Wednesday 20 June 2018


NEKHAME EPSHTEYN (November 4, 1898-late summer 1942)
            The wife of Shmuel Zaynvl Pipe, she was born in Lodz, Poland.  She received both a Jewish and a general education.  She was active in the left Labor Zionist party.  Until her death, she worked as a teacher in Jewish schools in Vilna, as a scholarly contributor to YIVO, and as a member of the ethnographic commission of YIVO.  In 1938 she completed her second term as a Szabad researcher.  She debuted in print with poems in Lodzher folksblat (Lodz people’s newspaper) in 1917 (using the pen name “A khaverte”), and thereafter published articles, essays on literature, book reviews, translations, and essays on pedagogy and school issues, as well as poems, in: Lodzher folksblat and Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper) in Lodz; Arbeter tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Shul-vezn (School system), and Di naye shul (The new school) in Warsaw; Vilner tog (Vilna day), Shul un lebn (School and life), Yivo bleter (YIVO pages), and Filologishe shriftn (Philological writings—issue 5), among others, in Vilna.  For the volume Dos tsveyte yor aspirantur (The second year of the research program) (Vilna: YIVO, 1938), pp. 102-11, he contributed: “Vi azoy tsu klasifitsirn dem yidishn vits” (How to classify the Jewish joke).  She translated, among other works: Regina Liliental’s 1924 work on the “evil eye”; Rabindranath Tagore’s “Santiniketan”; Romain Rolland’s L’Âme enchantée (The enchanted soul) as Di farkishefte neshome; and serially in Lodzher folksblat, Stanisław Brzozowski’s Płomienie (The flames) as Flamen, 2 vols (Warsaw, 1925), 352 pp. and 401 pp.  She assisted in collecting and editing the fifth volume of Y. L. Cohen’s Gezamlte ksovim, yidishe folks-mayses (Collected works, Jewish folktales) (Vilna, 1940).  She was confined in the Vilna ghetto.  She attempted to escape, but the Lithuanian guards caught her, took her to Ponar, and murdered her.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Yivo bleter (New York) 26.1 (September-October 1945); Sh. Katsherginski, Khurbn vilne (The Holocaust in Vilna) (New York, 1947); Lerer yizker-bukh (Remembrance volume for teachers) (New York, 1954), p. 290.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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