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ASCH Sholem (ASZ Szalom) Born in Kutno, Poland on 1 November 1880.
American writer, born in Kutno, Poland (then part of Russia), and educated at a rabbinical college. He moved to the United States in 1914. Early in his literary career Asch wrote in Hebrew; later he wrote primarily in Yiddish. All his important writings were published in English translation. Immigrated to the United States, 1910. Studied with Isaac Leib Peretz in Warsaw. Married Mathilde Shapiro. Worked as a letter writer while in school in Wloclawek; moved to the United States; lived in Poland after World War I and also lived in France before returning to the United States; traveled frequently to Europe and Palestine; moved to Israel, 1954. Salvation (1934), probably his most significant work, expresses his faith, which transcends any religious creed. His success came largely from his ability to treat biblical figures in a style that was both reverential and realistic. The novels of Asch include The Apostle (1943), a life of St. Paul; East River (1946), about Jewish life in New York City; Mary (1949); and Moses (1951).
Died: 10 August 1957.
BACZYNSKI Krzysztof Kamil (Jan Bugaj)
Born on January 22, 1921 – Died on August 4, 1944
Polish poet and Home Army soldier. He perished in the Warsaw Uprising. His mother was a Catholic but with Jewish roots. In his poems and short novels, Kamil Baczynski demonstrated both romantic traditions and catastrophism. His poems depict the brutality of war, and suggest that love is the only force that can effectively defend a human being against it. After the Warsaw Uprising broke out, he joined the "Parasol" battalion. He was killed in action by a German sniper at approximately 4 p.m. of August 4, 1944, in Palace (Palac Blanka) in the Warsaw Old Town area.
BECKER Jurek (Jerzy) Born in Lodz, Poland - 30 September 1937. Immigrated to East Berlin, Germany in 1945. Becker and his family survived the Lodz ghetto and, when Becker was five, he and his mother were moved to the camps at Sachsenhausen and Ravensbrück. His mother, suffered from tuberculosis, as did many of the inhabitants of Lodz. She died shortly after Ravensbrück was liberated and was buried there. Jurek Becker was placed in a United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (UNRRA) children's camp, where the Red Cross reunited him with his father in 1945. He studied philosophy, Humboldt University of Berlin, 1957–60. Military Service in People’s Army, 1955–56. Family: Married Christine Harsch-Niemeyer in 1986 (second marriage); three children. Best known abroad through the English translation of his best selling novel Jakob the Liar and the novel’s belated Hollywood film adaptation under the same title. National prize for literature of the GDR. Many important awards. Died: 14 March 1997.
BEGLEY Louis (Begleiter Ludwik) Born as Ludwik Begleiter in Stryj, 6 October 1933. His father, a physician, was forced to leave with the retreating Soviet army, and spent most of the war years in Samarkand. He and his mother remained in Stryj, but managed to escape before the Jews of Stryj were locked up in a ghetto. Using false papers that gave them an “Aryan” and catholic identity, mother and son lived at first in Lwów, and then in Warsaw until the end of the August 1944 Warsaw uprising. By the time World War II ended, they were in Cracow, where they were reunited with Ludwik's father. Immigrated to the United States, 1948. American writer of Polish origin. Admitted to the Bar of New York State, 1961. Associate, 1959-67, and since 1968 partner, Debevoise & Plimpton, New York. Lecturer on legal topics in the People's Republic China, 1983, 1987, 1988, and 1989; senior visiting lecturer, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1985, 1986. Many awards.
BEN-AMOTZ Dahn (Mosse Tehilimzeigger) Born in 1923 in Poland. Immigrated to Palestine in the 1930s. Education: Ben Shemen agricultural school, Palestine. Military Service: Palmach during Israel’s War of Independence. Career: Radio broadcaster, journalist, playwright, and author. Newspaper correspondent, Paris, late 1940s. Traveled to the United States, early 1950s. Helped create Three Men in a Boat radio show, Israel. Died: 1990.
BERG Mary (Miriam Wattenberg) Born in Lodz, Poland in 1924. Education: Graduated from a Lodz Gymnasium; attended junior college. Family: Married an American-born student, late 1940s. Career: Has lived in the United States since the end of World War II. Has worked as an artist. Award: First prize for a Winter Relief poster, graphic arts school, Warsaw Ghetto, 1942. Like Karski, Berg intended to inform America of the Nazi atrocities against the Jews of Europe. Berg's diary is a full and detailed account of experiences from the ghetto's establishment through the first deportations July through September of 1942. It is the first published eyewitness testimony from an inhabitant of the ghetto and the first account to testify that gas was being used to kill the Jews at Treblinka.
