YANKEV-SHMUEL TSENDORF (May 19, 1902-1941)
He was born in Lodz, Poland, into a Hassidic family. He attended religious elementary school and yeshiva. At age sixteen became a printer, set in type illegal literature, and engaged in revolutionary work. At that time he began writing poetry, contributed to Di literarishe tribune (The literary tribune), and was one of foundational figures in the group of leftist progressive writers. He had to escape from Poland to Danzig. In 1933 he came to Paris, contributed there to Di naye prese (The new press), and worked for the central cultural council. On May 14, 1941, he was deported by the Nazis to the Pitivye concentration camp, and that same year he was transported to Auschwitz. In the Pitivye camp, he composed poems, the titles of five of which follow: “Dos lid fun Pitivye” (The poem of Pitivye), “Hungerike” (Hungry), “Mayn yidishkeyt” (My Jewishness), “Mayn kindele geyn shoyn” (My little child has already gone), and “Guter foygl” (Good bird), which he succeeded in smuggling out to friends living in freedom. They were published in: Yizker-bukh tsum ondenk fun 14 umgekumene parizer yidishe shrayber (Remembrance volume to the memory of fourteen murdered Parisian Yiddish writers) (Paris: Oyfsnay, 1946), ed. T. Spero. In book form: Royte bafeln (Red commands) (Danzig, 1931), 47 pp. He died at Auschwitz.
Source: Y. Yakubyak, in Literarishe tribune (Lodz) 31 (1932); M. R., in Vokhnshrift far literatur (Warsaw) (December 23, 1932); I. Fefer, Di yidishe literatur in di kapitalistishe lender (Yiddish literature in the capitalist countries) (Kharkov-Kiev: State Publ. for National Minorities, USSR, 1933), p. 102; B. Shlevin, in Yizker-bukh tsum ondenk fun 14 umgekumene parizer yidishe shrayber (Remembrance volume to the memory of fourteen murdered Parisian Yiddish writers) (Paris: Oyfsnay, 1946), pp. 183-86; Shmerke Katsherginski, Lider fun di getos un lagern (Songs from the ghettos and camps) (New York: Tsiko, 1948), p. 270; Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), p. 257.