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The Yiddish Theatre in Europe


Yung Vilne

Jewish life flourished in Vilnius during the interwar years and Yiddish literature was no exception.  A number of young writers and artists came together and formed what was to be an important Yiddish literary group called Yung Vilne  ("Young Vilnius"). This group, which existed between the years 1927 and 1943, committed itself to political activism as expressed through their work.  The members included Avrom Sutzkever, Khayim Grade, and Shmerke Kaczerginski. A famous poet Moyshe Kulbak (1896-1937) also created in Vilnius.

The Holocaust and subsequent Russian occupation broke apart the group, but those who survived continued their professional careers throughout the world.

Front row, left to right:  Elkhonen Vogler, Benzion Mikhtom, Khayim Grade, Yoysef Opatoshu, Shmerke Kaczerginski, and Avrom Sutzkever.

Back row, left to rightLeyzer Volf, Shimshon Kahan, Peretz Miransky, and Moyshe Levin.

Other members  included Hadase Rubin (1912 Frampol-/poet) and Hirsh Glik (1920-/poetry), artists Leib Castle and Rafal Chwoles.

The above photo was taken in 1935 on the occasion of a visit to Vilna by the writer Yoysef Opatoshu (not a member of Yung Vilne.)

Standing, right to left: Shmerke Kaczerginski(1908-1954/writer), Avrom Sutzkever (1913-/poet, Elkhonen Vogler (1907-69), Khayim Grade (1910-82/poet) and Leyzer Volf (1910-1943).

Leyzer Wolf was killed in a village near Samarkand, Uzbekistan in April 1943.

Seated, right to left
Moyshe Levin (1907-1941), Sheyne Efron (artist), Shimshon Kahan (-1941), Rokhl Sutskever (1905-1943/artist) and Benzion Mikhtom (1909-1941/artist).

Moyshe Levin, Benzion Mikhtom, Shimshon Kahan and Reina Sutzkever (mother of Avrom Sutskever; not a member of Yung Vilne) were all killed in Ponar in 1941.

Kaczerginski perished in a plane crash in Argentina on 27 Apr 1954.

Rokhl Sutzkever (nee Ushayev; born in Smorgon, Belarus), died at Treblinka in 1943.

The above photograph was taken in 1930.










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