Monday 25 February 2019


MOTL KAPLAN (b. 1909)

            He was a poet, born in Minsk into a laboring family. Over the years 1926-1927, he worked as a carpenter in Minsk construction work and studied in evening school. After graduating, he became an actor in a wandering Yiddish theater in Byelorussia. He began writing poetry for Der yunger arbeter (The young laborer) in Minsk in 1931, and went to publish jottings and further poetry, and in the early 1930s he worked for its editorial board. He later went back into construction work. He contributed to: Oktyabr (October) in Minsk, the journal Shtern (Star), and the almanac Atake (Attack) (Minsk, 1934), among other serials. Since the purges of the mid-1930s, he withdrew from Yiddish writing circles. During WWII he fought at the front. In 1948 he graduated from the Minsk polytechnical institute and worked as a construction engineer. One of his most important works was entitled “Di tseshisene” (Those shot).

Khayim Maltinski

[Additional information from: 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. 321.]

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