Page 56 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 23

Basic HTML Version

J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
5 0
and was once wounded by demonstrators against Yiddish. He
edited publications of the Literaten-Verein and the weekly
Nei-
velt ,
sponsored by the Labor Zionists. Both Papiernikov and Leibl
are still active. In 1955 Papiernikov received a literary award for
his lyric volume
Dos Land fun Tsveitn Bereshis
(The Land of
a Second Beginning, 1954). On this occasion, Melech Ravitch
called attention to the jubilant spirit of Papiernikov’s songs of
Israel: “One senses the joy of a Polish-Jewish halutz who was
privileged, after thousands of years of longing, to witness the
genesis of actual realization.”
The novelist Yoel Mastboim immigrated to Palestine in 1933
and wrote many stories about his experiences. Of his projected
trilogy of Palestine between 1933 and 1948, however, only the
first volume
Koach fun der Erd
(Power of the Earth, 1951) ap-
peared before his death in April 1957, the very month when he
was to have received an award from the World Jewish Congress
for his literary achievements. Other award winners for Yiddish
works were Leibl Chen-Shimoni and Abraham Lev. The former
settled in Haifa in 1925 and received the Zvi Kessel Award in
1957 for his prose volume
Unterwegs
(En Route, 1956), which
depicted the Yishuv’s struggle against the British. The latter has
been working in Kibbutz Givat Hashloshah since 1932 and re-
ceived the Zvi Kessel Award in 1961 for his
Lieder un Poemen
(Songs and Poems, 1960). Another kibbutz pioneer who settled in
Palestine during the mandatory period is Arye Shamri of Kibbutz
Ein-Shemer. He has been writing evocative verse since 1937.
In 1936 the literary critic Abraham Lis arrived from Bialystock.
His book
Heim un Doier
(Home at Last, 1960) contains fifty pen-
sketches of Israeli Yiddish writers.
The opening of the gates of the newly proclaimed Jewish state
to all Jewish refugees brought an influx of many Yiddish survivors
of the holocaust. The most talented of these was Avraham Suz-
kever, who had escaped from Vilna’s ghetto, fought with the
partisans and experienced Stalin’s truculent dictatorship. A mag-
nificent edition of his collected verse in two volumes appeared in
1964, fifteen years after he assumed the editorship of
Di Goldene
Keit
in Tel Aviv, which has been featuring original Yiddish prose
and verse and Yiddish translations from the Hebrew.
In the first issue of this periodical, Yosef Shprinzak called for
an end to the antagonism between the two languages. No longer
could Yiddishists, in his opinion, maintain that Hebrew was the
tongue solely of intellectuals and reactionaries, and no longer
could Hebraists deride Yiddish as a jargon of the Galut. The
popularity of Pinski, Leivick, Reisen, Opatoshu, and Kadia
Molodowsky in Israel surpassed their vogue in many Yiddish-
speaking lands. Israel theatres were acquainting the young genera­