Thursday, 11 August 2022

MARK HOKHBERG

MARK HOKHBERG

            He was a prose author. Precise biographical information remains unknown. In the first years after the Revolution, he lived in Kharkov, Ukraine, and he contributed stories to the literary anthology Kunst-ring, literarish-kinstlerisher almanakh (Art circle, literary-artistic anthology) (Kharkov: Idish, 1917 and 1919).

            His work includes: Dos goldene ringele, a maysele (The little golden ring, a tale), illustrated by Ed. Shteynberg (Kharkov: Pedagogisher farlag, 1919), 30 pp.

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. 107.

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

MOYSHE DUBINSKY

MOYSHE DUBINSKY (1900-1983)

            A linguist and translator, he was born in the city of Belotserkov, Ukraine. In his youth he was a teacher of Yiddish language and literature. In 1931 he graduated from the Jewish division of the Moscow Pedagogical Institute. He worked in Kiev as an editor in the Yiddish section of the Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities. He translated numerous works from Russian into Ukrainian and Yiddish. For the six-volume edition of Sholem-Aleichem’s works (Moscow, 1959-1961), he translated into Russian Moshkele ganef (Moshkele the thief) and Bilder fun berditshever gas (Pictures from a street in Berdichev). He dedicated a series of articles to issues of Yiddish linguistics.

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. 98.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

HERSHL DUBINSKY

HERSHL DUBINSKY (1915-1941)

            He was a poet who lived in Kiev. He began publishing poetry in Yiddish newspapers and journals in Ukraine. The poems were naïvely self-confident, as was true of the work of many young poets who grew up in an atmosphere of paeans to the rulers in the land of the Communist Party and the “great leader” Stalin. In 1939 he published his first and only volume of poetry; he was preparing another, but it never saw the light of day. The war broke out, the twenty-six-year-old poet volunteered for service in the army, he took part in the battles to defend his hometown of Kiev, and there he died.

            His work included: Mut un libshaft (Courage and love), poetry (Kiev: State Publishers for National Minorities, 1939), 109 pp.; “Alts vet ersht zayn” (Everything will be first), a cycle of poems in the collection Lire (Lyre) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1985).

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. 98.

MOYSHE DUBILET

MOYSHE DUBILET (1897- September 18, 1941)

            He was a literary critic and teacher, born in the town of Dmitrovke (Dmytrivka), Ukraine, into a poor family. In his youth he came to Odessa, where he studied in teachers’ training courses and simultaneously worked as a private tutor. During the civil war, he served in the Red Army. After demobilization he returned to Odessa and graduated from the Jewish division of the Pedagogical Institute for People’s Education. Over the course of a number of years, he worked as a teacher of language and literature and was a methodologist in Odessa Jewish schools. In the latter half of the 1920s, he published in the Yiddish press articles on methods of teaching Yiddish literature. From1933 he was a researcher in the Kiev Institute for Jewish Culture at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, and from 1938 to 1941 he was a senior scholarly worker at the same institute then known as the “cabinet.” Over the course of the 1930s, he published in newspapers and journals articles on the Yiddish classics and on the creative work of Soviet Yiddish writers. In 1941 he went with the army to the war front, and there he fell in the fighting on September 18, 1941.

            His work included: Literarishe khrestomatye farn 8tn klas fun der mitlshul (Literature reader for the eighth class of middle school) (Kharkov-Kiev: State Publishers for National Minorities, 1940), 171 pp.

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), pp. 97-98.

AVROM DOBRINKI

AVROM DOBRINKI (1888-1982)

            A literary scholar, critic, and bibliographer, he was born in Berdichev, Ukraine, where he worked as a bookkeeper and at the same time concerned himself with researching Yiddish literature. He first published an article in 1941 on the creative work of the poet Shifre Kholodenko in the Kiev monthly journal Sovetishe literatur (Soviet literature) 1 (1941).  After the war, he published in the Warsaw newspaper Folks-shtime (Voice of the people) articles on the work of the poets Shike Driz and Dovid Bromberg. He also placed work in the Moscow journal Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) on the Yiddish poetry in the press of the first revolutionary years, on the first creative work of the writer Noyekh Lurye, and on Meyer Alberton’s work. He died in Moscow.

