Tuesday 31 July 2018


            He was born in the town of Podbrod (Pabrade), near Vilna.  He graduated from the Vilna Hebrew teachers’ seminary, and thereafter, until 1935, he was a teacher in Vilna, Grodno, and Warsaw.  He began writing lyrical poetry in Di tsayt (The times) in Vilna (1928), and later he contributed to: the anthologies Ershter shnit (First cut) (1929-1932), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Haynt (Today), and Dos vort (The word), among others, in Warsaw; Tsukunft (Future) in New York; and elsewhere.  From 1935 he was living in the land of Israel.  He was a teacher and worker at a series of Hebrew pedagogical institutes in the state of Israel.  He authored the textbooks: Mikraot yisrael (Reading about Israel), with S. Z. Ariel and M. Blikh (Jerusalem, 1955/1956-); Toledot yisrael (History of Israel), with B. Avivi (Tel Aviv, 1952-).  He was last living in Tel Aviv, administrator of a high school. 

Sources: Sh. Zaromb, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (September 24, 1929); N. Mayzil, in Haynt (Warsaw) (July 5, 1935); Shmerke katsherginski-ondenk-bukh (Memorial volume for Shmerke Katsherginski) (Buenos Aires, 1955), p. 333; Y. Yeshurin, in Tsukunft (New York) (December 1962).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


DANIEL PERSKI (PERSKY) (August 8, 1887-March 15, 1962)
            He was born in Minsk.  He studied in religious elementary schools until age thirteen, thereafter with private tutors.  He was a fervent Zionist from youth, active in Hebrew-speaking youth circles and also giving lectures in Hebrew.  For a time he lived in Warsaw.  He moved to New York in 1906 and worked there as a teacher.  He was a co-founder of “Histadrut Ivrit” (Hebrew organization) and of Hebrew-language journals.  He was a close contributor to Hatoran (The duty officer) and Miklat (Refuge).  For many years he wrote feature pieces for Hadoar (The mail) and edited its publications for children and youth.  He also published articles and features in: Der idisher kemfer (The Jewish fighter), Dos idishe folk (The Jewish people), Farn folk (For the people), and Kundes (Prankster), among others, in New York; and the Philadelphia anthologies Der shtern (The star) (1906-1907).  He was the author of Hamedaber ivrit (Spoken Hebrew), a handbook for Hebrew conversation, translated into Yiddish with a short grammar (New York, 1920), 183 pp. (there is as well an English publication by him entitled Spoken Hebrew: A Manual of Conversations [New York, 1921], 201 pp.); and he also collected folklore.  In 1950 he was awarded the Louis Lamed Prize for his Ivri anokhi (I am a Jew) (New York, 1947), 313 pp.  He also authored a number of other books, including: Leelef yedidim (To a thousand friends) (New York, 1938), 96 pp.; Matamim leag (Festivities) (New York, 1938/1939), 256 pp.; Zemanim tovim (Good times) (New York, 1943/1933), 272 pp.; Lekhvod haregel (In honor of the festival) (New York, 1946), 326 pp.; Tseok meerets-yisrael (Laughter from the land of Israel) (New York, 1950/1951), 266 pp.; Kol hamoed (Sound of the holiday) (Tel Aviv, 1957), 215 pp.; Began eden shel yeladim ivrim (In the Garden of Eden of Jewish children) (New York, 1957/1958), 68 pp.; Lashon nekiya (Respectful language) (New York, 1962), 228 pp.  He also used the pen name “Ben Rivka.”  He wrote about the Yiddish elements in aim Nachman Bialik (in Aisefer in New York in 1959/1960) and about contemporary influences on writers in both languages.  In his weekly feature in Hadoar, “Kedaber ish el reehu” (Speaking one man to another), he wrote memories of Jewish writers and incorporated facts about Jewish cultural activities of bilingual writers, although he was a representative of Hebrew with the motto: “Eved leivrit anokhi ad netsa” (I am a slave to Hebrew forever).  He died in New York and was buried in the state of Israel.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Zalmen Shneur, in Hadoar (New York) (August 20, 1948); A. Faynshteyn, in Hadoar (Tevet 10 [= December 30], 1949); Dov Sadan, Kearat egozim o elef bediha ubediha, asufat humor be-yisrael (A bowl of nuts or one thousand and one jokes, an anthology of humor in Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1953), see index; A. B. Shurin, in Forverts (New York) (August 22, 1954); Y. K. Miklishanski, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia) “Yidn” 5 (New York, 1957), p. 159; Avraham Shaanan, Milon hasifrut haadasha haivrit vehakelalit (Dictionary of modern Hebrew and general literature) (Tel Aviv, 1959), p. 654; Shloyme Bikl, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (March 24, 1962); A. Golomb, in Der veg (Mexico City) (June 9, 1962); Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York: Yad Vashem and YIVO, 1962), see index; Y. Kabakov, Ḥalutse hasifrut haivrit beamerika (Pioneers of American Hebrew literature) (Tel Aviv, 1966), see index; Hadoar (Iyar 14 [= May 18], 1962), articles dedicated to Perski’s memory.
Benyomen Elis


            He was born in Vilna.  He published a book of poems entitled Navenad (Wandering) (New York: Maygold Printing Co., 1931), 143 pp.—in Romanized script.  For a time he lived in Woodstock, New York.  He also published a poetry collection in English: [About the Hour-Glass and the Scythe (Woodstock, NY: Maverick Press, 1939), 94 pp.].

