Thursday 18 October 2018


            He was born in Biała Podlaska, Lublin district, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary schools and completed a course of study in bookkeeping in a commercial school.  During WWII he was confined in the ghettoes of Biała and Mezritsh (Międzyrzecz).  In December 1942 he was led out along with all the camp laborers in Biała to be shot, and he fled from the execution place.  In May 1943 he was deported from the Międzyrzecz ghetto to Treblinka.  He leapt from the train car, returned to Biała, and until the war’s end hid out in a bunker, where he wrote about Jewish life under the Nazis.  He was among the first to bring materials from the Nazi era to the central historical commission in Lublin.  Russian Jewish officers who saw his bunker writings informed Ilya Ehrenburg, and the latter asked him to send the materials for the Black Book being prepared on German persecutions.  In late 1945 he arrived in Munich, Germany, and founded the central historical commission and served as its director until its liquidation.  In 1949 he made aliya to the state of Israel.  He contributed work to: Podlyaser lebn (Podlasie life) and Byaler vokhnblat (Biała weekly newspaper).  In book form: Podlyashe in umkum, noṭitsn fun khurbn (Podlasie destroyed, notices and destruction), preface by Dr. M. Weinreich (Munich, 1948), 355 pp.; Podlyashe in natsi-klem, notitsn un khurbn (Podlasie in the claws of the Nazis, notices and destruction) (Buenos Aires, 1953), 241 pp.  In 1942 he edited and published in Tel Aviv: Sefer byala-podlaska (Volume for Biała Podlaska), 501 pp., using the pseudonym “Byalski.”  He died in Ramat-Yitsḥak.

Sources: Y. Spartan, in Bafrayung (Munich) (November 12, 1948); Alegorye, in Loshn un lebn (London) (February 1949); Libe Sh. Davidovitsh, in Tsukunft (New York) (March 1950); D. Volpe, in Dorem-afrike (Johannesburg) (February 1954); Y. Shmulevitsh, in Forverts (New York) (October 1961); Y. Gar and F. Fridman, Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962).
Yankev Kahan

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