Thursday 28 March 2019


            He was the author of stories, born in Melits (Mielec), Galicia.  He attended yeshiva until 1930.  During WWII he roamed as far as Uzbekistan; his wife and child were murdered in Poland.  After the war he was a refugee in Germany.  In 1951 he came to the United States.  He debuted in print with a sketch in Vilner tog (Vilna day).  A long story of his was published in Unter di tslomim (Under the crosses) and in Y. M. Vaysenberg’s (Weissenberg) Inzer hofinung (Our hope) (1931).  He placed work in: Unzer veg (Our way) in Munich, Hamshekh (Continuation) in Munich (1948, 1949), Forverts (Forward), and elsewhere.  Two of his stories appeared in Galitsye gedenkbukh (Galicia memorial volume) (Buenos Aires, 1964).  In book form: Mitn ponem tsu zikh, noveln (Facing oneself, novellas) (Warsaw: Yidish bukh, 1932), 84 pp.; two planned volumes to be titled Arum zikh aleyn (Around oneself); Oysterlishe geshikhte un andere dertseylungen (A bizarre story and other tales) (Regensburg: Yidishe zester, 1947), 208 pp., portions of which appeared in Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Lodz, Eynikeyt (Unity) in New York, and Kanader vokhnblat (Canadian weekly newspaper); Oysgehakte velder, dertseylungen (Hewn forests, stories) (New York-Philadelphia, 1952), 169 pp.; Afn veg keyn uman, un andere dertseylungen (On the road to Uman, and other stories) (New York: Tsiko, 1967), 287 pp.  In the collection Fun noentn over (From the recent past) (New York, 1955), he published a long piece entitled “Di kehile in melits” (The Jewish community of Mielec).  He authored popular articles under the pen name Y. Keyt, and he was a contributor to the Leksikon fun der nayer yidisher literatur (Biographical dictionary of modern Yiddish literature).  “Yekhezkl Keytlman’s stories” about the shtetl, wrote Yankev Glatshteyn, “must be seen as a turn toward artistic restoration of the demolished Jewish shtetl….  [He] possesses an extraordinary imagistic memory, and he has the linguistic tools to call up the Jews seeking livelihoods, people who bore upon themselves the heavy yoke of Jewishness and who have formed this Jewishness in their own manner.”  He died in New York.

Sources: B. Grobard, in Tsukunft (New York) 1 (1956); Shloyme Bikl, Shrayber fun mayn dor (Writers of my generation), vol. 3 (Tel Aviv, 1970); Yankev Glatshteyn, In der velt mit yidish (In the world of Yiddish) (New York, 1972); Y. Goldkorn, Heymishe un fremde literarishe etyudn (Familiar and foreign literary studies) (Buenos Aires: Svive, 1973), pp. 158-66; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Berl Cohen

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