YANKL RIVES (January 6, 1886-1975)
He was an author of stories and novels, born in Osveye (Aśvieja), Byelorussia, into a poor family of fishermen. In his early youth he started working as a tailor, and he became involved in the revolutionary movement. In 1919 he became a member of the Communist Party. During the years of the Soviet civil war, he worked with the Bolshevik underground in Byelorussia. He published his first stories in 1919 in Vilner vokhenblat (Vilna weekly newspaper), Tog (Day), Der shtern (The star), and Der shnayder (The tailor), and later in Sovetish (Soviet), and Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland), among other serials. His work also appeared in Dertseylungen fun yidishe sovetishe shrayber (Stories by Soviet Yiddish writers) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1969). Central to Rives’s stories and novels is the revolutionary struggles of the Jewish workers, mostly of a memoirist, autobiographical character, a reflection of his personal experiences.
His works include: Untererd, dertseylungen (Underground, stories) (Moscow: Central Publishers, 1929), 135 pp.; Bam yam un andere dertseylungen (By the sea and other stories) (Moscow-Kharkov-Minsk: Central People’s Publishers, USSR, 1931), 160 pp.; In teg fun fargreytung (In the days of preparation), stories (Minsk: Byelorussian State Publishers, 1935), 99 pp.; Yan dzembo, khronik (Yan Dzembo, a chronicle) (Moscow: Emes, 1938), 157 pp.; Farborgene koykhes (Hidden strength) (Moscow: Emes, 1941), 210 pp.; Bol'sheviki, roman (Bolsheviks, a novel) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1966), 167 pp.; Der veg tsum zig, roman (The road to victory, a novel) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1975), 182 pp.
Sources: Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1962), see index; Sovetish heymland (Moscow) 3 (1975), p. 189; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
[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. 363].