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), pp. 96-97.

KHAYIM DOBIN

KHAYIM DOBIN (1901-1977)

            He was the son of Shimen Dobin, known as Khemele, and Sholem-Aleichem too called him by this pet name in a letter to his father Shimen. He also made contributions to Yiddish culture: in the latter half of the 1920s, he was the editor of record of the Moscow journal Yungvald (Young forest) and of the children’s serials Pyoner (Pioneer) and Fraynd (Friend). He was later editor of the Russian journal Literaturnyi Leningrad (Literary Leningrad), and he published several scholarly book on literature.

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. 96.

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

LEYB GORNSHTEYN

LEYB GORNSHTEYN (b. 1917)

            He was a poet, born in the town of Polone (Pollone), Ukraine. He graduated from the local Jewish secondary school and went on to study at the Kiev, and later the Odessa, Pedagogical Institute. He received a diploma for a teacher and worked as one for a number of years in the field of Yiddish language and literature. From 1939, he was a language editor (stylist) for the Yiddish newspaper Der shtern (The star) in Kiev. He began writing poetry while still a child. He published his first poems in the Kharkov Yiddish newspapers Zay greyt (Get ready!) and Yunge gvardye (Young guard), and later he placed poems and essays in Der shtern. In 1932 he was a delegate to the All-Ukrainian Conference of Children Correspondents which took place in Kharkov. In subsequent years, he published poems and essays in the Yiddish press in Kiev, Moscow, and Birobidzhan. At the start of WWII, he was evacuated to Tashkent, where he published essays and literary treatments in the Uzbeki and Russian press. In the literary collection Tsum zig (To victory), which was compiled during the war and edited by Perets Markish (published by Der emes publishing house in 1944), he was represented by a poem. According to certain accounts, he became mentally ill, and he died in a Tashkent neurological clinic.

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), pp. 75-76.

Friday, 29 July 2022

YOYSEF BREGMAN

YOYSEF BREGMAN (1882-1978)

            He was a current events writer, historian, and community leader, born in Pinsk. He graduated from a secondary school. He was expelled from the Kiev Polytechnic Institute for participating in a student demonstration against the government. In 1903 he was arrested, and in 1908 he was banished from the country. He took part in 1908 in the Czernowitz Yiddish Language Conference, and from that point on he became a passionate Yiddishist. After returning to Russia, he joined in the organizing of Kletskin Publishers and became its manager. He was also the organizer and one of the founders of the journal Di yidishe velt (The Jewish world) in Vilna. In Soviet times, initially, in Kiev he served as manager of the Jewish section at the Ukrainian Theatrical Academy, director of the first Yiddish State Theater; and from 1926, in Moscow he worked as manager of the central bureau of the Jewish section at the Central Committee of the Communist Party. He worked abroad as well—in the system of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Trade, and there he supported Yiddish writers and artists who emigrated to Germany and France. At that time the artist Yisokher-Ber Ribak painted Bregman’s portrait. After returning to Moscow, Bregman was a leader in “Gezerd” (All-Union Association for the Agricultural Settlement of Jewish Workers in the USSR), “Komerd” (Commission for the Settlement of Jewish Workers on the Land), and a contributing member of the journal Tribuna (Tribune) which often published his articles dedicated to Jewish integration on the land. The last three decades of his life, he devoted to studying the Jewish labor movement, the Bund within it, and he compiled an immense file on this topic, as well as a file and catalogue on Jews who participated in the revolutionary movement, Jews who took part in the Revolution and civil war, and Jews who were heroes of the Soviet Union, among others. After his death (in Moscow), a huge archive was left with his family.

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), pp. 63-64.

