Thursday 11 July 2019



            He was prose writer who lived in the 1920s in the southern city of Balta, where over the course of three years he ran the local Jewish school and published stories in the press. He moved to Kiev in the early 1930s and became a contributor to the editorial board of the newspaper Proletarishe fon (Proletarian banner). While still living in Balta, he published his prose volume Der poyker (The drummer) (Kharkov, 1929). His second book of stories appeared in 1932: Afn buksir, dertseylungen un bilder (On the tugboat, stories and images) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities), 112 pp. It reinforced his place in literary circles as a talented prose writer. His stories and novellas were published in such literary journals as: Prolit (Proletarian literature) 8 (1931); Der shtern (The star); and Oktyabr (October). His novel Di azyatke (The [female] Asian) (Moscow: Emes), 198 pp., was published in 1933, under the editorship of the prominent literary scholar and novelist Meyer Viner. The action in the novel takes place in Bessarabia in the 1920s and depicts the bitter condition of Jewish poverty under the yoke of the Romanian boyars. His work also appeared in Shlakhtn (Battles) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1932). In the latter half of the 1930s, Shayevitsh was accused of “Trotskyist deviationism.” In the Yiddish press, his name was rebuked, and while he had been living in Kiev, what happened to him thereafter remains publicly unknown.

Source: Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1962), see index.

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), p. 372.]

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