Source: A. A. Roback, The Story of Yiddish Literature (New York, 1940).
Yankev Kahan


SHMUEL PERSOV (1889-1950)

He was a prose author, born in the town of Pochap, Chernigov (Chernihiv) district, Ukraine. Until age thirteen he studied in yeshiva and went to work at a very early age. He was active in the Bund (1905-1906) after the Revolution of 1905. Around 1907 he emigrated to the United States and worked in a sweatshop. He began writing in America and debuted in print in 1909 with a story in the weekly Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York. In 1910 he returned to Russia and worked at a government post in Ukraine. He came to the realization over the next decade that his true calling was literature, and in the first issue of the journal Kultur un bildung (Culture and education) in 1918, he placed his story “Der shvayger” (The quiet person) which carried the subtitle “A folks-mayse” (A folktale). Aside from articles on economic problems in the Russian press, he published folktales, sketches, and stories in: Der yidisher komunist (The Jewish Communist), Di komunistishe velt (The Communist world), Emes (Truth), and Kharkover tsaytung (Kharkov newspaper), among others; and together with Moyshe Taytsh and Khayim Gildin, he organized the Moscow Yiddish literary group of proletarian writers. He participated at that time in the literary evening begun by the journal Shtrom (Current). In 1922 he published his first booklet of prose work: Sherblekh (Shards). He aimed higher with his second prose book, Takhles (Purpose) of 1927, and then his third book the next year, Kornbroyt (Rye bread). After the poor reception of his 1931 novel Kontraktsye (Counteraction), he sensed the artistic failure of the work and switched over to documentary prose writing, his true métier. In 1935 he published Mentshn fun metro (People of the [Moscow] subway). Just then, Maxim Gorky was launching a project on the history of the factory, and Persov undertook to write for this projected series a volume on a metallurgy factory in the Urals. His book, Di geshikhte fun lisve (The history of Lisve) did not have the good fortune to see the light of day. Mass arrests of “enemies of the people” began, and many of the people involved in his documentary work were purged. His book Yankev moshkovski (Yankev Moshkovski) was dedicated to that heroic aviator and later was qualified as a “nationalistic deviation,” because Moshkovski was a Jew. In 1941 his book Yankev smushkevitsh, der doplter held fun ratnfarband (Yankev Smushkevitsh, the twofold hero of the Soviet Union) appeared in print, and that same year the “hero” of the book was executed as an “enemy of the people.” Persov was arrested on January 18, 1949. He was tried twice: the first time on February 10, 1950 for spying and anti-Soviet, nationalistic activities and sentenced to twenty-five years in an “improvement colony”; the second time on November 22, 1950, he was sentenced to death. The judgment of the second trial was carried out and he was shot.

His published books include: Sherblekh, stories (Moscow, 1922), 17 pp., (Jerusalem rpt.: Hebrew University, 1983), 27 pp.; Kornbroyt, dertseylungen (Rye bread, stories) (Moscow: Shul un bukh, 1928), 143 pp.; Kontraktatsye, roman (Counteraction, a novel) (Moscow: Shul un bukh, 1931), 267 pp.; Tog un nakht, dertseylungen (Day and night, stories) (Moscow, Emes, 1933), 209 pp.; Mentshn fun metro, portraits (Moscow: Emes, 1935), 82 pp.; Viva stalin! dertseylung (Long live, Stalin!, a story) (Moscow: Emes, 1938), 18 pp.; Alfolkisher yontev (Holiday for all peoples) (Moscow: Emes, 1938), 11 pp.; Oytsres, dertseylungen (Treasures, stories) (Moscow: Emes, 1939), 126 pp.; Yankev moshkovski (Moscow: Emes, 1940), 55 pp.; Yankev smushukevitsh, der doplter held fun ratnfarband (Moscow: Emes, 1941), 99 pp.; Dayn nomen iz folk, fartseykhenungen vegn yidn partizaner (Your name is the people, notes concerning Jewish partisans) (Moscow: Emes, 1944), 122 pp.; Moyshe khokhlov, der held fun sovetnfarband (Moyshe Khokhlov, hero of the Soviet Union) (Moscow: Emes, 1946), 30 pp.; and Izbrannoe (Selected [writings]) (Moscow: Sovetsii pisatel', 1957), 400 pp. His work was also represented in the anthology, A shpigl af a shteyn, antologye, poezye un proze fun tsvelf farshnitene yidishe shraybers in ratn-farband (A mirror on a star, anthology, poetry and prose from twelve murdered Jewish writers in the Soviet Union), including a biography (Tel Aviv: Di goldene keyt, 1964); and he translated: Di letste teg (The last days) (Kharkov, 1932), 176 pp.; and Sedovs marsh (Sedov’s march) (Kharkov, 1932), 93 pp., about Georgy Sedov’s expedition to Frantz Josef Land in 1929 [original: Boris Gromov, Pochod “Sedova”: Ekspeditsiya “Sedova” na zemlyu Frantsa-Iosifa v 1929 godu].

