Tuesday 6 March 2018



            He was an important journalist and community leader in the Soviet Union. From the first years of the Bolshevik upheaval, he was a member of the Communist Party and an active leader in the struggle on behalf of the Party’s general line. A farmer by trade, he actively participated in directing the Jewish colonization in the districts of Stalindorf, Kalinindorf, Nay-Zlotopol, Crimea, and later in Birobidzhan. For a time he served in the Jewish division of the central executive commission in Ukraine, but later he was removed from this post for “left deviationism.” He contributed to the daily newspapers Emes (Truth) in Moscow and Shtern (Star) in Kharkov, and the Kharkov journals Di royte velt (The red world), Prolit (Proletarian literature), and other publications. Over the years 1932-1934, he played a part in the Kharkov monthly journal Bahershn di tekhnik fun der sotsyalistisher landvirshaftlekher produktsye (Mastering the technique of socialist agricultural production), organ of the People’s Commissariat of Agriculture, Ukrainian S.S.R., Ukrainian Collective Farm Center; he was a member of the editorial board of the journal, 1933-1934, and a frequent contributor to its pages. He also served on the editorial board of the Russian-language Jewish journal Tribuna (Tribune) in Moscow (1927-1937) and wrote many pieces for it. In 1944 his work appeared in the anthology Tsum zig (To victory), published in Moscow under the editorship of Perets Markish, but after the mid-1930s his fate remains unknown, and one may assume that he fell victim to Stalinist terror.

In book form he published: Vuhin geyt di ekonomishe antviklung fun di yidishe arbetndike-masn in di kapitalistishe lender un in ratnfarband (Where is the economic development of the Jewish working masses in the capitalist countries and in the Soviet Union going?) (Kharkov: Ukrainian State Publishers, 1929), 63 pp.; Birobidzhan un palestine (Birobidzhan and Palestine) (Kharkov: Central Publishers, 1929), 52 pp.; Di ekonomishe lage fun idishn shtetl (The economic state of the Jewish town) (Moscow: Gezerd, 1929), 27 pp.; Eynike yediyes vegn der aynordenung fun der yidisher oremkeyt (Some information concerning the arrangements for Jewish poverty) (Kharkov: Ukrainian gezerd, 1930), 25 pp.; Farvos kemfn mir kegn religye (Why we fight against religion) (Kharkov: Central Publishers, 1931), 98 pp.; Der haynt un der morgn fun di yidishe ibervander-fondn in ukraine (Today and tomorrow in the Jewish immigration funds in Ukraine) (Kiev: Central Publishers, 1931), 65 pp.; Frages un entfers vegn biro-bidzhan (Questions and answers about Birobidzhan) (Kharkov, Central Publishers, 1931), 62 pp.; Di proletarishe fabrik tsu hilf dem yidishn ibervanderer (The proletarian factory to help the Jewish migrant) (Kharkov: Central Publishers, 1931), 31 pp.; Der yidisher fashizm un klerikalizm tsu dinst dem kapital (Jewish fascism and clericalism in service to capitalism) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1932), 47 pp.; Di yidishe ibervanderung in krim (Jewish migration in the Crimea) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1932), 62 pp.; Kalinindorfer rayon (Kalinindorf region) (Moscow: Emes, 1932), 72 pp.; Di ibervanderung in nay-zlatopoler rayon (The migration in Nay-Zlatopol region) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1933), 21 pp.; Nay-zlatopoler rayon (Nay-Zlatopol region) (Moscow: Emes, 1933), 72 pp.; Eynike yedyes vegn stalindorfer rayon (Some information on the Stalindorf region) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1933), 21 pp.; Vegn der ibervanderung in kalinindorfer rayon (On migration to the Kalinindorf region) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1933), 18 pp.; Stalindorfer rayon (Stalindorf region) (Moscow: Emes, 1933), 83 pp.; and Birobidzhan (Birobidzhan) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1933), 97 pp.; among others.

Sources: Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index.

Leyb Vaserman

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 400; and Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 260-61.]

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