 

Thursday, 28 July 2022

MEYER BRUKAZH

MEYER BRUKAZH (1903-1977)

            A journalist, he was born in the town of Garvalan (Garwolin), Poland. He worked as a laborer in a print shop and also took up tailoring. In 1923 he moved to the Soviet Union and studied in a Party school (1924-1926) and later in the Moscow Pedagogical Institute. In the latter half of the 1930s, he was living in Birobidzhan, a teacher of Yiddish language and literature in a pedagogical technicum. For many years he was involved in journalism, publishing essays on Yiddish and Russian writers and artists in newspapers and journals: Alexander Herzen, Anton Chekhov, Maxim Gorky, Isaac Babel, Mikhail Svetlov, Emanuel Kazakevitsh, and Zair Azgur, among others. In the last years of his life, living in Vitebsk, he wrote up a series of reportage pieces and essays concerning this city and its people. Several of them were published in Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland).

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. 61.

GERSHON BROYDE

GERSHON BROYDE (1888-1947)

            He was a poet, born in Smorgon (Smarhon’), Byelorussia, into a well-to-do family in the leather business. He studied in Berne, Switzerland. During WWI, he was living in Moscow, involved in business, and writing poetry. He published a cycle of his poems in the Kharkov journal Kunst-ring (Art ring) in 1919. That same year, a collection of his work appeared in print in Moscow, where his poetry was represented together with Daniel Tsharni, Moyshe Broderzon, and Menashe Halperin. In the early 1920s, he was also swept up in the mass emigration of Jewish intellectuals, and in 1921 he settled in Berlin. In 1925 he moved to the Land of Israel.

            His work includes: Zalbefert (All four) (Moscow, 1918), a poetry collection with Broyde’s work together with that of Menashe Halperin, Moyshe Broderson, and Daniel Tsharni.

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. 61.

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

LEV BERINSKI

 LEV BERINSKI (b. April 6, 1939)

            A poet, essayist, and translator, he was born in the Bessarabian town of Căușeni (now in Moldova), into the family of a tailor. His family survived WWII in Regan, Tajikistan, later in the city of Zlatoust in the Ural Mountains. In 1945, they returned to Bessarabia and settled in Chișinău, and there he studied in a Russian middle school as well as in a music school as an accordionist. At age nine, he began writing poetry in Russian. For economic reasons, the family moved to Stalino (Donets’k), Ukraine, where in 1959 he graduated from a cultural vocational school. In the 1960s, he studied in the faculty of foreign languages (German) at the Smolensk Pedagogical Institute, from which he graduated in 1968. He simultaneously graduated from the department of poetry and translation at the Maxim Gorky Institute of Literature in Moscow. Until 1974 he worked as a teacher of German in a Moscow trade school. He turned his attention to translating Yiddish poetry into Russian, and later he also translated into Russian writings by Isaac Bashevis-Singer. In 1983 he graduated from the highest level literature courses (in Yiddish) from the Literature Institute in Moscow. In 1953 at age fourteen, he debuted in the press with poems in Russian and in 1982 with poems in Yiddish. In 1991 he settled in Israel, where he published several collections of his poetry. He received literary prizes there: Hersh Segal Prize in 1992, Sara Gorbi Prize in 1993, Twentieth-Century Prize for Achievements in 1992 (Cambridge), and Itsik Manger Prize (1997). In Israel he translated into Russian a volume of poetry by Dore Taytlboym and a books of stories by Mortkhe Tsanin. His own poetry and essays have been translated into English, French, German, Hebrew, Romanian, and Georgian.

            His writings include: Der zuniker veltboy, lider un poeme (The sunny world structure, poetry) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1988), 142 pp.; Calystegia sepium (Love poetry) (Tel Aviv: Dor hahemshekh, 1995), 19 pp.; FST un RF, elfte make (FST and RF, eleventh plague) (Tel Aviv, 1994); 23 bethovens preludyes un fuges baym yam (Twenty-three preludes and fugues by the sea by Beethoven) (Tel Aviv, 1995); Fishfang in venetsye (Fishing in Venice), poetry (Tel Aviv: Leivick Publ., 1996), 198 pp.; Rendsburger mikve (The Rendsburg ritual bath) (Tel Aviv, 1994), in German and Yiddish.


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), pp. 53-54.


