Smolar, Hersh

Published by Minsk; Tekhnalohiia, 2002
Soft cover
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Softbound. 8vo. 182, [4] pages. 22 cm. First Belorussian edition. Title translates as: "The Minsk ghetto; Soviet-Jewish partisans against the Nazis. " In Belorussian, With four pages of black and white photographic plates. Hersh Smolar (1905–1993) , was a "Polish and Soviet Yiddish writer and editor. Born to a poor family in the town of Zambrów, Poland, Hersh Smolar (also rendered Smolyar) attended primary school until the age of 11, when he began working, and soon became involved in revolutionary activities. He was a leader of the local branch of the Jewish Socialist Youth Association from 1918 to 1920. During the 1920 Polish–Soviet War, Smolar belonged to a revolutionary committee that had formed in Zambrów when the Red Army had occupied the town. Smolar fled to Soviet Russia in 1921, initially living in Kiev. He moved to Moscow two years later, after being admitted to the Yiddish department at the Communist University for the Peoples of the West (known in Yiddish as Mayrevke) , one of the universities run by the Comintern. Forced to interrupt his studies the next year, Smolar was dispatched to Khar’kiv (then the Ukrainian capital) , where he was given the task of reinforcing the local Yiddish-speaking Communist cadre. He helped to edit the newspaper Yunge gvardye (Young Guard) , which targeted Yiddish-speaking youth. He returned to Moscow in 1926 and continued his studies at the Communist University, coediting its Yiddish journal Mayrevnik (Student of the Mayrevke) . Smolar served as a Comintern agent in Poland from 1928 to 1939; twice arrested, he spent six years in prison. After World War II began, he fled to Bialystok (then in Soviet-occupied territory) , where he gained prominence among refugee Polish Yiddish writers and as editor of the Communist newspaper Byalistoker shtern (Bialystok Star) . Smolar did not manage to evacuate when Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941. A leading member of the resistance in the Minsk ghetto, he became commissar of a partisan group operating in Belorussian forests. His wartime memoirs, Fun Minsker geto (From the Minsk Ghetto) , were published by Emes in Moscow in 1946. Smolar and his wife, Walentyna Najdus, subsequently returned to Poland, where he held key positions in the Jewish community as chair of the Jewish Cultural Alliance and editor of the Yiddish newspaper Folks-shtime. He published a collection of partisan stories, Yidn on gele lates (Jews without Yellow Patches; 1948) , and the play A posheter zelner (An Ordinary Soldier; 1952) . His Folks-shtime editorial ‘Undzer veytik un undzer treyst’ (Our Pain and Our Comfort; 4 April 1956) , which was reprinted all over the world, became the first semiofficial source of information on the liquidation of Soviet Yiddish cultural institutions and their leading personalities between 1948 and 1952. Indeed, this editorial triggered a radical decline in the number of Yiddish-language organizations that supported the Soviet Union. As a result of the 1968 anti-Jewish campaign and the involvement of his sons (Aleksander [1940– ] and Eugeniusz) in dissident student circles, Smolar acknowledged that his life in Poland had become untenable. He left for Israel in 1971." (YIVO Encyclopedia) Subjects: Jews - Persecutions - Belarus - Minsk. Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) - Belarus - Minsk - Personal narratives. World War, 1939-1945 - Jewish resistance - Belarus - Minsk. Smolar, Hersh, (1905-1993) . Light shelf wear to covers, with lightly bumped lower back corner on cover. Very clean. Very good + condition. (HOLO2-92-2) HOLO8, wiv0512, ee2, comhist2. (ja). Bookseller Inventory # 29624

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Bibliographic Details


Publisher: Minsk; Tekhnalohiia

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Soft cover

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