BIDERMAN Abraham (Hersz) Born in Lodz, 1924. Family: One son. Career: Prisoner, Lodz Ghetto, 1940–44, Auschwitz, 1944, Althammer, 1944, Dora, and Bergen-Belsen. Immigrated to Australia, 1949. Worked in the clothing industry, Australia, beginning in 1949. Awards: National Biography award and Banjo Patterson award, National Book Council, both in 1996, for The World of My Past.
BIRENBAUM Halina Born in Warsaw, 15 September 1929. Immigrated to Israel, 1947. Family: Married Chaim Birenbaum; two sons. Career: Prisoner, Majdanek, Auschwitz, Ravensbrück, and Neustadt-Glewe, World War II. Author and translator. Award: 'Figure of Reconciliation' award, Polish Council of Christians and Jews, 2001.
BLATT Thomas 'Toivi' Born in Izbica, Poland, on 15 April 1927. Education: Studied journalism in Szczecin. Family: Married Dana Blatt. Career: Prisoner, Sobibor, World War II. Moved to Santa Barbara, California, and established an electronics business. Lecturer on the Holocaust. Produced two documentary films on the Holocaust
BRYKS Rachmil Born in Skarzysko-Kamienna ? in Poland on 18 April 1912. The son of Orthodox Jewish parents. In the Lodz Ghetto from 1940 to 1944. In August 1944 he was transported to the death camp Auschwitz, where he was sent to labor in a Nazi work camp. Bryks was liberated by the American Army on May 2, 1945. Physically exhausted, the Red Cross brought him to Sweden for medical care. During his confinement in the hospitals, he wrote his unique tragicomedy A Cat in the Ghetto and other novels in Yiddish. Family: Married Irene Wolf in 1946; two daughters. Career: Worked for Development Corp. for Israel, New York, 1960–73. Member of cultural branch of Workmen’s Circle and Independent Katzetnik Organization (for survivors of concentration camps). Died: 1974.
CZERNIAKÓW Adam Born in Warsaw, 1880. Education: Studied chemistry at Warsaw Polytechnic. Family: Married Dr. Felicja Czerniaków. Career: Teacher and engineer. City counselor, Warsaw; senator, Polish Parliament. Also worked as a journalist. Cofounder, Union of Jewish Craftsmen, Poland; member, Jewish Engineers Association. Chairman, Warsaw Jewish Council, Warsaw Ghetto, 1939–42. Died: Suicide, 23 July 1942.
DONAT Alexander Born as Michael Berg, in Warsaw, 1905. He was one of the few survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto and witness to the Jewish genocide accomplished by the Nazis in Poland. Family: Married Lena; one son. Career: Journalist; worked for a tailor and a printer. Founder, Waldon Press, New York, 1949. Died: 1983.
EDELMAN Marek Marek Edelman was born in Homel, Belarus on 31 December 1921 but moved to Warsaw when he was young. He was the deputy commander of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and was one of the few people who survived and escaped by taking to the sewers. He returned to Warsaw and fought against the occupying German army once more in the Warsaw Uprising in August 1944. Family: Married Alina Margolis; one daughter and one son. Career: Cardiologist, Pirogów Hospital, Lodz. Activist, Jewish Labor Bund; cofounder, Jewish Fighting Organization, 1942; co-leader, Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, 1943; activist, Komitet Obrony Robotników (Workers Defense Committee), 1976–80; member, trade union Solidarity, 1980–89. Awards: White Eagle Order, 1998; honorary citizen of Lodz, 2000. Honorary doctorates: Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; Universite Libre, Brussels, Belgium.
FINK Ida Born in Zbaraz, Poland on 11 January 1921. Education: Studied music at a conservatory in Lvov, 1938–41. Married: Bruno Fink in 1948; one daughter. Career: Documentary work, Yad Vashem Institute, Tel-Aviv; music librarian, Goethe Institute, Tel-Aviv, 1972–83. Since 1983 freelance writer in Holon. Awards: Anne Frank prize in literature, 1985, and PEN/Book- of-the-Month Club translation prize, for Skrawek czasu; Jacob Buchman memorial prize, Yad Vashem, 1995.
GLATSTEIN Jacob Born in Lublin, 20 August 1896. Education: Studied law, New York University, 1918. Career: Worked as a literary critic, journalist, and editor. Member, Inzikhistn (introspectivist) group of poets. Died: 19 November 1971.
