Thursday 10 May 2018


KALMEN (KALMAN) SEGAL (December 29, 1917-May 18, 1980)
            He was born in the town of Sonik (Sanok), eastern Galicia.  His father, Leybush Segal, was a village Jew who owned a small workshop.  His grandfather was a shopkeeper in the village of Trepcza in the district of Sanok.  He spent part of his youth in Vilna, where he worked as a house tutor, and part of in his hometown.  He lived in Soviet Russia during WWII.  He debuted in print with poems in the journal Oyfgang (Arise) in Linz, Austria.  Over the years 1945-1947, he published poetry and stories in: Untervegns (Pathways) in Linz (in Romanized transcription); Nayvelt (New world) in Tel Aviv; Folks-shtime (Voice of the people), Dos naye lebn (The new life), and Yidishe shriftn (Yiddish writings) in Warsaw); Ikuf (IKUF [= Jewish Cultural Association]) in Buenos Aires; Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture) in New York; and Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) in Moscow 3 (1964).  From 1969 he was living in Jerusalem.  He also wrote for Israel’s Goldene keyt (Golden chain), Bay zikh (On one’s own), Yerusholaimer almanakh (Jerusalem almanac), and Yisroel shtime (Voice of Israel).  His published books include: Lider (Poetry) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1952), 54 pp.; Tsu mayn nayer heym, poemes un lider (To my new home, poetry) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1953), 54 pp.; Friling bay mayn tir, lider (Spring at my door, poems) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1955), 34 pp.; Getraye libe (Devoted love), stories (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1960), 194 pp.—including, among others, the stories: “Pleytim” (Refugees), “Dos vegl fun maydanek” (The road from Majdanek), “In bunker” (In a bunker), and “Marantsn” (Oranges); in the last of these he describes a dying father and a poverty-stricken home—Sheyd-veg (Crossroad), stories (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1962), 250 pp.—the first part of which includes: “A kretshme in poyln” (A shop in Poland), “Vagabundn” (Vagabonds), “Dermonung fun an altn komi-voyazhor” (Remembrance of an old traveling salesman), “In shpitol” (In the hospital), and “Dikhtung un libe” (Poetry and love); the second part: “Mayselekh far dervaksene” (Stories for adults); A shtetl baym son (A town near the [river] San) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1965), 306 pp.; Der tayvl in shtetl (Devil in town) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1967), 331 pp.; Aleynkeyt (All alone) (Jerusalem, 1977), 195 pp.; Gezegenung, lider (Leavetaking, poetry) (Jerusalem, 1978/1979), 93 pp.; Vu shmeterlingen shvebn, dertseylungen (Where butterflies flutter, stories) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1981), 254 pp.  He also wrote ten books in Polish, all on Jewish themes.  He died in Jerusalem.

Sources: B. Heler, in Folks-shtime (Warsaw) 11 (172) (1950); L. Frumkin, in Folks-shtime 175 (1952); D. Sfard, in Yidishe shriftn (Warsaw) 12 (80) (1953; July 22, 1954; April 14, 1962); M. Sklyarek, in Yidishe shriftn 25 (1954; October 26, 1957); M. Mirski, in Yidishe shriftn (July-August 1954); Y. Goldkorn, in Folks-shtime (May 22, 1963); article from the editorial board, in Folks-shtime (September 4, 1963); Y. Bronshteyn, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (September 22, 1963); Sh. Shtern, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (August 9, 1964).
Leyv Vaserman

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 409.]

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