Monday 27 May 2019


ARN RASKIN (1910-1986)

            He was a literary scholar and critic, born in Homyel', Byelorussia. He graduated from the local Jewish pedagogical technical school and later from the Yiddish division for literature and language of the Lenin Pedagogical Institute in Moscow. He went on to a period as a researcher there, before defending in 1938 his dissertation in the field of Western European literature; he then received the title of candidate in philological science. He was mobilized into the Red Army at the onset of WWII, and over the years 1945-1949 he served as a translator from German for the Soviet administration in Berlin. After demobilization, he worked as a lecturer in the department of foreign literature, 1950-1960, at the Kursk Pedagogical Institute. He later lived in Elektrostal', a suburb of Moscow. He began published poetry and sketches in the local Yiddish press in 1928—over the years 1932-1935, the Byelorussian regional, municipal, and factory newspapers would once each week publish an entire page in Yiddish. His creative work then suffered a major interruption. With the establishment of Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland), Raskin began to systematically publish in it for two decades literary critical articles on the classic Yiddish writers, on Dovid Bergelson, Leyb Kvitko, Perets Merkish, and others. After his death, a collection of his research works was published in Israel: Literarishe eseyen (Literary essays) (Jerusalem: Perets Publishers, 1989), 269 pp.

Berl Cohen

[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), pp. 355-56.]

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