Chaim Brakasch (Buenos Aires)
Shlomo Scheinberg, originally from Poland, was living as a refugee in Russia. Apparently, he was lucky to escape from the Nazis to safety in Russia; however, there he met his unfortunate death.
Actually, Shlomo Scheinberg became more famous as a translator than a writer. He started his literary career writing a song book called "Lyric Songs." He also published a few stories and a play.
At one time he belonged to a group of young writers who gathered around Y. M. Weissenberger. He worked for various newspapers and journals, including the journal "For the Old and Young," which was once published in Buenos Aires. Later, he devoted himself to work on translations and produced very thorough and accurate results, sometimes even better than the original work. In time he achieved very important results.
Shlomo Scheinberg only translated from Russian. He felt especially attached
to and influenced by Russian literature. He was educated in Russian-- more
precisely, he was self-taught, and despite being born and raised in the
town of Pulawy along the Vistula (Pol. Wisla) River in Poland, he felt
more comfortable speaking Russian than Polish. Shlomo Scheinberg possessed
a rich knowledge of basic Yiddish. His translations were serious, precise
and accurate. He felt this was his destiny. He was very resourceful and
energetic in his work, which he carried out quietly with great perseverance.
He worked calmly and quietly, which gave him the power to express himself.
Therefore, he sought out great works, not only in quality, but in volume,
as well. He translated Tolstoy‘s "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina," "And
Quiet Flows the Don" by Sholokhov, and others. In a letter to this author,
Shlomo Scheinberg once referred to his work, saying: "Only the perspective
of a major work will create enthusiasm and provide the energy for more
work. I know this from my own experience. That is how I felt when I concluded
the translation of "War and Peace."
Not noticing the hard conditions in which he often found himself, and his difficult, relentless work in poor, shabby habitations, he nevertheless labored tirelessly through his translations. Shlomo Scheinberg never tired of making plans to publish great works of translations. This was his main goal. Appearing relaxed and calm from the outside, he passionately and enthusiastically worked on his translations.
For many years Shlomo Scheinberg was the literary leader in the publishing house of Yatschkowski and Bsczaza in Warsaw. In 1927 he formed "The Strength Publishing Co-op," which he managed in order to publish translations of great literature.
Therefore, he felt luckier when he established (around 1934) his next publishing house, which was bigger and better. Shlomo Scheinberg called it "The International Yiddish Library." The idea behind this was to publish inexpensive, quality books-- original Yiddish works and translations, so that everyone, even the less fortunate Yiddish reader, could read and enjoy Yiddish literature. For a few years it proved to be a success, and "The International Yiddish Library" published many works of Yiddish writers and quality Yiddish translations of world classics. Scheinberg made sure thousands of copies were published. The publisher’s efforts were greatly recognized by the Yiddish Cultural Society and he was twice rewarded by the Warsaw "Pen Club" for best translations, published by "The International Yiddish Library".
Shlomo Scheinberg was good-natured, a real friend, even-tempered and
easygoing. The author of "Lyric Songs" had a young and somewhat baby face.
He was always smiling, he had a friendly, loving smile, andhe was slightly
tanned as though he had just stepped in from the sun. Literature jealousy,
in the negative sense of the word, was unknown to him. On the contrary,
he was always very happy of a friend’s success, and was always friendly
towards the translators who worked for him, thus inspiring them to be committed
to their work.
Shlomo Scheinberg planned a trip to Argentina, not to settle there, but only to distribute the books he published. In a letter to this author he asks: "…What kind of country and what sort of people live there? Would a Jew, like me, who brings with him a load of books, as you can see, and who published a considerable number of good books which were accepted by Literary critics, succeed there?"
This was written in December, 1937: As usual, Shlomo Scheinberg had many plans at that time. Today, just half a decade later, we stand from afar, from the yesterday that disappeared, to write about his untimely death!
"There was a man, but he is no longer" these wonderful words of Chaim N. Bialik spring to mind. "There was a man, but he is no longer" simple words, but very meaningful in their simplicity: their simplicity and deep meaning express deep sorrow over his tragic, untimely death.
He was a pleasant man, a real ‘mentch’ Shlomo Scheinberg now he’s
In 1944, under the name Jean Douyes, he took part in the general campaign of "Le Maquis du Vercors resistance". We will not elaborate on the history of Vercors, since this tragedy is very well known.
On August 5th,1944 he was arrested and badly tortured before he was blinded by the Nazis and shot, together with 37 other Partisans, on August 11th. One friend who was arrested with him in Grenoble, told about the courage of this young hero. When he was no longer able to write, he still marked a line every day.
Three months later a pile of human corpses was found in Madery, among
them, most likely, were the mutilated and tortured bodies of the martyred
During holidays he attended an enrichment school. His parents were ready
to make every sacrifice necessary to ensure their son would be able to
continue his studies. However, he resisted because he was certain he needed
to learn a trade. This did not prevent him from continuing to read a lot
and participate in the Youth Movement, together with his best friend, Eli
When France, which he loved so much, was occupied in 1940, by the Nazis, he didn’t stop his activities, just changed form to the form of the A. S.
The A. S. was a special organization of the Communist Party established in 1940 to fight the occupation, by sabotaging the railroads and the military industry. This organization established the groundwork for the glorious sharpshooters’ units and Partisans.
The first stages were very tough. There was a shortage of rifles. On Sundays, pretending to go for a bicycle ride, the young boys delivered illegal literature. That is what happened one Sunday in 1941, when four young boys saw a hole in the ground from which dynamite had been taken. They immediately organized a group, covered the guard’s head with a bag, and obtained their first 25 kilograms of dynamite. About an hour later, four young boys rode their bicycles through the streets of Paris carrying the material, from which they produced their first bombs. They were: Pierre Georges, who was later known as Colonel Fabien; Charles Volmark, Eli Wallach, and Samuel Tischelman.
