Sunday 25 February 2018


MIKHL-BER SOKOLOV (1902-September 1942)
            He was born in Konskevolye (Końskowola), Lublin district, Poland.  He studied with his father in religious elementary school in Warsaw, and later until he was thirteen years of age with his grandfather in Vishegrad (Wyszogrod) and until the end of WWI in the Saratshaver.  In 1924 he joined the Hassidic pioneer movement and later was secretary to the Yabloner Rebbe and traveled with him to the land of Israel.  In the Hassidic colony of “Naḥalat Yaakov” (Inheritance of Jacob), he performed a number of tasks.  He left Israel in late 1926, lived for a time in Paris and Germany, and then returned to Warsaw where he lived until WWII.  He began writing stories about pious small town life in his father’s (N. L. Vayngot’s) Dos yudishe vort (The Jewish word) (1918-1919), later in Der yud (The Jew), both in Warsaw.  In Israel he was a contributor to the Aguda periodical Kol yisroel (Voice of Israel), in which he published stories, sketches, and reportage pieces of Hassidic and pioneer life in Israel.  He also placed work in: Beys-yankev-zhurnal (Beys Yankev journal) and Yudishe arbayter-shtime (Voice of Jewish labor) in Lodz; Ortodoksishe yugend-bleter (Orthodox youth pages) in Warsaw; and the Hebrew-language Menora (Menorah), Darkhenu (Our way), and Deglanu (Our banner), among others, in Warsaw.  When Dos yudishe togblat (The Jewish daily newspaper) was founded in Warsaw in 1929, he was one of the principal contributors to the newspaper.  During the Nazi occupation, he was confined in the Warsaw Ghetto, and he worked in a soup kitchen run by the Jewish literary association and also wrote.  With the Aktion of September 1942, he was taken to the Umschlagplatz (the collection point in Warsaw for deportation) and sent to Treblinka where he was murdered.  A number of his stories, sketches, and poems are included in M. Prager’s Antologye fun religyeze lider un dertseylungen (Anthology of religious poems and stories) (New York, 1955), pp. 313-74.  He also published in Hebrew: Haayara hayehudit bepolin (The Jewish town in Poland) (Jerusalem, 1958), 112 pp.; Demuyot (Characters) (Jerusalem, 1961), 177 pp.

Sources: Yidisher gezelshaftlekher leksikon (Jewish communal handbook) (Warsaw, 1939), p. 745; M. Prager, in Tsukunft (New York) (November 1946); Prager, in Fun noentn over (New York) 2 (1956), pp. 483, 487; Prager, Antologye fun religyeze lider un dertseylungen (Anthology of religious poems and stories) (New York, 1955), pp. 40-41; Dr. Hilel Zaydman, in Ela ezkera (These I remember), vol. 2 (New York, 1957), pp. 32-37; Rabbi Yaakov Murakovski, in Hamodea (Jerusalem) (Sivan 18 [= June 6], 1958); private information from Rabbi Dr. Meyer Shvartsman in Winnipeg.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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