MENDL PYEKAZH (May 23, 1922-2011)
He was born in Pultusk (Pułtusk), Warsaw district, Poland. He studied in religious elementary school and in the Pułtusk and Novoredok yeshivas, and he graduated from a middle school. He spent the years of WWII in Russia. Over the years 1945-1948, he was in Poland and in Holocaust survivors’ camps, and then he made aliya “illegally” aboard the clandestine Jewish immigrant vessel Exodus. From 1948 he was living in the state of Israel. He spent one year in the army, and then until 1954 he lived on Kibbutz Gal-On. He studied (1954-1958) Hebrew literature in the Hebrew University, and he was a pupil of Professor Dov Sadan in Yiddish. From 1958 he was active with Yad Vashem and editor of the four-volume bibliography, Khurbn un gvure in shpigl fun der hebreisher prese (Destruction and redemption as refracted in the Hebrew press) (Jerusalem, 1966-1967). He was an important researcher in the field of Yiddish and Hebrew bibliography and Old Yiddish literature, among other realms. He presented a portion of his Master’s thesis on R. Nakhmen of Bratslov’s Sipure maasiyot (Tales) at the fourth world congress of Jewish scholarship in Jerusalem. From 1957 he published a number of pieces of research in important Yiddish and Hebrew publications. He contributed: “Yidishizm in sof 17tn un ershter helft fun 18tn yorhundert” (Yiddishism at the end of the seventeenth and first half of the eighteenth century), Di goldene keyt (The golden chain) (Tel Aviv, 1964), pp. 168-80. He wrote the biographies of writers who were included in Shmuel Niger’s Hebrew-language work, Habikoret uveayoteha (Inquiry and its problems) (Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 1957); compiled the literary-historical supplements to the Hebrew edition of Dr. Yisroel Tsinberg’s Di geshikhte fun literatur bay yidn (The history of Jewish literature), vol. 4 (Tel Aviv, 1968), vol. 6 (Tel Aviv, 1960); was a contributor to the great bibliography of Yiddish and Hebrew publications in the Soviet Union, Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961); and wrote the biographical and bibliographical details for writers who were included 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). His work on “Yiddishism” is included in the second volume of the Entsiklopediya lemadae haḥevra (Encyclopedia of the social sciences) (Merḥavya, 1964).
Sources: B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (April 8, 1962); G. Kressel, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 41 (1961); Dr. Elye (Elias) Shulman, in Afn shvel (New York) (November-December 1964); Dr. K. A. Bartini, in Di goldene keyt 52 (1964); Y. Yeshurin, 100 yor moderne yidishe literatur, biblyografisher tsushteyer (100 years of modern Yiddish literature, bibliographical contribution) (New York, 1966), p. 190.
Khayim Leyb Fuks