Page 17 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 24

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S
hapiro
— Y
iddish
B
ooks
in
the
S
oviet
U
n ion
9
considerable numbers. Thus , in 1962 thirty-four books were
issued in the language of the Udmurt, a small group of some
600,000; the Maris (500,000) had forty-nine books; and the
Bashkirs (1,000,000) had 116 books
.5
I t is also significant tha t
during the periods 1948-1958 and 1963-1964 no Yiddish books
were published in the Soviet Union.
In 1961 the Union of Soviet Writers began publication of the
bi-monthly
Sovetish Heym land ,
which became a monthly maga­
zine in 1965.
Sovetish Heym land
was and is the only outlet for
the literary work of some 100 Soviet writers presently writing in
Yiddish. T h e obvious ban on Jewish cultural expression d id no t
apply to the issuance of Yiddish literature in Russian, Ukrainian,
Georgian, and other translations. Available data indicate tha t
during the period 1955-1964, 26,000,000 copies of 282 books of
some ninety Yiddish writers appeared in fifteen languages of
the Soviet U n ion
.6
Most of the translations were of classics of
Yiddish literature, w ith Sholem Aleichem’s work occupying top
place. Among the languages, Russian heads the list, bu t interest­
ingly enough, Yiddish authors were made available to Tadjikhs,
Kirghiz, and many other peoples of the USSR. Competent
observers report tha t many of the children’s books by Yiddish
authors, and some of their poetry, were extremely popu lar with
Russian readers and listeners who probably would be astonished
to learn tha t the words of this or tha t particu lar song came from a
Yiddish verse. Be tha t as it may, these translations do not solve
the problems of Yiddish writers who write in Yiddish and under­
standably want to see their work published in the language in
which it was written.
Yiddish Writers—Who They Are
According to
Sovetish Heymland
there are presently in the
Soviet Union more than 100 writers writing in Yiddish. Among
them are: Moishe Altman, Natan Altman, Moishe Altshuler,
Meir Axelrod, Riva Baliasna, Hirsh Beriskin, Chaim Binder,
H irsh Bloshtein, Rachel Boimvol, David Bromberg, Itzik Bronf­
man, Joseph Buchbinder, Dora Chaikin, Shifra Cholodenko,
Dvoira Chorol, Hirsh Dobin, Shike Driz, Irma Drucker, Yechiel
Falikman, Eli Falkovitch, Aba Finkelstein, Sonia Frei, Nochem
Friedman, Tevie Gen, Avrom Gonter, Eli Gordon, Shmul Gordon,
Sholem Gordon, Mendl Gorshman, Shire Gorshman, Motl
Grubian, Aleksander Gubnitzki, Meir Haratz, Arn Hefter, Moishe
Helmond, Moishe Itzkovitch, Itzik Kipnis, Pesi Kirtshanski,
BPetschat v SSR v 1962 Godu.
6Aba Finkelstein, in
Sovetish Heymland,
January 1966. Adjusted to exclude
books published in Yiddish.