DANIEL FAYNSHTEYN (1901-1944)
He was born in Vilna, Lithuania. He studied in Kagan’s Russian Jewish high school. In 1915 he was evacuated to Odessa and in 1919 graduated from a state high school there. Over the years 1928-1932, he studied ethnography, philosophy, and anthropology at Vilna University. His doctoral dissertation was an ethnological piece of research on the “Fantastic Monster in the Beliefs and Myths of Peoples,” published by the educational society of Vilna. In 1937 Faynshteyn was a candidate to be a YIVO research student. He published several essays in the scholarly literary journal Etyudn (Studies) in Vilna in 1935. He turned his attention to mnemonics and published a special “Mnemonics Course” to strengthen memory in ten short lessons in Polish and in Yiddish with an introductory pamphlet of eighteen pages. He was confined in the Vilna ghetto, during the Nazi occupation of WWII, and he worked sorting books for the Rosenberg staff. He was part of scholarly circles in the ghetto and gave several speeches on ethnographic and ethnological themes. He wrote a long work on the history of Jews in Asian lands. He died two days before the liberation (July 1944) in forced labor camp HKP (Heereskraftfahrpark). His wife and children were murdered in 1941 in Ponar.
Sources: Autobiographical notes, “A yid bakumen a doctor-titl” (A Jew receives his doctoral degree), Tsayt (Vilna) (1937); Shmerke Katsherginski, Khurbn vilne (The Holocaust in Vilna) (New York, 1947), p. 205; Leyzer Ran, 25 yor yung vilne (Twenty-five years of Young Vilna) (New York, 1955).
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