ALEKSANDR SHPIGLBLAT (ALEXANDER SPIEGELBLATT) (August 20, 1927-November 25, 2013)
He was a poet, born in Câmpulung Moldovenesc, Bukovina. He attended religious elementary school and a Romanian high school. His mother tongue was German. He spent the years 1941-1944 in the Transnistria concentration camp. After the war he studied at the University of Bucharest, and over the years 1954-1958 he was a lecturer in Russian literature there. In 1964 he settled in Petaḥ Tikva, Israel.
He wrote poetry and essays. He debuted in print in 1950 in Ikuf-bleter (Pages from IKUF [Jewish Cultural Association]) in Bucharest. He went on to contribute to: Tsaytshrift-Ktav-et (Periodical) in Bucharest, Tsukunft (Future) in New York, Shloyme bikl yoyvl-bukh (Memorial volume for Shloyme Bikl) (New York, 1967), Letste nayes (Latest news) and Di goldene keyt (The golden chain [from 1972 the secretary to the editorial board]) in Tel Aviv; among others. He was also co-editor of Almanakh (Almanac) published by the Yiddish writers’ association in Israel (Tel Aviv, 1967). He died in Petaḥ Tikva.
His writings include: Heymland, lider (Homeland, poetry) (Bucharest: State Publ., 1952), 80 pp.; Yidishe shprakh, leyenbukh farn 5-tn klas (Yiddish language, textbook for the fifth class), with Herta Donenfeld (Bucharest, 1957), 247 pp.; Yidishe shprakh, leyenbukh farn 6-tn klas (Yiddish language, textbook for the sixth class), with Herta Donenfeld (Bucharest, 1958), 153 pp.; Umruike oysyes (Unsettling letters), poetry (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1969), 61 pp.; Papirene zeglen, lider (Paper sails, poetry) (Tel Aviv: Di goldene keyt, 1973), 84 pp.; Volknbremen, lider (Cloud on the brow, poems) (Tel Aviv: Di goldene keyt, 1979), 64 pp.; Neshome-likht (Light of the soul) (Tel Aviv, 1997); In geln tsvishnlikht fun erev-regn, lider 1964-1997 (The yellow twilight on the eve of rain, poetry 1964-1997) (Tel Aviv, 1997), 181 pp.; Griner umet, lider (Green sadness, poetry) (Tel Aviv: Leivick Farlag, 2007), 45 pp.; Getunken in honik-tsar, lider 2005-2009 (Soaked in the honey of bitterness, poetry 2005-2009) (Tel Aviv: Beys sholem-aleykhem, 2009), 116 pp. His work also appeared in Oyfshtayg (Ascent) in Bucharest. He was a winner of Manger Prize (1984).
“Poetic frugality, lyrical miniature, the short poem” wrote Yitskhok Yanasovitsh, “found in Shpiglblat a highly talented singer.”
“His poetry could serve,” noted Yitskhok Paner, “as an exemplar of word- and verse-austerity…short flashes that light up a distant, dark domain for a time.”
Sources: Froym Oyerbakh, in Svive (New York) (May 1969); Yitskhok Paner, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (May 30, 1969); Yitskhok Yanasovitsh, in Folksblat (Tel Aviv) (January 1974); Froym Roytman, in Yisroel-shtime (Tel Aviv) (August 7, 1974); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 533.]