GRYNBERG Henryk Born in Warsaw, 4 July 1936. Education: University of Warsaw, M.A. in journalism 1959; University of California, Los Angeles, 1969–71, M.A. in Russian literature 1971. Family: Married 1) Ruth Maria Meyers in 1964 (divorced 1966); 2) Krystyna Walczak in 1967, one daughter. Career: Actor and translator, Jewish State Theatre, Warsaw, 1959–67; secretary, Union of Workers of Culture and Art, 1966–67. Defected to the United States, 1967. Teaching assistant, Russian language and literature, University of California, Los Angeles, c. 1971; worked for the U.S. Information Agency and Voice of America, c. 1971–91. Also contributor and translator from English to Polish, Kultura (Paris), Wiadomosci (London), and America Illustrated. Awards: Annual literary prize, Koscielski Foundation, Switzerland, 1966, for Zydowska wojna; Tadeusz Borowski fellowship, Poland, 1966.
GURDUS Luba (Krugman) Born as Luba Krugman, in Bialystok, 1 August 1914. Education: School of Applied Art, Berlin; Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, B.A. 1939; Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, M.A. 1952, Ph.D. in art history 1962. Family: Married John Gurdus in 1935; one son (deceased). Career: Illustrator, Bluszcz Publications, Warsaw, 1934–36, and Yedioth Aharenot, Tel-Aviv, 1947–48; director of art research, French & Co., New York, 1956–68; art researcher and historian, Frick Art Reference Library, 1968–78. Since 1978 writer and art historian. Has held memberships in several organizations related to art and the Holocaust. Award: Louis E. Yavner Citizen award, 1986.
HART (MOXON) Kitty Born in Bielsko Biala, Poland, 1 December 1926. Education: Gymnasium Notre Dame, diploma in radiology. Family: Married Randolph Hart in 1949; two sons. Career: Prisoner, Auschwitz, 1943–44; forced laborer, 1944–45. Moved to England, 1946. Radiographer, hospitals in Birmingham, England, and in private practice. Principal and narrator, documentary film Return to Auschwitz, Yorkshire Television, 1978; technical adviser to film director Alan Pakula for Sophie’s Choice, 1982. Awards: Prix Futura and Commonwealth award, both for documentary film Return to Auschwitz.
Ka-Tzetnik 135633 (Yehiel Denur) Yehiel Denur, was born Yehiel Finer in 1917; took name Denur after moving to Israel. Education: Studied the Hebrew classics at a traditional Yeshiva in Lublin. Family: Married Nina Asherman. Career: Auschwitz survivor; writer; founder, with his wife, Israeli Movement for Arab-Jewish Cooperation (nonpolitical, grass roots organization), 1965. Died: 17 July 2001.
KAPLAN Chaim Aron Born in Horodyszcze, White Russia (now Belarus), 1880. Education: Institute for Jewish teachers, Vilna. Career: Founder, teacher, and principal, Hebrew elementary school, Warsaw; wrote for Hebrew and Yiddish periodicals. He received a Talmudical education at the famous Yeshiva of Mir, and later studied at the Government Pedagogical Institute in Vilna. In about 1902 he settled in Warsaw, where he founded an elementary Hebrew school, of which he was principal for the next forty years. He visited the United States in 1921 and Palestine in 1936, and published a number of books, including a Passover Haggadah for children. Died: Presumed murdered, victim of the Holocaust, late 1942 or early 1943 (he and his wife are believed to have perished in Treblinka).
KATZENELSON Yitzhak Born in 1886. Family: Married Hannah (murdered, Treblinka, 1942); three sons (deceased) - His wife and two of his sons were deported to the Treblinka extermination camp and murdered there. Career: Founder, Hebrew school in Lodz. Member, partisan organization Dror, Warsaw Ghetto, World War II; prisoner, Nazi camp, Vittel, France, 1943, then Auschwitz. Died: Murdered, Auschwitz, May 1944. In Vittel, Katzenelson wrote Song of the Murdered Jewish People (Yiddish: Dos lid funem oysgehargetn yidishn folk). He put the manuscript in bottles and buried them under a tree, from where it was recovered after the war. A copy was sewn into the handle of a suitcase and later taken to Israel.
KLEIN Gerda Weissmann Born in Bielitz (Bielsko-Biala), Poland on 8 May 1924. Family: Married Kurt Klein in 1947; two daughters and one son. Career: Writer and lecturer. Prisoner, German labor camps, 1942–45. Columnist, Stories for Young Readers, Buffalo Sunday News. Founder and honorary chairman of civic, educational, and philanthropic organizations, including Blue Rose Foundation, Silver Circle at Rosary Hill College (now Daemon College), and Gerda and Kurt Klein Foundation. Member of the board of directors, United Jewish Appeal and Holocaust Commission. Gerda Weissmann Klein’s memoir 'All but My Life' is a mesmerizing account of one Polish teenager’s three-year struggle to survive not only in body but also in spirit. Like Anne Frank’s Diary, the book is a classic of Holocaust literature. Divided into three parts, it begins with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and continues through the days following Gerda’s liberation in Volary, Czechoslovakia, in May 1945.