Monday, 25 July 2022

ELI BILYAVITSHUS (SARIN)

ELI BILYAVITSHUS (SARIN) (1904-1986)

            He was a prose author, journalist, and community leader, born in Vilkovishk (Vilkaviskis), Lithuania. From 1922 he was working with the underground Lithuanian Communist Party, which sent him to Moscow to study at the Communist University for Ethnic Minorities in the West (Mayrevke). After graduated in 1926, he returned to Lithuania and was selected as secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. He was in prison, 1928-1931. Returning to Moscow in 1932, he worked for seven years for Der emes (The truth). In 1936 he published a volume of stories entitled Hinter grates (Behind bars). When Lithuania became a Soviet republic, he travelled to Vilna (Vilnius), and in 1941 and was appointed people’s commissar for the food industry of the republic. During WWII he worked at the headquarters of the partisan movement in Lithuania. Over the years 1944-1949, he served as acting first secretary of the Central Committee of the Lithuanian Communist Party; 1951-1953, Minister of Fishing; 1953-1957, Minister of the Food Industry; 1957-1961, acting chairman of the republic’s “Sovnarkhoz” (Regional Economic Soviet); 1955-1963, deputy of the Supreme Soviet from the Lithuanian Republic. In the last years before he went on his pension, he was councilor at the council of ministers of Lithuania. Over the course of many years, he was active in current events, publishing books and articles in the Lithuanian, Russian, and Yiddish press. When the journal Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) began appearing in print, he placed a series of articles in it, including memoirs of the underground Communist movement in Lithuania. He died in Vilna.

His writings include: Hinter grates, stories (Moscow, 1936; Moscow: Emes, 1947), 187 pp.; Di geverb-kooperatsye in ratnfarband (The industrial cooperative in the Soviet Union) (Moscow: Emes, 1940), 34 pp.; Hitlerisher royb un mord in lite (Hitler’s robbery and murder in Lithuania) (Moscow: Emes, 1943), 29 pp.

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 398; 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), pp. 46-47.

ELI BEYDER

ELI BEYDER (1920-2003)

            He was poet, born in the town of Dunevets (Dunavets), Ukraine. In 1939 he graduated from the last Jewish middle school in Kiev and immediately was drafted into the military, where he served for twenty-four years. He took part in WWII. He began writing poetry at age sixteen, his first publication appearing in 1946 in a compilation brought out by the Jewish Committee in Białystok. Beginning in the 1960s, when he had settled in Gorky (Nizhny Novgorod), he published poetry and translations from Russian in Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland), as well as in Folks-shtime (Voice of the people) in Warsaw and Naye prese (New press) in Paris. He was among the founders of the association and the club of Yiddish culture in the city of Gorky. He made aliya to Israel in 1990 and settled in Jerusalem. In 1992 Yerusholaimer almanakh (Jerusalem anthology) brought out his poetry cycle, and thereafter his poetry began to appear in a variety of serials in Israel and in other countries. Especially favored among his work were his miniatures.

            His writings include: Troymen un var (Dreams and reality), poetry collection (Tel Aviv, 1994); Mayn zunik heymland, lider (My sunny homeland, poetry) (Tel Aviv: Yidisher kultur-gezelshaft, 1996), 96 pp.; Unter hoykhe himlen (Under the great sky), poetry and essays (Jerusalem, 1999); Farkemte makhshoves (Polished thoughts), poems and prose in Yiddish, Russian, and Hebrew (Tel Aviv: H. Leivik Publ., 2004), 184 pp.; Tkufes in mayn lebn (Eras in my life) (Jerusalem, 2006), 231 pp.

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), pp. 44-45.

