Kharik, Izi: 1898-1937

Born in Zembin, near Minsk, Kharik was the son of a shoemaker and on mother’s side, grandson of famous wedding singer Lazer Shaynman. He attended a traditional kheyder and a Russian Volkschool and did a variety of work in a bakery, as a helper to a pharmacist, and as a librarian in Minsk. In 1919, he became a communist and joined the Red Army. He was published in many journals internationally and became known as the poet of the “Muds of Minsk”. He was arrested in 1937 and put in a series of Russian jails where he was tortured. Finally, he was brought to a gulag in north Russia. One of his most well known poems is Oif a Fremder Khasene, (“At the Wedding of Strangers”) in which he uses the character of a wedding singer as the protesting simple worker. He was murdered under Stalin in 1937 and his work has never been published in Yiddish in Russia but was published in Warsaw, Montreal, New York, Mexico, and Melbourne.