Page 58 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 5 (1946-1947)

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
46
past. I t is an at tempt to depict the Jewish commtinity of Poland,
which seemed to be most firmly founded in its thousand year old
development, but is now the most atomized. T runk ’s work is also
an expression of the present-day urge to fulfill an old command-
ment -— erecting a monument for the lost.
M. Osherowitch’s
Geshikhtes fun Mein Lebn
(Stories from my
Life), of which the first volume appeared toward the end of 1945,
belongs in the same belle lettre category. Written with a fine
narrative technique and in a kindly tone, they are stories of small
town life and stress those elements of custom tha t have vanished
together with the Ukrainian towns. Here, again, there is a desire
to immortalize tha t which had been wiped off the face of the
earth by violence. Falk Zolf’s book
Oif Fremder Erd
(On Foreign
Soil) is a wordy but intimate autobiography. This year were also
published A. Raboy’s
Mein Lebn
(My Life) and Reuben Breinin’s
Fun Mein Lebensbukh
(From the Book of My Life). In general
we may therefore say tha t there was a good harvest of autobiog-
raphies and memoirs this year.
Jewish labor and revolutionary life is graphically described in
the memoirs of L. Berman (Leibetschke, as he was known in
Bundist circles) entitled
In Loif Fun Yorn
(In the Course of the
Years). These memoirs are centered in Dwinsk, the city which
forty years ago played a prominent role in the Jewish labor move-
ment. The narrative quality of calmness and lack of literary af-
fectation constitute one of its most attractive literary qualities.
Pionern un Boier
(Pioneers and Builders) by John Mill is an im-
portant contribution to the history of the Jewish labor movement
in America. And Dr. Herman Frank, editor of the
Freie Arbeter
Shtime,
gave a devoted and broad picture of A. S. Sachs, the
journalist and social militant, in his book
A. Sh. Zaks
,
Kemferfar
Folks Oifklerung
(A. S. Sachs; Fighter for the Popular Enlighten-
ment).
Before considering other works of prose we should note Volume
VI of
Samlbikher
(Anthologies) which have been appearing from
time to time over a period of years under the editorship of H.
Leivick and Joseph Opatashu. This volume, which appeared at
the end of 1945, contains a number of poems and essays dealing
with I. L. Peretz. (1945 was a “ Peretz year.” ) One section is
devoted to the writings of martyred and deceased authors. The
volume closes with an optimistic essay by J. Opatashu: “Existence,
not Extinction.” The volume as a whole contains distinguished
writing — poems, stories, literary criticism.* But its weightiest
* This year’s Volume 6 of “Die Zamlbikher” contains poems by: A. Reisen,
A. Leyeles, Jacob Glatstein, H. Leivick, J. J. Segal, Berish Weinstein, B. J.