KLEPFISZ Irena Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1941. Education: City College of New York, B.A. and M.A.; University of Chicago, Ph.D. in English literature; post-doctoral fellow, Max Weinreich Center for Jewish Studies, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York. Career: Translator-in-residence, YIVO, late 1980s; teacher of creative writing and women’s studies, Vermont College; professor of women’s studies and Jewish studies, Michigan State University, Lansing; professor of Jewish women’s studies, Barnard College. Has also taught at Columbia University, Long Island University, Brooklyn College, State University of New York at Albany, Hamilton College, University of California, Wake Forest University, and Centre College in Kentucky
KORCZAK Janusz (Henryk Goldszmit) Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1878. Education: Medical school, Warsaw, M.D. Military Service: Russian army: doctor on a hospital train in China during Russo-Japanese War, 1905–06, doctor, served on Eastern Front during World War I. Polish army, Polish-Soviet War of 1920. Career: Doctor in a Jewish children’s hospital in Warsaw, 1904–05, and 1907–10; counselor in summer camps for boys, 1907–10; founder, with Maryna Falska, of a public orphanage for Christian children in Warsaw, 1918–36. Founder, with Stefania Wilczynska, and director, Orphan Home for Jewish Children, Warsaw, 1911–42. Lecturer, Free Polish University and Jewish teachers’ institute; host of radio shows during the 1930s; non-Zionist representative to Palestine, Jewish Agency, 1934–36. Awards: Poland Academy of Literature golden laurel award, 1937; UNESCO declared 1978–79 the Year of Korczak to coincide with the celebration of the Year of the Child. Died: Murdered, Treblinka, 1942.
KOSINSKI Jerzy (Nikodem) Born in Lodz, Poland on 14 June 1933. Education: University of Lodz, B.A. 1950, M.A. in history 1953, M.A. in political science 1955; Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, 1955–57; Columbia University, 1958–63, Ph.D. candidate in sociology; New School for Social Research, graduate study, 1962–66. Family: Married 1) Mary Hayward Weir in 1962 (died 1968); 2) Katherina von Fraunhofer in 1987. Career: Ski instructor, Zakopane, Poland, winters, 1950–56; assistant professor (aspirant) of sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences, 1955–57; researcher, Lomonosov University, Moscow, 1957. After first arriving in the United States, worked as a paint scraper on excursion-line boats, a truck driver, chauffeur, and cinema projectionist. Resident fellow in English, Center for Advanced Studies, Wesleyan University, 1967–68; visiting lecturer in English and resident senior fellow of the Council of Humanities, Princeton University, 1969–70; professor of English and resident fellow, Davenport College and School of Drama, 1970–73, and fellow, Timothy Dwight College, 1986–91, both Yale University. Actor in a 1981 film; photographer. Awards: Ford Foundation fellowship, 1958–60; Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger (France), 1966, for The Painted Bird; Guggenheim fellowship in creative writing, 1967–68; National Book Award, 1969, for Steps; National Institute of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature, 1970; John Golden fellowship in playwriting, 1970–72; Brith Sholom humanitarian freedom award, 1974; American Civil Liberties Union First Amendment award, 1978; best screenplay of the year award, Writers Guild of America, 1979, and British Academy of Film and Television Arts, 1981, both for Being There; Polonia Media National Achievement Perspectives award, 1980; Spertus College of Judaica international award, 1982; Harry Edmonds life achievement award, International House, 1990. Honorary degrees: Albion College, 1988; State University of New York, 1989. Died: Suicide, 3 May 1991.
KRALL Hanna Born in Warsaw, on 20 May 1937. Education: Studied journalism at Warsaw University. Career: Reporter, Zycie Warszawy, 1957–66; editor, Polityka, 1966–81; literary consultant, Tor film studio, 1981–87. Also contributed to Gazeta Wyborcza, 1980s. Awards: Solidarnosc prize, 1985; Odra magazine award and Polish literary PEN club prize, both in 1989; German Academic Exchange Service scholarship for study in Berlin, 1992; Jeanette Schocken prize and Bremerhaven citizen prize for literature, both in 1993; Polish Culture Foundation prize, 1999; Leipzig book prize for European understanding, 2000, for 'Tam juz nie ma zadnej rzeki'.
KRUK Herman (Hersh) He was born in Plock, Poland on 19 September 1897. Military Service: Polish Army. Career: Involved with the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania and Polish Socialist Party, ca. 1915; left the Communist Party and joined the Jewish Labor Bund, 1920. Founder and secretary, cultural department, National Council of Jewish Trade Unions, Warsaw; secretary, Yugntbund, youth organization of the bund, 1925; director, Grosser Library, Warsaw, 1930; head, 'Library Center' Kultur-lige, ca. 1930; director, Kultur-lige, 1936; journalist for the bund’s press. Escaped to Vilna, Lithuania, following the German attack on Warsaw. Restored and managed Strashun Library, Vilna, 1941–42; first chairman, underground committee of the bund, Vilna, ca. 1941; vice-chairman, Union of Writers and Artist, Vilna, ca. 1941; coerced by a Nazi agency to manage the Jewish library collections of Vilna for transport to Germany, 1942. Editor, Byuletin fun biblyotekntsenter, 'Library Center' Kultur-lige. Died: Murdered, victim of the Holocaust, 1944.