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; A. Dameshek, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (June 22, 1928); Y. Bronshteyn, in Di royte velt (Kharkov) (October 1928); Bronshteyn, in Atake, almanakh fun roytarmeyishn landshuts-literatur (Attack, almanac of the Red Army’s national defense literature) (Moscow-Kharkov-Minsk, 1931); A. Abtshuk, Etyudn un materialn tsu der geshikhte fun der yidisher literatur bavegung in FSRR (Studies and material for the history of the Yiddish literature movement in the Soviet Union) (Kharkov, 1934); V. Vitkin, in Shtern (Minsk) (February 1935); B. Glazman, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (October 4, 1940); N. Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher arbeter in sovetn-farband (Jewish creation and the Jewish worker in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959); Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; A. Pomerants, Di sovetishe haruge malkhes (The [Jewish writers] murdered by the Soviet government) (Buenos Aires, 1962), pp. 176-81; Stefan Podoinitsin, in Sovetish heymland (Moscow) 6 (1964); D. Krivitski, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York) (March 1966); A shpigl af a shteyn, antologye, poezye un proze fun tsvelf farshnitene yidishe shraybers in ratn-farband (A mirror on a star, anthology, poetry and prose from twelve murdered Jewish writers in the Soviet Union), including a biography (Tel Aviv, 1964), pp. 744-45.
Benyomen Elis

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 434; 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. 284-86.]


MOYSHE PERNSON (December 24, 1902-January 5, 1969)
            He was born in Warsaw.  He studied until age thirteen in religious elementary school, later in the craftsmen’s school in the Warsaw Jewish community and with private tutors.  In 1918 he joined the Bundist youth organization “Tsukunft” (Future) and took part in the performances of one-act plays and also performed poetry recitals and monologues.  In 1922 he entered the first Yiddish drama school under the direction of Dr. M. Vaykhert.  He published a series of reviews, articles, and essays on theater and actors in: Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm), and Foroys (Onward).  After Hitler’s invasion of Poland, he fled to Lithuania.  In 1941, after much wandering through Lithuania, Switzerland, Russia, and Japan, he arrived in New York, where he became a drama teacher in the Sholem Aleichem Middle School.  He wrote for: Unzer tsayt (Our times) and Veker (Alarm) in New York; and Unzer gedank (Our idea) in Buenos Aires.  He was co-editor of the anthology: Yidish teater in eyrope tsvishn beyde velt-milkhomes (Yiddish theater in Europe between the two world wars) (New York: Jewish Culture Congress, 1968), 515 pp.  He died in New York.

Source: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 3 (New York, 1959).
Leyb Vaserman


            He was born in Dombrovits (Dubrovitsa), Volhynia.  He graduated from the Vilna teachers’ seminary of Dr. Sh. Y. Tsharno.  From 1933 he studied law for several years at Vilna University, and he later studied further in Israel.  At age sixteen he published a story in the Rovno weekly Voliner shtime (Voice of Volhynia).  He went on also to write poetry.  In 1941 he escaped from Nazi occupation to Russia.  In 1948 he came to Israel.  In addition to Voliner shtime, he wrote for: Voliner nayes (News of Volhynia) in Rovno; Dos vort (The word) in Munich; Unzer vort (Our word) in Paris; Undzer tsil (Our goal) and Oyfgang (Arise) in Austria; Dos vort and Undzer haynt (Our today) in Israel; and Loshn un lebn (Language and life) in London; among others.  From 1953 to 1968 he was a member of the editorial board of Letste nayes (Latest news) in Tel Aviv.  He was the author of: Nisht oysdertseyln (Not to be revealed), poetry (Jerusalem: Fraynd fun Yidish, 1941), 122 pp.; Matilda-rokhl (dos s. s.-meydl), roman fun nokhn tsveytn velt-krig (Matilda-Rachel, the S. S. girl, a novel from after WWII) (Tel Aviv: Fraynd fun Yidish, 1958-1972), 15 volumes; Haposhaat, roman (The criminal, a novel) (Tel Aviv, 1969), 325 pp.  He was last living in the state of Israel.

Sources: Sefer hashana shel haitonaim (Yearbook for journalists) (Tel Aviv, 1958/1959), p. 255; Tsukunft (New York) (December 1951); S. Palme, in Loshn un lebn (London) (September 1951); Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), p. 483.
Yankev Kahan

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 434.]

