Monday 25 July 2022



            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.

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