KUPER Jack (Kuperblum Jankel) Born as Jankel Kuperblum, in Zyrardow on 16 April 1932. Studied graphic arts at Central Tech, Toronto, Ontario. Family: Married Terrye Lee Swadron in 1955; two daughters and two sons. Career: Graphic artist, playwright, and actor, 1952–63, and graphic design animation and still photography supervisor, 1963–66, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; radio-TV director, Goodis, Goldberg, Soren Advertising, 1966–67; chief film director, Robert Lawrence Productions Ltd., 1967–68; creative director, Kenyon and Eckhardt Advertising, 1968–70. Since 1971 president and director, Kuper Productions Ltd. Awards: Best supporting actor, Dominion Drama Festival, 1952; Art Directors Club of Montreal award, 1964; Canadian art director of the year, 1965; Graphica award, 1966; Hollywood Radio and Television Society international broadcasting award, 1968; Canadian Radio Commercial Festival award, 1968; Graphica certificate, 1968, 1969; Canadian Television Commercials Festival award, 1980, 1982; National Education Film and Video Festival Gold Apple (United States), 1992; Columbus International Film and Video Festival Bronze award, 1992; Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Gemini award, 1992, for A Day in the Warsaw Ghetto: A Birthday Trip in Hell, 1997, for Who Was Jerzy Kosinski?; American Film and Video Festival Red Ribbon, 1993; Atlanta Film and Video Festival honorable mention, 1993; Jewish book award for Holocaust literature, 1995, for After the Smoke Cleared; National Education Film and Video Festival Bronze Apple, 1996.
LEWIN Abraham Born in Warsaw, 1893. Family: Married Luba Hotner (died 1942); one daughter (deceased). He was a teacher, Yehudia Girls’ School, Warsaw. Associated with Emmanuel Ringelblum. Died: Murdered, victim of the Holocaust, ca. 1942.
LEWITT Maria (Maria Markus) Born: Maria Markus, Lodz, 1924. Family: Married Julian Lewitt, ca. 1944; two sons. She was a student at a high school until the outbreak of the Second World War, during which she attended underground classes. From 1945 to 1948 she attended night school and then worked as a secretary at the Central Board of the Textile Industry. In 1948 she left Poland for France where she studied French. She immigrated to Australia in 1949. Worked on a poultry farm and as a seamstress and machinist in Australia. Cofounded and operated several businesses, including a bakery and a milk bar. Awards: Alan Marshall award, 1978, for Come Spring; Ethnic Affairs Commission award, 1986, for No Snow in December.
MEED Vladka (Fajga Peltel) Born as Fajga Peltel, in Warsaw in 1923. Family: Married Benjamin Meed. Career: Member, Zydowska Organazcja Bojowa (Jewish Fighting Organization), during World War II. Director, weekly radio program, Jewish Labor Committee Yiddish Culture Department; chairman, culture committee of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors; vice president, Jewish Labor Committee. Since 1984 founder and executive director, teachers’ training program on Holocaust and Jewish resistance. Contributor to Forverts magazine, ca. 1946. Awards: Warsaw Ghetto Resistance Organization award, 1973; Morim award of the Jewish Teachers’ Association, 1989; Hadassah Henrietta Szold award and Elie Wiesel Remembrance award, both in 1993. D.H.L.: Hebrew Union College, New York, 1998.
NIR Yehuda Born in Lvov (Lwow), on 31 March 1930. Educated in Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1951–58, M.D. 1958. Military Service: Polish Home Army during the Warsaw Uprising of 1944; Israeli Army during the War of Independence, 1948. Family: Married Bonnie Maslin in 1973; three sons and one daughter. Career: Head of child psychiatry, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; psychologist, private practice, New York. Since 1979 associate professor of psychology, Cornell University Medical College, Ithaca, New York.
NOMBERG-PRZYTYK Sara Born in Lublin, Poland on 10 September 1915. Educated in University of Warsaw. Family: Married Andrzej Przytyk; two sons. Career: Teacher, Bialystok, before World War II. Lived in the Bialystok ghetto, 1941–43; prisoner, Stutthof and Auschwitz. Worked as a journalist, Lublin, after World War II. Forced to leave Poland, 1968; moved to Israel, 1968–75, then Canada, 1975–96. Died in 1996.