Monday 30 July 2018


SHIYE (JOSHUA) PERLE (1888-early November 1943)
            He was born in Radom, Poland, into a family of a village hay merchant.  Until age twelve, he studied in religious elementary school and later graduated from a four-level Polish high school.  He was employed in a manufacturing company, later coming to work with a locksmith.  In 1905 because of a romantic story, he departed for Warsaw and became an employee in a bank and a bookkeeper.  He remained in Warsaw until WWII.  His literary activities began under the influence of Noyekh Prylucki.  Until 1907 he composed poetry in Russian—among other items, an elegy to the death of Dr. Herzl—and translated from Russian and Polish into Yiddish, and thereafter he switched entirely into Yiddish.  He debuted in print with a story “Shabes” (Sabbath) in the anthology Der nayer gayst (The new spirit) in Warsaw (1908).  He wrote stories, sketches, novels, literary essays and criticism, articles, and polemical works for virtually all of the literary periodicals and publications in Poland.  Among other venues, he contributed work to: Yugnt-velt (Youth world), Blumen (Flowers), Unzer lebn (Our life), Ringen (Links), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Varshever shriftn (Warsaw writings), Varshever almanakh (Warsaw almanac), Foroys (Onward), the anthology Naye himlen (New heavens), Dos vort (The word), Kunst un lebn (Art and life), Vokhnshrift far literatur (Weekly writing for literature), and Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm) in Warsaw.  For many years he placed work in Moment (Moment), in which, among other items, he published anonymously, under three asterisks, newspaper novels serially.  From 1937, when he joined the Bund, he became a regular contributor to Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper) in Warsaw, in which, aside from novellas and novels, he published articles and polemics (under the pen names: Y. Per and Yot-pe).  In the first period of his writing, he belonged to the Asch-Weissenberg school in Yiddish literature, with an inclination toward sentimental romanticism, and in more recent years he has been stressed as the creator of an innovative style of storytelling.  He artistically gave expression to the Jewish man and especially the Jewish woman, beyond their Jewish relationships and their living conditions.  In the shadow plays of love and sentiment, he emphasized the erotic element, both among the well-to-do bourgeoisie as well as in common proletarian environs.  He was also the first to give expression in Yiddish prose to the character types from big cities and especially the figures of office workers and clerks.  From the immense number of Perle’s works which were not produced as books, we should note: “Hintergasn” (Back streets), the third part of his autobiographical epic—with Yidn fun a gants yor (Everyday Jews) and Di gildene pave (The golden peacock)—published in Folkstsaytung in Warsaw (1937-1938); Naye mentshn, roman (New people, a novel), published in the press and reworked into a three-act play entitled Mentshn (People) which was staged by Ida Kaminski in the Nowości Theatre in Warsaw (1936).  In book form: Mirl (Mirl), a novel of a Jewish salon girl in Poland (Warsaw, 1921), 136 pp., second edition (1926), translated into Hebrew by M. Mindelman under the title Bat ḥava (Daughter of Eve) (Warsaw: Tsentral); Unter der zun (Under the sun), a novella from the big city (Warsaw, 1920), 208 pp.; In der land fun der vaysl (In the country of the Vistula [River]), poetry in prose from Polish Jewish life (Warsaw, 1921), 112 pp.; Zind (Sin), a novella (Warsaw, 1923), 201 pp.; Nayn a zeyger inderfri, noveln (Nine o’clock in the morning, novellas) (Vilna, 1930), 285 pp.—the longest story therein, “An orntlekhe froy” (An honest woman), for which he received a prize from Tog in New York in 1927, was reprinted in installment in Folksshtime (People’s voice) in Warsaw (1960)—Yidn fun a gants yor, an epic of Jewish life in Poland (Warsaw, 1935), 460 pp., second edition (1937), which was awarded a prize from the Bund and from the Yiddish Pen Club in Poland (a new edition of the book appeared with a preface by Leo Finkelshteyn in Buenos Aires in 1951); Di gildene pave, a novel in two parts (Warsaw, 1937-1939), 510 pp.  From Polish he translated: Janusz Korczak’s Moyshelekh, yoselekh, yisroeliklekh (Moyshes, Yosls, and Yisroels [original: Mośki, Joski i Srule] (Warsaw, 1922), 197 pp., new edition (Buenos Aires, 1950); Wacław Sieroszewski’s play Man un vayb (Man and wife) (Warsaw, 1922); and from German, Oleg Svendsen’s Barnholmer legendes (Legends from Barnholm) (Warsaw, 1923).  In September 1939, as the Nazis were approaching Warsaw, he fled to Soviet-occupied Lemberg, and until 1941 he chaired the writers’ association there.  He made his way to Kiev and published portions of his work “Shosey” (Highway) about Jewish refugee life.  When the Germans subsequently seized Lemberg, he returned illegally to Warsaw, and until 1942 he worked in a shop in the ghetto and was active writing.  Later, with the Kirschenbaum exchange group, he was placed in a special camp within Bergen-Belsen, where he ran a literary conversation group, striving to raise their fallen courage.  On October 21, 1943 he was dispatched to Birkenau, next to Auschwitz, and several days later murdered.
            Portions of his writings in the Warsaw Ghetto, the novel Undzer orem broyt (Our poor bread), the chronicle of the destruction of Warsaw, and a feature piece about shop life were discovered in the unearthed materials from the Ringelblum archive.  The latter two were published in Bleter fun geshikhte (Pages from history) in Warsaw 3 (1951) and in the collection Tsvishn lebn un toyt (Between life and death) (Warsaw, 1955).
            As Shloyme Bikl wrote, “Perle does not veil his people.  Perle’s manner of storytelling is rather an overt naturalistic, a naked one.  Perle’s naturalism is modest.  Modest not by virtue of his intentions, but by virtue of his objectlessness.  The spiritual and physical baring of the characters in Perle’s Yidn fun gants a yor acts like the pious nakedness of Adam, like children on a warm summer’s day.  This nakedness not only does not hinder but it wins one’s heart with its lyricism and its charm….  However, one thing that Perle’s language possesses is its genuine extraordinariness.  It is abundantly playful and full of authentic dialogue.  Such dialogue…is truly a great artistic achievement.”
            “One of the Yiddish writers,” noted Y. Y. Trunk, “who began to arouse interest in the Jewish person outside of his relationships and living conditions was Joshua Perle….  Perle novellas were the shadow plays of love and sentiment in circles of middle-class Jewish youth in Poland….  Even in the plays of love and eros, Perle remains in the domain of popular Jewish sentimentality….  Perle’s greatest success is his book Yidn fun a gants yor….  It is the epic of the shtetl, the epic of a disappearing generation that remained entirely in the darkness of the past, the ranks of the last Mohicans remaining in the mild, fair illumination of the present.”

