notices, which were a big hit with the reading public.  He also commented on events in the land of Israel.  Until 1939 he traveled through Poland as a lecturer and speaker on behalf of the Bund, agitating during elections to Jewish community councils and to city councils, and during political elections to the Polish Sejm.  With the outbreak of WWII, he left on foot from Warsaw, remained in Vilna for a short while, and from there with help from the Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Labor Committee, he immigrated (1941) through Soviet Russia and Japan to Canada.  He lived in Montreal for a time, where he worked for the Canadian division of the Jewish Labor Committee and traveled on assignment through various cities in Canada.  He later moved to the United States, lived in Detroit, and was regular contributor to the Detroit edition of Forverts in New York.  From 1952 he was living in New York.  He was an internal contributor to Forverts, in which he wrote news and published articles, book reviews, and remembrance volumes for which he had a special interest.  He also placed a variety of articles in: Unzer tsayt (Our time) and Der veker (The alarm) in New York (toward the end of his life, he wrote numerous articles and critical reviews which he signed: D. Naymark, D. Shedletski, Arye, and R. Feder); Lebns-fragn (Life issues) in Tel Aviv; and Unzer shtime (Our voice) in Paris; among other serials.  He also wrote a chapter of memoirs, “Mayn tate moyshe mortkhe a’h” (My father Moyshe Mortkhe, may he rest in peace), in Yizker-bukh koriv (Remembrance volume for Kurów) (Tel Aviv, 1955).  He was a member of the New York organization of the Bund and of the Jewish Socialist Association (he administered several national tours on its behalf and on behalf of its organ, Der veker), and he gave speeches for both groups.  In 1959 he was a delegate to the second conference of the World Jewish Culture Congress in New York.  He visited Europe and the state of Israel in 1960.  After returning from this trip, he planned to write up a series of newspaper articles on the voyage, but he fell sick and after a severe illness died in a New York hospital.  He wrote as well under such pen names as: D. Krameyn and A. Veggrav.
            On September 12, 1960, an editorial in Forverts noted:

He was an extraordinarily responsible, intelligent, and gifted journalist, who had already established a name for himself in the old country, in Poland, where he began and developed his literary career.  He possessed great general and Jewish knowledge and had a profound interest in political and community issues, as well as issues in Yiddish literature and culture generally.  He was seriously dedicated to his work which he considered an important social duty that he always fulfilled with devotion, diligence, and energy.  Naymark survived, like many other Jews, a severe personal tragedy, due to the murder of his family in the camps of Hitler; and he carried this tragedy in himself like a heavy burden which always depressed his mood and saddened the final years of his life in America.  He expressed the pain in his writing which was permeated with sadness and grief.  When there was peace in his life, he made a trip to Israel, from which he returned full of fresh impressions that he collected to impart to readers of Forverts.  However, the first attempt at this, right after his first article which was not to see the light of day, he fell ill and never returned to himself.”

B. Shefner wrote as follows shortly thereafter:

Naymark was a fine writer; his articles possessed wisdom, writerly technique, a folkish, vigorous language, and frequently even a refined humor, the humor of a learned man.  More than a fine writer, however, Naymark was an honest, conscientious writer.  His writing had grounding, for behind the lines stood an ideological man who was prepared to defend his convictions under all conditions and seasons and to pay the highest price that a person could pay.  This earned him the respect and love of his colleagues….  Every month Naymark gave away about half of his modest salary (around $150 of $350) to various charitable causes.  He would also always busy sending packages to his relatives near and far and just to acquaintances and those he didn’t know who had turned to him.  He needed very little for himself.  He rarely bought a new article of clothing.  For years he did not attend the theater or even go to the movies.  He was constantly hearing the cries about him of the murdered children, and he derived some satisfaction from reading and reviewing remembrance volumes of various Jewish cities and towns.  This made his melancholy deeper.  He felt all the more that his place was there, not here.”

Sources: B. Shefner, Novolipye 7, zikhroynes un eseyen (Nowolipie 7, memoirs and essays) (Buenos Aires, 1955), p. 225; Shefner, in Forverts (New York) (September 17, 1960); Shefner, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (October 23, 1960); Sefer yizkor lekehilat shedlets (Remembrance volume for the Jewish community of Siedlce) (Buenos Aires, 1956), p. 281; Kh. Liberman, in Forverts (October 16, 1959); Unzer shtime (Paris) (May 7, 1960; September 21, 1960); Y. Bershteyn, in Forverts (September 26, 1960); Y. H. Fishman, in Unzer tsayt (New York) (October 1960); Y. Rotnberg, in Foroys (Mexico City) (October 1960); Der veker (New York) (October 1960); A. V. Yasni, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (October 5, 1960); Lebns-fragn (Tel Aviv) (October-November 1960); M. Elboym, in Forverts (October 26, 1960); Miriam Apelboym, “May feter dovid naymark, a’h” (My uncle Dovid Naymark, may he rest in peace), Forverts (January 1, 1961); Y. Horn, in Idishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (January 3, 1961); H. Kruk, Togbukh fun vilner geto (Diary of the Vilna ghetto) (New York: YIVO, 1961), see index.
Benyomen Elis

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