ORLEV Uri (Jerzy Henryk Orlowski) Born as Jerzy Henryk Orlowski, in Warsaw, 24 February 1931. Educated in Kibbutz high school. Military Service: Israeli Army, 1950–52. Family: Married 1) Erela Navin in 1956 (divorced 1962), one daughter; 2) Ya’ara Shalev in 1964, one daughter and two sons. Career: Prisoner, Bergen-Belsen, 1943–45. Worked on a cattle ranch at a kibbutz before moving to Jerusalem in 1962. Awards: Awards from Israeli Broadcast Authorities, 1966, 1970, 1975, 1979, and 1991; Youth Alia prize, 1966, for The Last Summer Vacation; Prime Minister prize (Israel), 1972 and 1989; Mildred L. Batchelder award and Sydney Taylor book award, both in 1985, for The Island on Bird Street; Janusz Korczak literary prize (Poland), 1990; Mildred L. Batchelder award, 1991, and National Jewish Book Council award (New York), 1992, both for The Man from the Other Side; Annual Book Parade prize (Israel), 1995, for Lydia, Queen of Palestine; Mildred L. Batchelder award, 1996, for The Lady with the Hat; Hans Christian Andersen award, 1996; Ministry of Education Zeew prize, 1997, for The Sandgame. Member: Hebrew Writers Association; Israeli Translators Association; International Board on Books for Young People.
RINGELBLUM Emmanuel Born in Buczacz in 1900, later moved with family to Nowy Sacz. Education: University of Warsaw, 1919–27, Ph.D. 1927. Family: Married; one son. Career: Teacher, gymnasium in Warsaw, 1927–39; worked for the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), established working and personal relationship with Yitzhak Gitterman; leader, Oneg Shabbat. During the war, in the Warsaw ghetto, he not only participated in the underground and organized Jewish community self-help programs, but also created a ghetto archive that was hidden underground (known as the "Ringelblum Archive"). The archive documented the life, struggle and death of the Jewish people during the German occupation. The archive was conceived as a documentation center-a place where materials from various sources could be gathered. The documents, artwork, memoirs, and historical, economic, social and literary works it contains are an invaluable source for information about the social and cultural life of the Warsaw ghetto's Jewish residents, as well as about their tragic fate. Ringelblum's personal notes and essays from October 1939 until his deportation in April 1943 have also survived. In April 1943, the day before the uprising, Ringelblum returned to the ghetto. During the fighting, he was deported to an SS camp in Trawniki. Thanks to joint action by the Jewish and Polish underground, a railwayman, Teodor Pajewski (a liaison officer from the Council for Aid to the Jews, Zegota) and Roza Kossower (a Jewish woman) managed to get him out of the camp. Ringelblum, dressed as a railwayman, was transported to Warsaw. For a time, he was in hiding in an apartment on 2 Radzyminska Street; he moved a short while later to the hiding place at 84 Grojecka, where he remained until March 7, 1944, when the hiding place was reported to the authorities. All those who had been hiding there were taken to Pawiak prison and shot.
RUDNICKI Adolf Born on 22 January 1912 in Zabno, Poland. He was educated in Warsaw and worked as a bank clerk. Mobilized in the Polish army in 1939, he fought in the September campaign and was taken prisoner by the Germans. He escaped and crossed to Lwow (now Lviv, Ukraine), in the Soviet-occupied zone of Poland, where he contributed to Nowe widnokręgi (New Horizons), a communist periodical. When the Germans occupied Lwów in 1941, Rudnicki returned to Warsaw, living there under a false identity. Military Service: Fought in the campaign to defend Poland, 1939. Career: Writer. Imprisoned during World War II. Lived in Lwów, Poland, 1942, before returning to Warsaw; participant, Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, 1944. Died on 14 November 1990 in Warszawa, Poland.
SCHULZ Bruno He was born in Drohobycz on 12 July 1892. Parents: Jakub Schulz (1846-1915) and Hendel-Henrietta Schulz (née Kuhmerker, ?-1931). After WWI, when Poland regained its independence, the Drohobycz region was incorporated into the Second Polish Republic. Following the outbreak of WWII, Schulz’s native town was first attached to Soviet Ukraine and then taken over by Nazi Germany. Schulz was the youngest of three children, the other being his older brother Izydor and a sister named Hania. The environment he grew up in was that of a middle-class family of assimilated Jewish merchants. His father was a Jewish accountant from Sadowa Wisznia who established and owned a textile materials shop at Drohobycz’s main market square. His wife belonged to a local family of lumber traders. The Schulz’s were assimilated in the sense that Polish was spoken at home and Jewish customs and traditions were not actively observed. While being sent to a Polish gymnasium in Drohobycz, young Bruno was taught German at home by his mother, which enhanced his close affinity to both Polish and German culture. At the time of his death in the ghetto of Drohobycz in 1942, no one could have possibly foreseen the iconic status the Polish-Jewish artist Bruno Schulz was to attain in the second half of the 20th century.