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2, with a bibliography; Y. Y. Zinger, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (February 4, 1927); Perets Markish, in Shtern (Minsk) (1927); M. Natish, in Literarishe bleter (June 8, 1930); Meylekh Ravitsh, in Vokhnshrift far literatur (Warsaw) (January 7, 1932); Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 1 (Montreal, 1945), pp. 168-70; Rokhl Oyerbakh, in Literarishe bleter 6 (December 13, 1935); Oyerbakh, in Eynikeyt (New York) (June 1946); Oyerbakh, in Kidesh hashem (Sanctification of the name) (New York, 1946), p. 109; A. L. Tats, in Zibn teg (Vilna) (January 10, 1936); Y. Bashevis, in Literarishe bleter (May 29, 1936); Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) (July 1936); Leo Finkelshteyn, in Zamlbikher (New York) 7 (1948), pp. 370-81; Finkelshteyn, Loshn yidish un yidisher kiem (The Yiddish language and Jewish survival) (Mexico City, 1954), pp. 277-90; E. Almi, in Poylisher yid, yearbook (1944); Almi, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (December 19, 1952; October 15, 1960); Yonas Turkov, Azoy iz es geven (That’s how it was) (Buenos Aires, 1948), see index; Ester Boyman, in Dos naye lebn (Warsaw) (February 16, 1948); Y. Y. Trunk, ed., Di yidishe proze in poyln tsvishn beyde velt-milkhomes (Yiddish prose in Poland between the two world wars) (New York, 1949), pp. 77-86; Shloyme Bikl, in Tsukunft (February 1952); B. Mark, Umgekumene shrayber fun di getos un lagern (Murdered writers from the ghettos and camps) (Warsaw, 1954), pp. 58-63, 109, 139ff; Sh. Slutski, Avrom reyzen-biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen’s bibliography) (New York, 1956), no. 4846; B. Shefner, Novolipye 7, zikhroynes un eseyen (Nowolipie 7, memoirs and essays) (Buenos Aires, 1955), p. 77; Y. Sh. Herts, Doyres bundistn (Generations of Bundists), vol. 2 (New York, 1956), pp. 256-57; P. Shvarts, in Fun noentn over (New York) 2 (1956), p. 428; Yankev Pat, in Tsukunft (July-August 1957); Dr. E. Ringelblum, in Folksshtime (Warsaw) (April 10, 1959); Avrom Zak, In onheyb fun a friling, kapitlekh zikhroynes (At the start of spring, chapters of memoirs) (Buenos Aires: Farband fun poylishe yidn, 1962), see index; Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


SHMUEL PERLMUTER (April 25, 1904-September 10, 1982)
            He was born Aleksander, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school and yeshiva.  From 1934 he was living in the land of Israel.  He was active among the left Labor Zionists.  From time to time he published poetry in Yidishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) and Letste nayes (Latest news) in Tel Aviv.  In book form: Af heymisher erd, lider (On familiar land, poetry) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1979), 131 pp.  In his bequest was a historical work about the Perlmuter family.  He died in Bat-Yam.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 433.
Ruvn Goldberg


SHOLEM PERLMUTER (March 21, 1884-October 1, 1954)
            He was born in Podvolotshisk (Pidvolochys’k), eastern Galicia.  He studied in religious elementary school, in the Husiatyn synagogue, and with private tutors.  In 1900 he was active in the organization “Ivri” (Jewish) and later “Aḥava” (Brotherhood).  At that time he debuted on the stage in Moyshe Rikhter’s Hertsele miyukhes (Hertsele of good family stock), Goldfaden’s production of Rabi yozelman (Rabbi Yozelman), and other plays.  He later traveled around with various Yiddish wandering troupes in the provinces of Austria, Bukovina, and Galicia.  In 1906 he came to the United States.  From 1907 to 1931, he was a prompter for a number of Yiddish theaters in New York and also for Maurice Schwartz’s Yiddish Art Theater.  In Galicia he debuted in print with sketches in Lemberger togblat (Lemberg daily newspaper) and Tshernovitser vokhnblat (Czernowitz weekly newspaper).  He wrote articles, memoirs, and biographies of actors, composers and playwrights.  He published in: Der amerikaner (The American), Tog (Day), Almanakh (Almanac), and Tsen yor artef (Ten years of the Artef [Communist-inspired Yiddish theater]) in New York; Idishe velt (Jewish world) in Philadelphia; Arkhiv far der geshikhte fun yidishn teater un drame (Archive for the history of Yiddish theater and drama), edited by Y. Shatski, in Vilna (1930).  In addition to sketches, one-act plays, and historical operas, he also wrote numerous plays—among them: Abi gezunt (As long as you’re healthy), Basheve (Bathsheba), and Mendl beylis (Mendel Beilis)—which were performed in various theaters in New York and in other cities.  He was the founder and secretary of the Jewish Playwrights’ League and the founder of the Association of Jewish Composers, Songwriters, and Publishers.  He was also a member of the executive of the Yiddish Theater Museum Society and a committee member of the Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater).  His rich theater archive is housed at YIVO under the name “Sholem Perlman Archive.”  He was the author of Idishe dramaturgn un teater kompozitors (Yiddish playwrights and composers) (New York, 1952), 400 pp.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 3 (New York, 1959); Y. Mestel, 70 yor teater-repertuar (Seventy years of theater repertoire) (New York, 1954), see index; “Khronik” (Chronicle), in Yidishe kultur (New York) (November 1954); Kh. Gotesfeld, in Forverts (New York) (February 10, 1959); Kh. Erenraykh, in Forverts (April 12, 1961).
Benyomen Elis


