Page 114 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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Wisse
106
before their execution; he testified on behalf of Russian Jewry at
the Nuremberg Trials; he was in Post-War France and in Israel on
the very eve of the creation of the State. In Tel Aviv he founded a
magazine that has published the best of Yiddish literature from all
continents. Sutzkever has visited all the major Jewish centers in the
world and the many exotic places beyond them. He is recognized
as one of the leading Yiddish writers and translated into dozens of
languages. His poetic career, begun and confirmed before the
War, actually matured during the most unlikely portion of his
life—his years in the ghetto.
Sutzkever served his poetic calling with priestly devotion, per­
fecting his technical proficiency, expanding in his responsiveness
and confidence in the midst of the
Khurbn
, the great Destruction.
In doing justice to his vision of art as the inspired encounter with
reality, Sutzkever went far beyond himself to become a national el-
egist, a commanding orator, and one of those great speakers in the
Jewish tradition who have challenged the Shaper of Destinies. Not
surprisingly it is this period and the world it swallowed up for all
time that continues to dominate and to
animate
his most vibrant
work.