SIERAKOWIAK Dawid Born in Lodz, 25 July 1924. He and his younger sister Nadia lived with their parents Majlech and Sura Sierakowiak. Dawid was a student in a private Jewish Gymnasium in Lodz, where he was on a scholarship. He kept a diary from before the war where he meticulously noted not only the events but his own feelings, moods, and opinions. Dawid was an avid reader and an excellent observer. Throughout Dawid's imprisonment in the Lodz ghetto he made sure to write about his hopes and doubts and the tragedies that happened. He described with great feeling the taking of his beloved mother during the Gehsperre Aktion and his diminishing love for his own father. Dawid Sierakowiak's diary ends in April 1943 with a hopeful note about getting a job in the ghetto bakery, where he would be able to eat. He died on August 8, 1943, probably of tuberculosis. He wrote in his diary: "I so very much want to live and survive." His sister was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau (Oswiecim) camp, where she was murdered. Five notebooks of Dawid's diary survived.
SINGER Isaac Bashevis (Zynger Icek Hersz) Born as Icek Hersz Zynger, in Leoncin, 14 July 1904. Pseudonym: Isaac Warshofsky. Educated in Tachkemoni Rabbinical Seminary, Warsaw, 1921–23. Married Alma Haimann in 1940; one son from a previous marriage. Career: Proofreader and translator, Literarishe Bletter, Warsaw, 1923–33; associate editor, Globus, Warsaw, 1933–35. Journalist, Jewish Daily Forward, New York, 1935–91. Founder, Svivah. Awards: Louis Lamed prize, 1950, for The Family Moskat, and 1956, for Satan in Goray; National Institute of Arts and Letters and American Academy award in literature, 1959; Jewish Book Council of America Harry and Ethel Daroff Memorial fiction award, 1963, for The Slave; Foreign book prize (France), 1965; National Council on the Arts grant and New York Times best illustrated book citation, both in 1966, Newbery Honor book award, 1967, for Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories; National Endowment for the Arts grant and Playboy magazine award for best fiction, both in 1967; Newbery Honor book award, 1968, for The Fearsome Inn; Bancarella prize, 1968, for Italian translation of The Family Moskat; Newbery Honor book award, 1969, for When Schlemiel Went to Warsaw and Other Stories; Brandeis University creative arts medal for poetry-fiction, 1970; National Book Award for children’s literature, 1970, for A Day of Pleasure; Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor award, 1971; Children’s Book Council children’s book Showcase award, 1972, for Alone in the Wild Forest; National Book Award for fiction, 1974, for A Crown of Feathers and Other Stories; Agnon gold medal, 1975; Nobel prize for literature, 1978; Present Tense magazine Kenneth B. Smilen literary award, 1980, for The Power of Light; Parents’ Choice Foundation award, 1983, for The Golem; Handel Medallion, 1986; American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters gold medal for fiction, 1989. D.H.L.: Hebrew Union College, 1963. D.Litt.: Texas Christian University, 1972; Colgate University, 1972; Bard College, 1974; Long Island University, 1979. Honorary doctorate: Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1973. Member: American Academy, 1965; American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1969; Jewish Academy of Arts and Sciences; Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences. Died on 24 July 1991.
STIFFEL Frank Born as Franz Josef Stifel in Boryslaw, on 23 November 1916. Studied medicine, University of Naples, Italy, 1936–37, University of Lieges, Belgium, 1937, University of Brussels, Belgium, 1938, and University of Nancy, France, 1939; studied French philology, University of Ivan Franko, Lwów, 1939–41; City College of New York, 1953–58, B.A. in romance languages 1958 (Phi Beta Kappa); advanced studies in French philology, Columbia University, New York, 1959–60; New York University, 1970–73, M.A. in occupational counseling 1973. Family: Married Ione Sani in 1946; one daughter. Career: Prisoner, Treblinka and Auschwitz, during World War II. Worked for Velpost Import/Export, Rome, Italy, 1946–47; agriculture secretary, American ORT, Rome, 1947–50; laborer and shipping manager, Salton Manufacturing, Inc., New York, 1950–55; import manager, J.H. Frankenberg, New York, 1955–58; president, Wallpaper Originals, New York, 1958–68; counselor, New York State Department of Labor, 1968–83. Award: Editors book award, 1983, for The Tale of the Ring: A Kaddish.
