Monday 23 July 2018


PINYE PLOTKIN (1919-2009)

            He was a poet, born in Bobruisk, Byelorussia, and later moved with his parents to the town of Lyubonichy. After graduating from a Jewish elementary school and the local seven-year Byelorussian public school, he went to work in a forestry district where his father was employed. His middle school education was gained in the Bobruisk workers’ faculty. In 1939 he graduated from the literature and linguistics department of the Minsk Pedagogical Institute. He lived in Minsk until WWII, and he then served in the Soviet army on the German front. He survived the war and lived in Bobruisk. He began writing poetry in his student years and debuted in print in 1934 with a poet in the Minsk newspaper Der yunger arbeter (The young worker), later going on to write for Oktyabr (October) and Shtern (Star) in Minsk. He also contributed poems to a jointly prepared work, Lider-zamlung (Poetry anthology) (Minsk: State Publ., 1940), together with Khayim Gurevitsh, Itshe Borukhovitsh, and Shimen Leltshuk. After the war he wrote for the local Bobruisk newspaper Sovetskaia Radzima (Soviet homeland) and worked as a teacher of Russian language and literature. He was among the contributors to Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) from 1962, and he placed a poem in its first issue (January-February 1962). In 1992 he moved to the United States and settled with his family in Santa Monica, California. In America he brought out two poetry collections: Mit an ofn harts, oysgeveylte lider (With an open heart, selected poems) (West Hollywood: Yiddish Culture Club, 1979), 140 pp.; Vegn der tsayt un vegn zikh (On time and myself) (West Hollywood: Yiddish Culture Club, 1999), 128 pp.

Sources: Eynikeyt (Moscow) (May 31, 1947); Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index.

Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 431; 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), p. 283.]

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