LEYB SHPIZMAN (January 3, 1903-June 20, 1963)
He was a journalist and publicist, and a writer of the history of ghettos and pioneers, born in Warsaw. Until he was thirteen years of age, he attended religious elementary school, later turning to self-education. He was active and a leader among the right Labor Zionists, initially in Poland and later in the United States. In September 1939 he fled from Warsaw, and through Vilna he made his way to New York in 1941. From 1948 he was director of the press division of the World Jewish Culture Congress. His journalistic activities began with youth publications of Labor Zionism. He wrote about Zionism and party politics, as well as books concerned with the Holocaust, Zionism, and pioneers in Israel. From 1919 he contributed work to the party publications Der yunger kemfer (The young fighter), Dos arbeter-vort (The word of labor), and from 1927 he edited Yugnt-frayhayt (Youth freedom) and Yung un fray (Young and free); and he was a regular contributor to Arbeter-shtime (Voice of labor), Bafrayung-arbeter-shtime (Liberation-voice of labor), and the daily newspaper Dos vort (The word) (from 1933). He contributed for several years in America to Tog (Day), and he wrote for Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO), and Tsukunft (Future)—all in New York.
He edited: A fertl yorhundert histadrut (A quarter century of Histadruth) (New York, 1946), 300 pp.; Khalutsim in poyln, antologye fun khalutsisher bavegung (Pioneers in Poland, anthology of the pioneer movement), 3 vols. (New York, 1959-1962); and co-edited Geshikhte fun der tsienistisher arbeter-bavegung in amerike (History of the Zionist labor movement in America), 2 vols. (New York: Idisher kemfer, 1956). He had in manuscript a major work on the murder of Jewish children in Poland.
His translations include: Walter Preuss, Di yidishe arbeter bavegung in erets-yisroel, ir geshikhte un gegenvart (The Jewish labor movement in the land of Israel, its past and present), 2 vols. (Warsaw: Hakhaluts, 1926); Otto Bauer, Di arbeter-yugnt un der velt-matsev fun sotsyalizm (The youth movement and the international condition of socialism) (Warsaw: Frayhayt biblyotek, 1927), 31 pp.; M. Beilinson, Tsum yidish-arabishn problem, a zamlung artiklen (On the Jewish-Arab issue, a collection of articles) (Warsaw, 1930), 133 pp.; Abraham Revusky, Idn in erets-yisroel (Jews in the land of Israel [original: Jews in Palestine]) (New York: Sharon, 1947), 456 pp. His pen names included: L. Shin, Leshef, Khen, A Shpiz. He died in New York.
In book and pamphlet form: Emes un fantazye arum der idisher kolonizatsye in rusland (Warsaw, 1925), 67 pp.; Borokhovs gedanken-velt (Borokhov’s world of ideas) (Warsaw: Frayhayt biblyotek, 1928), 32 pp.; Di farbindete fun di arabishe pritsim af der idisher gas (The liaisons from the Arab landowners to the Jewish street) (Warsaw, 1929), 81 pp.; Revizyonizm barg arop (Revisionism uphill) (Warsaw, 1935), 103 pp.; Problemen un shtrayt-fragn (Problems and issues of conflict) (Warsaw, 1936), 145 pp.; Di yidn in natsi-poyln (The Jewish in Nazi Poland) (New York: Idisher kemfer, 1942), 452 pp.; Di getos in oyfshtand (The ghettos in resistance) (New York: Labor Zionism-Zionist Youth, 1944), 117 pp.; Froyen in di getos, zamlbukh (Women in the ghettos, anthology) (New York: Pioneer Women’s Organization, 1946), 63 pp. + 184 pp.; Der sovetisher antisemitizm (Soviet anti-Semitism) (Buenos Aires: Jewish National Workers’ Alliance, 1953), 40 pp.; Geshtalten (Figures) (Buenos Aies: Kiem, 1962), 300 pp.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Yankev Leshtshinski, in Forverts (New York) (March 6, 1953); Ben-Tsien Goldberg, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (June 25, 1961); Meylekh Ravitsh, in Tsukunft (New York) (May-June 1962); Avrom Menes, in Forverts (May 5, 1963); Anshl Rays, in Davar (Tel Aviv) (Av 4 [= July 25], 1963); Borekh Tsukerman, Eseyen un profiln (Essays and profiles) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1967); Y. Zilberberg-Kholeva, Mentsh un folk (Man and people) (Tel Aviv, 1967), pp. 289-92.