            He was born in Radom, Poland, the son of the first Jewish Sejm deputy, Rabbi Avraham Tsvi Perlmuter.  He studied in yeshivas and received ordination into the rabbinate, but he had no desire to become a rabbi.  Thus, in 1903 he left Poland and wandered through England, France, and Germany, later settling in Belgium.  He was a diamond cutter, a ritual slaughterer, and leader in Agudat Yisrael.  He published articles and correspondence pieces from Belgium for Der yud (The Jew) and Idishes togblat (Jewish daily newspaper) in Warsaw, and he contributed to Di idishe prese (The Jewish press) in Antwerp, among other serials.  He authored the monograph: Harav reb avrom-tsvi perlmuter, zayn lebn un shafn (Rabbi Avraham-Tsvi Perlmuter, his life and work) (Antwerp, 1933), 142 pp., with a preface containing biographical details.  From the time of the Nazi invasion and occupation of Belgium, there has been no further information about him.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


MORTKHE PERLMUTER (January 25, 1888-January 22, 1962)
            He was born in Ludmir (Volodymyr Volyns’kyi), Volhynia, into an affluent family.  He attended religious elementary school and graduated from a municipal school.  He took part in the revolutionary movement in Warsaw, 1903-1904, and he was a frequent visitor at the home of Y. L. Perets and a copier for him (they were distant relatives).  In 1906 he immigrated to the United States and worked in sweatshops in New York.  In 1907 he began writing in Russian.  In 1908 he debuted in print with a series “Lider fun gloybn” (Poems from beliefs) in Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor).  He later published poems, essays, and critical treatments in: Arbeter fraynd (Workers’ friend), Fraye gezelshaft (Free society), Bodn (Ground), Gerekhtikeyt (Justice), Fraye arbeter-shtime, Feder (Pen), Pyoner (Pioneer), and Nyu-yorker vokhnblat (New York weekly newspaper).  He also contributed humorous works to: Kibetser (The joker), Der idisher gazlen (The Jewish bandit), and Forverts (Forward) in New York.  In addition, he translated one-act plays.  In book form: Lider fun gloybn (New York, 1922), 96 pp.  Among his pen names: Matveyke, Motele, and Faran Kavey.  In 1959 he was a member of the editorial collective of Fraye arbeter-shtime.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 3 (New York, 1959); Sh. Slutski, Avrom reyzen-biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen’s bibliography) (New York, 1956), no. 4639; A. Glants, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 31, 1962); A. Nisenzon, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (May 1, 1962); Arbeter-ring boyer un tuer (Builders and leaders of the Workmen’s Circle), ed. Y. Yeshurin and Y. Sh. Herts (New York, 1962), p. 302.
Benyomen Elis

Sunday 29 July 2018


HERSHL PERLMUTER (b. March 6, 1909)
            He was born in Stertsev (Stercew), Poland.  In his youth he moved to Sosnowiec.  He survived the ghetto and Auschwitz.  After WWII he was in Holocaust survivor camps in Germany.  From there he left for Paris.  In book form, he published: Mayn stertsev (My Stercew) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1967), 181 pp.; An aktyor in oyshvits (An actor in Auschwitz) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1971), 227 pp.; Bine-maskes bay katsetler, yidish teater nokhn khurbn (Stage masks for concentration camp survivors, Yiddish theater after the Holocaust) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1974), 227 pp.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 433.
Ruvn Goldberg


FROYM-FISHL PERLMUTER (May 15, 1894-June 14, 1965)
            He was born in Rovno, Volhynia.  In his youth he moved to Lodz.  He studied in religious elementary school and later became a tailor.  Until 1907 he was active in the Lodz Jewish labor movement.  He then immigrated to the United States, lived in New York until 1912, and later departed for London; in 1922 he came to Montreal, Canada, and then back to the United States.  From 1943 he lived in Pasadena, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles.  He debuted in print with poetry in Lodzer nakhrikhtn (Lodz reports) in 1907, and went on to publish poems, stories, sketches, impressions, and short features in: Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper), Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper), Lodzer folksblat (Lodz people’s newspaper), Romantsaytung (Fiction newspaper), and Der shtrahl (The beam [of light]) in Warsaw; Arbeter fraynd (Friend of labor), Dr. Zalkind’s Idishe velt (Jewish world), the monthly Yugend-shtrahlen (Youth beams), and Di tsayt (The times), among others, in London; Vilner tog (Vilna day), Kopenhagener vokhenblat (Copenhagen weekly newspaper), Keneder odler (Canadian eagle), Nyuansn (Nuances), and Der idisher zhurnal (The Jewish journal), among others; Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Di feder (The pen), and Nyu yorker vokhnblat (New York weekly newspaper) in New York.  In the summer of 1964 he visited the state of Israel and wrote poems for Letste nayes (Latest news), Folksblat (People newspaper), Yisroel-shtime (Voice of Israel), and Problemen (Problems) in Tel Aviv.  He suddenly fell ill and had to leave Israel.  He was later hospitalized for a time before dying in Santa Barbara, California.

