Moyshe Kulbak

Jewish writer, playwright, translator of Belarusian origin.

Born on March 20, 1896 in Smorgon in the family of an white-collar. Graduated from the Volozhin Yeshivot. He worked as an educator in an orphanage in Kaunas, as a teacher in schools and gymnasiums in Smorgon, Minsk, Vilnius. In 1918 he lived in Minsk, where he was a lecturer at Jewish teacher courses, and in early 1919 he left for Vilnius. In 1920-1923 he lived and worked in Berlin, in 1923-1928 he lived in Vilnius, where in 1927 he was elected as a chairman of the "Jewish PEN Club", at the end of 1928 he returned to Minsk. He worked in the editorial offices of republican periodicals, in the Jewish sector of the Academy of Sciences of the BSSR.

Arrested by the NKVD of the BSSR on September 11, 1937 in Minsk. On October 28, 1937, he was sentenced by a visiting session of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR as a "member of a counterrevolutionary Trotskyist-terrorist organization" and for "communication with Polish intelligence agencies" to capital punishment (execution) with confiscation of property. Moyshe was shot in the night from October 29 to October 30. Rehabilitated by the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR on December 15, 1956.

Member of the Union of Writers of the BSSR since 1934. He wrote first in Hebrew, and then in Yiddish. Author of the collections "Poems" (Vilnius, 1920), "New poems" (Warsaw, 1922), "Verses and Poems" (Minsk, 1929), novels "The Messiah of the House of Ephraim" (Berlin, 1924), "Monday" (Warsaw, 1926). For children, he wrote a fairy tale "The Wind Who Lost His Temper" (Vilnius, 1921).

In 1960, the novel "The Zelmenyaners" was published in Minsk, translated into Belarusian by Vitaly Volsky (it was republished in 2015). The play "The robber Boitre" was translated into Belarusian by Felix Batorin under the title "Boitre" for the "Dzejasloŭ" magazine (2014). Some verses of Moyshe Kulbak were translated from Yiddish into Belarusian by Eddzie Ahniatsvet, Stsiapan Gaŭrus, Vasil' Zhukovich, Gennadz' Kliaŭko, Yazep Semyazhon, Andrej Khadanovich and other famous poets. In 1970, a poetry collection by Moyshe Kulbak "Favorites" was published in Minsk, in 2016 — a bilingual (in Yiddish and Belarusian) collection "Eybik / Forever”. In 2016, translations of the fairy tale "The Wind Who Lost His Temper" and the story "Munya the poultry farmer and his wife Malkele" were appeared. In 2018 and 2019, the novels "Monday" and "The Messiah of the Ephraim family" translated by Siarhej Šupa were published.

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