Monday 11 November 2019


SHAYE SHKAROVSKI (September 26, 1891-May 23, 1945)

            He was the author of stories, novels, and criticism, born in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, into the family of a teacher and community leader. Over the years 1921-1923, he was plenipotentiary for Yidgezkom (Jewish Social Committee [for the Relief of Victims of War, Pogroms, and Natural Disasters]) and ORT (Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades) in Podolia. He was a member of the Jewish Section of the Ukrainian Proletarian Writers. He lived in Kiev, Odessa, and Moscow. His journalistic activities began in 1909 in Kiev’s Russian press, and he later wrote a great deal in Russian and Ukrainian, among other venues in Ogni (Fires) in 1910 a series of twenty-four articles entitled “Sketches from Yiddish Literature.” From 1915 he was contributing to such Yiddish periodicals and collections as: Unzer leben (Our life) in Odessa; Naye tsayt (New times) in Kiev (1917-1918); Di komunistishe shtim (The Communist voice) in Odessa (1921), a daily and later a weekly for which he served as editor, and in addition to articles on political topics, he also wrote a series of essays on Yiddish literatur, including Sholem-Aleichem, Perets, and Bergelson; Emes (Truth) in Moscow; Komfon (Communist banner) in Kiev; Shtern (Star) in Kharkov; Proletarishe fon (Proletarian banner) in Kiev; Prolit (Proletarian literature); Di royte velt (The red world); Farmest (Challenge); Sovetishe literatur (Soviet literature); the almanac Komsomolye (Communist Youth League) (Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1938); and Sholem-aleykhem, zamlung fun kritishe artiklen un materyaln (Sholem-Aleichem, anthology of critical articles and materials) (Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1940); among others. Aside from jottings, travel impressions, reportage pieces, and ideological journalistic articles, he published literary essays, stories, novels, and a number of poems—under a variety of pen names including Ishin, Hirsh, and Shiroki.

In book form: Der ershter may, zayn geshikhte un badaytung (May 1, its history and significance) (Odessa: Jewish Section, Odessa Regional Publishers, 1921), 16 pp.; Reges (Moments), his first booklet of stories (Kiev: Vidervuks, 1922), 40 pp.; Kayor, roman in fir teyln (Dawn, a novel in four parts), his first novel, in which he describes the condition and psychology of Jewish clerical plutocrats in the late nineteenth-early twentieth centuries (Moscow: Central Publishers, 1928), 237 pp.—a novel about the psychology of Jewish plutocrats in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries; Kolvirt, veg-skitsn (Collective farm, a traveler’s sketches) (Kharkov-Kiev: Central Publishers, 1931), 75 pp.; In shnit fun tsayt, fartseykhenungen (In the harvest of time, notations) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1932), 146 pp.; Meran, roman in tsvey teyln (Meran, a novel in two parts) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1934), 277 pp.; Nakhes fun kinder, novele (Pleasure from children, a novella) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1938), 16 pp.; Kritik, zamlung (Criticism, a collection) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1938), 174 pp.—among other items, writings about Sholem-Aleichem, Perets Markish, and Dovid Hofshteyn; Odes, roman (Odessa, a novel) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1938-1940), 2 vols., with the third part of this novel appearing in Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) 1 (1966), a historical novel; Dos ufgerikhte yidishe folk (The restored Jewish people) (Kharkov-Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1939), 67 pp. With Y. Khintshin and H. Verber, he compiled Di generale repetitsye, politish-literarishe zamlung vegn 1905 yor (The general repetition, a political-literary collection concerning the year 1905) (Moscow-Minsk: Central People’s Publishers, USSR, 1931), 257 pp.—mostly translations from Russian. He died in Kiev.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1962), see index; Sovetish heymland (Moscow) 1 (1966), 11 (1966), 9 (1971); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).

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. 391.]

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