Source: Information from Y. A. Rontsh in Los Angeles.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            He was born in Lodz, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school, yeshiva, and a German high school.  Until 1906 he was a contributor to the German-language Neue Lodzer Zeitung (New Lodz newspaper), and he was later among the first contributors to the Yiddish press.  He placed work in: Lodzer nakhrikhtn (Lodz reports) (1907) and Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper) (1907-1926).  In addition to poetry, stories, sketches, and newspaper articles, he also published daily features under the pen name Avreml.  He wrote work for: Y. L. Perets’s Yontef bleter (Holiday sheets) in 1895, Romantsaytung (Fiction newspaper), Der shtrahl (The beam [of light]), and Teater velt (Theater world), among others, in Warsaw.  In book form: Mishpet fun kapitan dreyfus (The trial of Captain Dreyfus), four poems (Warsaw, 1898), 24 pp.  He was the first author and publisher of humorous journals and holiday sheets in Lodz, among others: Dos lodzer vitsenblat (The Lodz newspaper of jokes) (1903); Gutvokh (Good evening) and Kukeriku (Cock-a-doodle-doo) (1904); Der lodzer katsef-yung (The young Lodz butcher) (1905); Di baytsh (The lash) and Peysekh-blat (Passover news) (1909); Yontef gelekhter (Holiday laughter) and Fayerlekh (Little fires) (1910).  In 1924 he settled in Germany and became a major dealer in fur coats.  He died in Berlin.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; A. Kirzhnits, Yidishe prese in der gevezener rusisher imperye, 1823-1916 (The Yiddish press in the former Russian empire, 1823-1916) (Moscow, 1930), see index; Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), see index.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


EMANUEL(-DOVID) PERLMAN (July 14, 1879-June 15, 1953)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland.  He received a religious education.  In 1904 he came to the United States.  He studied at Brooklyn College and later became a dental technician.  He was active in the Jewish labor movement and a member of the Workmen’s Circle.  For a certain time he worked as a reporter for Forverts (Forward) in New York.  He died in New York.
Benyomen Elis


N. PERLMAN (PERELMAN) (b.ca. 1897)
            He came from Russia, studied in religious elementary school, received a higher education, and was knowledgeable of foreign languages.  He came to the United States around 1910-1912.  There he served for several years as secretary for Sholem Asch.  He debuted in print in the 1920s, writing articles and fictional works.  For a lengthy period of time, he was a contributor to Forverts (Forward), in which he published stories—both original works and translations.  Later, for a short time, he was connected to Morgn-frayhayt (Morning freedom) in New York.  He was mainly known as a translator of fiction and scholarly writings.  His published translations in book form include: Jack London, Far odemen (Before Adam) (New York: Naye Tsayt, 1920), 194 pp.; Pyotr Kropotkin, Di parizer komune, di natsyonale frage (The Paris Commune, the nationality question) (New York: Kropotkin Literary Society, 1923), 63 pp.; Baruch Spinoza, Der teologish-politisher traktat (Theological-political tractatus [original: Tractatus Theologico-Politicus]) (New York, 1923), 375 pp., with Dr. Farnberg; Anatole France, Der oyfshtand fun di malokhim (The revolt of the angels [original: Revolte des anges]) (New York, 1920s), 303 pp.; Arthur Schopenhauer, Di khokhme fun lebn un andere eseyen (Knowledge of life and other essays [original: Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit (Aphorisms on the wisdom of life)]) (New York, 1920s), 302 pp.; Romain Rolland, Muter un zun (Mother and son [original: Mère et fils]) (New York, 1920), 400 pp.; Thomas Paine, Di tsayt fun farshtand, di epokhe fun ratsyonalizm, a shtudye vegen dem emes un ligen fun religye (Time for understanding, the age of reason, a study of the truth and falsities of religion [original: The Age of Reason]) (New York, 1920s), 230 pp.  He was last living in Israel.

Sources: Dr. A. Ginzburg, in Tsukunft (New York) (February 1924); Y. Rabinovitsh, in Yoyvl-bukh keneder odler (Jubilee volume for Keneder odler) (Montreal, 1932); Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (August 1933).
Leyb Vaserman


YUDE-LEYB PERLMAN (b. September 17, 1936)
            He was born in the village of Timkovits (Tsimkavichy), near Minsk, Byelorussia.  He studied in yeshivas.  Until 1890 he was a Talmud teacher in Slutsk, Kalvarye (Kalvarija), and Vilna.  He authored ethical religious texts in Yiddish (signed “Yehude Leyb mi-Vilna), and he translated into a popular Yiddish: “Seliot” (Penitential prayers), “Kinot” (Dirges), “Hoshanot” (Hosannas), and other prayers (Vilna, 1889).  His Yiddish prayer book, Minkhes yude (Yehuda’s prayers), with his own commentaries in Yiddish (published in many editions, the first in Vilna in 1892), includes a preface by Rabbi Reynes of Lida.

Sources: Ben-Tsien Ayzenshtadt, Dor rabanav vesofrav (A generations of rabbis and authors), vol. 2 (Vilna, 1900), pp. 40-41; archival materials.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


YANKL PERLMAN (ca. 1900-1981)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland.  By trade he worked as a baker.  He was active in the revolutionary workers’ movement.  Because of political persecution, he fled in 1930 from Poland and settled in Paris.  In book form: Dos yingl fun krokhmalnye, a khronik fun a lebn (The lad from Krochmalne [Street], a chronicle of a life), vol. 1 (Paris: Oyfsnay, 1968), 275 pp., vol. 2 (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1971), 207 pp.  He died in Paris.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 433.


