MOYSHE-MIKHL KITAY (April 13, 1886-1940s)
He was a journalist and translator, born in Riga. From 1893 he was living in Zager (Žagarė), Lithuania. There he attended religious elementary school. In 1901 he returned to Riga. He was a member of “Dovre ivrit” (Speakers of Hebrew), later of the Bund, and later still of the Zionist socialists. He lived in an assortment of places: Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Vilna, Berdichev, Odessa, Kiev, Ekaterinoslav, Homel, and Mexico City. In 1921 he settled once again in Riga, and in the 1930s in Warsaw. At the start of WWII, he left for Sweden and went from there to Soviet Russia. After the war he returned to Riga, where he died several years later. He debuted in print in 1910 with a poem in Di yudishe shtime (The Jewish voice), edited by Bal-Makhshoves. He wrote feature pieces, theater reviews, and literary criticism. He contributed work to: Der tog (The day) in Vilna (in 1912 he ran a humor section), A. Litvin’s Leben un visenshaft (Life and science), the Berdichev daily Di folksshtime (The people’s voice) (forty-eight issues), Unzer lebn (Our life) in Odessa (from 1917, later Dos naye leben [The new life]), Unzer vort (Our word), Di naye tsayt (The new times) in Kiev, and Di komunistishe fon (The Communist banner). From 1921 he was a contributor to: Dos folk (The people) in Riga, Di naye tsayt (of Maks Shats-Anin), and Letste nayes (Latest news) (1925). His journalistic and literary activity was especially energized during his work for Riga’s Frimorgn (Morning) from 1926 and Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves) from 1934 (after Nakhmen Mayzil’s departure from Warsaw in 1937, he became editor). In Warsaw he wrote a great deal for the Labor Zionist daily Dos naye vort (The new word) and Dos vort (The word). In his youth he also published poetry and stories, but he soon gave that up. In Riga he edited humor serials: Purim-satirikon (Purim satyricon), Homens mamzer (Haman’s illegitimate son), and Di elfte make (The eleventh plague)—all in 1922, with Mikhail Yo; Grine riter (Green rods) in Riga, with Herts Aktsin. In book form: Unzere shrayber un kinstler (Our writers and artists) (Warsaw: Jewish Universal Library, 1938), 233 pp. Translations include: Iosif Utkin, A maysele mitn geln motele (A story with ginger Motele [original: Povest’ o ryzhem Motele]) (Riga: Unzer tsukunft, 1925), 32 pp.; Samuel B. Ornitz, Alts tsulib karyere, roman (Everything for career, a novel) (Riga: Bikher far ale, 1929), 203 pp.; Avrom Aynes, Fun lublin biz rige, goles-oprikhtn fun idishn aktyor (From Lublin to Riga, diasporic wanderings of a Yiddish actor) (Riga, 1940), 80 pp. His many pen names include: M. K., A. Y. Yat, A. Gramler, Kit, M. K-y, Ki-tov, Li-Huntshang, M. Tanin, Tanin, M. Ites, Omni Kesn, Mikhele, Moyshele, Der Royter, and Rundshteyn. Kitay was “very careful about literary and journalistic ethics,” wrote Meylekh Ravitsh. “Never was a word written…against his beliefs or against his taste.”
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 6 (Mexico City, 1969); Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 2 (Montreal, 1947); M. Gerts, 25 yor yidishe prese in letland (25 years of the Yiddish press in Latvia) (Riga, 1933), p. 63; M. Razumni, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (October 25, 1935); Yidishe shriftn (Lodz) (1946); Yizker-almanakh fun riger relif (Remembrance almanac of Riga relief) 3 (New York, 1948); Itonut yehudit shehayta (Jewish press that was) (Tel Aviv, 1973).
Dr. Noyekh Gris
 He died in Kuibyshev in 1942, according to Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 6 (Mexico City, 1969); in Uzbekistan in 1944, according to Yizker-almanakh fun riger relif (Remembrance almanac of Riga relief) 3 (New York, 1948); in Riga after WWII, according to Itonut yehudit shehayta (Jewish press that was) (Tel Aviv, 1973).
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