Tuesday 3 September 2019


HERSH SHISHLER (August 10, 1903-November 1977)
            He was a humorist, born in Khelm (Chełm), Poland.  He attended religious elementary school and a private school.  In 1933 he emigrated to South Africa.  He composed humorous pieces, sketches, short stories, and poetry.  He began publishing his humor in 1924 in Moment (Moment) in Warsaw.  He went on to published in: Khelemer shtime (Voice of Chełm), Khelemer vokhblat (Chełm weekly newspaper), Grodner moment (Grodno moment), Yidishe post (Jewish mail) in Cracow, Di yidishe prese (The Jewish press) in Brussels), Di post (The mail), and Di tsayt (The times) in London; Folksblat (People’s newspaper) in Montevideo, Nyu-yorker vokhnblat (New York weekly newspaper), Afrikaner idishe tsaytung (African Jewish newspaper), and Dorem afrike (South Africa), among others.  From 1955 he published and edited Yontef bleter (Holiday sheets) in Johannesburg (four times each year).
            In book form: Freylekhe zig-zagn, humoreskes, shpasn, sharzhn un glat mayselekh (Joyous zigzagging, humorous sketches, jokes, exaggerations, and simple stories) (Johannesburg-Warsaw, 1937), 116 pp.; Shmeykhl un gelekhter, humoreskes, satires sharzhn (Smile and laughter, humorous sketches, satires, exaggerations) (Johannesburg: Kayor, 1949), 189 pp.; Krumer shpigl, humoreskes, satires, sharzhn (Crooked mirror, humorous sketches, satires, exaggerations) (Johannesburg: Kayor, 1953), 146 pp.; Ernster shpas (Serious joke) (Johannesburg: Kayor, 1959), 198 pp.; Mit a shmeykl af der erd (With a smile to the earth) (Johannesburg, 1963), 179 pp.; Lomir lakhn, humoreskes, satires, sharzhn (Let’s laugh, humorous sketches, satires, exaggerations) (Johannesburg, 1968), 183 pp.; Zoln yidn lakhn, humoreskes, satires, sharzhn (Jews should laugh, humorous sketches, satires, exaggerations) (Johannesburg, 1974), 212 pp.  Among his pen names: Tsvi, Hershl, Ben-Arn, H. Sh. Arnzon, A. Khelemer, A Shrayber, A Higer, Nisht Ikh, Sender Hersh, Sh. Karloz, Relshish, and Hashish.  He died in Johannesburg.

Cover of Krumer shpigl

Sources: Avrom Lev, in Unzer shtime (Paris), no. 3101; Rivke Kope, Intim mitn bukh, mekhabrim, bikher, meynungen (Intimate with a book, authors, books, opinions), essays (Paris, 1973).
Dovid Volpe

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