Tuesday 27 August 2019


SHLOYME SHEYNBERG (December 15, 1891-September 26, 1942)
            A translator, poet, and author of stories, he was born in Pilev (Puławy), Poland.  He attended religious elementary school until age twelve, spent several years in a small Hassidic synagogue, and then became a typesetter and took up self-education.  He traveled around as a teacher and held a variety of positions.  He lived for many years in Warsaw.  With Mark Rakovski, he was the literary manager and editor of Sh. Yatshkovski’s publishing house (founded in 1924).  In 1928 he established his own press, “Koykhes” (Strengths).  He fled during WWII to Soviet Russia and died there.  He composed poetry, stories, and literary articles, though mostly translations from world literature.  He began his literary activities in 1917 with poems in the weekly newspaper Dos folk (The people)—though already in 1910 he placed several poems in the collection Yugend (Youth) in Warsaw.  He was a regular contributor to Lubliner togblat (Lublin daily newspaper), in which he placed a lengthy cycle of “lyrical songs” and numerous stories (one story entitled “Durkh noyt un layd” [Through need and suffering] carried through an entire month).  He later wrote for Yitskhok-Meyer Vaysenberg’s Yudishe zamelbikher (Yiddish collections) and contributed work to: Lebens-fragen (Life issues), Folkstsaytung (People’s newspaper), Literarishe bleter (Literary leaves), Ilustrirte vokh (Illustrated week), and Argentina’s Far groys un kleyn (From big and small).  He published the journal Velt-literatur (World literature) in Warsaw (2 issues, 1925) and Literarishe yontef bleter (Literary holiday sheets) in Warsaw (Nisan [= March] 1926).  Among his translations: Edmondo De Amicis, Dos harts (The heart [original: Cuore]) (Warsaw: Sh. Yatshkovski, 1923), 6 vols.; Leo Tolstoy, Milkhome un sholem (War and peace [original: Voina i mir]) (Warsaw: Ch. Bzhoza, 1927), 4 vols.; Tolstoy, Anna karenina, roman (Anna Karenina) (Vilna: B. Kletskin, 1929), 2 vols.; Fedor Gladkov, Naye erd (New earth [original: Novaia zemlia]) (Warsaw, 1934-1935), 3 vols., 479 pp.; André Malraux, Der goyrl fun mentsh (Man’s fate [original: La Condition humaine (The human condition)] (Warsaw, 1935), 478 pp.; Charles Dickens, Oliver tvist, dos tragishe leben fun a yosem (Oliver Twist, the tragic life of an orphan) (Warsaw: M. Goldfarb, 1926-1927), 2 vols.; Boris Pilniak, Di volge falt arayn in kaspishn yam (The Volga flows into the Caspian Sea [original: Volga vpadaet v Kaspiiskoe more]) (Warsaw, 1935), 2 vols., 319 pp.  He died in Sengiley, Russia.[1]

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 1 (Montreal, 1945); Zusman Segalovitsh, Tlomatske 13, fun farbrentn nekhtn (13 Tłomackie St., of scorched yesterdays) (Buenos Aires, 1946), p. 97; Yoysef Papyernikov, Heymishe un noente, demonungen (Familiar and close at hand, remembrances) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1958), pp. 263-65; Pulaver yizker-bukh (Remembrance volume for Puławy) (New York, 1964), p. 107; Shiye Tenenboym, Geshtaltn baym shrayb-tish, zikhroynes vegn shrayber un moler in nyu-york, 1938-1968 (Figures by the desk, memoirs of writers and painters in New York, 1938-1968) (New York: CYCO, 1969), pp. 385-94; Sh. L. Shnayderman, Ven di vaysl hot geredt yidish (When the Vistula spoke Yiddish) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1970), pp. 111-12; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Berl Cohen

[1] According to another source, it was Kuibyshev.

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