SZLENGEL Wladyslaw Born in 1914, in Warsaw, Poland. Poet and songwriter; wrote and read for Sztuka Cafe, a social club in the Warsaw Ghetto; contributor to various periodicals, including Szpilki, Przeglad Polski, and Zywy Dziennik. Died: Killed in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, April 1943
SZPILMAN Wladyslaw Born in Sosnoviec, 5 December 1911. Education: Studied piano and composition, Chopin School of Music, Warsaw; Berlin Academy of Music, 1931–33. Family: Married Halina Grzecznarowska; two sons. Career: Pianist and composer, Polish Radio, Warsaw, 1935–39 and 1945–63; cofounder, with Bronislaw Gimpel, and performer, Warsaw Piano Quintet, 1962–86. Awards: Poland’s Gold Cross of Merit, 1950; Polish radio industry award for children’s songs, 1953; Polonia Restituta Cavalier’s Cross, 1954; Polish People’s Republic Tenth Anniversary medal and Polish Composers Union award, both in 1955; Officer’s Cross, 1959; Merited Cultural Leader award, 1978. Died: 6 July 2000
TEC Nechama (Bawnik) Born as Nechama Bawnik in Lublin, Poland on 15 May 1931. Education: Columbia University, New York, B.A. 1954, M.A. 1955, Ph.D. 1963. Married Leon Tec in 1950; one daughter and one son. Career: Research sociologist in biometrics, New York State Department of Mental Hygiene, 1956–57; research director, MidFairfield Child Guidance Center, Norwalk, Connecticut, 1968–79. Since 1974 professor of sociology, University of Connecticut, Stamford. Also taught at Columbia University, Rutgers University, and Trinity College. Scholar-in-residence, Yad Vashem, 1995; senior research fellow, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 1997. Awards: Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith merit of distinction award, for When Light Pierced the Darkness and for Dry Tears; Christopher award, 1991, for In the Lion’s Den; International Anne Frank Special Recognition prize, 1994, and World Federation of Fighters, Partisans, and Concentration Camp Survivors prize for Holocaust literature, 1995, both for Defiance; American Society for Yad Vashem achievement award, 2001
VERSTANDIG Mark Born in 1912. Education: Studied law, Jagellonian University, Kraków, graduated 1936. Family: Married Frieda Reich in 1940. Involved with the Revisionist Student Organization, ca. 1920. Following the deportation of the town’s 10,000 Jews and the shooting of thousands, including his father, he spent more than two years in hiding, for some time in Warsaw separated from his wife, then hidden by peasants in the neighborhood of his home. Lived in Germany following World War II; moved to Paris, 1949, then to Australia. Textile manufacturer, Melbourne, until 1973. Also worked as a Yiddish broadcaster, public speaker, and journalist. Contributor, Ibergang and Unzer Welt newspapers, Germany.
WOJDOWSKI Bogdan Born in 1930, Poland. He spent two nightmarish years in the Warsaw Ghetto. Worked as a writer. His most essential literary works concern the physical and psychical outcomes of the Nazi extermination of the Jews in Poland under German occupation. Award: Second prize, Polish government literary contest, 1971, for Chleb rzucony umarlym. Died: Suicide, 1994.
WYGODZKI Stanislaw Born in Bedzin, Poland in 1907 - Died in 1992, Israel. He was a Polish writer of Jewish origin. He published his first volume of poetry in 1933 before the Nazi occupation of Poland, during which Wygodzki was first interred in the Bedzin ghetto and later in the concentration camps of Auschwitz, Dachau, Oranienburg and Sachsenhausen. His health impacted by his experiences, Wygodzki did not resume publishing until 1947, following which he became a successful writer, publishing poetry, short stories and one novel. Wygodzki, who lost his wife, daughter and parents in Auschwitz, was one of four winners of the 1969 "Remembrance Award", awarded annually by the World Federation of Bergen-Belsen Associations for "excellence in literature on the Nazi atrocities against European Jewry". Wygodzki resettled in Israel in 1968 in response to antisemitism in the Communist Party in Poland.
ZUCKERMAN Yitzhak 'Antek' Born on 13 December 1915. Family: Married Zivia Lubetkin. Career: Active throughout the Nazi occupation of Poland in underground resistence activities including the Jewish Fighting Organization and Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. ZOB leader in Warsaw; also active in Krakow (Cracov) and other parts of Poland. Before learning of the mass murder of Jews, Zuckerman ran an underground press and prepared Jewish youth for immigration to Palestine. He engaged German troops in the January 1943 Warsaw ghetto resistance action and helped organize the April 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising. Zukerman was a witness in the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Editor, The Fighting Ghetto newsletter. Cofounder, Kibbutz Lohamei Haghetaot and Beit Lohamei Haghetaot (Ghetto Fighters’ Kibbutz and Memorial). Died: 17 June 1981





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