ZEV-VOLF PERLMAN (b. July 12, 1871)
            He was born in Tukum (Tukums), Courland, Latvia.  He attended religious elementary school, a Mitau (Jelgava) high school, University of Berlin, and the Berlin-based school of “Wissenschaft des Judentums” (Science of Judaism).  In 1896 he graduated with a medical degree.  Together with Chaim Weitzman and Nachman Sirkin, he belonged to a student group in Berlin.  At that time he was a correspondent for Algemeine Zeitung des Judentums (General newspaper of Judaism) and for Ost und west (East and West).  He published in German in them stories with translations from Sh. Frug’s poetry.  During WWI he served as a military doctor in the Russian rehabilitation center in Samara Province.  He published articles and poetry in Yiddish newspapers and contributed to Folks gezund (People’s health), in which he placed a series of essays entitled “Obergloybn in meditsin” (Superstition in medicine), “Iber taneysim” (On fasts), and the like.  In book form: Heylkraft fun medikamentn, a historish meditsinishe ophandlung (The healing power of medicine, a historical medical treatment) (Vilna: Tomor, 1933), 44 pp.  He also penned a play Miriam (Mariamne the Hasmonean) and Konnina (images of Jewish life), and he also left in manuscript a translation into Yiddish of Goethe’s Faust.  He died in Vilna on the eve of WWII.

Sources: Information from D. Abramovitsh in New York; A. Y. Goldshmid, in Vilne (Vilna), anthology (New York, 1935), pp. 398-411; A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (April 3, 1935).
Benyomen Elis



            He was a journalist, born in Warsaw, Poland. Until the 1920s he was a member of the central leadership of the Folks-partey (People’s party). He was later active in the Communist movement, principally in Gezerd (All-Union Association for the Agricultural Settlement of Jewish Workers in the USSR) in Poland, and a fervent proponent of the Soviet Union. For nearly fifteen years, he was among the main contributors to Moment (Moment) in Warsaw (1920-1934), and he was a member of the editorial board of Dos folk (The people) in Warsaw. In 1934 he organized and directed an illegal trip to Birobidzhan. From this trip he produced that same year: Birobidzhan, shilderung fun a rayze (Birobidzhan, description of a voyage) (Warsaw, 1934), 256 pp.—it also appeared in a separate edition in 1934 in Buenos Aires with a forward by the author (143 pp.). In it he described his impressions, full of inspiration drawn from what he saw and heard there. Because of a court sentence, he departed from Poland illegally for Russia in late 1935. There he was, over the years 1935-1937, an internal contributor to Emes (Truth) in Moscow, and he wrote for Birobidzhaner shtern (Birobidzhan star) and Oktyabr (October) in Minsk, among other serials. During the show trials of 1937, he was arrested and sent for many years to a Soviet camp in the distant North. He miraculously survived, and was freed in 1955, ailing and broken, as one deceived by Soviet realities. He became a devout, religious Jew. He contributed as well to: Der nayer gedank (The new idea) in Vilna; Iberboy (Reconstruction) in Warsaw (1933-1935); Velt iberblik (World survey) in Warsaw (1935); and a number of illegal Communist publications in Warsaw, Lodz, and Lemberg.

Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; Yidisher gezelshaftlekher leksikon (Jewish community handbook) (Warsaw, 1939), p. 265; Z. Segalovitsh, Tlomatske 13, fun farbrente nekhtn (13 Tłomackie St., of zealous nights) (Buenos Aires: Central Association of Polish Jews in Argentina, 1946), p. 107; Khayim Shoshkes, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (July 7, 1956); August 31, 1958).

Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: 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), p. 284.]


NOSN PERLBERG (1884-August 17, 1937)
            He was born in Zhirardov (Żyrardów), Poland, to a father who worked as a ritual slaughterer.  Orphaned in childhood on his mother’s side, he moved with his father to Khodetsh (Chodecz), near Vlotslavek (Włocławek), and he studied with the local rabbi there.  In 1905 he immigrated to the United States, and there he began to work actively in the establishment of the Labor Zionist movement.  He published with several other young leaders a weekly newspaper.  Two years later, he returned to Warsaw.  When WWI erupted, he traveled to Włocławek.  He was very active in the Yiddish press there.  In 1924 he founded Vlotslavker lebn (Włocławek life) and served as its editor (together with H. Kino); he also published articles in Vlotslavker rayon-tsaytung (Włocławek district newspaper), edited by Y. B. Tsipur, and was founder and editor of Vlotslavker shtime (Voice of Włocławek), from 1930 until the end of 1935, a courageous tribune of the local Zionist movement.  In January 1936 he made aliya to the land of Israel and until his death was socially active and involved with the “Association of Immigrants from Włocławek and Environs.”

Sources: Vlotslavker shtime (Włocławek) (January 23, 1936), articles by Dr. L. Fuks, Dr. Y. M. Biderman, Dovid Ersler, Tsvi Levi, and F, Koyfman; Vlotslavker shtime (August 27, 1937), articles by Dr. Biderman, Dr. Fuks, Yitskhok Goldman, V. Zilber, and G. Ruth; Dr. Biderman, in Seyfer vlotslavek (Volume for Włocławek) (1967), pp. 411-60.
Y. M. Biderman