YOYNE SHPER (ca. 1895-1942)
He was a journalist and translator, born in Zamość, Poland. His father was a cousin of Y. L. Perets. He received a Jewish education. In 1914 he was evacuated with his parents to Ekaterinoslav. He returned to Poland in 1918 and studied at Cracow University. In 1920 he moved to Vilna. He was a speaker on Jewish affairs for the government of General Lucjan Żeligowski in “Central Lithuania,” and later worked as a teacher in Jewish middle schools in Vilna and Nay-Sventsyan (Svencionys). In 1927 he settled in Lodz and spoke on behalf of Jewish affairs in the gubernatorial region. From time to time, he wrote literary critical articles for: Nayer morgn (New tomorrow) in Vilna (1921), Vilner tog (Vilna day), Moyshe Shalit’s Leben (Life), Moment (Moment) in Warsaw, and Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper), among others. He did a series of translations: Henryk Sienkiewicz, Di mishpokhe polonetski (The family Polonieski [original: Rodzina Połanieckich]) (Warsaw: Kh. Bzhoza, 1926-1927), 3 vols.; Kazimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer’s novels Malekhamoves (Angel of death [original: Aniol śmierci]) (Vilna: B. A. Kletskin, 1924), 433 pp., and Umkum (Destruction) (Vilna: B. A. Kletskin); Wacław Berent, Prukhne (Próchno) (Vilna: B. Kletskin, 1929), 428 pp.; Michael Faraday, Di geshikhte fun a likht (The history of a candle [original: A course of six lectures on the chemical history of a candle]) (Vilna: B. Kletskin); Romain Rolland, Kolya brenyon (Colas Breugnon) (Vilna: Tomor, 1927), 252 pp.; Prosper Olivier Lissagaray, Di geshikhte fun der parizer komune (The history of the Paris Commune [original: L’histoire de la commune de 1871]) (Vilna: Tomor, 1929), 2 vols. (359 pp. + 361 pp.); Pyotr Kropotkin, Di geshikhte fun der groyser frantsoyzisher revolutsye (The history of the great French Revolution [original: Velikaia frantsuzkaia revoliutsiia]) (Vilna: Tomor, 1929), 2 vols. He also translated fragments of Adam Mickiewicz’s Pan Tadeusz which appeared in Vilner tog and was included in the last edition of Bastomski and Reyzen’s Dos lebedike vort (The living word); and some poems by modern Polish poets. He died either in the Lodz ghetto or Auschwitz.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) 35 (1924); Khayim Leyb Fuks, Lodzh shel mayle, dos yidishe gaystiḳe un derhoybene lodzh, 100 yor yidishe un oykh hebreishe literatur un kultur in lodzh un in di arumiḳe shtet un shtetlekh (Lodz on high, the Jewish spiritual and elevated Lodz, 100 years of Yiddish and also Hebrew literature and culture in Lodz and in the surrounding cities and towns) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1972), p. 154.