ARN BEYGELMAN

 ARN BEYGELMAN (1917-1994)

            He was a Soviet prose author, born in the city of Olwiopol (after 1920, Pervomays'k), Ukraine. In 1932 he graduated from the local Jewish school and together with his parents moved to the ethnic Jewish region of Nay-Zlatopol, where he worked in an agricultural colony. He later studied in the Jewish Zoological Technichum, though he did not graduate and returned to Pervomays'k. In 1937 he came to study at Moscow’s military aviation academy, but he was immediately drafted into the armed forces. After demobilization in 1945, he began studying at Moscow’s Library Institute, from which he graduated in 1950. From that point he worked in a variety of institutions, primarily as a bibliographer. He began writing after becoming a student, but he did not publish at that point. He only debuted in print in 1968 with a long story entitled “Der goldener laykhter” (The golden candlestick) in the journal Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland), issues 11-12. The same story thoroughly rewritten appeared as a separate volume (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1990), 324 pp. The last work that he managed to publish was a major story entitled “A tsufal in transhey” (An accident in a trench), Di yidishe gas (The Jewish street) issues 1, 3, and 4 (1993).

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. 44.

Friday, 22 July 2022

KHANE BARON

KHANE BARON

            She was an educator and the author of textbooks for Jewish schools. She lived and worked in Minsk. Precise information about her is lacking. Her writings include: with Z. Kulbak, Leyen-bukh farn tsveytn lernyor (Tetxbook for the second school year) (Minsk, 1933); with Khayim Kahan and R. Baram, Arbet bukh af shprakh: gramatik, ortografye, punktuatsye, gesheftlekhe shprakh, stilistik (Language workbook: grammar, orthography, punctuation, business language, stylistics), for the third school year (Minsk, 1932), 98 pp.

Source: 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. 37.

HERSHL BARAZ

 HERSHL BARAZ (b. 1915)

            He was a poet and prose author, born in the city of Romanov (later, Dzerzhinsk), Ukraine. In 1936 he graduated from the Jewish department of the Odessa Pedagogical Institute and worked as a teacher. He was drafted into the military in 1938 and took part in fighting in Halhgol, Mongolia. During WWII, he graduated from a pilots’ school and the Voroshilov Air Academy and took part as a military pilot in numerous battles, and later after leaving the military he settled in the city of Rostov-on-Don. He debuted in Yiddish literature at the end of the 1930s, publishing stories, poems, and essays in Yiddish newspapers. When the journal Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland) began to be published, he became a regular writer for it.

            His work includes: Der mames harts (The mother’s heart), stories and essays, a supplement to the journal Sovetish heymland 3 (1987) and (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1987), 61 pp.

Source: 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), pp. 36-37.

Wednesday, 20 July 2022

SHMUEL ORTENBERG

SHMUEL ORTENBERG (1903-1980)

            He was a journalist and literary scholar, born in Pogrebishtshe (Pohrebyshche), Ukraine. He studied Russian and Yiddish with private teachers. In 1924 he graduated in Kiev from the senior three-year pedagogical course of study. At the same time, he debuted in the Yiddish press—Der emes (The truth) and Der shtern (The star), among other serials—with articles on Yiddish, Russian, and European literature. On the eve of WWII, he was living and working in Vinitse (Vinnytsa), where he was studying Old Yiddish literature. After the war, he settled in the city of Dnepropetrovsk. He published articles on Yiddish literature in the Moscow journal Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland). Among his writings: Y. y. linetski, zayn lebn un zayn shafn (Y. Y. Linetski, his life and his work) (Vinnytsa, 1931).

Source: 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. 30.

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

ZYAME OSTROVSKI

 ZYAME OSTROVSKI

            A current events writer and community leader, he was active over the years 1904-1908 in the Labor Zionist press. He withdrew from political and community work, 1908-1916. After the February 1917 Revolution, he renewed his activities in Labor Zionism, and in 1919 he switched to Bolshevik positions and in the early 1920s joined the Communist Party. In 1920, during the Congress of Toilers of the East in Baku, for which he served as secretary-general, he proposed a plan to create a special red army which would infiltrate the Middle East via the Caucasus, so as to capture Palestine and transform it into a Soviet republic. In the late 1920s to early 1930s, he worked for “Komerd” (Committee for Land Settlement of Jewish Laborers) in Moscow. His fate was the same as the majority of the other leaders of “Komzet” (Committee for the Settlement of Toiling Jews on the Land in the Soviet Union), who were arrested in the latter half of the 1930s. We have no further information about him.

