Segalovitch, Zusman: 1884-1949

Segalovitch was born in Bialystock, Russian Poland to a family of Rabbis. He went to private school and studied at home. He worked in an iron business and chalk factory and was active in “Bund” organizing workers and strikes in Bialystock. He was arrested often and served time in prisons. He began writing in Russian, then Yiddish. After the pogrom in Bialystock in 1904 he moved with his parents to Lodz where he published many poems which were well received. His poem Reyzele dem Shoikhets, (“The Butcher’s Daughter”) became a popular song . His poems appeared in many newspapers: Warsaw Haynt, (“Today”), Lodz Tsayt, (“Times”), New York Tog, (“Day”) and London Tsayt (“Times”) as well as in poetry collections. He wrote popular novellas and became vice president and president of the Yiddishe Shrayber Fareyn, (“Yiddish Literary Union”) in Warsaw at 13 Tlomatskie St. In 1939 he left Warsaw on the same railroad car as other Yiddish writers. He then wandered through Russia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Syria and arrived in Palestine (Israel) in 1941.There he published his famous poem of mourning Dortn, (“There”). His once light hearted voice was muted as he became a powerful mourner for those he had left behind to tragic fate. He came to New York in 1947 and was officially welcomed there. But he wrote about being isolated and alone there and on September 9, 1948, he died suddenly, alone in his hotel room. The destruction of European Jewry was the nightmare he carried.

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