SHMUEL TSESLER (December 5, 1904-1987)
He was born in Zabludov (Zabłudów), near Bialystok, Poland. He was a teacher there and an active leader in the Labor Zionist party. In 1935 he emigrated to Argentina. He began writing poetry at age ten. He debuted in print in Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Bialystok in 1924. He later placed work in: Velt shpigl (World mirror) in Warsaw; Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees) and Khaver (Friend) in Vilna; and Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires; among others. His poems also appeared in: Inzikh (Introspective) and Kinder zhurnal (Children’s magazine) in New York; Der shpigl (The mirror), Penemer un penemlekh (Appearances, big and small), and Argentiner beymelekh (Little Argentinian trees) in Buenos Aires; and Byalistoker almanakh (Bialystok almanac) in Bialystok; among others. A large number of his poems were published in textbooks, song books, and anthologies. A number of his songs with notes were published separately. He translated the comedy Shloyme hameylekh un der shuster (King Solomon and the cobbler [original: König Salomo und der Schuster]) by the German Jewish writer Sammy Gronemann. In 1964 he began to edit the children’s magazine Sholem (Peace) in Buenos Aires. In book form: Feygl in der luftn, kinderlider un krayz-shpiln (Bird in the air, children’s songs and circle games), preface by Meylekh Ravitsh (Buenos Aires, 1939), 120 pp.; A lebedike velt, kinderlider un krayz-shpiln (A living world, children’s songs and circle games) (Buenos Aires, 1941), 80 pp.; Himl un erd, kinderlider un krayz-shpiln (Heaven and earth, children’s songs and circle games) (Buenos Aires, 1941), 155 pp.; Tsen krayz-shpiln, far gezang un pyano (Ten circle games, for singing and piano), music by L. Draytsel for the songs and piano (Buenos Aires: A. Boccazzi, 1945), 23 pp.; Fun gantsn hartsn, kinderlider un krayz-shpiln (From all my heart, children’s songs and circle games) (Buenos Aires, 1946), 107 pp.; Undzer hemshekh, khrestomatye far eltere gradn onfang-shul un ershte klasn mitl-shul (Our continuation, reader for the older grades of elementary school and the first classes of middle school), with Avrom Tkatsh (Buenos Aires, 1948), 366 pp., second improved edition (Buenos Aires, 1953); Durkh ṭir un toyer, lider un ḳrayz-shpiln far kinder (Through door and gate, poetry and circle games for children) (Buenos Aires, 1949), 129 pp.; Gut yontef, lider un krayzshpiln far shul un heym (Happy holiday, poems and circle games for school and home), music by L. Draytsel (Buenos Aires: Khane Garber, 1950), 30 pp.; A goldn tsigele, lider un krayz-shpiln far kinder (A golden goat, poems and circle games for children) (Buenos Aires, 1951), 100 pp.; Yerusholaim, far shul un yugnt (Jerusalem, for school and youth), with Tsvi Bronshteyn (Buenos Aires, 1954), 100 pp. He was last living in Buenos Aires, where he was a teacher in the Hebrew-Yiddish teachers’ seminary of the Jewish community in Buenos Aires.
Sources: Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The published Yiddish word in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), pp. 140, 189, 170; V. Bresler, Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), p. 669; A. Maze, in Keneder older (Montreal) (January 21, 1946); Y. Botoshanski, in Zamlbukh aroysgegebn fun farayn fun di shtriḳer fabrikantn tsum 25 yorikn aniversar fun der institutsye (Anthology published by the union of weavers’ factories on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the institution), ed. Gershon Sapozhnikov (Buenos Aires, 1961), pp. 293-94; M. Shenderay, in Di idishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (November 10, 1964); Ts. Bronshteyn, in Di idishe tsaytung (December 2, 1964); Yefim Yeshurin, 100 yor moderne yidishe literatur, bibliografisher tsushteyer (100 years of modern Yiddish literature, bibliographical contribution) (New York, 1966), pp. 521-22.