            His Yiddish writings include: Di perspektivn fun der yidisher kolonizir-arbet in fssr afn 1926 yor (The perspective of Jewish colonizing work in the USSR in the year 1926) (Moscow, 1926); Albom yidishe pogromen 1918-1921 (Album of Jewish pogroms, 1918-1921) (Moscow, 1925).

Source: 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. 26

Monday, 18 July 2022

YOYSEF ITSKOV

 YOYSEF ITSKOV (1921-1977)

            He was a poet, born in the town of Surazh, Briansk region. At age thirteen, he made his way with his parents to Birobidzhan, where he graduated from the seven-year Jewish school. He published his first poems in the newspaper Birobidzhaner shtern (Birobidzhan star) in 1938. In early 1940, he was living in Dzhankoi, Crimea, and the war caught up with him. He evacuated to Kopeysk, near the Ural city of Chelyabinsk, and worked in a machine-building factory. After the war he returned to Birobidzhan, studied in the cultural-enlightenment school in the Far Eastern city of Blagoveshchensk, and came to work on the editorial board of Birobidzhaner shtern. In 1947 he settled in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, and worked in a factory. When the journal Sovetish heymland started publishing in Moscow in 1961, he returned to writing poetry. His work appeared in the newspaper Folks-shtime (Voice of the people) in Warsaw, Naye prese (New press) in Paris, Morgn-frayhayt (Morning freedom) in New York, and Yidishe kultur (Jewish culture) in New York.

            His works include a poetry cycle in the collection Horizontn (Horizons) (Moscow, 1965).

Source: 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), pp. 19-20.

MIRYEM AYZENSHTADT (ZHELEZNIKOVA)

 MIRYEM AYZENSHTADT (ZHELEZNIKOVA) (1909-1950)

            She was a journalist and literary critic, born in Kiev, Ukraine, into a family of an office employee. She graduated in 1932 from the Leningrad Institute of Philosophy and Literature. From 1934 she was living in Moscow. In the prewar years, she was a correspondent for Literaturnaya gazeta (Literary gazette) and worked for the newspaper Komsomol’skaya pravda (Communist youth truth). From early 1942, she was a member of the Jewish Anti-fascist Committee as well as a contributor to the newspaper Eynikeyt (Unity). She mostly wrote sketches concerning Jews who took part in WWII. Over the course of several years, Eynikeyt published her stories about war heroes, and other Yiddish newspapers around the world would reprinted these materials. A series of her stories were included in the Shvarts bukh (Black book). When in 1946 the Yiddish writer Ben-Tsien Goldberg came to the Soviet Union from New York, she met with him on several occasions. That was the pretext for her arrest on April 4, 1950 in connection with the “case of the Jewish Anti-fascist Committee” (in the investigative materials and at the subsequent court trial, Goldberg was declared to be an “American spy”). The “investigators” horrifically tortured her, and she “admitted” all of the “espionage crimes.” Following the sentence of the court, she was shot. She was rehabilitated on December 28, 1955.

            Her writings include: a volume of documentary stories of Jews—engineers, representative of the technical intellectuals (with the Yiddish writer Shmuel Persov) who were destroyed in the publishing house of the Yiddish publisher Der emes (The truth), just after the shutting down of the Jewish Anti-fascist Committee.

Source: 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), pp. 17-18.

 

SHMUEL AYZNVARG

 SHMUEL AYZNVARG (1920-1943)

            He was a poet, born in Berdichev, Ukraine, into a family of craftsmen. In 1937 he graduated from a Jewish middle school, and that same year entered Moscow Pedagogical Institute. He placed his poetry in a number of Yiddish publications. After graduating from the Institute, he was drafted into the military. He served on a submarine, and in 1943 died in the North Sea.

            His work includes: “Osher shvartsman” (Osher Shvartsman), in the anthology, Osher shvartsman (Moscow: Emes, 1940); and “Aza min goyrl iz mayn lebnstroym” (Such a fate is my life’s dream), thirty poems in the collection, Di lire, lider-krants (The lyre, garland of poetry) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1985).

Source: 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. 17.