With a lack of fear, and much courage, the resistance movement was careless.
In early August 1941, they held a demonstration through the wide Republic
Boulevard to Porte Saint Martin. Samuel marched at the head of the demonstration
holding a sign: "Stop the Occupation. Long live, free and independent France!
Get your hands off the Red organizations".
A truck of German soldiers with machine guns, passed by and opened
fire on the demonstrators, injuring Samuel, who was taken away by the Gestapo.
A young worker, Henry Gatre, joined him in his fate. Using yellow posters
with a black frame, the Nazis, in their unique way, announced to the residents
of Paris that the Jews, Tischelman and Gatre, were shot August 19th.
The blood of a Parisian metal worker and a young Jewish immigrant mixed, to emphasize that the fight for a Free France was for the entire population, holy and with out discrimination.
However, the sacrifice of Samuel Tischelman, the first Jewish fighter who paid with his life for his love of this new homeland, gave the signal to start the armed battle.
Four days after the execution, his twenty two year old friend, Pierre
Georges, placed a bomb in Barbes Metro Station, that killed a German Naval
It is safe to assume that had he lived, Samuel would have joined his friend that day. What is certain is that after he killed the German, he fled to the rendezvous, under the Sacre Coeur Church. His first words to his friends were: "I avenged Titi".
Titi was the nickname given, by his friends, to the young man who sacrificed his life as a hero, and who wrote in his last letter to his parents, with love and affection:
"My dear parents and my dear sister:
These will probably be the last words that I write: my last thoughts are directed at you. If I caused you any trouble during my life, I beg your forgiveness, although I am sure you already have. I want to ask you one thing which I know you will not refuse, since this is my last wish. Take good care of my sister Flare and comfort her so that she will become a really, good girl, worthy of the special parents that you are, and that you have always been. Do not forget that you are the only people Flare has in this world. Give her all the love that you had for me. Take care of your health so that you will not become sick "
"Yoseph Y. Levine Z"L died unexpectedly at age thirty, on Friday November
in Los Angeles, California. Buried Sunday, November 4th
at Hillside Memorial Cemetery".
Yoseph Y. Levine came to America from Poland in 1949. He graduated from Santa Barbara University where he was President of the National Social Fraternity "Sigma Taw Garted" , and President of the Collegiate Council of the United Nations.
We wish to add: Yoseph Y. Levine was born in the town of Pulawy, the
son of Gittel and Yakov-Fishel Levine. His youth was spent with his family
living through the hell of the Nazi Concentration Camps in Demblin,
and Buchenwalde. As a young boy, the future lawyer saw that it was possible
to kill and slaughter Jewish life, Jewish families and the Jewish nation.
He dreamed he would become a lawyer, one day and he would demand justice
from God. He witnessed with his own eyes how his father, along with thousands
of other Jews, were taken and murdered by the Nazis. While the Nazis loudly
played Wagner’s music, a million Jewish children cried out their last breath.
He could hardly hear his father’s last words: "Yoseph, my son, be strong
and hide out. One German told me that tonight the Jewish children will
be killed. Save yourself, my son! so at least one will survive after
me, since your mother and two sisters were already burned!".
A Father’s prayer to his son, entered Yoseph’s bones, as a major decree. "Save yourself , my son!". And he did save himself, along with his mother and two sisters. Yoseph stayed alive to anger the ruthless Germans. He would study and become a lawyer. He would fight for the benefit of the weak and poor people. He would ask people and God "Why?", and demand justice from the creator of the world.
Those who originated from our beloved town are gathered, in deep grief to mourn the passing of Yoseph, together with his broken mother, the gentle and courageous Gittel Levine: together with his two sisters, and his young widow, Marsha, we recall Yoseph Levine’s name along with millions of other Jewish martyrs.
With the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, coupled with the rise of Hitler in Germany, Mordechai Z"L became a Zionist and decided to emigrate, for the second time, to Eretz Israel. His parents sent him "A Request Form" and in January 1937 he arrived, with his family, on the shores of Eretz Israel. Here he suffered a great disappointment. The Mandate Authorities did not approve his Immigration Certificate and he was sent back to Europe on the same boat he had arrived on. He stayed for half a year in Yugoslavia, and following his family’s intervention, he finally made it to the country, for the third time.
Upon his arrival, he was confronted with the tragic news that his father had been hit and killed by a car, on his way from Tel-Aviv, to greet him at the port. The loss of his father affected him terribly, and it was a long time before he recovered from this.
Immediately upon his arrival, for the second/third time he joined the
Hagana military ranks as a front line fighter. During his eleven years
in the country, he devoted even holidays and vacations, to further military
training till he reached the rank of Regional Officer. During the period
between November 19th,1947 until his death, he did not rest.
He dedicated his days and nights to the Hagana. He fell, while on duty,
on the fifth day of Shevat, 5708 (January 17th, 1948). May
his memory be blessed.
He kept his jobs and in 1935 he became a member of the Professional Committee of Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union and various other organizations.
In 1939 he enlisted in the French Army, joined the fighting on the front
line, was captured into the hands of the Germans, but manages to escape and
returned to Paris, in 1940.
In August 1941 he was arrested together with other Jews in the 11th Quarter (of Paris) as revenge for the killing of two German officers, by the Resistance. He was sent to a work Camp in Drancy , where all Jews suffered from starvation, by the Nazis.
He continued his activities among the captives in an exemplary manner. After ten months in undernourished conditions in Drancy, Moshe Quatter was deported to the death camp Auschwitz. On August 12, 1942 he was killed by the Nazi murderers.
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